Friday, January 22, 2016

Whether you'd rather stay in or hit up a bar, here's how to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday in DC.

As we advance through NFL Playoff season, it's time to start thinking ahead to the big day: Super Bowl 50 approaches. There's no excuse for lackluster plans full of mediocre wings and a tiny TV screen. DC bars and restaurants have got you covered for a much more exciting viewing experience, from carry-out platters of barbecue and enormous sandwiches to local beer competitions. As you get read for the big game day, check out these Super Bowl specials happening in DC.

Be With Your People (and Beer)

Every sports bar in the city is going to be screening the game, but the key question is which one should you choose? That might depend on your sports team affiliation, but you can count on Penn Quarter Sports Tavern as a solid bet. This bi-level bar is home to groups behind the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, but everyone is welcome. For the game, they'll be offering pitches of Miller Lite for $12, pitchers of Yuengling for $14, and pitchers of Blue Moon for $16.

If you'd rather keep your distance from Broncos and Seahawks fans, there are plenty of other great sports bars in the city. Consider Ventnor Sports Cafe in Adams Morgan, the LGBT-friendly Nellie's Sports Bar on U Street, or the massive Buffalo Billiards in Dupont Circle that tends to be packed on major game days, no matter the sport.

Attend a Bourbon- and Beer-Fueled Open Bar

Capitol Hill hotspot Barrel is throwing a major game-watch party on Super Bowl Sunday, complete with an open bar full of cocktails, select bourbons, whiskies, ryes, and craft beer pulled from the regions of the competing teams. The party gets underway at 5 p.m. and also includes all-you-can-eat game day foods, such as burgers, peri peri wings, chili, potato skins, meatballs, pimento cheese ... and a Caesar salad if you want some greens in there, too. Tickets are available to purchase online for $64.

Watch Beer and Barbecue Greats Duke It Out

Even if you don't care about the actual competitors of the Super Bowl, Jack Rose Dining Saloon is hosting a party that will be awesome for anyone who loves barbecue or beer. The Adams Morgan bar is throwing their Super Beer-B-Q Bowl again this year, an epic battle among barbecue styles and breweries.

In the beer competition, local breweries 3 Star and Right Proper will face off with five beers, each available for $5. Each drink you order is a vote that Jack Rose will tally up at the end of the night to determine a winning brewery. Meanwhile, on the barbecue side, chef Russell Jones will make barbecue dishes in both North Carolina and South Carolina styles.

Jack Rose's Super Beer-B-Q Bowl starts at 5 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday and is free. You can also count on whiskey and punch specials, as well as other great snacks like grilled whiskey wings glazed with Old Crow.

Eat All the Giant Sandwiches

On America's biggest days in sports, there's nothing more appropriate to consume than a sandwich larger than your face. Fortunately, there will be multiple options available this year. Mike Isabella's sandwich shop G will have a whole slew of three-foot-long sandwiches, including their Italian Stallion, chicken parm, roasted turkey, chicken salad, and spiced baby goat. These range from $85 to $105 and feed 10 to 15 people. Order online to pick up at Kapnos on game day. And keep in mind that both Kapnos and G are offering their Super Bowl takeout specials throughout the playoff season. So maybe go get one now?

Meanwhile, DC's beloved butcher shop Red Apron will be selling 30-inch Italian sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday. These Big Italian sandwiches come topped with house-made hot salami, bologna, calabrian chilis, capicola, aged provolone, herb vinaigrette, pickled peppers, and onions, serving six to eight people for $42 apiece. Order online by noon on Friday, January 5, and pick up your sandwiches at any Red Apron location. If sandwiches alone won't complete your feast, Red Apron is also offering a nacho pack with beef chili and "atomic cheese for $16.

Or How About Football-Shaped Doughnuts?

Don't forget dessert. Astro Doughnuts has got you covered on that front with packages of Boston cream doughnuts shaped like little footballs. They'll be available in the G Street location on game day, priced at $15 for a half dozen. In Virginia, Astro's Falls Church location will have the football doughnuts too, offered as part of a package with 24 wings (sriracha or spicy garlic) for $45.

Focus on What's Important: The Puppy Bowl

Football is great and all, but maybe the reason you're most excited for Super Bowl Sunday is the fact that you'll be able to watch a team of adorable puppies run around and climb over each other in the annual Puppy Bowl. The folks at Dodge City love that, too, and so this year they're hosting their Puppy Bowl watch party. Specials include $5 Puppymosas, $6 Hair of the Dog Bloody Marys, and $3 High Life. They'll also be grilling meats and homemade sausages all day. Dodge City opens at 1 p.m. on Sundays, so there will be plenty of time to grab a seat before the Puppy Bowl gets underway at 3 p.m.

Amy McKeever is on the D.C. beat for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Whether you'd rather stay in or hit up a bar, here's how to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday in DC.

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