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.
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.
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.
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.