Skol, Vikings! Skol (written “skål” in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, and “skál” in Faroese and Icelandic, or “skaal” in transliteration of any of those languages) is the Scandinavian word for “cheers,” or “good health,” and is a salute or a toast to an admired person or group.
With the Vikings regular season officially kicked off in stout vengeance over the New Orleans Saints last Monday night, fans have high hopes for the 2017-2018 season.
Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, US Bank stadium is a magnificent new home for the Minnesota Vikings. But, if you can’t make it inside, fans have plenty of other opportunities to watch, cheer, support, and raise a drink to our state’s beloved team: The following is a list featuring the best 10 bars, restaurants, and watering holes to hit before, during, or after a Vikings game. While not all of these are located in the direct vicinity of the stadium, the list offers venues that are great for pre-gaming or post-gaming or just kicking back to watch.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan, season ticket holder, or just a moderate supporter of our purple and gold, these are the places to go.
Vikings Longhouse was specifically made for Viking’s game days. Open for two hours before kickoff, and two hours after the final whistle, Vikings Longhouse offers beverages and plenty of screens to watch the game onsite. It’s almost (almost) like you’re actually there.
Catch the Vikings at the Minneapolis location located just a few blocks from the stadium on Washington Ave. CP has over 60 food choices and 28 tap lines, so beer will be flowing all game long. But it’s not just about the beer: Crooked Pint gets so raucous during games you’d think you were in the stands.
Stop on by Sunday mornings before the game for some of the best Bloody Marys in town. Seriously. The BYO bar is enormous, with summer sausage, pickles, fresh veggies, chicken wings, crumbly cheese, hot sauce and more all available to garnish this meal-in-a-glass. Hell’s kitchen also has an outstanding breakfast menu to fill you up full before kickoff.
The “Nordic and Barbarian Bar,” named after Erik Thorvaldsson, the Norwegian Viking, is the perfect place to stop in for a pint. The food, described as something like “Norwegian BBQ” also offers meals fit for a Viking appetite. Oh, and it’s right across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium. Skol!
Stop in for “Grumpy Hour,” where discounted drinks will keep your bar tab low. Or just grab some pancakes at Grumpy’s brunch on Sundays and enjoy the game as comfortable as if you were on your couch back at home.
You can see US Bank Stadium down the road from their patio, so when it’s not too blisteringly cold it’s worth popping outside for fantastic views of the arena. Grab a beer and a snack before the big game at this come-as-you-are hot spot, or just stick around and enjoy it close enough to hear the cheers.
This one’s all too obvious. Be a real Viking and check out this awesome dive bar south of the Stadium. It’s been here since 1905, having recently reopened after a long hiatus, and has all the character, and characters, you could ever hope to find.
Update: Viking Bar has closed permanently (again).
A new location opened recently right in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Hopcat has over 80 tap lines and plenty of seating and TVs for watching the game while you drink. There’s a Light Rail stop right outside (literally right outside the front door) if you want to catch a train to the game, or if you’ve had one too many and probably shouldn’t drive.
Bunny’s is the epitome of a great neighborhood bar: Check out either of their iconic locations for great food and happy hour specials. They’re both packed wall-to-wall on Viking/Packer games; the rivalry is alive and well here as fans of both teams show up strong.
The Moose has a pretty legit setup for Viking’s games: Miller Lites are $3 all game long, and different specials are offered each quarter. Stay after the game and keep your buzz going with weekly bingo.
Read next: The Twin Cities’ Top 10 Karaoke Bars