>> Where to Watch the 2018 World Cup in New York City and New Jersey with All 32 Nations | Eat the World NYC

08 June 2018

Where to Watch the 2018 World Cup in New York City and New Jersey with All 32 Nations

FOOTBALL ⚽⚽⚽


Even with this year's ridiculously early starts, there will be no shortage of bars and watch parties here in the New York City area for catching every 2018 World Cup match. But if you are new to this guide, here is the short of it: This is your chance to get more familiar with all 32 countries participating in Russia, and seek out their fans, food, drinks, and culture. Football is the common language of the entire world (even if some call it soccer in this country), and away from the sports bars it will be on full display in our great city.

Since 2010, EattheWorldNYC.com has published the most comprehensive guides to international football tournament enjoyment in and around New York City, but 2018 is by far our best yet. Shortly after the USA were eliminated in Trinidad in October, I started putting my anger towards making this guide even more useful than it has been in the past. We hope you enjoy this year's coverage, and we look forward to seeing you out there!

SOME TIPS:
**Get to your most important matches EARLY. Many places fill up well before kickoff and this gives you time to settle in, order some food, and start soaking in the pre-match atmosphere and nervousness of a nation.
**This is not your community, so don't roll in somewhere and try to save a table for your late arriving group. Take a seat at the bar or a spot in the corner and give access to others first. This day is not about you. An establishment will most likely go out of their way to accommodate a "foreigner" but don't let them.
**Note in the text below about early opening times. Some places will not be open for the 6am or 8am matches. If you are headed to these, double check here and with a call. I personally visited or spoke with every place on this list, but it is possible someone told me information that has been changed.
**As always, when the World Cup begins, more information will start coming in and I will update as necessary. Pick your favorites, make a plan, but take a look at the list again on days you are headed out just to make sure there is not another morsel of info added.

The meat of the article is in the groups below organized by country, but there are football pubs in this city that excel for being exactly that, great football pubs. Some of the top spots in the five boroughs, these are all confirmed to be open for all matches, and will certainly be destinations for supporters and big fans alike. BRONX: Rambling House; BROOKLYN: Woodwork, Iona; MANHATTAN: Smithfield Hall, Football Factory at Legends; QUEENS: Bar 43; NEW JERSEY: Mulligan's Pub.

In addition to this list below, here is the accompanying Google Map that shows every spot written about here and can be opened on any device. Save it in your maps to keep it handy for the entire tournament:
🗺️ LINK TO GOOGLE MAP

⚽ GROUP A: RUSSIA/SAUDI ARABIA/EGYPT/URUGUAY

⚽ As custom with current World Cup rules, Group A includes the host of the tournament; Russia this year. In a complete oddity of luck, the hosts and Saudi Arabia represent the two lowest ranked nations in the tournament and are playing in the opening match. Between these two nations and Egypt, it is assured that at least one of the teams that get through to the knockout from Group A will be somewhat of a surprise. Uruguay is poised as favorites of the group and should move through if things go to plan.

🇷🇺 RUS: THU 14th 11:00, TUE 19th 14:00, MON 25th 10:00
There are plenty of hardcore fans in Russia, but in New York City, hardly anyone of them give a damn about the beautiful game. It is a shame, as over the past few months I have visited practically every Russian establishment within 50 kilometers and been met with frowning faces and general apathy. [UPDATE: On the Tuesday the 12th I returned and talked to most of the spots I had before, following a hunch. Most of them have changed their plans, and those are reflected below].
1) Tap Beer, 1781 Sheepshead Bay Road, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn:
This corner beer garden of sorts has bought every available football bar starter kit and banners surround the space, as well as flat screen televisions. Outdoor picnic tables have TV views, perfect for good weather, and draft beer is sold by the liter (or more). The 10am opening time makes this convenient for all of Russia's matches, and they show all matches in Russian.
2) Velvet Rope Lounge, 3212 Coney Island Avenue, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn:
This is Brighton Beach's most popular bar for watching football and was packed for the recent Champions League final. Despite telling me a few weeks before that they had no plans to open early, a new hand-drawn World Cup logo is in the window and now they will be open for 11am matches, perfect for Russia on opening day. It seems that a small fever for "The National Team" or Сборная is starting to run through Brighton Beach.
3) Russian Baths of Brooklyn, 1200 Gravesend Neck Road, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn:
If you have not wandered into the sports bar attached to this Russian bath house, this is the perfect opportunity. The owner is a big hockey fan, Ovechkin jerseys surround the space, and he will surely be in a good mood after the recent championship. A full restaurant and bar is available, and even though New York City Russians have little interest in football, there should at least be match day interest from the patrons at the bath. Make a day of it and buy a pass to the baths yourself!
4) Cafe Restaurant Volna, 3145 Brighton 4th Street, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn:
While certainly not a sports bar, the TVs in the outdoor patio portion of Volna overlooking the boardwalk and ocean could be a pretty sweet spot for Russian games when the weather is nice. The 10am opening time works as well.
5) Russian Samovar, 256 West 52nd Street, Midtown, Manhattan:
The bar area at this upscale Midtown spot was popular during Euro Cup in 2016 but has not yet committed to open earlier than noon, so time your visit here to the later match.
*Honorable Mention: Not open in the morningMasha & the Bear, 771 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a good opportunity for watching Russia's 2nd match (and just announced they will be open on the first day at 11am), and closer to Manhattan for those going to others beforehand. Draft Barn, 317 Avenue X, over in Gravesend, Brooklyn has also changed their initial plans and will be open early for 11am matches as well. It is another place where football usually is the sport of choice.

