A good sports bar can be hard to find since multiple requirements need to be fulfilled:
- Enough TVs for everyone to have a good view and increase the likelihood of seeing the game I want. (As a SJ Sharks fan, I recognize that NHL games are not necessarily top priority.)
- Enough good food/drinks on the menu to pique our interest since we’ll be eating and drinking a lot.
- An attentive server who checks on us regularly and doesn’t make us feel rushed to leave.
I don’t go to sports bars that often (typically just the occasional playoff or March Madness game). My last outing to one was to watch the Warriors play this month in the Finals. (Go Warriors!)
Bourbon Pub has a great selection of cocktails, including seasonal ones and a cocktail of the month for variety. On this visit, I went with their variation of a negroni to celebrate Negroni Week. It was a nicely strong cocktail, but the negroni isn’t a drink I usually go for. On a previous visit I had a seasonal cocktail which was delicious and had amaretto and some coffee if I recall correctly. The Read Option (made with your choice of either vodka or Japanese whiskey) is on tap and a popular order among my friends. There are also a few barrel-aged cocktails.
There’s also a seasonal whiskey tasting which I think is available at Bourbon Pub though I’m not 100% sure; I’ve tried it at the sister restaurant in the same building, Bourbon Steak. The whiskeys are rolled out on a cart. The month I tried it, the theme was Smoking the Elements where our server smoked orange peel, star anise, and cinnamon for the 3 whiskeys. For folks who aren’t into craft spirits, there’s also a selection of beers and wines to choose from.
I watched the game with a few other friends, and we basically went crazy with appetizers since we got there just in time to take advantage of happy hour. That menu included some items from what Bourbon Pub calls their “secret menu”. I wouldn’t even have realized a secret menu existed except I’d started seeing some posts by them on Instagram with photos of the items hashtagged #secretmenu haha, and there’s also a PDF of the secret menu on their website. We ordered a couple of appetizers from the regular menu too.
We got corn dog nuggets, croquette w/ fried egg, grilled cheese w/ tomato soup, cornbread boat w/ chili, and mini chicken pot pie from the happy hour/secret menus. From the regular menu, we got truffle tater tots, conch fritters, and pretzels with cheese sauce. I love the pretzels with cheese sauce so much that I order it every visit, even if I’m dining solo. I can definitely polish it all off on my own even though I probably shouldn’t haha. The pretzels come with mustard too but why bother. The croquette was another standout on this visit (and if you’ve read my other reviews, you know my love affair with eggs so that’s probably another reason I liked this dish so much). I also liked the slight spicy kick the conch fritters w/ chipotle crema had.
Not pictured bc I didn’t order it on this visit but did on my previous visit (watched the Capitals vs Knights playoff game) is the petite lobster pot pie. I loved it. It’s a small version of Michael Mina’s famed dish and was oh so good. It was great to have a mini version that didn’t cost like $60. Not sure how long this will be on the menu!
Hands down my favorite sports bar. This is my first choice whenever I want to watch a game. It meets all the requirements I mentioned in the intro paragraph. I love the environment (spacious and 2 floors with TVs everywhere and also TVs outside for when the weather’s good). I consider Bourbon Pub’s menu options to be on the more upscale size but not crazy expensive and a mix of typical bar/comfort food as well as some more experimental options. Basically the best sports bar food I’ve ever had. Their menus do seem to get updated on a regular basis (although there are some staples) which adds a nice variety for repeat trips. The staff at Bourbon Pub is incredibly friendly and nice too.
I only wish it were open on weekends! That’s the one caveat to this place. While it’s open on the weekdays, it’s closed on weekends except for the days the 49ers are at an away game. It’s located at Levi’s Stadium, so there’s valet parking but I always opt for free parking across the way on Stars and Stripes Blvd or at the Santa Clara Convention Center garage that’s also across the street. It’s a pretty short walk.
Rating (out of 5)