The great conundrum of New York City is that it provides one with an impossible amount of options for watching almost any sporting event including the World Cup. The wide variety of options makes the decision all the more difficult but luckily there are no real bad choices here. Any place with a TV and some cold beer will make a great spot to take in any match; but you and I both know that there are right choices and then there are righter choices.
Here are ten of the best spots to watch the 2014 World Cup in New York City:
1. The Football Factory,
6 West 33rd St.
Hands down, this is the best place to watch soccer in the city, period. Every Saturday and Sunday between September and May, you will find supporters of almost every international club here, from Arsenal to Zenit. During the World Cup, the fervor only increases. Not to mention, should it get too crowded for you or if your colors are red, white and blue, Jack Dempsey’s caters specifically to U.S. fans and is right next door.
2. Loreley Restaurant and Biergarten,
7 Rivington St.
Whether you will be wearing black, red and gold this summer or if you just enjoy liter drafts of the finest German beers, Loreley is one of the best spots to both watch a game and be outside. They have a projection screen in the basement as well, but I recommend avoiding that and sticking to the biergarten. Get there early though; it fills up well before the beginning of the match.
3. Houston Hall,
222 W. Houston St. and
38 West 26th St.
I’ll lump these two together since they’re almost identical. Houston Hall has the advantage of being “outdoors,” the ceiling is covered all in glass and it’s very open so it does feel outdoorsy despite not technically being outdoors. You can also play beer pong at Houston Hall if that’s your thing, or if decide that the next match simply doesn’t excite you. Both bars boast massive projection screens and almost perfect vistas throughout, as well as equally massive beers and phenomenal pub fare. Neither is specifically geared to a national club, which helps keep the crowd size slightly smaller as well.
4. Nevada Smith’s,
100 3rd Ave
It’s tough to pick out an East Village bar since there are so many that come to mind (Professor Thom’s, Dempsey’s and 11th Street Bar are great choices, amongst many others), but for the true soccer fan, Nevada Smith’s is the way to go. Their slogan is, after all, “Where football is religion.” It boasts a lot of TV’s with a good food and drink selection to watch them with, including a special World Cup menu. You can raise a Peroni to Gli Azzurri or a Sam Smith to The Three Lions.
5. The Churchill,
45 East 28th
I’m sure there are many England fans reading this article, so this is my bone to throw to you. Transport yourself to Jolly Old England at Churchill’s and enjoy classic English pub far with a good, cold pint. Dark and a little bleak, in the best way possible, Churchill’s almost perfectly mirrors the likely morale of the average England supporter given recent results.
6. Hecho en Dumbo,
High-end Mexican food and a deep tequila selection make this spot a no-brainer for the classier fan. Need to impress a date but also want to catch the Mexico match? This is the perfect place. Elegantly designed with handsome wrought iron and dark wood, but not too pretentious that you’ll be out of place slamming your hands on said dark wood to celebrate.
7. Sweet and Vicious,
5 Spring St.
Once again, a phenomenal outdoor patio with a massive projection screen is the main selling point here. (Noticing a pattern?) Getting there during happy hour (2-7) means you can get as many $8 frozen margaritas as you can drink. Even if you’re not there during happy hour, I still suggest going the margarita route, but their beer selection is always on point as well.
8. The Jeffrey,
311 East 60th St
In my opinion, The Jeffrey has the best beer selection in the city. I consider myself somewhat of a beer aficionado and I still find myself baffled by most of the beer list, which rotates daily. They also boast one of the best cocktail lists around, if hops and barley isn’t your thing. The food is killer as well. Only two TV’s though, so get there early to get a good seat. This is the bar for the more casual fan.
9. Miss Favela,
57 South Fifth St., Brooklyn
I’ll end this list with a couple Brooklyn spots that are maybe better than anywhere in Manhattan. Miss Favela makes the list as the best place to go if this year’s host team also happens to be the team you support. The menu is stacked and the $10.50 Prato Feito lunch special is one of the best deals in the city and will give you a great base upon which to pour celebratory shots of Cachaça when Brazil scores. Their brunch is also one of the best and most unique in the city.
10. Kent Ale House,
51 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
My other Brooklyn pick is the Kent Ale House, which brands itself as the “Best soccer and rugby bar in Brooklyn.” It’s hard to argue with that when one walks in to the roar of a hundred Arsenal supporters every weekend. During the World Cup, the energy is just as palpable and the atmosphere just as conducive to enjoying any match. Their beer selection is eclectic and oftentimes locally sourced and their food is the perfect complement to a midday match. This is definitely a spot for the hardcore fan, but fans of all stripes, colors and levels of dedication will be happy to be here.