🇸🇦 SAU: THU 14th 11:00, WED 20th 11:00, MON 25th 10:00
Without the heavy population centers like other Middle Eastern groups of the city, fans of Saudi Arabia will probably be watching in places that overlap with those of Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia (not to mention Algeria which shockingly did not make the 2018 tournament).
1) Mazaj, 1255 Madison Avenue, Paterson, NJ:
The best spots for The Green Falcons are most likely in Paterson, NJ, and the best spot in Paterson might be Mazaj, a Lebanese restaurant that seems to be billing itself as World Cup central and already has a party planned for the opening day match vs. Russia.
2) Arabian Cafe, 1097 Main Street, Paterson, NJ:
This hookah bar in Paterson has a regular opening time of 2pm, but football is passion here and they plan to open early.
3) Caffe Expresso, 25-51 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
This Italian coffee shop is sort of a catch-all for the neighborhood's Arabic population and will be full of everyone for most of the games.
4) Cafe Borbone, 25-07 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
A few doors further north, Cafe Borbone has the same feel and is always a good bet for watching football with loud patrons and armchair coaches.

🇪🇬 EGY: FRI 15th 08:00, TUE 19th 14:00, MON 25th 10:00
Much of the action for Egypt will be found on Steinway Street in Astoria, where bands will play on the streets if Egypt does well, but small pockets of Egyptians can also be found in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and Jersey City, NJ.
1) Dream Cafe, 25-44 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
Egyptians come here for both The Pharaohs national team matches and to watch Al-Ahly SC, Cairo's best team that is arguably the most successful side in professional African history. If you purchase hookah, you can bring your own food from nearby restaurants, a big positive as hookah bars often have mediocre offerings.
2) Jasmin Lounge, 25-50 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
A few doors down from Dream, this Egyptian hangout always has football on their TVs and will be flying Egyptian flags throughout the World Cup.
3) Egyptian Coffee Shop, 25-09 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
Across the street and more laid back in nature, this late-opening coffee shop/hookah bar is a community center of sorts for Astoria's older Egyptians and Middle Eastern people. I expect the owner to open up a bit earlier than usual most days in late June.
4) Meena House Cafe, 476 Bay Ridge Avenue and Bay Ridge Cafe, 6804 4th Avenue, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn:
These two popular Bay Ridge Egyptian hookah bars show football at all times, and the latter even has a handmade World Cup bracket all over their front windows.
5) Samakmak Seafood, 772 West Side Avenue, Jersey City, NJ:
The areas just south and west of Journal Square in Jersey City are full of Egyptian seafood restaurants and should be teeming with the area's Egyptians during matches. This spot seemed the best bet for watching.

🇺🇾 URU: FRI 15th 08:00, WED 20th 11:00, MON 25th 10:00
Uruguayan TVs in Queens and New Jersey will all be tuned to every match of the World Cup, but some places can be better than others for following La Celeste.
1) La Gran Uruguaya, 85-06 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens:
What once was just a small bakery has now blossomed into two giant connected spaces containing a larger bakery and adjoining restaurant and bar. The whole thing is absolutely perfect for matches, and as always will be ground central for the Uruguayan community in Queens.
2) La Casona, 154 Scotland Road, City of Orange, NJ:
In a small section of Orange, NJ that also is home to a private Uruguayan social club, this cafe opens at 6am and has plenty of food for breakfast. Tons of photos of every national team back to the first World Cup in 1930 (which Uruguay won) adorn the walls, and a good crowd will come here for matches.
3) Pizzarra's, 4000 Bergenline Avenue, Union City, NJ:
Instead of many, one gigantic photo of the national team is represented on the wall of Pizzarra's, one of a handful of NJ's Uruguayan pizza purveyors. They serve big chivito sandwiches here, perfect match food.
4) El Chivito d'Oro, 84-02 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens:
Obvious from the name, this spot serves those big sandwiches as well and has been a neighborhood mainstay for some time. The screens are smaller here than a block away, but they serve beer and the food is just as good.
5) Pizzeria Montevideo, 531 Bayway, Elizabeth, NJ:
More pizza and Uruguayan favorites just across the new Goethels Bridge in Elizabeth. A national team scarf on the wall and a big TV will make this an exciting place to watch with the area's Uruguayans.



⚽ GROUP B: PORTUGAL/SPAIN/MOROCCO/IRAN

⚽ Group B is all about the headliners Portugal and Spain, but Morocco and Iran will be looking to throw a wrench in these plans and have some fun fanbases to cheer with here in New York City. The match between the two titans is set for the second day of the tournament, and will be the marquee matchup of the opening weekend.

🇵🇹 POR: FRI 15th 14:00, WED 20th 08:00, MON 25th 14:00
1) Cafe Arcuense, 157 Walnut Street, Newark, NJ:
It may not seem like a front-runner in this contest, but this small bar in Ironbound is an amazing place to watch A Seleção das Quinas. Two bar-mounted medieval jamón displays can be knifed off for bar snacks as you watch and drink, and house reds and beers are cheap and both served cold. Old-school Portuguese-Americans argue in Portuguese and the friendly staff has their eye on every empty glass.
2) Madrid & Lisbon Bar, 325 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ:
3) Coimbra, 637 Market Street, Newark, NJ:
The rest of Ironbound will be buzzing during all of Portugal's matches, but these two mainstay bars both have good environments and all the drinks and food you will need, opening well before noon.
4) O Lavrador, 138-40 101st Street, Jamaica, Queens:
Deep in Queens, second and third (and beyond!) generations of Portuguese-Americans will be cheering on the bar side of O Lavrador, which is full of scarves and football paraphernalia.
5) Proper West, 54 West 39th Street, Midtown, Manhattan:
The bar itself is not Portuguese, but expect a big party thrown by the New York Portuguese American Leadership Conference.
*Honorable Mention: The Portuguese community in Mineola, Long Island has good sports bars including Madeira Sports Cafe, 247 Mineola Blvd, and Heart of Portugal, 241 Mineola Blvd. Back in Jamaica, Queens, check out semi-private South Jamaica Portugues Club, 95-23 Sutphin Blvd, which is primarily a bar for men to watch football.

