Orange County's Best Bars to Watch March Madness
The opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament regularly cost America billions of dollars in lost productivity. For the basketball fans, however, it’s a fair trade-off to watch our teams compete for a Final Four berth while potentially collecting some winnings with our bracket.
There are plenty of ways to watch the games from your office or home. But many college sports fans want the collective excitement of watching the games with a bunch of strangers in a crowded bar.
This list is for those latter folks, specifically around Orange County. If you’re skipping work for a day of hoops, here’s where you can camp out for the day.
ESPN Zone — Anaheim
Yes, getting into or out of the Downtown Disney/Disneyland area is always a pain. If you only go once per year, though, maybe March Madness is the time to do it. ESPN Zone has televisions everywhere, plus plenty of beer and food to keep fans occupied for hours on end. The sheer number of out-of-towners in Anaheim could also yield some unexpected rivalry smack talk.
The Glen Bar & Grill — Garden Grove
Reasonably priced food and drinks come in handy when preparing for a full day of game-watching. The Glen Bar & Grill in Garden Grove has plenty of that, plus 10 televisions for all of the NCAA Tournament action, and pool tables if you’re looking for a break from basketball for a few minutes. You won’t need it, but your friends may want a break from hearing about your bracket, so humor them.
Hurricanes Bar & Grill — Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach’s Main Street is littered with bars and restaurants. Hurricanes Bar & Grill may be your best bet to maximize the number of televisions available. Despite the usual pub fare, the beachside bar also leans into its location with a variety of seafood dishes as well (just in case you were worried about being relegated to fries and nachos all day).
Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing - Mission Viejo
Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing has 16 different locations from Point Loma all the way up to Glendale. But the Mission Viejo location provides one of the franchise’s best viewing experiences with an expansive middle room and TVs mounted all over. Most come for the beer and pizza, as they should, since it’s in the name. But the ability to comfortably watch a game is another big perk.
Players Sports Grill - Laguna Hills
Players Sports Grill is an to whatever local bar you may be nostalgic for. With flags and pennants for dozens of teams, this Laguna Hills haven comes off like the basement hangout of your most sports-crazed friend — if that friend also had over 40 televisions lining the walls. With that many options around you, it’s a near-guarantee you’ll catch every amazing play.
Silky Sullivan’s Restaurant & Irish Pub - Fountain Valley
Long-time Fountain Valley bar Silky Sullivan’s isn’t “just” an Irish pub. It’s a local hangout, community, and of course, a great place to watch a game. Take in a Guinness — or don’t — while keeping eyes peeled to every game along the wall. The bar and restaurant sections are both littered with them, which makes it easy to bracket watch from every part of the establishment.
Tustin Brewing Co. - Tustin
Right off of busy Newport Avenue in Tustin is Tustin Brewing Co.. It may not seem like a brewery at first given its castle-looking exterior. Yet, inside it houses award-winning beers, affordable grub, and TVs all around, including the biggest screen at the back of the restaurant. TBC’s guest tap list is among the best around as well.
Yard House - Irvine
Nationwide, every Yard House is an expansive place. Still, the Irvine location — which shares a city with the company headquarters — always comes off as the largest of all. There are televisions everywhere, and 100 or so beers on tap with a hefty local selection. Yard House’s large booths also make it easy for a big group to comfortably park it for the day.