National News

Get Your Fill of the World Cup in New York City

Posted June 16, 2018 7:39 p.m. EDT

NEW YORK — In New York you can eat, drink and watch the games with Serbs, Swedes, Senegalese or wherever there’s a TV over the bar. Here’s a handy guide to help you find your inner expat.


Thursday, 2 p.m. vs. Croatia

June 26, 2 p.m. vs. Nigeria

Boca Juniors Restaurant, 81-08 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst, Queens

You would be hard-pressed to find a wilder soccer atmosphere — not just for Argentina, but for any nation — than, this steakhouse, named for a popular Buenos Aires team. Elmhurst has been a center of Argentine culture since the 1960s. Before each match, expect boisterous crowds in the streets, with some fans adding to the celebration with homemade musical instruments. If the party is overflowing at Boca Juniors, try La Esquina Criolla, at 94-67 Corona Ave. (or just walk two blocks in any direction).


Thursday, 8 a.m. vs. Denmark

June 26, 10 a.m. vs. Peru

The Australian NYC, 20 W. 38th St., Midtown Manhattan

Here’s a reason for Australia fans to wake up early to root for their team: the 22 televisions at this two-floor bar will all blast the games. Australian beer will be on offer, as well as a traditional Aussie breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, baked beans and vegemite toast. When Australia scores a goal, vodka shots will be passed around.


Monday, 11 a.m. vs. Panama

June 23, 8 a.m. vs. Tunisia

June 28, 2 p.m. vs. England

BXL Zoute, 50 W. 22nd St., Manhattan

BXL Zoute (“BXL” is the airport code for Brussels, Zoute is an affluent neighborhood on the North Sea) is a home base during major tournaments for fans of all stripes, not just those of the Red Devils. For the early games, get a gaufre — an authentic Belgian waffle — that pairs well with any of the Belgian beer on tap. If you are stuck in Times Square, Zoute’s sister bar, BXL Café on 43rd Street, is a fine option.


Sunday, 2 p.m. vs. Switzerland

Friday, 8 a.m. vs. Costa Rica

June 27, 2 p.m. vs. Serbia

Miss Favela, 57 S. Fifth St., Brooklyn

This bistro next to the Williamsburg Bridge opens as early as 6 a.m. during the World Cup. The TVs will stay on throughout the tournament, and in addition to the live music each week on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Miss Favela will have live Brazilian music for each of the country’s matches. In Manhattan, fans can try Sounds of Brazil at 204 Varick St.


Tuesday, 8 a.m. vs. Japan

June 24, 2 p.m. vs. Poland

June 28, 10 a.m. vs. Senegal

D’Antigua, 84-16 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights, Queens

This bar-restaurant has five TVs and two projectors showing every game, but expect the liveliest crowds for Peru and Colombia. “Especially when Colombia plays, it’s incredible,” said Diana Narvaez, one of the owners, remembering the last World Cup. “People were screaming, and after, if the game was good, we had a DJ so people danced.” Those watching morning matches can enjoy arepas and tostones for breakfast. Fans might also try El Basurero, equally rowdy, in Astoria at 32-17 Steinway St.

Costa Rica

Sunday, 8 a.m. vs. Serbia

Friday, 8 a.m. vs. Brazil

June 27, 2 p.m. vs. Switzerland

Bogotá Latin Bistro, 141 Fifth Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn

This restaurant has added TVs throughout the restaurant — at the bar, in the main and side dining rooms, and on the patio — to welcome the World Cup. They will be showing every game, but plan to arrive early for the matches involving Latin American teams (particularly Costa Rica and Colombia).


Thursday, 2 p.m. vs. Argentina

June 26, 2 p.m. vs. Iceland

Cafe Baltazar, 43-03 Broadway, Astoria, Queens

There are very few bars in the city where you can sit with a drink for an hour and hear nothing but Croatian; this is one of them. After Scorpio Cafe closed last year, this lounge became the center of Croatian soccer in New York. Eat in advance, as there is no kitchen here. Nearby is Studio Square, a beer garden where you can expect a great Croatian turnout, and where all tournament games will be shown.


Thursday, 2 p.m. vs. Australia

June 26, 4 p.m. vs. France

Danish Athletic Club, 725-741 65th St., Sunset Park, Brooklyn

It’s no surprise that this 126-year-old athletic and social club will be the viewing place of choice for Denmark fans, in a neighborhood once full of Danish immigrants. All games will be shown on two 55-inch screens in the main restaurant and bar. Aquavit cocktails and Carlsberg Elephant beer will be available during all three games. Another option is the Scandinavian-friendly sports bar Tonic Times Square.


