The top 5 sports bars In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the largest city in the country not to be home to a team in one of the big 4 (football, baseball, basketball, hockey) sports. Dana White likes to say that the UFC is our professional sports franchise. Besides the UFC, UNLV is the only other game in town. However, because of Vegas' proximity to the west coast, locals tend to follow the teams based in LA. That is particularly true when it comes to the Lakers. Go to any bar and you will find yourself surrounded by Lakers fans during basketball season.

Still, we have a lot of transplants, and bars recognize that. So most bars like to attach themselves to particular teams, inviting their fans to hang out there during the season. I like the Lions in football, so my local "Lion" bar is pretty much empty come Sundays in the fall. However, the following bars are far from empty and should be visited by anyone coming to Las Vegas looking to check out their favorite sports.

1. Lagassie Stadium- If you are going to Vegas, you need to do things up BIG! Lagassie Stadium in The Palazzo does just that. Owned by larger than life chef, Emeril Lagassie, this place is goes overboard with everything. Emeril gives the sportsbook a gourmet makeover here, offering theatre style seating, over one hundred plasma HDTV's, and a 10x20 foot projection wall. For big spenders, try one of the sky boxes overlooking the stadium.

The food is excellent as you might expect. Some of our favorites were the nachos, buffalo wings, and pulled pork sandwhich. It was a bit pricey, but since you are going to spend anyway, it is definitely worth the price. Don't be shocked if you are asked to pay a fee to sit at a table during big events. We were charged a $50 fee for a table during the most recent Manny Pacquiao fight. Despite the price, Lagassie Stadium is a great place to catch a game and enjoy some really good food.

2. Crown & Anchor- If you are looking for superior service in your sports bar, you might want to move on to the next bar. This place is definitely a little sub-par in that department. However, I still can't help but love this place. A British pub, it was not exactly on my personal must-see list when I first arrived here. However, my English friend convinced me to show up there at 7 a.m one morning to watch a Chelsea vs. Barcelona soccer match. Even though I detest soccer, I went down and proceeded to have a great time. The place was packed by people going crazy over the game and I got caught up in the spirit of it all myself.

Three things that this place has in spades are beer, food, and attractive help. The waitresses are all very attractive, and sport little catholic school girl outfits, making for a nice distraction from the game. The selection of beer is incredible, and my friend was right when he said I must try a Boddington's. Finally, there was the food. As you might expect, it was all very British. I highly recommend the Banger's and Mash. At just under $10, it will fill you up and give you a good idea of what British fare is all about. Also, if you have a group, try the Ploughman's lunch which is a collection of cheeses, tomato, cucumber, beets, onions, and a roll.

3. Blondie's - The waitstaff is pretty good and definitely good to look at. They serve up a menu that is pretty traditional bar fare such as sandwhiches, salads, pizzas, etc. While eating, you can watch the games on any of the more than 40 big screen and plasma tv's located inside and on the patio.

Drinks are reasonably priced, and they offer daily specials. For those that are competitive, they have a weekly beer pong tournament that is definitely a crowd favorite. Blondie's is the kind of place that you could just stop by on your way through the mall, or you could get a group together and hang out all night. It is the typical great neighborhood sports bar that almost every town has.

4. Steiner's Pub- Steiner's is one of the most popular "locals" bars in the city. It has three locations, the one on Buffalo being my favorite. The best thing about this place is the food, which is probably the best I have ever had. The sandwhiches are incredible, and the Cobb salad is just phenomenal, and I am not much of a salad guy.

The beer is also in ample supply. I would recommend giving any of the many Vegas brewed beers a try. At just three to four dollars for a 16 oz. glass, it is reasonably priced. With such great food and a wide variety of beers to choose from, this place is a great to visit when you add in the many large tv's dotting the bar.

5. Sports Deluxe At The Hard Rock Hotel- With easy access to the sportsbook, this upscale bar has very nice leather booths and high-chair seating. Even better, each booth comes equipped with its own television. There are also very nice HD projectors and six plasma screens showing a variety of sporting events. And if there is nothing good on, they have pool tables that can be reserved.

Probably the "hippest" of the bars on this list, Sports Deluxe is probably best enjoyed by the younger, more image conscious crowd. However, don't be scared away if you are a little past your prime, as this is a really cool place to catch a game. For more information, call (702) 693-5000.

With this list, any person will be sure to find a great place to watch sports in Las Vegas. Whether you are young and rich, old and poor, or somewhere in between, Las Vegas has something for everybody. So get off your couch and head down to one of these places and root on your favorite team.

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Updated Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010