Navarre Beach is relaxation central, with some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches you’ll ever see. It’s also football country, like the rest of the Florida Panhandle. In Navarre Beach, and just across the Causeway in Navarre, there are numerous fun places to catch games, where you’ll find fans rooting for their favorite teams on a multitude of big-screen TVs. Of course, football season isn’t year-round (although we all wish it was!) and these spots are still a great place to enjoy basketball, baseball, and other sports. Here are six recommended places to join the crowd, watch the games, and enjoy some hearty food and drinks.
Juana’s Pagodas & Sailors Grill — This vast beach bar/restaurant/entertainment compound on Navarre Beach is loaded with places to catch games, grab a bite and enjoy the beverage of your choice. Three places within Juana’s are prime for sports viewing: Sailors’ Grille, the complex’s premier restaurant, has three big-screen TVs; the Pagoda Bar upstairs has five big-screens as well as a huge projection TV. Perhaps the busiest location is Club Pagodas, a combination sports bar (nine TVs, plus a massive projection screen) and nighttime dance club. And here’s a Juana’s bonus: If the game is lame, there’s plenty of other fun to be had at Navarre Beach’s prime party spot. But like we said, this is football country, so Juana’s may not be the best place to come if you want to catch a cricket match in November.
Stripes Pub & Grill — Owned by Robert Reyes, who retired from the United States Air Force after a 23-year career, this military-themed, neighborhood-style pub is tucked in a centrally located strip mall. It serves hearty, no-nonsense pub fare, has a full bar with a substantial selection of beers on tap, and shows games, games, and more games — along with UFC matches and other sporting events. With 35 large-screen TVs, the NFL Ticket package and a full slate of college contests, no football fan will be left wanting.
Johnny Huston’s Grille & Bar — Big-screen TVs rim the walls of this combination bar & grill and sports bar, which means there’s always bound to be a game on. Ken Walters, who opened the spacious bar/restaurant in 2008, named the place after his colorful grandfather, Johnny Huston Walters.
Located a couple of miles west of Navarre Causeway, Johnny Huston’s is in a converted warehouse with an industrial-type interior. Red is the dominant color, giving the place a fun and vibrant ‘50s feel. It’s a popular spot with locals — and that should tell visitors everything they need to know about the place!
TC’s Front Porch — Located on the north end of the Navarre Beach Causeway, TC’s Front Porch has the feel of a beach bar that’s not quite on the beach. With fewer TVs, it’s not a sports bar in the classic sense — but it’s still a terrific place to catch a game. The charmingly ramshackle hangout is no-frills, no-fuss, with a reputation for zesty bar food at good prices, including their specialty — chicken wings. Emerald Coast Eats recommends them highly, declaring: “these beauties are tasty and crispy, with a perfect amount of spice.” A former gas station, TC’s is essentially a covered outdoor cafe, so be prepared to do without AC — which is rarely a problem during football season. Just grab a beer, watch the game, and enjoy the natural breezes!
Sal’s Pizzeria and Grill — Billed its owners as “your favorite neighborhood sports family restaurant,” Sal’s features four big screens for game viewing. But don’t blame the restaurateurs if your mind occasionally wanders away from the game onto the food. Sal’s is revered for its authentic New York pizza — the Pensacola New Journal has hailed it as “by far THE BEST pizza in Navarre” — and as most pie aficionados know, New York style is not easy to get just right. They also feature a generous array of Italian specialties like subs, calzoni, stromboli and a range of pasta, plus beer (drafts and bottles) and wine. Sal’s is conveniently situated on Navarre Parkway just a few blocks north of Santa Rosa Sound. And just in case you’re wondering: The restaurant owners are named Sal and Maria.