Tuesday, 2 p.m. vs. Russia

June 25, 10 a.m. vs. Saudi Arabia

Jasmine Lounge, 25-50 Steinway St., Long Island City, Queens

Sip an Egyptian tea or enjoy an apple-flavored hookah at this lounge in the heart of Little Egypt. If you can’t find a seat here, try Taj Mahal Lounge, Café Istanbul, Rose Hookah Lounge or one of the other hookah joints that stretch along Steinway from about 25th Avenue to 32nd Avenue.


Monday, 2 p.m. vs. Tunisia

June 24, 8 a.m. vs. Panama

June 28, 2 p.m. vs. Belgium

Highbury Pub, 1002 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Highbury Pub is filled to the brim whenever the North London club Arsenal has a game. Expect the same for England matches — or most matches, for that matter. This place is tiny, so when someone orders a meat pie, the aroma quickly fills the pub. Across Brooklyn in the South Slope is the Black Horse Pub, where the crowd for big games tends to spill out onto Fifth Avenue.


Thursday, 11 a.m. vs. Peru

June 26, 10 a.m. vs. Denmark

Le Baratin, 26 Greenwich Ave., Manhattan

There is no shortage of French boîtes showing Les Bleus on TV. This West Village bistro will employ both a television and a projection screen, and each time France scores a goal, patrons will be treated to Champagne. A long-standing Francophone venue in Brooklyn is Bar Tabac, a Boerum Hill bistro that’s open for breakfast every day.


Sunday, 11 a.m. vs. Mexico

Saturday, 2 p.m. vs. Sweden

June 27, 10 a.m. vs. South Korea

Goethe Institut, 30 Irving Place, Gramercy Park, Manhattan

This nonprofit cultural organization will be packing its library with about 200 Germans and Germanophiles, eager to see if the reigning champions can repeat and earn what would be the country’s fifth World Cup title. German beer and riesling will be served, and representatives from the Institut will be around to discuss German culture, sporting or otherwise. A rowdier option is Zum Schneider, an East Village beer garden, always packed when Germany plays.


Friday, 11 a.m. vs. Nigeria

June 26, 2 p.m. vs. Croatia

Bloom’s Tavern, 208 E. 58th St., Manhattan

When Iceland played in Euro 2016, making it to the quarterfinals in its first major tournament appearance, the consulate organized a viewing party at this classic Irish pub. The bar is now so strongly associated with Iceland that the country’s flag has a place of honor on the ceiling. Iceland’s World Cup debut coincides with Bloomsday, the celebration of the events of James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses,” so expect a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Reyka Vodka, Iceland’s first vodka distillery, is also sponsoring a series of events at sports bars around the city, including at Beer Authority, at 300 W. 40th St., for the Croatia match.


Wednesday, 2 p.m. vs. Spain

June 25, 2 p.m. vs. Portugal

Colbeh, 32 W, 39th St., Midtown Manhattan

Colbeh might be fancier than most places on the list, but Iranians swear by this well-established Persian restaurant — the games will be on three 42-inch screens — that serves lamb, beef and chicken kebabs.


Tuesday, 8 a.m. vs. Colombia

June 24, 11 a.m. vs. Senegal

June 28, 10 a.m. vs. Poland

Izakaya/Samurice at Canal Street Market, 265 Canal St., Lower Manhattan

The small East Village eatery Izakaya won’t let its size stop it from cheering on Japan; Yudai Kanayama, one of the owners, has arranged public viewing parties a short walk south. At Canal Street Market, the restaurant shares a stall with Samurice, where it will offer $1 miso soup during Japan’s games, as well as a chicken katsu special. (Bonus trivia: Katsu means “victory” in Japanese.) Doors open 30 minutes before each Samurai Blue match. Another option is Azasu on the Lower East Side, at 49 Clinton St.


Sunday, 11 a.m. vs. Germany

Saturday, 11 a.m. vs. South Korea

June 27, 10 a.m. vs. Sweden

Cantina Rooftop, 605 W. 48th St., Midtown Manhattan

A safe bet to get a bar stool during a Mexico game is Cantina Rooftop, an enormous rooftop spot in Midtown. Or for a more authentic experience, make your way to Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, where you’ll be hard pressed to find a bar or restaurant not playing the game. But you might have a hard time finding an open seat. Try Juan Bar, at 96-15 Roosevelt Ave., in Corona, which is attached to the restaurant Tortas Neza. Or watch the game at one of the four televisions at Tacos Morelos, at 94-13 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights. In Brooklyn, go for the restaurants and bars on Fourth and Fifth avenues in Sunset Park, like Tacos El Bronco and Tacos Matamoros.