🇪🇸 ESP: FRI 15th 14:00, WED 20th 14:00, MON 25th 14:00
1) Casa d'Paco, 73 Warwick Street, Newark, NJ:
The Spanish population of Ironbound is much less prominent than the Portuguese or Brazilian, but the best spot for Spanish football and La Furia Roja is on a side street at wonderful Casa d'Paco, a Galician seafood specialist. Jaw-dropping paella and cold Estrella Galicia beer during matches is definitely the right move.
2) La Nacional Spanish Benevolent Society, 239 West 14th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan:
The upstairs home of the society always opens its doors for big matches and serves a limited bar. Families and individuals all come here to enjoy together. The restaurant downstairs has been newly renovated and should be open for matches as well. If this is too full, walk two blocks north to Cafe Riazor, 245 West 16th Street, and sit at their small bar.
3) Casa Galicia, 37-09 31st Avenue, Astoria, Queens:
This private social club always opens its doors to the public for big Galician events and football. A good gathering of fans will be on hand for most matches.
4) Bichi Tapas Bar, 88-09 Jamaica Avenue, Woodhaven, Queens:
Surprisingly, this is not a bar with food, the name rather refers to the Spanish owner. The awning is one big Spanish flag, and the early opening times should ensure all matches will be on here.
5) Meson Sevilla, 344 West 46th Street, Hells Kitchen, Manhattan:
The small bar here will attract Spanish fans escaping their Midtown office jobs.
*Honorable Mention: Riazor Blues, 89-05 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights has an owner, originally from Galicia, that has had a tough season after the team his bar takes inspiration from was relegated from the top flight of Spanish football. He and his guests will be very excited for a strong Spain side to improve things, all while enjoying Galician tapas.

🇲🇦 MAR: FRI 15th 11:00, WED 20th 08:00, MON 25th 14:00
The amount of Moroccans is larger in Astoria, but check out this relatively new Bay Ridge establishment for some of the most passionate Atlas Lions fans. We've eaten here a couple times during qualifiers, and Morocco's good fortune was reason for traditional instruments and singing during matches. These parties went to the streets after victories and qualification.
2) Aladdin Hookah Lounge, 25-57 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
To the uninitiated, Steinway Street might all seem homogenous, but different hookah lounges have different affiliations. This is the old "Casa Lounge" and is distinctly Moroccan, with the nation's people spilling out with jerseys and flags during anything important.
3) Moroccan House, 24-15 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
The football environment here is just as good, but a bit more family friendly. The set up somewhat of an amphitheater in the back near the TV where men sit, while women and children watch from the front. The restaurant and bakery is better for those not interested in smoking hookah.
4) Mazag, 25-74 Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
Another hookah bar, Mazag generally is not as crowded for matches as Casa Lounge, but since this is Morocco's first World Cup since 1998, Astoria is going to need all the room it can get.
*Honorable Mention: Places up and down Steinway Street in Astoria will be bursting at the seams with Moroccans (and all football fans) during the World Cup. Come early and walk the blocks between 28th Avenue and Astoria Blvd to find the right place just for you.

🇮🇷 IRN: FRI 15th 11:00, WED 20th 14:00, MON 25th 14:00
With some excellent food and a good bar setting, something of a rarity in Persian restaurants, Pars should be a great place to watch Team Melli. 2pm starts are easy here, but they are even opening early for the first match and offering free appetizers with meals!
2) Bijan's, 81 Hoyt Street, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn:
In 2014, Bijan's was a fun place to cheer on matches, and should get a good general crowd for Iran this year.
3) SideBAR, 118 East 15th Street, Union Square, Manhattan:
The Network of Iranian Professionals in NY, who put on a great party four years ago at now closed Cafe Nadery, is hosting watch parties at this Union Square sports bar. After the first match win, this group even put on a spontaneous "after party" Friday night and made the most of this World Cup.
4) Barleycorn, 23 Park Place, City Hall, Manhattan:
The New York Persian Center is hosting all three matches at this upscale downtown tavern.
5) Rose, 4825 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ:
New Jersey Persians might try heading to unassuming Rose, but careful with the Monday match as they are not usually open on Mondays.
*Honorable Mention: An old photo of a former national team adorns the wall at Persepolis, 1407 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side, and the TV over the bar should be on for the 2pm matches, while out in Bayside, Queens, Patoug Persian Cuisine, 220-06 Horace Harding Expressway, might not know it, but their event space will serve quite well to show Iran's matches, and with a good number or residents in the nearby community, this could be fun.


⚽ GROUP C: FRANCE/AUSTRALIA/PERÚ/DENMARK

⚽ All three other nations from Group C will think they have a shot to advance to the knockout round with favorites France, and should make for some real entertaining group stage play. The only 6am match to be endured is the opener between France and Australia, but don't worry, the bars will be open. Perú is in the tournament for the first time since the 1982, and area Peruanos will be some of the most passionate fans to cheer with.

🇫🇷 FRA: SAT 16th 06:00, THU 21st 11:00, TUE 26th 10:00
1) Bar Tabac, 128 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn:
The little bar area inside of Bar Tabac might get tight, but it's one of the best places to be with your French neighbors to cheer on Les Bleus. This is where Bastille Day takes over blocks, and if France goes forward in this tournament, expect things to get very fun here.
2) 5th & Mad, 7 East 36th Street, Midtown, Manhattan:
French Morning, a magazine for French people in the United States is putting on some well-attended watch parties at this Midtown location.
3) Les Enfants de Bohème, 177 Henry Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan:
The bar here is a fun place to watch a match, the restaurant sees French families and all manner of others.
4) Vintage 61, 235 Front Street, FiDi, Manhattan:
French fans are planning a party for their first VERY early 6am match at this downtown sports bar, and will probably be there for the other two if the mood is right.
5) Troquet, 155 Grand Street, Chinatown, Manhattan:
(Added for knockout round): Troquet has been having fun watch parties and has been added late to our list. Check them out for any French matches upcoming.
*Honorable Mention: L'Express, 249 Park Avenue South, Gramercy Park, is a 24-hour French joint, ensuring that you can catch that 6am match, but this fun spot also has a good bar and satisfies all your other needs as well. If France are able to move on in the tournament and have some afternoon matches during the knockout round, try Benoit New York, 60 West 55th Street, Midtown, a white tablecloth restaurant, which will unbutton its collar and probably put on an event like they did for Euro Cup 2016. Bar Felix, 340 West Broadway, SoHo, is always good fun when big football tournaments roll around. Confirmation over the phone says they will be open for all matches.


