The Irish Club, Linden
Since its opening in 2002 by the Irish Ambassador to South Africa, The Irish (as it's known to the locals) has been the go-to spot for cheap beer, cheaper whiskey and even cheaper comfort. The bar is stocked and a big screen TV is fitted right above it, showcasing major rugby, football and F1 events. The only problem you'll encounter is visiting the Irish Club when South Africa plays Ireland, and the tension so thick, you could cut it with a knife!
Steve Gilroy's beer is so famous that it somehow made its way into the James Bond novel, Carte Blanche, as Bond's drink of choice while staying at a hotel in Cape Town. Even better, Gilroy's Brewery is set right on our doorstep here in Johannesburg. Good news for sports fans - the bar counter is right opposite the big-screen TVs. The beer and food are good, and the vibe is something special, especially when master brewer, Steve Gilroy, addresses the crowd in the special way only Steve can.
If you're looking for a bar with a massive selection of big-screen TVs showing a whole lot of different sports all at the same time, head to Hooters in Ruimsig. The place gets pretty packed but at least the beer's always cold, and the curly fries with jalapeno cheese sauce are enough to make you return the next time a big match is being aired. The boneless chicken wings are a winner too.
Green and Gold
If there's a place that can boast real pub food served in a gourmet style and enough TVs to make an appliance store jealous, it's Green and Gold. Inspired by our men and women in green and gold, it's often the number-one spot to be whenever our team takes to the field, track, pool or pitch.
Whether you're looking to play a few rounds of pool, hang out with your mates, grab an ice-cold beer or catch some sporting action on their screens, Paddy's in Randburg is just the place to be. It's rather chilled by day, but as soon as the sun sets this spot becomes rather rowdy, especially over the weekend and during sport seasons like the FIFA World Cup.
The Weekend Market
For a spot that's more family and less bar, the Weekend Market offers live sport screenings, entertainment for the kids, a market to stroll through if you're looking to stretch your legs in between games, as well as good food and drinks.
The Brazen Head Sandton
The Brazen Head Sandton is always a good option. It's a restaurant that boasts a semi-private library and a separate bar that opens up onto the veranda, which has both smoking and non-smoking areas. The bar area and veranda is equipped with TVs for those sport enthusiasts and, last but certainly not least, guests are offered a choice of seven different beers on tap, as well as a wide variety of bottled beers from both local and imported sources. What more do you need?
This great traditional pub is situated within a modern mall, but it still retains that good old “Irish Craic”. McGintys is characterised by friendly staff, a relaxed atmosphere, a wide selection of beers and decent portions of food. A great place for a drink with friends or meal with family, the fairly priced-menu offers Irish dishes as well as more modern menu including ribs, surf and turf, steaks and nachos. Its also the perfect place to catch a weekend Rugby game over a pint.
Contact: 011 425 6091 | Where: Northmead Square, Benoni
With its many plasma screen TVs, Molly Malone's in Fourways is the quintessential Irish pub to catch the big game. The grub is also rather good with Eisbein, Steak & Guinness pie and lazy-aged steak. Molly's also offers good quality live entertainment, check their page to find out about events. Definitely a spot to visit if you're into Irish pubs in Johannesburg.
Where: Sunset Ave, Pine Slopes AH, Fourways
Know other pubs, bars or spots that are suited to watching sport? Let us know below!
Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.