Starting June 12, bets will be made, bars will be claimed, and the peoples of the world will pick sides when it comes to rooting for the football (say “soccer” and you’re better off watching alone on your couch) champions of FIFA World Cup 2014.
For 30 days and 30 nights, fanatics will live off a steady diet of beer, burgers, wings, and other respectable bar food to celebrate the highest level of play of the world’s most popular sport. Vuvuzelas may ring through the streets, and you could find yourself unknowingly shouting “GOALLLLLLLLL” in your sleep.
Make the necessary preparations now, and stake out your preferred watch party location now. Depending on your country of allegiance, we have the breakdown of where to be and what to expect. We’ve listed a few great places where you can either watch with other fans of the same country, or mingle with fans of all different teams.
Where will you be watching?
Generally Great Places to Watch
Staggering Irishman – We guarantee you will find a mile long line filled with dedicated fans of all loyalties waiting to pile in for the best soccer viewing experience. This is a soccer pub through and through. If the crowd doesn’t tell you that then the fact that it’s the official bar for the Dallas Beer Guardians and the American Outlaws Dallas Chapter (the official fan group for the men’s national team) should. Support groups from all over travel to the Staggering Irishman and more are making it their destination.
Cantina Laredo – Visit any Cantina Laredo location during USA or Mexico matches for $5 cocktails in the colors of the US or Mexican flags. Tecate and Heineken are also $2 during games.
The Allen Wickers Sports Pub & Grill – From framed jerseys, hanging memorabilia to soccer decals plastered across the windows, you could say this English pub knows a thing or two about soccer. There’s a dedicated soccer viewing room with 5 TVs, booths, tables, and plenty of wild fans chanting together. Peruse the full bar and snag the best seat in the house: the worn-in couch by the fireplace.
Community Beer Co. – Hang out with beer enthusiasts, and chug a couple brews while watching the opening game at 3 p.m. June 12 on the big screens of the bar’s taproom. Other games will be shown during taproom hours, so once your team wins be sure to take a victory lap on the beer tour after.
Trinity Hall – Ireland may have missed the cut, but Trinity Hall is dedicated to making the most of the games by screening all 64 matches. A place known for its impressive beer selection, you can also order cocktails like a Moscow Mule as you jump on your chair to scream at the outrageous referee calls. We’re told this is the place to be for USA fans.
Standard Pour – A brand new 100-inch projection screen, a world-cup themed drink menu and some of Uptown’s best grub sounds like a pretty sweet set-up for gathering around and staying awhile. Though it may not be the top of the more hardcore fans’ list, we’d say it deserves to a little World Cup lovin’ this year.
Humperdinks – Though Humperdinks may not offer specials specifically for World Cup viewing purposes, they do boast up to 45 TVs, depending on the location. You’ll most likely get there during Happy Hour to snag deals like $5 house margaritas or $2 off appetizers.
Barley House – Grab a seat on the patio by a fellow SMU alum, swap stories from your Greek days, and quaff a couple of drink specials courtesy of Community and Peticolas breweries. Oh, and if you manage to remember the World Cup is on, you’ll find all the matches on the TV screens. Good thing that SMU colors just so happen to match the American flag.
Boxwood Tap & Grille – A little off the beaten path, Boxwood claims it will have the sound up, specials flowing, and its World Cup fever at high pitch. If you want quality food, cocktails, and craft selections, head this way with your friends, and you’ll be a true American hero.
Alamo Cinema Drafthouse – Strap on your red, white, and blue bandana and most patriotic tank top for a big-screen experience that will put you right on the field with Clint Dempsey as he leads the USA to victory. The Alamo only has one screening scheduled so far, for the USA vs. Ghana match at 4 p.m. June 16, but if things go right (which let’s cross our fingers they do), more will follow. The event is free, but buy a $5 drink and food voucher online beforehand to ensure a seat.
British Beverage Co. – The name says it all. Judging by the national flags flying high outside the pub, this seems like the place to settle in for a good time. FC Dallas will join forces with BBC for its kickoff party starting at 1 p.m. June 13 for a doubleheader. Look for FC players, FC girls, a performance by Latin House Krew DJs, and chances to win signed memorabilia.
Londoner – It seems obvious to suggest this spot for all the England loyalists out there, but it had to be said. This classic British-style pub is for the diehards who would sell their right legs to be in Brazil. The kickoff party starts at 3 p.m. Thursday with drink specials including $5 Carlsberg, $3.50 Bud Light, and $5 Caipirinhas. Drown your sorrows, or drink in elation with shots of Milagros tequila and Tullamore Dew Whiskey for $4 after every goal scored.