🇦🇺 AUS: SAT 16th 06:00, THU 21st 08:00, TUE 26th 10:00
1) The Australian, 20 West 38th Street, Midtown, Manhattan:
No matter where else offers a TV with The Socceroos on, it will pale in comparison to this Midtown mainstay, home to all of Australian's favorite sporting events. They'll even be open for the 6am match and ready to serve food and pints.
2) The Hairy Lemon, 28 Avenue B, East Village, Manhattan:
Further downtown, this Irish-style pub apparently attracts big crowds for Australia's matches and will be serving authentic Aussie steak and cheese pies for the 6am match on the first weekend, with plenty of Coopers to wash it down.
3) Benson's NYC, 181 Essex Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan:
Benson's is opening its doors early and welcoming Aussies for all their matches.
4) Northern Territory, 12 Franklin Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn:
At the very last minute, this Australian outpost near the water has decided to open early on days with Australia matches.

🇵🇪 PER: SAT 16th 12:00, THU 21st 11:00, TUE 26th 10:00
1) Lima Restaurant & Bar, 85-07 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, Queens:
During qualifiers, Peruvians flocked here for a wonderful atmosphere for La Blanquirroja, their national team that is in the tournament for the first time in over 35 years.
2) BarCode, 429 North Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ:
Billing itself as the official home of Peru's national team, this popular place will attract red and white from all over the Elizabeth area. Expect big crowds for Colombia matches as well.
3) El Sabor de Mi Barrio, 360 Union Avenue, Paterson, NJ:
Paterson's massive Peruvian population will be out in force, but this restaurant has some of the area's best food and is open for breakfast. BYOB.
4) Amaru Pisco Bar, 84-13 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, Queens:
Usually open only evenings, this is one of the coolest spots to watch Perú in action. They will be opening early on the days that Perú have matches.
5) Cevicheria El Rey, 85-16 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens:
Sometimes sports bar, sometimes club, always fun and open in the mornings especially when there is football to watch.
*Honorable Mention: Lima Pisco Bar, 782 4th Avenue, Greenwood, is a great Brooklyn option, a fun place for drinking and has some delicious food. Their ceviche is some of the best in the city.

🇩🇰 DEN: SAT 16th 12:00, THU 21st 08:00, TUE 26th 10:00
1) Tonic Times Square, 727 7th Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan:
The biggest spot for Danes to get together for Danish Dynamite matches has always been Tonic Times Square unfortunately. Certainly they will serve Carlsberg, but no other Danish culture beyond the people will be on hand.
New life has been recently breathed into the old Danish Athletic Club, and management is planning to serve brunch for at least the first match on Saturday against Perú. While initially planned, the 2nd match will not be shown. If Denmark advances, keep an eye on this place for knockout round action.
3) Mulligan's Pub, 159 1st Street, Hoboken, NJ:
Never had the opportunity to join, but apparently Danes in New Jersey are meeting at this bar in Hoboken, a mainstay for football fans in the area that will definitely be open for all World Cup matches. 


⚽ GROUP D: ARGENTINA/ICELAND/CROATIA/NIGERIA

⚽ Darlings of the 2016 Euro Cup Iceland were drawn into Group D with Argentina, Croatia, and Nigeria, a group which has the chance to create some really exciting matches. Lionel Messi will be looking for that last piece of the puzzle in declaring his legacy, but these three other nations will not have the same interests.

🇦🇷 ARG: SAT 16th 09:00, THU 21st 14:00, TUE 26th 14:00
1) Boca Juniors Steakhouse, 81-08 Queens Blvd, Elmhurst, Queens:
Since its inception, this Queens Blvd mainstay has been the cream of the crop for match days, filling up well before kickoff with noisy groups. Full World Cup decor will be up, and you can expect plenty of cold Quilmes to be ready for watching La Albiceleste.
2) Alberto's Restaurant & Pizzeria, 482 Washington Avenue, Belleville, NJ:
Not only a pizzeria, Alberto's is an ode to everything Argentina. The Boca Juniors supporters of NJ meet here, but when the national team jersey is on, all are welcome. Make sure to check out the alter of Argentina, with mate, Messi, and Fernet amongst other important items pertaining to the country. BYOB.
3) La Esquina Criolla, 94-67 Corona Avenue, Elmhurst, Queens:
This intersection has a couple Argentinean restaurants and often gets bands and chanting making for a wonderful atmosphere.
4) La Fusta NJ, 1110 Tonnelle Avenue, North Bergen, NJ:
Back in New Jersey, this steakhouse is an open space surrounded by televisions and will be full of big groups cheering on their country. Even the men's bathroom has a TV above the urinal, so you won't have to miss anything.
5) La Fusta, 80-32 Baxter Avenue, Elmhurst, Queens:
The same people have a more cavernous space in Queens with plenty of different viewing options and a lot of meat on the menu.

🇮🇸 ISL: SAT 16th 09:00, FRI 22nd 11:00, TUE 26th 14:00
1) Bloom's Tavern, 208 East 58th Street, Midtown East, Manhattan:
During the incredible Euro Cup run of 2016, Bloom's Tavern was the place to join Icelanders for cheering on "Our Boys" or Strákarnir okkar. While this is an Irish pub, it was packed by events put on by the Icelandic Consulate, and even had Icelandic beers for some of the matches. They plan to do the same this year and will have breakfast available for morning matches.

