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Top five sports bars in the Triangle - Raleigh, Durham & Chapel Hill
The 'Triangle' area of North Carolina as it is referred to by locals, includes the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, which are the homes to 3 of the nations top athletic programs for the NCAA - the University of North Carolina Tar Heels (Chapel Hill), the Duke University Blue Devils (Durham), and the North Carolina State University WolfPack (Raleigh). Combine these passionate college rivalries with Raleigh's NHL team the Carolina Hurricanes and the fans go wild.
Looking for a great sports bar to hang with friends? Here's my picks for the top 5 sports bars in the Triangle area:
1. Tobacco Road Sports Cafe
222 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC and
280 S. Mangum Street, Durham, NC
Tobacco Road might be the sports bar which exceeds your expectations. How so? Let's start with the food, it's fresh and delicious. Tobacco Road breaks out of the frozen chicken tenders sports bar routine and has a pro chef who produces gourmet meals for fans including my favorite, Shrimp and Grits as well as Chicken and Ribs, Cajun Po-Boys, Pineapple BBQ Shrimp Burgers and a burger created for each local team. Once satiated, we're here for the beer and the game and Tobacco Road does not disappoint carrying all the sports packages, which are shown on a wall of big screen TVs. Interested? I've saved the best for last, Tobacco Road offers a row of recliners that line up in front of the wall of big screen TVs which include individual TV screens for each armchair quarterback to enjoy while snacking and lounging in the comfy chairs. It's the ideal man cave away from home.
2. Carolina Ale House
Locations in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Wake Forest
The Carolina Ale House continues to expand its locations around the area to the delight of sports fans. Things get rambunctious and loud when the college teams are playing and the Ale House takes care to mark the sections so Wolfpack fans can dine in one section and Tar Heels in another. It's all in good fun and the Ale House is known as a family friendly establishment. What I enjoy most about the Ale House are the events they host for the NHL Carolina Hurricanes, which include mascot Stormy at the parties with the Storm Squad. Events on hockey nights include contests and raffles throughout the night with prizes. My favorite sandwich there has always been the now famous Turkey Pita Club, yum!
3. Backyard Bistro
1235 Hurricane Alley Way, Raleigh, NC
Say it with me, 'mouth watering BBQ'. That's the most important thing you need to know about Backyard Bistro, that along with the fact that if you are on your way to a game, they will prepare and pack a tailgate party platter for you, that will be the envy of your friends. St. Louis Style Ribs, BBQ pork, Bacon-wrapped Filet, NY Strip and my fave, NC raised Catfish and hush puppies are some of the standard fare. I may be raving about the food, but the Bistro does not disappoint sports fans. Located near the RBC and Carter-Finley stadium, the Bistro hosts the Tom O'Brien Radio Show for Wolfpack fans and offers speakers at tables allowing you to tune into your game of choice playing on the wall of big screens TVs.
4. Four Corners
175 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC
Four Corners, named after Coach Dean Smith's offensive strategy is located right on Franklin Street, providing location, location, location for Tar Heel fans on Carolina game nights. The multi-level three floors offer spaces to tuck away with friends and the nightly specials provide entertainment for the locals including Texas Hold'em Tuesdays and Drink 'N' Think Trivia Night Mondays.
5. Woody's Sports Tavern
8322 Chapel Hill Road, Cary, NC and
205 Wolfe Street, Raleigh, NC
An authentic local establishment with live music, Woody's delivers sports with over 30 HD large screen TVs. Known for their wings, Woody's also offers some nice surprises including made to order hand dipped corndogs, broccoli & cheese bites and spicy buffalo chicken rangoons. Appreciated even more in these economic times, Woody's offers a Lucky 7 lunch, where 7 days a week lunch is offered for $7.77. Locals enjoy meeting up here after playing softball and other local sports to catch the game with friends.
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