The new season is upon us and few things are better than beer and soccer. When I first moved to Utah in 2010, people would ask me what brought me to Salt Lake and I would often reply that I came here for the bar scene. At the time it felt like an obvious joke, but Utah’s capital has quickly become a great spot if you’re into craft beer and that no longer feels like much of a joke. We want to list some of our favorite places for both the beer and atmosphere when watch Real Salt Lake games. If there’s any spot we missed, feel free to list it in the comments section.
This Sugar House classic is one of the better places to go if you want to watch any sporting event. They have a huge projector screen right up front and lots of TVs throughout their space, so no matter where you’re seated, you’re sure to catch the action. They have a large food menu as well, so if you’re looking for a spot where you can get a good meal with lots of options, they have something for everyone. One caveat is if there are other major games happening, RSL may not be on the big screen, so it’s worth checking what’s on broadcast for that day.
Poplar Street Pub
Poplar is an underrated downtown haunt. It’s got lots of space, a good patio, pool, and a large menu. They serve classic pub food, pizza, burgers, etc. but also tacos and lots of vegetarian options. You’ll want to be sure you find a table with a good view of one of their televisions, but with so much space throughout the establishment, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you’re looking for a bar to hang out in with lots to do in addition to watch Real, this is a great downtown option.
Willie’s is located just south of downtown and is a classic sports/dive bar. They’re very proud of their dive bar status and won Best Dive in City Weekly’s Best of Utah 2015 and 2014. They have lots of TVs, plenty of space, and cheep drinks. There are often watch parts for RSL games here, so you’re likely to run into follow RSL fans. If you stick around, you can also hit up their karaoke most weekend nights.
The Republican is, in my opinion, Utah’s most authentic Irish pub. It’s been around forever, has a dive bar vibe but the vibe is deeply entwined with soccer culture. It’s Salt Lake’s truest soccer bar, bar none. There are lots of TVs, soccer scarves adorn the interior, and they know how to pour Guinness. They probably serve some kind of food (by law), but I wouldn’t count on getting much to eat there (the staff seems comfortable with bringing in outside food). They have a small patio in the back where you can have your drink and smoke, if that’s your kind of thing. If you’re looking for something that is a little rougher around the edges but is a true soccer pub, the Republican is your place.
Proper Brewing is the brewery that brought the world Beckerman’s Brew (a very drinkable lager). Regardless of soccer, this is a fun bar. They have pool, fusbal (a personal favorite and I welcome all challengers), skee-ball, and some other great games. There’s a nice little patio out front and Proper Burger is right next door. There’s a large project screen and a few TVs around. I recommend getting there a little early, start next door at Proper Burger and order some great grub (which they’ll bring over to you) and find a good spot to watch the match in Proper Brewing.
This bar has the best beer selection in Utah and that makes a city treasure. They also have four projectors, two per main wall and you never miss a moment of RSL action. Their food menu, which is limited, is also delicious. Beer Bar has a clear vision for itself: beer and brats and they do both excellently. It’s a great space inside; reclaimed wood, cafeteria style tables, and a handful of soccer flags. Nick Rimando is a part owner of this bar and they always have RSL games on. This bar is another spot that does official watch parties for Real matches, so you’re sure to walk into an energetic atmosphere as soon as you step through the door.