🇭🇷 CRO: SAT 16th 15:00, THU 21st 14:00, TUE 26th 14:00
1) Cafe Baltazar, 43-03 Broadway, Astoria, Queens:
Much of the crowd from old Scorpio Bar has moved on to this equally dark and slightly more modern "cafe" which again has no food and just drinks. But everyone is here for one reason only: Vatreni, or "The Blazers" as the team is known.
2) Daly's Pub, 31-86 31st Street, Astoria, Queens:
A younger group has made this Croatian-owned Irish pub right under the N/W tracks their home. Their social media is already firing on all cylinders for Team Croatia. Thanks to a commenter on this page for this suggestion.
3) Studio Square, 35-33 36th Street, Astoria, Queens:
Some of Astoria's Croatians are planning an event at this outdoor beer garden, which will be open for all of Croatia's matches and is a great place to watch.
4) Dubrovnik Restaurant, 721 Main Street, New Rochelle, NY:
The entire area's most formal Croatian restaurant is a bit upstate in Westchester County. The bar will be the best spot with two TVs and plenty of Karlovacko beer.
5) The Quays Pub, 45-02 30th Avenue, Astoria, Queens:
This Irish pub attracts a good number of fans who apparently want a brighter space and more beer options than available at Cafe Baltazar. It won't have the same Croatian mood, but you can expect a crowd.
*Dishonorable Mention: Both the Istria Sport Club, 28-09 Astoria Blvd, and United Miners SC Rudar, 34-01 45th Street, in Astoria should be perfect spots, but they are so unreliable for this type of thing that I cannot give them a proper number. Swing by if you have the chance and let us know.

🇳🇬 NGA: SAT 16th 15:00, FRI 22nd 11:00, TUE 26th 14:00
1) Abuja International, 1784 Burnet Avenue, Union, NJ:
Housed in what used to be a corner tavern and with streams from all over West Africa, Abuja should be a crowded spot for Super Eagles match days in New Jersey.
2) Festac Grill & Lounge, 263 Hendrix Street, East New York, Brooklyn:
Small friendly place that will get some die hard fans that all know better than the coaches and players how to run the team and will tell them so. A small bar serves cold Guinness, wildly popular in Nigeria, and the restaurant makes some of the best food in town.
3) Buka, 946 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn:
Buka usually puts on a good party for World Cup matches, and definitely will be open for all three of Nigeria's this year.
4) Tropical Grill & Lounge, 153-41 Rockaway Rochdale, Queens:
Depending on what time of day you show up, Tropical Grill is either a run of the mill Nigerian restaurant or full scale club with DJs going all night. For our purposes, it should be a great spot in the afternoons to hang out and watch football.
5) Milk River Restaurant, 960 Atlantic Avenue, Crown Heights, Brooklyn:
This fusion restaurant is throwing at least one party for The Super Eagles for the first Saturday match.
*Honorable Mention: PS 450, 450 Park Avenue South, Midtown, is hosting a party in their private event space for Nigeria's first match against Croatia that will feature two Nigerian artists performing at halftime. RSVP through their Facebook event.


⚽ GROUP E: BRAZIL/SWITZERLAND/COSTA RICA/SERBIA

⚽ Brazil comes into this World Cup as one of the favorites and will have to clear the first hurdle of Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Serbia in Group E. Costa Rica surprised the world in 2014, almost making the semifinals before bowing out to the Netherlands, and will be looking to replicate that success again. Tico fans are some of the most passionate in the world.

🇧🇷 BRA: SUN 17th 14:00, FRI 22nd 08:00, WED 27th 14:00
1) Boi na Brasa Bar & Grill, 1 Merchant Street, Newark, NJ:
Neymar's #10 jersey greets customers near the entrance of the bar area, which is surrounded by TVs. But the reason to come here is actually the huge outdoor party they set up in the adjacent parking lot. It is like a concert setting to watch the Seleção, but admission is free. Expect good music before and during halftime.
2) Xcape Cafe, 97 Lang Street, Newark, NJ:
Also in Newark's Ironbound, this sports bar has good drinks and food and is a wonderful indoor option, with Brazilian league jerseys and scarves all over the walls.
3) Miss Favela, 57 South 5th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn:
This perennial favorite always has a great atmosphere and plenty of good music before and after matches and at halftime.
4) Beija Flor, 38-02 29th Street, Astoria, Queens:
This restaurant always lowers a very large screen for projecting matches and has some of the best drinks in the area. Expect big groups and families to show up early for big meals in preparation.
5) Favela Grill, 33-18 28th Avenue, Astoria, Queens:
All of Astoria's Brazilian shops and restaurants and bakeries will have the matches tuned on their TVs, but another place with a good bar is Favela Grill.
*Honorable Mention: Ipanema Restaurant, 43 West 46th Street, Midtown, will be hosting watch parties with a $10 cover, while the Melrose Ballroom, 36-08 33rd Street, Astoria, in Queens will have free parties hosted by Brazil In Concert.

🇨🇭 SWI: SUN 17th 14:00, FRI 22nd 14:00, WED 27th 14:00
1) Brazen Fox, 106 3rd Avenue, East Village, Manhattan:
Swiss Drinks NYC and The Swiss Soccer Club NY have put together events for at least the first two matches against Brazil and Serbia at this East Village pub. Follow these groups, the first party was top notch.
2) Cafe Select, 212 Lafayette Street, SoHo, Manhattan:
Swiss groups will make reservations and pack this place up early for Die Nati, although there might be a spot at the bar for singles.
3) Mont Blanc, 344 West 52nd Street, Midtown, Manhattan:
With the benefit of afternoon matches, this casual place in Midtown will have easy access to matches.

🇨🇷 CRC: SUN 17th 08:00, FRI 22nd 08:00, WED 27th 14:00
1) Olga's Place, 214 LT Glenn Zamorski Drive, Elizabeth, NJ:
Olga's is an experience, and Ticos from all over New Jersey flock to it on match days to watch La Sele. The tiny country with so few people always over-performs, and the hearts of their fans probably have a lot to do with that.
2) Las Tejas, 106 3rd Avenue, Paterson, NJ:
Open early for breakfast, Las Tejas was packed for matches four years ago and stands to be the same this year. More like the kind of place you can bring your children when Olga's gets too rowdy.
3) Banderas Deli & Restaurant, 41 Park Avenue, Summit, NJ:
Another early opener popular with football fans is this restaurant further west in a neighborhood with many people from Costa Rica.
4) Tucanes Restaurant, 299 North 8th Street, Prospect Park, NJ:
Also with a good Tico football atmosphere, expect big crowds and good food.
*Honorable Mention: The Costa Rican Networking Group NYC is meeting at Legends (see above in general section) during the Ticos matches for those unable to get to New Jersey.

