Watch the Games, Grab a Bite, and Enjoy the Big Dance
Written By: Aimee Engebretson The Best Places to Watch March Madness in OC
March may bring warmer weather, leprechauns and green beer, but ask any sports fan and they will tell you the most important part of this sunny month is the College Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness. Sure, fans can watch a home but it’s so much more fun to cheer on your team at a local bar or restaurant. Check out this list of the best places to watch March Madness in OC.
The Tustin Brewery is tucked away in the corner of a hidden shopping center off Newport and Irvine. With a Cheers-esque atmosphere, the employees are as friendly as the crowd at the next table. Tustin Brewing stands by its name by brewing its own beer such as the Old Town IPA and the Red Hill Red. Those who want to eat and drink will find a variety of huge portions of American fare such as burgers, pizza, and wings. Tustin Brewing Co. is known for its friendliness towards sports fans, and you might even catch the Fight Song for the teams if the game is going well.
Beer menus and TVs crowd the walls of Tustin Brewing, creating a cozy and communal feeling. Don’t be confused by the laid-back ambiance as the Brewery can get pretty loud during a rowdy basketball game.
Native Knowledge: Check the scrolling screen listing all the beers currently offered, which can change as often as twice a week.
13011 Newport Ave Ste 100
Tustin, CA 92780
As one would expect, Hurricane’s serves up a mean cocktail. Located off Main and PCH, Hurricane’s offers a relaxed ambiance during the day and a glowing dance floor at night. Inexpensive drinks bring in a younger crowd, who jam to house and rap music from the DJs and live bands until closing. While there is a cover charge on the weekends, sports fans will love the wall of TVs broadcasting the game of the day. Foodies will enjoy odd combinations like the Kung Pao calamari, wonton tostadas and eggs over chili fries.
Native Knowledge: If you want to get away from the Madness for a few minutes, check out the balcony and patio, where there is seating outside. Live bands often play outside and keep the crowd entertained.
200 Main St
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
The perfect spot for wannabe OC cowboys and cowgirls, Saddle Ranch is best known for their three-foot serving of cotton candy and mechanical bull smack dab in the middle of the restaurant. On the weekends Saddle Ranch gets crowded with twenty and thirtysomethings wanting a nice place to relax with friends, but it’s also a great spot to soak up some March Madness.
Every part of Saddle Ranch is peppered with TVs, making it a wall-to-wall experience to watch a game. Order a bottomless mimosa and s’mores platter to keep the party going.
Native Knowledge: Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s are offered every day for $9.99 until 3:00 p.m. Also be sure to check out the infamous Sunday brunch, and be sure to get there early to snag a spot!
1870 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Whether you’re into basketball or football, ESPN Zone is a place every sports lover must visit. The ESPN Zone can be found in Downtown Disney, next to the Disneyland Hotel. Those looking to watch the March Madness will find nearly every basketball game available on somewhere in the ESPN Zone, and the staff are happy to turn on any that may have been missed.
The “play” part of the ESPN Zone is the upstairs, which has many activities like air hockey, video games, bowling and more. Check out the giant wall of TVs while you snack on spicy Buffalo wings and other decadent appetizers. The ESPN Zone is a nice compromise between a typical sports bar and a family restaurant, meaning the kids can play games while the parents watch the game.
1545 S Disneyland Dr
Anaheim, CA 92802
Combining fresh seafood, ocean views and eight televisions; Big Fish Tavern is a favorite spot for South County sports fans. Big Fish gets its name from the huge amount of fish dishes they serve such as lobster fondue, Thai glazed calamari, and hibachi salmon. Big Fish gets rowdy during March Madness, so be prepared to bring your game face!
Native Knowledge: For a twist on the ordinary, try the Tavern Specialties, including the bacon-wrapped scallops, spicy seafood jambalaya, curry seared rare ahi and macadamia nut crusted tilapia.
540 S Coast Hwy, Ste 200
Laguna Beach, CA 92651