Take a knee, for game day is nearly upon us.
Regardless of whether you like your balls hard or soft, come Sunday, Super Bowl XLIX pits the east vs. west (or, more accurately, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine vs. the rest of country), when the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks. Get the meat sweats at our top spots for cheering or jeering.
Paulaner, Lower East Side
Fuel your competitive spirit with some friendly beer pong from 4 to 6 p.m. at this Bavarian microbrewery on the Bowery. It's got plenty of big booths and long tables to take in the action, and the à la carte menu includes all the greatest hits: chicken wings with special sauce, a bratwurst burger with sauerkraut and mustard on a pretzel bun, fried meatballs stuffed with pepper jack cheese and more. Just show up or call 212-780-0300 for reservations.
Hometown Bar-B-Que, Red Hook
Take in the game at this cavernous waterfront spot that doesn't abide by traditional barbecue rules. Hometown promises big screens, plenty of smoked meat (we'll take the ribs) and booze alongside classic sides (mac 'n' cheese, beans, corn bread) that you order from the counter and enjoy at long communal tables. Get there early to guarantee a spot, or email here for groups of more than 10 people.
River Styx, Greenpoint
For chefs Dennis Spina and Homer Murray, game day means big screens, fog machines and cocktails served in trophies. Funny: us, too! Head to their Greenpoint restaurant for a good time, where the pair is dishing up the essentials, such as jalapeño poppers, chicken fingers, calzone-like pizza shooters, plus regional specialties from the Pats' (Yankee pot roast) and Seahawks' (cioppino) turfs and buckets of beer. Go as you are, or call 718-383-8833 or email here ahead to reserve a large table.
game., Meatpacking District
Put three former Saul chefs in an old sports bar space and what do you get? Well, another sports bar but one with smoked wings and a pretty stellar wine list. New to the neighborhood and open just in time for the play-off season, game. has a menu as serious as its love for sports (read: 12 TVs and two projectors). Spread baked cheddar dip over tostadas or spoon up smoked meat and fried shallot chili in between cheering on your team and attempting to hide your tears during the Google commercials.
The Gander, Flatiron
Prefer your carnage with a side of class? Take in the game at the first-ever Gander Bowl, which will be hosted in a new event space located downstairs. Attend the all-inclusive #UrbanTailgate party for $55, where you can get your fill of wings, sliders, mac 'n' cheese and more. Stay hydrated with coolers and kegs of Bud and PBR, plus a special Gander Bowl punch cocktail. Would you rather eat competitively than listen to Katy Perry at halftime? They've got wings for that.
Chapter One, West Village
This one goes out to 'ol New England. Executive chef Warren Baird is rooting for the Pats, so he's created food and drink specials designed to honor Brady, Belichick and their cohorts. Get down on 25-cent bourbon-glazed wings, $1 oysters and sliders, New England clam chowder and more alongside drinks specials ($1 PBR cocktails, $5 drafts and Jack and Ginger cocktails). Drinking games will supplement commercial breaks, so just make sure not to Deflate Gate the fun and KO early.
Nitehawk Cinema, Williamsburg
For a cinematic feel that your flat screen just can't provide, cheer on your team at Williamsburg's movie theater-cum-restaurant. Buy a $25 food and beverage voucher to secure your spot and prepare to have house-made hot wings and beer specials from each team delivered to your seat. For light fare, pop out into the lobby to watch the Puppy Bowl and the Halftime Kitten Show.
The Vanderbilt, Prospect Heights
For $45, get your hands on Michelin-starred chef Saul Bolton's fancy take on American classics. The unlimited buffet offers wings, pigs in a blanket, seven-layer dip, roast pork shoulder, BBQ pork ribs, Caesar and potato salad and slaw. Make sure to supplement your beer intake with at least one of the bar's impressive cocktails (we'll take a Hudson Buck, $11, made with Jim Beam, ginger and apple cider molasses) and get there at 5 p.m. to reserve a seat.
Miss Lily's 7A, East Village
All this American fare Jamaican you crazy? Head to Miss Lily's East Village location for a raucous time, complete with buckets of beer and pitchers of the signature punch, featured alongside jerk chicken wings (naturally) and sorrel-glazed baby back ribs, plus the regular à la carte menu.
The Cannibal, Hell's Kitchen
The folks at the Gotham West outpost of The Cannibal take "pigskin" to heart: The Tailgate Party menu includes endless cracklin' nachos, plus pigs in a blanket, pig's-head potato skins, chili Frito pie, hot wings and chips and onion dip. The $55 ticket also includes unlimited pitchers of draft beer and super-classy cocktails (Jell-O shots, mai tais). Splurge for the Hillbilly bottle service (a bottle of whiskey and six-pack of Coke, $55) if you really want to get after it. For reservations (required), call 212-685-5585 or email here.
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