🇷🇸 SRB: SUN 17th 08:00, FRI 22nd 14:00, WED 27th 14:00
1) Kafana, 116 Avenue C, East Village, Manhattan:
Unfortunately the only exclusively Serbian restaurant in the city, Kafana will be opening its doors early and getting excited for The Eagles. In 2010 when Serbia upset Germany in the group stage, this block was a lot of fun, with Serbians singing in the streets in front of Zum Schneider.
2) Stax Sports Bar, 1485 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan:
Serbian organization "Club Royale" is hosting a watch party for the 2nd match on Friday the 22nd at this Upper East bar.
3) Cevabdzinica Sarajevo, 37-18 34th Avenue, Astoria, Queens:
This Bosnian restaurant has great food and loves its football. A smattering of Balkans without a World Cup team will probably be here watching the 2pm matches.
4) Ukus, 42-08 30th Avenue, Astoria, Queens:
Ukus is also Bosnian but will attract groups during important matches and should be open for all but the 8am ones.


⚽ GROUP F: GERMANY/MÉXICO/SWEDEN/SOUTH KOREA

⚽ CONCACAF-winning México has been drawn into what some are calling the group of death, Group F, playing Germany in their first match. A Swedish side that eliminated Italy and a South Korean side that is always strong in Asia will be looking to ensure México continues to never reach that fifth game.

🇩🇪 GER: SUN 17th 11:00, SAT 23rd 14:00, WED 27th 10:00
1) Zum Schneider, 107 Avenue C, East Village, Manhattan:
Die Mannschaft has pockets of followers all over the boroughs, but this indoor beer hall on Avenue C has always been the top spot to watch them. Zum will not be open for the 8am matches during this World Cup, but will be for the rest and of course get there plenty early when Germany plays.
2) Loreley Beer Garden, 7 Rivington Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan:
Loreley is not planning to open earlier than usual for most matches, but will be open an hour before all German action. This spot has a special place in my heart because it is where I watched the 2010 last minute USA victory over Algeria to win the group. "GO GO USA!!" Sigh.
3) Hofbräu Bierhaus, 712 3rd Avenue, Midtown East, Manhattan:
This Midtown beer hall will be open for every World Cup match and decidedly German when the champions are playing. They will have a special brunch menu in the mornings for those wanting to start their days early.
4) Manor Oktoberfest, 73-11 Yellowstone Blvd, Forest Hills, Queens:
The interior of Queens has a large second, third, and beyond-generation of German-Americans, or US Americans that call themselves that, and the best spot to join them for matches is at this location of Manor. They also run a smaller shop in the Atlas Park Mall, 80-28 Cooper Avenue, Glendale, and have branched into the outdoor beer garden business there as well.
5a) Plattdeutsch Park, 1132 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, NY:
5b) Prost Grill & Garten, 652 Franklin Avenue, Garden City, NY:
In Long Island, two good options for viewing with German-Americans are available in these two beer-centric locations.
*Honorable Mention: The two weekend matchups should be possible at Heidelberg, 1648 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan, which probably will not go crazy to change their schedule for football but has a TV in the bar area and a good German atmosphere. The Goethe Institut, 30 Irving Place, Union Square, will be streaming all of Germany's matches in their theater.

🇲🇽 MEX: SUN 17th 11:00, SAT 23rd 11:00, WED 27th 10:00
1) Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens:
Between 75th Street and Junction Blvd, Roosevelt Avenue has more Mexican bars per-capita than México. All of these places will be open and loud for El Tri, giving different atmospheres and moods. Along with many restaurants, you should be able to find the one that suits you. At the east end, try Juan Bar, 96-15 Roosevelt Avenue, and grab a gigantic torta downstairs at Tortas Neza.
2) Campeon, 9 East 16th Street, Union Square, Manhattan:
This used to be the meeting place of the NYC chapter of Pancho Villa's Army, although they have moved on to The Football Factory. The space remains one of the top sports bars in Manhattan and will have great atmosphere.
3) Parrilladas Sunrise, 83-11 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights:
A bit away from the Roosevelt Avenue madness, this bar and restaurant will be a good spot to get rowdy, but with an appetite. After a big win, head back to Roosevelt for the party.
4) Tacos Morelos, 94-13 37th Street, Jackson Heights, Queens:
More family friendly, Tacos Morelos still serves alcohol and has very good food. In nice weather, the front opens to the street and 37th Avenue should be a good party.
5) Los Tres Potrillos, 998 4th Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn:
Sunset Park is more oriented to established Mexican families and therefore does not have the party atmosphere of Jackson Heights and Corona, but every TV in the neighborhood will have matches on and everyone will dress their children in green jerseys. Try this restaurant on the neighborhood's northern end for a good bar and environment.

🇸🇪 SWE: MON 18th 08:00, SAT 23rd 14:00, WED 27th 10:00
1) Tonic Times Square, 727 7th Avenue, Times Square, Manhattan:
Like the Danes, Swedes use Tonic Times Square as their base for watching Blågult, "The Blue-Yellow."
2) Church of Sweden, 5 East 48th Street, Midtown, Manhattan:
The complete opposite alternative will be this Swedish church, opening their doors to all for every Sweden match and serving sweets and other goodies from their cafe.
*Honorable Mention: Red Rooster, 310 Lenox Avenue, Harlem, Manhattan:
It might be worth checking out the Saturday match in Harlem, where the famous chef-owner of this restaurant is Swedish and a big football fan. They put on big Super Bowl parties here, so let's hope.