Ide Rich / The Old Monk / Blackfriar – These sister pubs draw diverse crowds of all ages and backgrounds. The Old Monk will appease the mellower viewers, but Idle Rich and Blackfriar will overflow with their earlier hours and big spaces to jump into your mate’s arms after every goal.
The Dubliner – Going all out for this special occasion, the Dubliner will place extra TVs on its patio to ensure plenty of seating to enjoy the matches. If that doesn’t demonstrate their love for the game, then try a pint of the specially tapped Peticolas Brewery’s “Thrilla in Brazilla” or a $5 Caipirinha cocktail.
Glass Boot Biergarten – For those who claim their allegiance to the black, red and yellow, you should know Germany is a favorite to take the cup this year. With one of Dallas’s best new patios, Glass Boot offers a Giant Bavarian Soft Pretzel larger than your face, authentic wurst to fuel your inner Bavarian, and an actual glass boot filled to the brim with your favorite bier to cheer on every attack on goal.
Bavarian Grill – This cozy German grill is taking a calmer approach to World Cup viewing, but to each his own. If Germany’s your team, and you want to sit down in a diner with an authentic meal and not be interrupted by screaming sports fans, then Bavarian Grill has your name written all over it. They’ll be showing a host of games throughout the tournament.
Henk’s European Deli & Black Forest Bakery – Although this Euro-diner serves everything from Bavarian omelettes and Polish sausages to Hungarian chicken and Lebanese bologna, Henk’s true loyalty lies with the red, white, and blue — of the Netherlands, that is. And it’s no secret, either. The Dallas Dutch have claimed Henk’s as their cheering post for homeland games.
Blue Charcoal – Celebrate Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup in Richardson. Expect Blue Charcoal to be packed with proud Brazilian fans. The authentic Brazilian food and atmosphere will make you feel a part of the action, and while you’re there, order a Palma Louca, a Brazilian lager.
El Portal Café – If you are a true fan and enjoy soccer 365 days of the year then this is your place. A small shop that screens games at all times, you will get a homey atmosphere with food straight from the nation. One of the area’s first Columbian bakeries be sure to admire the pastry counter between games and stock up on Empanadas, Almojabanas, and Arepa con Carne.
Cubierto’s Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar – During Mexico’s matches, Cubierto’s hosts a watching party. If Mexico scores? Free tequila shots for everyone. Seriously. A special World Cup bar menu is also offered while the games air, which includes $3.50 draft beer, house wine and margaritas and $3.50 food specials.
Ojos Locos Sports Cantina – It’s almost as if Ojos Locos opened solely for the purpose of screening soccer and boxing. Known as the equivalent to a “Mexican Hooters,” you can find wings, pretty women, and strictly World Cup action across the vast number of TVs. Bring your flags and come early to find a seat, especially if you want to settle down with a famous Ojos Locos balones (their version of a pitcher that comes straight out of a soccer ball).
Stratos – If you tend to scream “Opa!” after every goal and like to chow down on hummus and gyros while cheering on your team, then head to Stratos Greek Taverna. They may only screen games during restaurant hours, but the late-night belly dancers will make up for that. Enjoy half priced wine Wednesdays and Sunday after 5 p.m. for a classier game setting, but we’re sure the DJ will keep you fist pumping through the night.
Blue Fish – This no-frills sushi restaurant with a large bar and open floor plan bolsters an upbeat atmosphere to throw back some rolls and down sake while Japan fights to make its mark in the soccer scene.
Sushi Robata – We’ll go ahead and make this easy for you. Grab a spot at the bar, order a couple items off the robata menu, choose any bowl of ramen, pair these items with an extra large sake pot or Japanese beer, and watch the team struggle to make it past round one. Then order more sake.
Campisi’s – How else are you supposed to enjoy Italy throwing fouls and pushing their way to the top than with a plate of bruschetta and a round of hot pizza pies? You’ll get a neighborhood feel with plenty of people looking to make friends between bites and shouting at the screen.
Café de France – Though French fans are known to start riots and get into brawls, this is a quieter getaway for tamer viewers. With items like crepes and an extensive wine list, Café de France offers a space for men to take their ladies on a date and still catch the game. Anyone looking to cause another Zinedine Zidane headbutt scene should probably veer toward another bar with less glassware.
Lauryn Bodden is a DMagazine.com summer intern and a goalkeeper for the SMU women’s soccer team.