Catch the play-by-play while you feast on top-notch bar snacks this Super Bowl Sunday. Below are nine spots that score with elevated spins on mac 'n' cheese, sliders and more.
Work up an appetite by testing your quarterback skills at the Montrose hangout, where they're hosting games (Ping-Pong, bocce, beanbag toss) along with an all-day happy hour. Game-day fare includes this decadent short-rib mac 'n' cheese (red bell peppers, mushrooms, herbed bread crumb crust, $9), Buffalo wings and the Clubhouse burger, a Hereford beef patty with sweet and spicy green tomato-jalapeño jam on a Slow Dough bun.
601 Richmond Ave.
Come the day of the big game, football fans can nosh on plenty of pig, including pork tostadas ($8) spiced up with a poblano ranch sauce and Berkshire pork-belly sliders with soy-ginger glaze, Sriracha aïoli and a sesame-yuzu slaw ($11).
9595 Six Pines, Suite 1100
Place your bet on how many wings can you put away at this Montrose beer joint and eatery, where they sling orders of six, 12, 30 and 60 ($6-$55). Dip the fried flappers in any or all of four fancy sauces, created to reflect the diversity of the city (classic hot sauce, Vietnamese fish sauce, Korean gochujang and Thai PB&J) and wash it all down with any of the 80 craft beers on the drink menu.
1100 Westheimer Rd.
Located inside the posh Hotel Icon, this hip bar is the place for elevated drinks and bites like delectable duck confit sliders (caramelized onions, blueberry barbecue sauce, $14), 50-cent wings and draft Texas microbrews. On Sunday, there'll be an extended $5 happy-hour menu from 2 PM to close, featuring well cocktails, select house wines and sparkling Prosecco.
220 Main St.
Go big at this Midtown staple, where chefs have given classic football snacks an upscale spin — think blue-crab nachos ($100) with fire-roasted corn, French triple crème cow's-milk cheese and alligator pear avocado crowned with a full ounce of Petrossian caviar. More affordable items include borracho lamb chili infused with St. Arnold's beer ($7) and the booze: between 2 and 7 PM, specialty cocktails and wines by the glass at just $7.
3300 Smith St.
The newly opened Midtown, dishing out Portuguese and Indian cooking, has a roster of finger-friendly foods, including these bocadillo mini burgers (olive tapenade, arugula, mozzarella, $7) served with french fries. On the drinks side, find ciders, wine and craft cocktails.
125 W. Gray St., #500
You wouldn't expect to find a hot dog on the menu at this Washington Avenue sushi hot spot, but this isn't your run-of-the-mill frank. Soma's Japanese corn dog ($6) is filled with unagi (eel), fried in pancake batter, then topped with pickled ginger, spicy mayo, green onions and bonito flakes. It's on the happy-hour menu, available all day Sunday, with specially priced cocktails ($4.50-$6), wines by the glass ($5), hot sake ($4) and beer ($3).
4820 Washington Ave.
The upscale steakhouse offers stellar meatballs ($6) made with veal and ricotta cheese at its swank bar and lounge, Blue Bar. Spring for a side of hand-cut truffle fries ($6) and take in the game with views of the picturesque bayou and woods.
1 Birdsall St.
Usually available as a Friday-only lunch special ($13), the superb burger at this steakhouse will be available on Super Bowl Sunday in the lounge. Topped with white cheddar and American cheese, the 10-oz. of prime beef is spike-the-ball good. Other delicious bar bites include steak tartare and salt and pepper calamari.
1510 Texas Ave.