Wednesday, 8 a.m. vs. Portugal

June 25, 2 p.m. vs. Spain

Arabesque, 4 E. 36th St., Midtown Manhattan

Morocco’s games will be shown on a large projection screen in the private room at this popular restaurant and bar. One of the owners, Omar Balouma, has promised free shots with every goal Morocco scores.


Friday, 11 a.m. vs. Iceland

June 26, 2 p.m. vs. Argentina

Buka, 946 Fulton St., Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Along the border of Crown Heights, this restaurant attracts a vibrant Nigerian crowd — especially for Super Eagles matches. While “buka” is a slang term for a hole in the wall, you can expect excellent food here with an adventurous menu, including appetizers like isiewu (goat head) and nkwobi (cow feet). Also in Brooklyn, the Afro Carib Network and Nollywood NYC are hosting a cover-free party for Nigeria’s opening match at Milk River, a two-level restaurant and lounge on Atlantic Avenue, near Barclays Center.


Monday, 11 a.m. vs. Belgium

June 24, 8 a.m. vs. England

June 28, 2 p.m. vs. Tunisia

Michelle’s Cocktail Lounge, 2294 Bedford Ave., Flatbush, Brooklyn

Michelle’s, a longtime jazz club, has recently become a popular pre-show spot since the nearby Kings Theater reopened, but it remains the local hub for all things Panamanian.


Thursday, 11 a.m. vs. France

June 26, 10 a.m. vs. Australia

Mancora Restaurant and Bar, 97 First Ave., East Village, Manhattan

Famous for its ceviches and rotisserie chicken, Mancora will show the games on two 70-inch televisions. Customers can nibble on house-made plantain chips and sip caiparinhas, Peruvian beer and purple corn juice — a Peruvian specialty. Shots of tequila when Peru scores a goal.


Tuesday, 11 a.m. vs. Senegal

June 24, 2 p.m. vs. Colombia

June 28, 10 a.m. vs. Japan

Christina’s, 853 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Christina’s is a Polish diner in Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s long-standing Polish enclave. Count on Christina’s to have pirogies ready and the TV on for every game. In addition to the many Polish options in Greenpoint, Ridgewood and Maspeth in Queens have their share. Try Rogner Café & Lounge in Ridgewood, at 63-59 Forest Ave.


Wednesday, 8 a.m. vs. Morocco

June 25, 2 p.m. vs. Iran

Raizes Churrascaria, 39 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Although Raizes won’t be open for Portugal versus Morocco (too early), it will make up for it by going all out for the other two games they’ll play on the six televisions throughout the cavernous restaurant as well as on a large projection screen. Expect Portuguese beer specials, shrimp Mozambique and salt cod. For the more intrepid fan, there is no better spot to watch Portugal play than in Newark, New Jersey’s Ironbound District. In addition to the many bars and restaurants along Ferry Street, try Sport Club Portuguese, a neighborhood cultural center at 55 Prospect St.


Tuesday, 2 p.m. vs. Egypt

June 25, 10 a.m. vs. Uruguay

Russian Baths, 1200 Gravesend Neck Road, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

This is about as close as you will get to the culture of the host country without boarding a flight to Moscow. The Russian Baths are part sports bar, part bathhouse. Your team just lost? Cool off in the pool, relax in the sauna or hit the steam room. Free admission to the sports bar; $45 to use the baths. A reasonable substitute is Café Max Kebeer, nearby in Brighton Beach, which plans to show every match. Expect a minimum charge of $30 per seat.

Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, 11 a.m. vs. Uruguay

June 25, 10 a.m. vs. Egypt

Bai’Dar Cafe and Restaurant, 6810 Third Ave., Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

While not specifically a Saudi haunt, this hookah lounge caters to a wide swath of Arab clientele in the large Middle Eastern community of Bay Ridge. The lounge, open 24 hours, will show every World Cup match and serves a variety of drinks and Middle Eastern delicacies.


