San Diego has so many fun bars it always seems like madness in them but when it comes to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament it’s officially March Madness.
Oh, just because hometown San Diego State isn’t expected advance very far doesn’t mean there’s no team to root for and it’s not fun. With people filling out brackets at either random or after days of careful research (and guess which are the first ones that wind up ripped up on the barroom floors?) it’s a wild time in American sports and you need to be in a bar do it justice.
So with that in mind, here are the top sports bars in San Diego to watch March Madness, including the San Diego bars March Madness drink specials. The dates of March Madness 2022 are March 17 -April 1. Selection Sunday is March 13 and the First Four games are Tuesday, March 15-16. Note that opening day is the same as St. Patrick’s Day, which is always a big party scene in San Diego.
Pacific Beach March Madness Sports Bars
• Bub’s At The Beach
Bub’s at the Beach has $5 Bud Light Drafts and $20 Bud Light Pitcher specials and there are raffle tickets for a chance to win a beach cruiser – an essential mode of transportation in PB – during the championship game on April 4. Bub’s is known, by the way, for its Grilled Wings.
• Duck Dive
The Duck Dive is no dive (the name comes from a surfer’s term) and is consistently one of the most rockin’ bars in PB, particularly on weekends. So during March Madness, it’s as sizzling as a hot-shooting hoopster. Drink specials are a $10 Shot & Beer special and $25 High Noon Buckets with at least five seltzers. Food times include Fried Pickles, Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Fries, Carne Asada Fries and a Slam Dunk Platter for groups with fried pickles, chicken wings, calamari, garlic parmesan duck fat fries and dipping sauces.
Maverick’s Beach Club is PB’s most popular bar anyway and its March Madness drink specials are $4 Bud, Bud Light,and Bud Light Seltzers and $20 for a cooler of Bud, Bud Light, and Bud Seltzer. Maverick’s is a huge place with an indoor bar, outdoor bar, a patio area and a “PB crowd.” It is suggested you arrive a good hour before any particular game you want to watch and on weekends, go for breakfast or lunch and don’t leave.
Gaslamp Quarter March Madness Bars
Gaslamp’s popular sports-and-everything-bar barleymash opens at 9 a.m., on Thursday, March 17 and Friday the 18th with a barleyma(dness) brunch menu with items such as Totcho Madness (carne asada, salsa verde, three cheese, tater tots, salsa fresca, queso fresco, two sunny side up eggs), Wings, Morning Wood, and Salami Pie. After 11, barleymash will be having its full lunch menu .With flat-screen TV’s lining the bar and walls, there’s no such thing as a bad seat here. Drink specials are the usual Happy Hour ones with discounted drinks during the week from 3-6; some are at half price so you can get a draft beer for just $4.50.
There are not many sure things in March Madness (other than me being out of it by the first Saturday afternoon) but if Alabama makes it to the Sweet 16 – and beyond? – then “Tuscaloosa West” will come alive almost like it does during football season. Otherwise, this friendly bar on 8th & Market gets sports fans in general so you’ll get a lively atmosphere. There aren’t really any March Madness specials but it has a Happy Hour M-F with $6 & $7 drinks until 6 p.m.
• Nick Cannon’s Wild & Out
The Gaslamp’s newest bar has TVs on one wall and a gigantic screen on another one. There are many things to do here from arcade games to trying to conquer fish bowls and even giant ice buckets of cocktails.
• Smoking Gun
The Smoking Gun, the Florida Gators bar during college football season, is a place to to play games as well as watch them with its Smoking Gun Arcade, The restaurant and bar will be holding a Bracket Challenge with prizes for first, second and third place winners. It is also having $2 select draft beer special and $4 well drinks with an entrée or sandwich. Now, if you want to in a $150 bar tab, take part in the Basketball Shoot Off Competition during the championship game. There will be a $10 entry fee.
Don’t Be Mad If You’ve Got March Madness Bracket Busted Bracket
Good luck with your bracket but if a bracket buster causes you to rip it up well before the Final Four, at least you’ll be in a fun bar with other fans and will have plenty of options to drown your disappointments.