Fair play to anyone who can watch sport on a big screen TV, clap politely when something good happens, then sip on a glass of milk while reflecting on the last passage of play.

For us sport is all about cheering, singing, shouting abuse at the ref and losing complete control when things go horribly wrong or blissfully right. And beer. We can’t forget beer.

With that in mind here’s our favourite sports bars in Belfast…

1. Lavery’s

Bradbury Place

Bar Lavery's

Regarded as Belfast’s number one sports bar and deservedly so, Lavery’s is a haven for lovers of every kind of sport with more matches to choose than a box of Swan Vestas. And the icing on the cake, you can earn beer tokens by buying pints during selected games. Oh wait, there’s more icing. They run ticket and transport packages to Ulster Rugby.

2. The Botanic Inn

Malone Road

Bar Bot

A favoured haunt of students down through the years, with big screen sport a major factor in its success story. Football, Rugby and GAA are the holy trinity of sports that dominate the big screens in The Bot.

3. The Garrick

Chicester Street

Bar Garrick

Connoisseurs of fine sport and exquisite alcohol, The Garrick is a sight to behold on match days. It’s not for the claustrophobic, but sports fans of a certain age will enjoy being packed in like sardines as a throwback to the days before all seater stadia.

4. The Pavilion

Ormeau Road

GP Pav

Like Lavery’s, The Pavilion get kudos for the number of different sports covered all at once. Good in one way, but depressing in another if your horse falls at the final hurdle, your rugby team concedes a last-minute try and your fantasy football team’s captain gets sent off all at the same time in front of your eyes in clear HD.

5. Queen’s Student’s Union

University Road

Queen's SU

Cheap drink and all your favourite sports on seven 50″ HD TVs – it’s the stuff of student dreams. The great thing is it’s open to regular beer-swilling sports fanatics as well.

6. The Empire

Botanic Avenue

Bar Empire

The atmosphere can get pretty electric in here when there’s a big match on and the place is packed. They’ll open the top floor for particularly big crowds, and if you’re the mood for celebrating come the final whistle you might as well hang about for some live music.

7. The Hatfield

Ormeau Road


Regulars in The Hat feast on a staple diet of football and GAA. After the recent revamp The Hatfield is now boasting 30 big screens. Wouldn’t it be great to see Wayne Rooney miss a penalty on all 30 of them at once?

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