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The best bars in New York for watching the FIFA World Cup

From a bar that will change menus to reflect football teams to a Brazilian spot that specialises in caipirinhas, there are plenty of options for diehard soccer fans

Beer and snack options abound in bars that are set to attract soccer fans. (Photo: Darlene Alderson, Pexels)
Beer and snack options abound in bars that are set to attract soccer fans. (Photo: Darlene Alderson, Pexels)

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On November 20, the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Doha. There, over the course of almost a month, 32 teams will compete for the gold trophy, as well as the $42 of million prize money.

Yes, there’s an eight-hour time difference between Doha and New York City. And yes, some of the group stage games will start at 5 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. But fans aren’t letting challenging time zones stop them from enjoying the world’s most popular sport, fueled by plenty of drinks and some addictive snacks. Plus, this year, there’s the chance to support Team USA, which is in the World Cup for the first time in eight years, after not qualifying for the 2018 games in Russia. 

Few of even the most devoted fans believe the US has a shot at the trophy. But according to a recent Gallup poll, soccer is the fastest-growing major sport in the United States, according to rates of increasing fandom. And the other 31 teams in the mix all have die-hard supporters in the city, along with like-minded bars.

Here, then, are 13 spots to watch most, if not all, of the the World Cup games around town, from a theater with all-day passes and food and cocktails to a Brazilian spot that specializes in caipirinhas to a pub with all the fish and chips you want to order while you support England. 

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The Red Lion, Greenwich Village

This beloved Bleecker Street bar will broadcast all the World Cup games live on multiple big screens, and flags hanging outside will indicate the countries that are playing on any given day. The food and drinks will also complement the teams on their game days. When England plays, there will be traditional fish and chips with mushy peas; for team France, the Red Lion will serve a burger with brie and caramelized onions and Dijon mustard.

Santo Brúklin, Carroll Gardens

This Brazilian hotspot in Brooklyn is screening World Cup matches both inside and outdoors in its large courtyard. The bar will be pouring countless cups of lime-infused caipirinhas, as well as snack platters loaded with yucca fries and wings. On Brazil’s game days there will be bottomless bowls of hearty feijoada (the nation’s specialty black bean and meat stew).

Tampico Tequila Bar, Lower East Side 

At this downtown tequila bar inspired by Tampico, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas in Mexico, the colors are vibrant and the menu features tacos, nachos and the bacon-wrapped, guacamole-topped Tam Dog. World Cup matches will be shown on multiple large TVs and a couple of projection screens; the place will be open for all 2 p.m. matches and at 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 22, when Mexico takes on Poland. Expect happy hour specials for all games, with plenty of agave spirits on offer.

Banter Bar, Williamsburg 

The self-proclaimed place “where football never sleeps” is always standing room only during World Cup season. Banter promises to broadcast all of the 2022 matches while pouring pints from its 24 rotating taps. The bar’s menu features beer-friendly food such as pressed sandwiches filled with Black Forest ham and Swiss, or smoked turkey with Iberico cheese, not to mention a variety of sausages, from currywurst to vegan Italian, and individual savory meat pies. 

 The Midnight Theatre Soccer Club, Midtown

The just-opened Midnight Theatre in Manhattan West is geared toward music and comedy shows. But during the World Cup, fans will be able to buy $55 day passes for access to velvet-seated booths, a huge screen with surround sound and complimentary breakfast for early matches. There will also be the option of lunch items like dim sum and banh mi sandwiches from the venue’s pan-Asian restaurant Hidden Leaf, and a wide selection of wine, cocktails and, of course, beer.

Carragher’s, Financial District

During the English Premier League season, Carragher’s in FiDi is a Liverpool supporter stronghold. In November the bar will expand its scope to  broadcast all the World Cup matches. There’s a solid cocktail list, almost two dozen beers on tap and a pub menu with chicken fingers and French dip. But the owners promise to change the food and beer menu to reflect the teams that progress. There will also be a room screening the matches in Spanish. 

La Nacional, Chelsea

La Nacional is a hybrid restaurant-social club that will be a destination for all Spain fans. (Retired star striker David Villa has an office in the building.) The venue is organizing events for the full slate of Spain games and will be keeping both the restaurant and the outdoor event space open, with the big screen displaying the matches. Sangria will be available by the pitcher, along with Spanish classics like paella and tortilla de patatas. 

Legends, Midtown

This popular sports bar on 33rd Street is already one of the top places to watch soccer in New York; it claims to show over 100 games a week, from Premier League to La Liga to Major League Soccer. In a few weeks, it will have its 20 big screens tuned to the World Cup. For morning games, the menu includes traditional Irish breakfast and beans on toast, as well as Bloody Marys and mimosas.

Felix, SoHo

The airy bistro on a corner of West Broadway, where tables spill out onto the street in decent weather, is one of the more stylish places to cheer on France, the winner of the 2018 World Cup. The place will broadcast several of the games, while serving croque monsieur, escargot and roast chicken, as well as lots of French wine.

Smithfield Hall, Nomad

This high-energy sports bar will be a popular spot for all the England and USA games, which Smithfield will be showing. The long menu runs from brunch specials like avocado toast and Irish bacon butties to assorted burgers and Philly cheese steaks. For the World Cup, there will be pitchers and buckets of beer specials available, as well as margaritas on draft.

Bierhaus, Midtown

The flag-decorated Bavarian-style beer hall, which serves pilsner in glass boots, is the obvious place to root for the German national team. Along with a list of a good assortment of hofbräus, there are seasonal German beers and cider, spiked apple cider and to go with it, pretzels, schnitzel and käsespätzle (German mac and cheese). 

The Irish American Pub, Financial District

Set on John Street, this buzzing pub has a long wooden bar with multiple screens and a game room, if you need a break between matches. As befits its name, the place offers an all-day Irish breakfast as well as shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash. There are brews from around the world, including a good selection of local ones, and a Guinness Old Fashioned spiked with Jameson draft. The kitchen is open until 1 a.m., for late-partying football fans.

Buenos Aires, East Village

As a restaurant beloved by the Argentinian community, it’s a hub for the country’s supporters during the World Cup. During matches they will have a pair of screens in the front of the dining room and two in the back room; the tables will be loaded with fans in blue-and-white jerseys and plates of empanadas, homemade chorizo and filetto encebollado (sliced Argentine steak with caramelized onions). There’s also a wonderful, and vast, South American wine list.

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