Let’s be honest, there’s not a lot in this cruel world that is more depressing than sitting behind a laptop streaming a sports game in your bedroom by yourself. So, if a big game is coming up and you’re looking for a place with great atmosphere and like-minded fans to share joy (or grief) with, these are some of our favorite Shanghai sports bars.
Big Bamboo is one of Shanghai’s most popular sports bar chains, and is an easy “go-to” option for sports fans throughout the city. Their three locations host practically all major international sports events live and they do a nice selection of crisp beers. Each location has the typical sports bar ensemble of foosball, a pool table and dart boards.
This Aussie joint has is a very popular haunt for large swathes of Shanghai’s expat community. In both their Puxi and Pudong branches, they show popular sports like NFL, the Premier League and the UFC. They serve a variety of food, from burgers and pizzas to chicken parma and salad at mid-range prices.
Where: The Shed, 698 Shaanxi Bei Lu (near Kangding Lu)
Another Aussie-owned pub, the Shed has cultivated – through its laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff – the reputation of a welcoming local bar. Its high-quality beer and menu is affordable and they show many mainline sports events. Their list of televised sports can be accessed through their website. Whether you are looking to watch the Six Nation Championship, the Super Bowl or the Grand Prix, the Shed has you covered.
Windows has a divisive reputation. It is not for everyone and it won’t be a quiet night but, hey, them drinks be cheap. Either way, if you still want to get out of the house to watch that big sports final, any one of the Windows bars would make a fine choice. Their three bars (“Too”, “Scoreboard” and “Garage”) each have their own unique vibe. They are united, however, by their championing of low-cost drinks and blaring tunes ranging from hip-hop to rock 'n’roll. Special events are held for major international games at all three branches.
Where: Cages 3/F Jing'an Sports Centre, 428 Jiangning Lu (near Wuding Lu)
Situated on the third floor of the Jing’an Sports Center, Cages’ new location has five batting cages, six darts boards, four pool tables, two squash courts, one bubble football/mixed use area, two bagtoss areas, one bocce ball pitch, one ice hockey slap shot zone, 70 TVs and nine different draft beers. It's probably the coolest sports bar in Shanghai.
Shanghai Brewery is one of the longer-standing sports bars in Shanghai. They're also their own microbrewery, selling seven hand-crafted beers on tap. Food on offer is classic bar food, from nachos covered in cheese to burgers, but also with a couple of gourmet items. Their Hongqiao location also has a kids' room.
Where: Grand Yard Café, 608-1 Xikang Lu (near Changping Lu)
Always bustlingly crowded during big sports events, the Grand Yard Café usually hosts an event for all significant international games. They offer café food such as sandwiches, burgers, wraps and more, alongside their tap beer – which are mostly German and Belgian in origin. Located in the heart of the Jing’an district. Get there early if want to secure a seat. On big game days it fills up fast.
Where: Blarney Stone, 77 Yongkang Lu (near Xiangyang Lu)
If you were lucky enough to be born an Irishman and are feeling homesick, Blarney Stone on Yongkang Lu could offer respite. Open from 3pm to 1am, this Celtic cavern is the only bar in Shanghai that shows traditional Irish sports such as hurling and Gaelic football (along with bigger international games like rugby). Tuck in to comforts like lamb stew or fish and chips, and while away a sports game with a pint o' the black stuff.
Where: The BREW, 1/F, 1388 Huamu Lu (near Fangdian Lu)
Situated on the first floor of the Kerry Hotel is the BREW—a classy Australian brewery in Pudong. When they don’t have a live band playing, they show popular sports on their several television screens. All of their six hand crafted beers and the one cider were made onsite. It is a more expensive option, but if you have the money (and the time to get there) it is well worth it.
Where: The Spot, 331 Tongren Lu (near Beijing Xi Lu)
This pub just off of Nanjing Xi Lu screens live sports like football, rugby and MMA. They are known for their fairly low (by Shanghai standards, at least) beer and wine prices, as well as their remarkably international menu. Serving cuisines from Europe and Southeast Asia, with a particular proclivity toward German and Thai, they cater to a pretty diverse crowd. Their list of upcoming sports events can be found on their website.
Tap House boasts an impressive selection of international craft beers, sourced from all over the world. Each of their three branches in Shanghai has upwards of 18 taps and imported beers, and their Hongmei branch has 32. They also sell bottled beers and have a menu that includes standard bar snacks. Naturally, each branch is kitted out with several flat screen TVs that show live or recent sports games.
Where: Hit Wicket, Shop 3-1, 36 Gongping Lu (near Daming Lu)
Hit Wicket is Shanghai’s devoted cricket bar. Doubling as an Indian restaurant, it’s the perfect place to watch the next IPL championship game while enjoying a chicken tikka, fish curry or butter chicken. While they do show other sports from time to time, their focus is very clearly on cricket and cricket fans. Any big match is bound to be shown there. Behind the bar it's a range of beers, wines and cocktails, as well as traditional Western bar food. They are open from 11am to late.
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