Football season is finally upon us. If you walk down the street on any given Thursday or Sunday night here in New York, you'll find people spilling out of bars onto sidewalks, in the middle of the streets, down the blocks, sporting jerseys from all cities. It's one of the few times New Yorkers put down their guards and mass together over one shared common interest: men tackling each other, otherwise known as the NFL. Oh, and bar food. And beer.

When it's put that way, no matter how much good-natured fun and camaraderie (or spilled beer) is flowing from the bars, football nights can be exhausting.  How much can you really hear, how much can you really see, forget about getting the bartender's attention, and do you really like those cheap bar wings? No. You don't.

You might be asking, well, where does she suggest we go then?  Lucky for you, there are two places I would recommend going to for phenomenal drinks, incredible food, and significantly better ambiance than that no-name dive bar without any lights.

The Flying Cock

I had the pleasure of trying an array of Bar Shares from The Flying Cock, as well as their drink, Make New Friends, with bourbon, vanilla almond milk, cacao, peppermint, and Lucky Charms. Yes, Lucky Charms.

Alexandra Jade Tringali

Like The Horny Ram, The Flying Cock doesn't do just bar food - they take it to a whole other level (don't even try to take decent foodstagram pictures - too many people, too little light!) I just want to take a minute to showcase these babies:

Fried. Pickle. Sliders. I'm a huge fan of extra pickles on my burgers, and these were thick-cut, battered, and deep fried to crispy goodness. Nervous they might be too greasy? Don't be. (They're not.)

I also snacked on some not-so-traditional game day eats: Buffalo Cauliflower with a blue cheese gratin (above) and honey-glazed Toasted Brussels - bet you never thought of charred brussel sprouts as part of your football food lineup. You should.

Alexandra Jade Tringali

They also have an impressive list of beers, wines, burgers, like the Truffle Burger, with truffle oil drizzle and truffle aioli.

The Horny Ram

The Horny Ram is The Flying Cock's brother restaurant. You'll find many similar dishes (they too have cauliflower and brussel sprout offerings) and just as creative drinks. They're also stepping up the bar food game, and the brunch game too! So to my ladies that are being dragged to watch football at 1pm on a Sunday afternoon, just look forward to these pancakes for brunch:

Even if the NFL is your jam (like it's mine,) you also get creative takes on classic bar dishes like a burger with Mexican Street Corn Salsa, Fried Pickle Fries, and Skillet Mac & Cheese. Their drinks have punny names, but my all-time favorite it the #HornyinNewYork, with bourbon, lemon, vanilla, orange bitters, and a pinot noir float.

It's comfort food at its very finest!

I'm not saying don't go to your crowded neighborhood bar, I'm just saying you should go to these places instead, no matter which NFL team you root for (dare I say...go Eagles!) Definitely hit both of these spots every Thursday night and all day Sundays (or for their drinks & oysters Happy Hour from 4pm-7pm every day!) for their bomb brunches, bar snacks, and football fever! (Here's a picture of mac & cheese, in case you needed more convincing.)