Tuesday, 11 a.m. vs. Poland

June 24, 11 a.m. vs. Japan

June 28, 10 a.m. vs. Colombia

The Senegalese Association, 121 St. Nicholas Ave., Harlem

The neighborhood around 116th Street in central Harlem is known as Little Senegal, and at its heart is this cultural center, which will be showing all the games. Many fans will watch the matches over ataya, a Senegalese tea traditionally served in a ceremony lasting several hours. To get in the spirit, try the Dakar chicken wings at Ponty Bistro Harlem, at 2375 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd.


Sunday, 8 a.m. vs. Costa Rica

Friday, 2 p.m. vs. Switzerland

June 27, 2 p.m. vs. Brazil

Kafana, 116 Avenue C, East Village, Manhattan

Kafana, typically open afternoons and evenings only, will open at 7:30 a.m. to cheer on its squad, serving a traditional Serbian breakfast, including gibanica (cheese pie) and zeljanica (spinach pie). “Last time we beat Germany,” the owner, Vladimir Ocokoljic, said, “it was 9:30 in the morning and everyone was dancing on tables and chairs.” The German beer garden Zum Schneider is across the street, so the block will be full of energy. Another option is the Serbian Association of New York, a cultural center and social club in Glendale, Queens, at 72-54 65th Place.

South Korea

Monday, 8 a.m. vs. Sweden

Saturday, 11 a.m. vs. Mexico

June 27, 10 a.m. vs. Germany

Kum Gang San, 138-28 Northern Blvd., Flushing, Queens

The festivities at this 24-hour Korean barbecue restaurant are sponsored by the Korean Sports Association of New York, which will have an expert on hand to offer commentary and lead cheers (in Korean) for the South Korean games. In Manhattan’s Koreatown, plenty of places will be hosting events, including Soju Haus, MK Karaoke and Bangia.


Wednesday, 2 p.m. vs. Iran

June 25, 2 p.m. vs. Morocco

O Lavrador, 138-40 101st Ave., Jamaica, Queens

An Iberian staple, O Lavrador will show the Spain matches in both its 65-seat bar and its event room. Specials on sangria pitchers. (Portugal fans attended during the last World Cup, so the first match may have a little heat.) Meanwhile, all locations of Boqueria, a small chain of tapas bars, will be showing games during regular restaurant hours. If Spain wins, Boqueria will offer patrons a beer on the house. At its new West 40th Street spot, Boqueria will open at 6:30 a.m. for all games, even when Spain is not playing, and breakfast will be served.


Monday, 8 a.m. vs. South Korea

Saturday, 2 p.m. vs. Germany

June 27, 10 a.m. vs. Mexico

Tonic Times Square, 727 Seventh Ave., Midtown Manhattan

Expect a large contingent of Swedes (and Danes) at this centrally located sports bar. During the World Cup, revelers bring their own Scandinavian native food and pastries — while the bar serves a full menu and breakfast for the early morning games. A more low-key venue is the Church of Sweden in Midtown Manhattan. Both a church and a cultural center, the institution, at 5 East 48th St., will show the game against Germany. Coffee and cinnamon buns will be served.


Sunday, 2 p.m. vs. Brazil

Friday, 2 p.m. vs. Serbia

June 27, 2 p.m. vs. Costa Rica

Café Select, 212 Lafayette St., Manhattan

This festive Swiss spot in SoHo keeps Christmas lights crisscrossing its ceiling year-round. They’ll be showing every World Cup match on a TV above the bar and a big screen in back.


Monday, 2 p.m. vs. England

Saturday, 8 a.m. vs. Belgium

June 28, 2 p.m. vs. Panama

Cafe Borbone, 25-07 Steinway St., Astoria, Queens

The section of Steinway Street just south of the Grand Central Parkway is known as Little Egypt, but it’s home to a mix of people from North Africa and the Middle East. Of all of the options on this strip, a go-to spot for Arab football fans is this nondescript Italian cafe; don’t expect to sip your macchiato in peace if a local team is playing. In general, a stroll down Steinway Street will reveal other hookah bars with TVs, some of which might even open early for the World Cup.


Wednesday, 11 a.m. vs. Saudi Arabia

June 25, 10 a.m. vs. Russia

Charrúa, 131 Essex St., Lower East Side, Manhattan

There are only 40 or so seats at this Uruguayan bistro, but during matches, the owners throw open the windows and serve South American street food. Expect a boisterous scrum during Argentina and Brazil matches as well. For early games, Tabaré, a Uruguayan restaurant in Williamsburg, will be serving a breakfast of ham and cheese medialunas, a traditional sweet pastry similar to croissants, with a full menu of traditional fare for later games.