🇰🇷 KOR: MON 18th 08:00, SAT 23rd 11:00, WED 27th 10:00
1) KumGangSan, 138-28 Northern Blvd, Flushing, Queens:
With Korea's early World Cup schedule, and the fact that most Korean bars open fairly late, your best bets for the Taegeuk Warriors are probably 24 hour restaurants like this Downtown Flushing favorite. They have a projector for events that should get good use. The team from The Korea Times newspaper all recommended this place.
2) Space Billiards, 34 West 32nd Street 12th Floor, Koreatown, Manhattan:
This billiard hall, high above K-Town and full of neon will be opening early and showing all of Korea's matches.
3) BBQ Olive Chicken, 25 West 32nd Street, Koreatown, Manhattan:
A downstairs bar that always has football on its TVs, this KTown spot will be open for the second match on Saturday with a $25 ticket for a fried chicken buffet and two beers. RSVP with their event page on Eventbrite by searching "2018 World Cup Korea" in NYC.
4) Hahm Ji Bach, 40-11 149th Place, Flushing, Queens:
A bit further east, this Murray Hill, Queens mainstay has always been a popular place for groups to watch big events.
5) Pelicana, 47-08 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside, Queens:
The Sunnyside location of Pelicana has agreed to open early for all of South Korea's matches.
*Honorable Mention: Paradise Alley, 41-09 150th Street, Murray Hill, Queens is an Irish-style pub that will be opening for all late-morning World Cup matches and gets a good Korean crowd due to its location. Some otherwise great sports spots to keep your eye on in case they change plans... In Manhattan's Koreatown, two other locations that love sports but don't have plans to open earlier (yet) are BonChon, 325 5th Avenue, a sports bar paradise if it wanted to be, and WABar/Itaewon Gastropub, 28 West 32nd Street, which was a great spot four years ago. In Queens, The COOP, 39-16 Prince Street, Flushing, is a wonderful sports bar and another Pelicana, 41-23 162nd Street, Murray Hill, is full of TVs and good beer.


⚽ GROUP G: BELGIUM/PANAMÁ/TUNISIA/ENGLAND

⚽ In Group G, not much thought has been given to Panamá or Tunisia, but these nations will be looking to surprise favorites Belgium and England, who both can be prone to nerves on big stages. The final match between these two European powerhouses could either shape up to be a must win for one of them or a battle for the group's top spot.

🇧🇪 BEL: MON 18th 11:00, SAT 23rd 08:00, THU 28th 14:00
1) BXL Zoute, 50 West 22nd Street, Flatiron District, Manhattan:
Always had the most fun during Red Devils matches at this intimate venue. The TVs over the bar are small but plentiful, this place generates the best atmosphere with plenty of faces painted red and blinking devil horns.
2) BXL Cafe, 125 West 43rd Street, Times Square, Manhattan:
The location leaves a bit to be desired, but this spot has more of a bar feel and will be open early
3) Waterzooi Belgian Bistro & Oyster Bar, 850 Franklin Avenue, Garden City, Long Island:
The bar area at this Long Island institution will be perfect for viewing, although the 8am match probably is not happening. A very long list of Belgian beers and good mussels are reason enough to come.
4) Belgian Beer Cafe, 220 5th Avenue, NoMad, Manhattan:
Open early for coffee and breakfast, the TVs should be on for World Cup matches. It drew a few folks for Euro Cup two years ago, and should have a decent crowd for Belgium matches this year.
5) Petite Abeille, 401 East 20th Street, Gramercy Park, Manhattan:
Added late, but this east side spot has been having small gatherings to cheer on Belgium all tournament long.

🇵🇦 PAN: MON 18th 11:00, SUN 24th 08:00, THU 28th 14:00
1) Michelle's Cocktail Lounge, 2294 Bedford Avenue, Flatbush, Brooklyn:
Michelle's is the meeting place of Panamanians around the city, and was their site of choice to celebrate Los Canaleros qualification into the tournament for the first time. They are planning a watch party (and lunch!) for at least the 11am opener, and should be safe for the 28th finale as well. With a commitment from Michelle's, which is fantastic, I have removed the other local bars in the area that will not be Panamá-specific, as there will be no need for more.

🇹🇳 TUN: MON 18th 14:00, SAT 23rd 08:00, THU 28th 14:00
1) Rotana Hookah Place, 25-51a Steinway Street, Astoria, Queens:
On a day of friendlies back in March, Rotana was the only place that kept a TV on for The Eagles of Carthage, while all the other spots switched to Egypt or Morocco. Can confirm this is the "headquarters," albeit a very small group.
2) La Goulette, 159 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn:
The city's only exclusively Tunisian restaurant is only a maybe, hopefully a TV is set up for the two afternoon matches and a crowd gathers.
*Honorable Mention: Back in Astoria, Caffe Expresso and Cafe Borbone will have the same atmosphere as with the Saudis.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 ENG: MON 18th 14:00, SUN 24th 08:00, THU 28th 14:00
1) Smithfield Hall, 138 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan:
Over the course of the the tournament, it has become apparent that the city's best football bar is also the best place to watch The Three Lions. Expect chants of "Football is Coming Home" anytime England is doing well during the knockout round. Show up early.
2) The Monro Pub, 481 5th Avenue, South Slope, Brooklyn:
This Liverpool Pub will offer some rowdy fun for anyone cheering on The Three Lions of England. It seems to get more and more dedicated to football every year that passes, and was plenty of fun during Liverpool's Champions League run.
3) The Churchill, 45 East 28th Street, NoMad, Manhattan:
This skinny bar is a lot of fun for matches, grab a spot at the communal table in the back for access to the big projector that will be hauled out for games.
4) Black Horse Pub, 568 5th Avenue, South Slope, Brooklyn:
Park Slope parents that force their children into Manchester United fandom are often spotted here, but for World Cup this Brooklyn spot will be good for any match you want to see.
5) Highbury Pub, 1002 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn:
This Arsenal bar is a perennial favorite spot for Euro and World Cups, an intimate space for watching good football.
*Honorable Mention: For those that don't venture out of Manhattan, The Winslow, 243 East 14th Street, East Village, is a gin bar that gets big into rugby events and should be hopping whenever England plays. Their website promises World Cup-inspired cocktails! Another English tavern, The Shakespeare, 24 East 39th Street, Midtown, is also showing all matches and offering specials while England plays. The Atlantic ChipShop, 129 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights is always a good atmosphere for football, plenty of screens, and well made British food. That inviting smell of cod hits you right when you come through the door.


⚽ GROUP H: POLAND/SÉNÉGAL/COLOMBIA/JAPAN

⚽ Four nations with the potential to score a lot of goals will fight it out in Group H, which is headlined by Poland and Colombia. African favorite Sénégal and Asian winners Japan will be looking to spoil the fun, and there should be at least one upset in the works in the final group.

