When the New England Patriots tackle the St. Louis Rams during next Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, football fans will huddle at their favorite sports bar. Here are our top five picks.
When it comes to sports bars, Giovanni Pastrami is in a league of its own. This deli/pizza parlor/sports bar—all rolled into one location—definitely has game ... and lots of it. The place is equipped with 20 high-definition wood-framed plasma screens with the ability to tap into 11 different live feeds, airing everything from baseball and basketball, to football and hockey, to boxing and ultimate fights. And oh yeah, next Sunday’s big title game. Unlike other sports bars, Giovanni Pastrami offers more than indigestion after watching a game. The food here isn’t the Pepto-Bismol-inducing greasy and salty finger-food fare sometimes found at other establishments of the same ilk.
The Giovanni part of the restaurant’s name alludes to Italian fare and in particular to the selection of pizzas, which are the same as those baked at Round Table.
Specialty pizzas cost $12 for a personal pan, $27 for a medium pie and $31 for a large one. The “Pastrami” part of the name represents the second dimension to this restaurant’s menu, which is similar to, but more extensive than, the menu at CJ’s. Hot corned beef and hot pastrami sandwiches compare to kosher delis in New York City.
Waikiki Beach Walk, 227 Lewers St. Call 923-2100.
This is a place that falls somewhere between a gastropub and a neighborhood “Cheers,” where everybody seems to know everybody’s name. Most people come here for the food but on Super Bowl Sunday, there will be as much attention on the 11 screens as there will be on the tater tot nachos with shredded kalua pig, kim-chee-braised short ribs, sizzling ribeye and French fries topped with crispy pepperoni, parmesan cheese and truffle oil. For an alternative to the pommes frites, try the homemade, crackling chicharons with pepperoni.
The cocktails bear such whimsical names as the WTF Martini (Tito’s Handmade Vodka, fresh strawberries, balsamic vinegar and Sprite), Root Beer Float (whipped vodka liqueur, Three Olives vanilla vodka and root beer) and Home’s Apple Mart (Apple Pucker, Don Q coconut rum, pineapple juice, Sprite and a drop of grenadine). For a locally inspired cocktail, order the li hing pineapple margarita, composed of li hing-infused tequila, sour mix and lime and pineapple juices.
1683 Kalakaua Ave. 808.942.2237
The late Colin Nishida had a cult-like following among local chefs as well as visiting ones, including Anthony Bourdain who filmed a segment of his “No Reservations” here when he was still with the Travel Channel. When Nishida opened his first location in 1992, it was off a “side street” in the industrial part of Kakaako, which looked nothing like it does today. There were no murals but there was plenty of graffiti. Closer to Waikiki, the Kapahulu location still maintains that local bar feel, with the same casual-gourmet menu. The pan-fried pork chops and the “works” fried rice are legendary among regulars, many of whom share the same “this is the best pork chop on the island” sentiment. Also noteworthy are the barbecue baby back ribs slathered with a choice of hoisin or lilikoi sauce and the Hawaiian-style pulehu (grilled) short ribs.
As for libations, expect a decent list of wines, cocktails and beers, including the house special Rogue Side Street Inn Ale.
614 Kapahulu Ave., 808.739.3939
When this multi-divided sports bar opened on the second floor of Salt at Our Kakaako, it filled a niche in this trendy neighborhood. The bar is divided into four separate areas. The Zone where you can watch each touchdown—or interception—from stadium-style seating, on a large projection screen. If you get bored, The Pitch serves as an outdoor multipurpose space that can be used for outdoor seating and even bocce ball. For those looking for the VIP experience, The Suite features a large TV and independent sound system, creating a personalized game-day experience. And, of course, there’s The Bar, the epicenter of the venue. This particular area is all about guest interaction. Instead of sitting at a secluded table facing only friends, this area encourages customers to interact with the bartender and fellow Patriots or Rams fan.
In terms of the menu, expect fried brussel sprouts, wagyu sliders, fired chicken bites and a local riff on poutine, fries topped with kalbi sauce, cheese sauce, mozzarella and green onions. There are such Share Plates as fried pork chops, short rib loco moco, garlic chicken karaage and pulehu steak.
685 Auahi St., 808.369.2255
Kickoff time is at 1:30 p.m. and, by then, this Las Vegas-inspired bar should be abuzz. This swanky bar serves up handcrafted signature cocktails, domestic and craft beers, and one of the state’s most extensive whiskey collection. Appetizers include the usual fare of chips and salsa, fries, quesadillas, chicken tenders onion rings and a heaping mound of nachos served on a pizza pan and covered with jack and cheddar cheeses, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa fresca and your choice of chicken, steak or kalua pork. And, of course, there are the mandatory deep-fried chicken wings, served buffalo style, Hawaiian barbecue, salt and pepper or plain. A variety of burgers and assorted pizzas round off the menu.
2211 Kuhio Ave., 808.923.0600