Sausage plate at Farmers Union
Sausage plate at Farmers Union / Photo courtesy Farmers Union

Kicking off at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on February 7, Super Bowl 50’s proximity to prime wine country this year means fans will have extra opportunities to score great sips. In San Francisco, Sonoma County Vintners will be pouring wines and holding tastings at events inside “Super Bowl City.” If you don’t have a ticket to the big game, catch the action at one of these bars and restaurants in nearby Santa Clara and San Jose without spending a fortune on seats.

  1. Photo courtesy Farmers Union

    Farmers Union (San Jose)

    Located in downtown San Jose, the brick-walled Farmers Union scores points for its 52 craft beer taps and hearty pub fare. Fill up on game day snacks like crab cakes, smoked chicken wings and a grilled sausage plate served with homemade sauerkraut, potato salad and a giant pretzel. Oenophiles can enjoy some of the bar’s 16 wines on tap during the Super Bowl, regardless of who’s scoring.

  2. Photo courtesy Piatti

    Piatti (Santa Clara)

    Situated just three miles from Levi’s Stadium, this rustic eatery serves classic Italian cocktails (think Negronis and Aperol Spritzes) to match its wood-fired pizzas and wine-friendly pastas, like the beef cheek pappardelle with white truffle oil and Parmesan cheese. Piatti will be showing the Super Bowl on two TV screens and a large projector in the back, in addition to extending their $4 wine happy hour and shaking up special cocktails, including a Sazerac, Royal Margarita and barrel-aged Manhattan.

  3. Photo courtesy Birk's Restaurant

    Birk's Restaurant (Santa Clara)

    This local haunt for steaks and wine is tucked away in an office park (this is Silicon Valley, after all). During the week leading up to game day, Birk’s will create special Super Bowl-inspired appetizers and drinks and will have a heated tent for crowd spillover, but aim to attend its wine tasting with local and sustainably farmed vintners on February 3. On Super Bowl Sunday, a selection of California wines will be poured, along with specialty cocktails from Purity Vodka and Whistle Pig, as well as beer from San Jose’s own Strike Brewing. Tailgating snacks will include $3 oyster shooters with vodka-infused mignonette and $2 carnitas tacos.

  4. Photo courtesy Vino Vino Wine Bar

    Vino Vino (San Jose)

    Since their motto is “wine without attitude,” count on this unpretentious wine bar for 13 vinos on tap, plus 30 selections by the bottle, with many picks sourced from nearby Santa Cruz Mountain and Santa Clara Valley wineries. Fans can buy a bottle, then take their choice anywhere inside the San Pedro Square Market—a bustling restaurant zone—to catch the game. Conveniently located in downtown San Jose, San Pedro Square will transform into a sports hub over Super Bowl weekend with games, chalk art and local arts and crafts.

  5. Photo courtesy J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center

    J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center

    The J. Lohr San Jose Wine Center can be found just a few blocks from the SAP Center (home of the San Jose Sharks hockey team), which plays host to Super Bowl Opening Night on February 1. Inside its cozy tasting room, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines will offer commemorative gift packs and complimentary wine tastings in the days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, with extended evening hours on February 3-6 until 7:30 pm. Don’t miss a special wine-and football-themed Q&A hosted by Director of Wine Education Lawrence Lohr on February 4, starting at 2 pm.

  6. Photo courtesy Doghouse Sports Lounge

    Doghouse Sports Lounge (San Jose)

    Sports fans love the low-key Doghouse in San Jose for its relaxed atmosphere, strong drinks and seven TVs. With a solid lineup of 10 beers on draft, on Super Bowl Sunday the bar will have $4 beer specials in commemorative bottles. If watching all the action strikes a competitive chord, the bar offers a plethora of dive-bar sports, like darts, foosball, air hockey and pinball, creating a convivial atmosphere that’s hard to beat.

Published on February 2, 2016
Topics: Super Bowltravel guide