🇵🇱 POL: TUE 19th 11:00, SUN 24th 14:00, THU 28th 10:00
1) Johnny's Cafe, 60-39 Fresh Pond Road, Maspeth, Queens:
This neighborhood favorite has passionate old men as well as young families coming together to cheer on the Biało-czerwoni, or "White and Reds" of Poland. It is always a great place to be for match day.
2) Royal Warsaw, 871 River Drive, Elmwood Park, NJ:
Elmwood Park and Garfield are home to large Polish communities in New Jersey, and Royal Warsaw's bar sets itself up nicely for watching big events like this.
3) The Live Oak, 59-94 Fresh Pond Rd, Maspeth, and Glenlo Tavern, 64-18 Fresh Pond Rd, Ridgewood, Queens:
These two Irish-style pubs will be full of Polish people during the World Cup, both are good bets for a lively atmosphere and good crowd.
4) Królewskie Jadło, 66-21 Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood, Queens:
The small bar here has a good selection of Polish and other draft beers, and the kitchen churns out really good food.
5) Chris's Restaurant, 1866 86th Street, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn:
The spattering of Polish people spread throughout South Brooklyn seem to congregate here at Chris's, enjoying the small bar area and massive plates of food.
*Honorable Mention: If you are looking for a Polish place in Staten Island, Terminal 1, 323 Sand Lane, Arrochar, is a good sports bar and restaurant worth watching at.

🇸🇳 SEN: TUE 19th 11:00, SUN 24th 11:00, THU 28th 10:00
1) Keur Coumba, 125 West 116th Street, Harlem, Manhattan:
During qualifiers, this restaurant was the busiest with Lions of Teranga watch parties as all chairs and seats were pointed at the TV.
2) Cafe Rue Dix, 1451 Bedford Avenue, Crown Heights, Brooklyn:
This will be the hotspot in Brooklyn for watching Sénégal, with watch parties for all matches and crowds surrounding the small cafe on the sidewalks. They will even be open for 8am matches.
3) Le Baobab Gouygui, 1235 Fulton Street, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn:
The spots from #3 beyond here will just have TVs and good food, spots that will have a smattering of Senegalese men coming in to catch parts of the match. This one in Brooklyn has excellent food.
4a) Fouta Halal Food, 1762 Westchester Avenue, Soundview, Bronx:
If there is a match on, it can be found on the TV here in the Bronx, where cabbies chat during their breaks.
4b) Bravo African Restaurant, 1473 Westchester Avenue, Soundview, Bronx:
A little more polished than its eastern neighbor in Soundview, Bravo will have matches and a smattering of fans.
5) Le Baobab Gouygui, 120 West 116th Street, Harlem, Manhattan:
While across the street will have more football fans, if you cannot squeeze in, come here for the overflow and the best food on 116th Street.

🇨🇴 COL: TUE 19th 08:00, SUN 24th 14:00, THU 28th 10:00
1) Barriles, 83-14 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens:
Los Cafeteros will have support all throughout Jackson Heights, with yellow jerseys swarming as usual on match days and everyday. A relatively new bar will be possibly the best place to watch and cheer, with big screens surrounding the entire space.
2) El Paisa Bar, 87-05 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, Queens:
One of Northern Blvds usual spot for all types of football viewing, this bar has a nice staff and rowdy patrons.
3) La Pollera Colorada II, 82-13 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, Queens:
For a slightly more family-friendly atmosphere, try this mainstay a few blocks west, where a nice restaurant is a big draw. They also show matches here weekly and will pull a good crowd for World Cup. Their sister restaurant La Pollera Colorada III, 40-15 Junction Blvd, Jackson Heights, is open 24 hours, has jerseys all over the walls, and will also be packed full of fans.
4) BarCode, 429 North Broad Street, and Leños Bar & Grill, 352 Morris Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ:
New Jersey has tens of thousands more Colombians and so many places to watch matches that you probably won't need my help if you live there, but these two nearby Elizabeth places are definitely great spots to join in the fun and eat well.
5) Teatro Restaurant Boulevard, 82-24 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, Queens:
In a "relaxed" sit-down environment with cocktails and good food, this has always been a good and popular spot to watch big matches.
*Honorable Mention: Bachue, which would have been a top spot on this list has turned into Raices Colombianas, 86-02 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, which somehow lost a bit of it's spirit but would still be fine. Kabu Bar, 85-09 Northern Blvd, Jackson Heights, pulls in big crowds for Colombian league matches and should be opening early for World Cup.

🇯🇵 JAP: TUE 19th 08:00, SUN 24th 11:00, THU 28th 10:00
Thankfully Japan took the last available spot in the last available group so it could hide down here at the bottom, for unfortunately there is really not much out there this year. In 2014, Japas 27 was an amazing spot for cheering on The Samurai Blue during the World Cup, but their sister bar Japas 38 opens in the late afternoon and does not seem to have plans. If you happen to have a membership to The Nippon Club, they are thinking about doing watch parties for the lunchtime matches. Otherwise, keep checking here and I promise to keep looking.
1) St. Pat's Bar & Grill, 22 West 46th Street, Midtown, Manhattan:
The JET Alumni Association is putting on a watch party for the 2nd match on Sunday the 24th against Sénégal.
2) Kinfolk 90, 90 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn:
Some Japanese folks have organized a public watch party at this cafe/bar in Brooklyn. (UPDATE: Round of 16 match vs. Belgium is happening too).
3) Canal Street Market, 265 Canal Street, Chinatown:
Accordiing to the NY Times (I will of course give credit, because that is what professionals do, but they lifted over half their guide from this one and the other half is mostly false), the Samurice and Izakaya stall in this market will open early for Japanese matches and offer goodies. The 8am match is VERY doubtful though, if we're honest.
4) Izakaya, 326 East 6th Street, East Village, Manhattan:
For the round of 16 match (only), this East Village small plates Japanese spot will host a watch party.

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2018 FIFA WORLD CUP in NYC