Need a great place to watch college basketball in Atlanta or Georgia Tech in NIT Championship?
There are some great picks, starting with some for the dabbler −those who just want to check the bracket while concentrating on pool or darts or watch a novelty game during March Madness (hello Mount St. Mary's v. New Orleans).
Other great sports bars in the Atlanta area cater to year-round devotees, those who start with Chaminade University of Honolulu’s Maui Jim Maui invitational in December and don't stop until they've taken in the entire NCAA Men’s, NCAA Women’s and NIT tournaments.
Another nice thing about these best sports bars in Atlanta: if you go there for college basketball and pick up a “Cheers” vibe, you can come back throughout the year for other sports viewing (and beer hefting, and Trivia nights, and chatting up the bartender).
Here are nine of the best sports bars in Atlanta for catching college basketball on the widescreen:
Hudson Grille Sandy Springs
6317 Roswell Road NE, Sandy Springs. 404-554-8282
11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Sunday
A sterling example of the Atlanta sports bar, the Sandy Springs location is the place to be for weekend games if you don't need to come downtown. And like all the Hudson Grille locations, it is participating in a March Madness bracket challenge with wings for a year as a prime prize.
3280 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 187. 404-254-4468. industrytavern.com
11 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday; 12 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday and seasonal hours on Sunday
One of Buckhead's best, Industry Tavern has a bevy of televisions and a bunch of basketball fans. It's an upscale, casual option for viewing, with its exposed brick interior, scratchmade menu and copious wine list. There isn't a bad seat around the 360-degree bar and they offer drink specials every day of the week, which means they coincide with college basketball watching times. Free valet and free parking.
10729 Alpharetta Hwy, Roswell. 770-645-8576. www.mazzys.com
11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 12 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, 12 p.m.-12 a.m. Sunday
If you have those in your party who like billiards and darts, this is a great way to combine those pastimes with viewing. Mazzy's has HD widescreen LCD televisions placed strategically about the bar. You can catch the earlier games there, too. And if you stay so long you get hungry, they've got a full menu, from soup to pasta and burgers and the kitchen stays open late.
725 Concord Road, Smyrna.678-388-1733. varnerstavern.com
11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-4 a.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Sunday
Pub fare, kid-friendly and committed to showing all the NCAA March Madness games with month-long drink specials. And all that tucked away in Smyrna.
Elder Tree Atlanta
469 Flat Shoals Ave. SE. 404-658-6108. eldertreeatl.com
11:30 a.m. to midnight Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday
While they're Irish, and quite committed to soccer, Elder Tree is also a great place to catch televised American sports. They'll play all the NCAA games that don't conflict with key soccer matches (this is usually no issue). And if whiskey is your thing, you'll find a fine variety here to accompany the hoops action.
Dillon's Sports Bar
850 Dogwood Road B500, Lawrenceville. 770-978-4308.dillons-sportsbar.com
11 a.m.- midnight Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. -1 a.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; 12 p.m.- midnight
Friendly folks and 70 big screen televisions. If you don’t catch Dillon’s for March Madness, hang out any day of the week for for a live music, all-you-can-eat-shrimp or poker night.
3227 Roswell Road N.E. 404-963-7739. buckheadsaloonatlanta.com
5 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday; 3 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Friday; 12 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Saturday; 12 p.m. to midnight Sunday
The Atlanta tradition continues on with live music and lots o' sports viewing on high-def big screens. But keep in mind that the high-energy place closes on Monday to recharge.