Football season is something fans look forward to all year. No other sport compares. Sure, Sunday is dedicated to football, but the sports gods blessed us with football on Thursday nights as well. Games that you don’t have to wait for the weekend to enjoy? Yes, please. Don’t lounge around at home, that’s what Sunday is for. Hit these local bars for the best of Thursday night football.
Rival House Sporting Parlour
411 Minnesota St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Rival House Sporting Parlour has earned a spot due to its game-themed bar that has no shortage of televisions, including a large pull-down screen that will be showing the hottest game on television that night. You can kick back with wood-fired pizzas, something from the great tap list and a relaxing atmosphere (which likely will get tense depending which way the game goes) in downtown St. Paul. If you’re looking for a more upscale sports bar (this is a “Sporting Parlour” after all) to enjoy a great game of football, this is it.
3675 Minnehaha Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
A lively atmosphere always makes the games more fun. Rail Station’s colorful decor and attitude makes this an excellent place to catch the game. Thursday night specials, like discounts on seasonal and specialty drinks, as well as happy hour that runs until 7 p.m. and start again at 10 p.m., keeps your wallet full while enjoying a wild Thursday night game. The dedication to football extends further, with Vikings game-day deals and other football specials. Looking to eat during the game? If you live in the 55406, 55407, 55417 or 55105 zip codes, enjoy 15-percent off your food, with a valid ID.
2201 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
This Minneapolis institution offers something for everyone. It might not have a reputation as a sports bar, but when football is on, it becomes one of the best bars to enjoy the game in the city. Happy hour during games makes for cheap drinks and eats, and you’re sure to be in good company on game day.
139 E. 7th St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
This bar does two things well: beer and sports. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, and with televisions around ever corner, you won’t miss the action even as you’re walking to the bathroom or out onto the expansive patio for a smoke or breath of fresh air. The beer list, well, you won’t find anything like it at any other sports bar. Sixty-five taps (with plans to add 20 more) line the bar, and you won’t have any trouble finding local favorites from Summit and Flat Earth to Surly, Fulton and more to enjoy even if the local team isn’t playing.
Legends Bar & Grill
825 E. Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
The place that boasts “big city excitement with a small town atmosphere” is also one of the best places for drinks and sports on a Thursday night. Not only can you enjoy wings for 45 cents a piece, but you can chug beer and Crown Royal for discounted prices as well. The “small town vibe” means you’ll meet plenty of other friendly faces ready to enjoy a game of football, and, with your stomach full of wings and beer, it certainly will be enjoyable.
Related: Best Twin Cities Sports Bars
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.