It’s go time. The Phillies kick off their 2011 season this Friday, April 1, at 1:05 p.m. If you’re not a lucky ticket holder, you’re going to need a place to watch. Go ahead and play hooky from work or take a long lunch (we won’t tell).
Check out our top picks below, for where to watch the Phillies’ first game of the 2011 season. Note that there are plenty of other places to watch the game, but this list should be a good start, especially if you want to watch and cheer with a crowd, or with great specials.
• Devil’s Den: Get into “trubbel” on Opening Day to enjoy some $1-off, hard-to-find Yard’s Trubbel plus the chef’s chili dog special and a custom rally towel. (Also: the Den is celebrating their 3rd anniversary April 2 with a complimentary buffet and $1 off all drafts from 2-5 p.m.) Available Friday 1-4 p.m., Saturday, 7-10 p.m. and Sunday 1:30-4:30 p.m.
• McGillin’s Olde Ale House: Watch the game on any of the eight hi-def, supersized TVs and two projector screen TVs while enjoying Phillies-tinis (raspberry vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice in a martini glass rimmed with red sugar), Phanatic Irish Bombs (Apple Pucker and Irish Whiskey mixed together and dropped into a pint of Original Sin Apple Cider) and a long list of local craft beers. Plus order pitchers of Bud Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon for $6.50, and Budweiser will be on-hand with giveaways. Open Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m
• Tavern 17: Enjoy all-you-can-eat hot dogs and soft pretzels while watching the game. Steamed hot dogs include all of the trimming choices: sauerkraut, onions, pickles, sweet chili sauce, relish, chili, bacon, tomatoes and peppers. Throw in one draft beer all for $8 total and you’ve officially kicked off the season right! Available Friday, noon to 4 p.m.
• Chickie and Pete’s: Conveniently situated just 5 minutes from the ballpark, this is a quintessential spot to watch any and all Phillies games, and not just because of the epic Crabfries (bonus: no long line like in the park). It’s a multiple-time winner for Best of Philly’s Place to Watch the Game. Open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• Piazza at Schmidt’s: It’s hard to miss the Piazza at Schmidt’s, an 80,000 square foot plaza in Northern Liberties. It’s even harder to miss the 40-foot LED jumbotron during Phillies games. You ca also root on the hometown team at one of the bars surrounding the Piazza, including P.Y.T. Bar and Burger Joint and Darling’s Diner.
Lots more, below.
• Liberté: The Sofitel’s restaurant and lounge is featuring beer flights and ballpark-inspired bites to celebrate Phillies Opening Weekend. Liberté will offer three beer flights: The Starting Rotation featuring Victory Prima Pils, Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA and Founders Porter for $8; The Relievers featuring Kronenberg 1664, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen and Guiness Stout for $9; and The Closers featuring Affligem Blonde Ale, Delirium Tremens and Allagash Dubbel for $10. Ballpark snacks include Turkey Frank En Croute with Dijonnaise; Truffle-Dusted Pretzel Bites with Brie fondue; Philly Cheesesteak Spring Rolls with chili sauce; and Pommes Frites with garlic aioli. Open 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday-Sunday.
• McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon at Citizen’s Bank Park: Another clear choice, but we had to mention it. The sky-high excitement level in McFadden’s is due to the proximity to the action, yes, but also to the more than 30 hi-def plasma screen TVs, huge projector screens, full bar and a solid American pub food menu. Open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• South Philly Bar & Grill: At the Phillies 2011 Opening Day Party, all fans wearing red or any Phillies logo apparel will receive great specials and have an opportunity to personally sign a giant “Thank You” card to be presented to the Phillies’ management for building the greatest pitching staff in MLB history! Enjoy $2 Red Phillies (SPBG Signature Phillies Drink) and $1 hot dogs. Friday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
• In Center City, head to Ladder 15 on Sansom where you can enjoy great food from Chef David Ansill and a large craft beer selection with 35 foot ceilings and a bunch of giant flat screen TVs.
• Davio’s: Get complimentary RowHouse Red beer (one per person), in partnership with Philadelphia Brewing Company. Available Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• Brauhaus Schmitz: With a selection of 20 draught beers as well as a carefully selected bottle list, with nearly 100 to choose from, you’re good to go as far as beverages. The authentic German menu is also sure to please.
• Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant: Iron Hill debuts their “Phightin Phils Pils,” a German Pilsner brewed with more than 30 pounds of German whole leaf hops, April 1 in conjunction with an Opening Day party featuring complimentary pretzel dogs to Mug Club members. Friday, 1-6 p.m.
• Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse: Cav’s will be showing the Phillies Home Opener with the volume up on all 16 of their HD TVs. They will also be featuring $3.50 Bud Light Drafts, $4 Brooklyn Pennant Ale Drafts and a Special Game Day Menu.
Bonus: click here to read Phillies alumni Opening Day memories, as former Phillies players wax nostalgic.