Yes, Central Oregon is known as an outdoor adventure paradise where hiking, mountain biking and skiing are a way of life and the reason many people visit. But sometimes your team’s got a big game. And all you really want to do – even on your vacation – is find a great spot to watch it with a few more diehard fans.
Don’t worry. There are several great gameday locations – more than simple “sports bars” – to belly up to the bar, grab a local beer, some great food and do nothing but watch football, playoff baseball, soccer the NBA and veg out while probably eating meat.
Bend’s truest sports bar is Sidelines, in the heart of downtown. This is THE local’s place to go to catch games all day every day. They have a million TVs and tons of beers. And there’s a pretty darn good breakfast for those early East Coast Saturday games and the 10 a.m. NFL starts on Sunday. (Remember, you’re on the West Coast.)
For really big games (and most Duck/Beaver games) you’ll want to head to McMenamins Old St. Francis School in downtown Bend. The theater screen becomes a really Big Screen TV for the games with plenty of couch seating available along with great food and beer. The famous cajun tots are a must. It’s the next best thing to watching it at home except you can’t flip the channels between plays (but you do have someone waiting on you!)
If you’re after a diverse beer selection to go with your game, the newly-redesigned Currents Restaurant at Riverhouse on the Deschutes is the perfect place to spend a couple hours. The bar features rotating brews from just about every Central Oregon brewery, giving you a chance to essentially do the Ale Trail without leaving your seat. It’s your Seattle Seahawks gameday headquarters with some great food and drink deals as well.
Immersion Brewing offers discounted beers and a great all-day happy hour menu on gamedays – and if you have a big group and want to do something different while watching the game, you can brew your own beer!
In Downtown Bend, the Beach Hut Deli might be the best place to watch a game that nobody’s heard of yet. Several big screen TVs are always showing games – and some of the booths have their own TVs! You can find TONS of sandwich options, gameday specials, a spacious patio, fire pit an amazing beer tap lineup.
If your team stinks but you just can’t miss the game anyway, you might need some awesome views to take your mind off the outcome. The Row, a pub at Tetherow Resort, has a couple of big screens in addition to amazing scenery out the huge windows overlooking the golf course. (A golf course ranked No. 63 in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Courses.)
Just about all of the brewpubs are good places to catch a game, especially Cascade Lakes Brewing Co. and Bend Brewing Co. The brewhaus at Sunriver Brewing Co. (both at the Sunriver and Bend locations) is another great option. And get this, there’s a children’s play area at the Sunriver pub.
And one of my favorite spots is kind of underrated when it comes to cool sports-watching venues: Deschutes Brewery in Downtown Bend. There’s a big screen TV on both corners of the bar (just beyond the edges of that photo above) and a few more scattered around the restaurant. And, of course, the beer and the food are as good as it gets.