There's no shortage of places to catch live sport in London, but where can you be guaranteed the best views, the best atmosphere and the best deals while you watch the World Cup? Here's our pick of the best bars in London to watch the football this summer.
Where to watch the World Cup in central London
As the name suggests, this smart Fitzrovia bar has a thing for anti-social hours, hence why they’ll be screening every single match of the tournament (even the 2am BST kick-off between Japan and Ivory Coast). Big fixtures will be shown on the 15ft screen in the downstairs bar, with the rest on five 50-inch screens. Themed food and beer will accompany the action.
Venue says: “Soho is our first restaurant-style home with seated areas throughout and ze basement offers rest-bite from the buzz of Old Compton Street.”
No prizes for guessing which team will be getting the biggest cheers at this cheekily playful sausage emporium. Head down to the basement to watch the action on a huge projector screen, or there’s a 48-incher in the main upstairs area. Bear in mind that space is limited, and table bookings during the tournament require a £10 deposit.
Matches at this football-loving stalwart will be shown across six screens, two of which we’re reliably informed are ‘absolutely huge’. All games, including the 11pm kick-offs are scheduled to be shown, with happy hours and special international beers being called in for the occasion. Expect the three foosball tables to be busy throughout the month.
Canada may have only made it to the World Cup finals on one occasion (back in 1986, when they lost all three games and scored not a single goal), but expect no lack of atmosphere at this Canuck-run Covent Garden bar. They’ll be showing every single game of the tournament on four big screens – assuming it doesn’t clash with a big ice hockey game.
Regularly packed to bursting point whenever there’s a big tournament on, Australia’s presence in the World Cup means this charmingly classless antipodean bar could be tough to get into (at least until the Socceroos inevitably get knocked out). Still, no matter how many bodies are crammed in, 20 screens and three projectors mean you shouldn’t struggle for a view of the action.
Where to watch the World Cup in north London
For one month only, this Finsbury Park rugger pub gives spherical balls a chance, with World Cup matches being shown across three screens. It’s one for casual sports fans rather than die-hard football nuts, with an impressive garden to escape to if the chanting gets too much and 11pm kick-offs being shown at weekends only.
With the big bars of Upper Street likely to overflow during big fixtures, this small, no-nonsense Islington boozer is a good option for anyone looking to catch the action in relative peace. There are three screens in the bar itself, plus one in the small outdoor area, which will be showing all games, including 11pm kick-offs.
Venue says: “From Drizzy to Dizzee, we play you the best in hip hop, trap and grime every Wednesday at Proud Camden.”
You’re in no danger of missing the tournament’s crucial moments at this Camden bar, with every game of the tournament being shown on 11 screens in the bar and a further two on the outdoor terrace. There’s also the option to privately hire one of the venue’s seven stables, with beer bucket and burger deals to take advantage of.
Sick of getting an elbow in the face every time the ball hits the back of the net? Try this roomy Crouch Hill pub, which will be showing every game of the World Cup on six screens and one projector. Its spaciousness does, however, mean that it’s extremely popular, so head down early if you want to bag a seat for the England games.
As well as showing every match of the World Cup on four screens in the downstairs bar, this Belsize Park pub will be laying on something special whenever England are playing. The upstairs bar has been kitted out with a projector, surround sound and air conditioning – which is just as well considering watching Roy Hodgson’s men can often be a perspiration-inducing experience.
Where to watch the World Cup in south London
In testament to the theory that bigger is always better, this former music hall is rolling out a huge 40m-square HD projector screen, along with six 50-inch TVs and and two 7ft screens, so that fans can catch every glorious supersized moment of the beautiful game. Be warned that NO games will be screened on Saturday June 21.
If you’re going to watch the World Cup you might as well do it properly. At The Alexandra they’re pulling out all the stops – buckets of ice-cold beer, sweepstake competitions, shot girls and burger vendors will all be doing the rounds, so you can keep your eyes fixed on the five screens and two projectors, which will be showing every game of the tournament.
A firm favourite for Earlsfield locals, this no-nonsense pub knows exactly what its patrons want. During the World Cup, it'll be screening matches throughout the week, plus the late-night games at weekends. And with nine screens to choose from, there's no danger of tall people ruining the game for you.
There's only one sport Wimbledonians go bonkers for, and it doesn't involve Wayne Rooney doing slide tackles. Still, football's very much on the menu at this popular pub, where all the action (barring some late-night kick-offs) will be shown on three 6ft projector screens.
Where to watch the World Cup in east London
Expect to see every triumphant fist-pump and feigned grimace of pain in glorious detail on this footie-themed bar’s four whopping 80-inch screens (there’s a pair of 60-inchers if that sounds a tad horrifying). They’ll be showing every game of the tournament, with deals on Brahma and Budweiser, plus £2 bottles of Sagres between 4pm-7pm.
Being the only pub in Newham with a 24-hour licence has its perks. For one thing it means being able to screen every single game of the World Cup – even the 2am kick-off between Japan and Ivory Coast. Screen-wise, there are two big TVs and a pair of projectors.
If you delight in seeing every bead of sweat on the goalie’s forehead as he prepares to block a penalty kick, you’ll be pleased to hear that this sprawling Shoreditch bar is packing nine HD projectors, on which it’s set to broadcast every match of the tournament. The venue’s lounge area can be booked for up to ten people for £40 a head, which includes food and four beers each.
With live DJs and a barbecue on the terrace, this Shoredtich venue looks set to take on the vibe of a Rio house party for the duration of the tournament. It’s showing every match of the tournament on five big TVs and two 12-foot projector screens, with food and drink packages for high rollers.
Where to watch the World Cup in west London
Venue says: “Every Thursday night come enjoy all-you-can-eat sausage night from 5pm to 9.30pm. £15pp including a pint of Kaltenberg.”
We’re still wincing from England’s crippling 1-4 defeat by Germany last time around, but just to show there’s no love lost between rivals, this German pub will be screening every game on its three 42-inch TVs and two massive projector screens. Throughout the tournament, promotions will run on Jagermeister and the bar's 86 different beers. For Germany and England games it’s ticket entry only – and they’ve sold out on every match for the last ten years, so be sure to book ahead.
Typically a haven for those who like spending Sunday afternoons doing not very much at all, The Masons Arms will be livening things up a notch for the World Cup with DJs getting the room pumped before screening every game. Newly refurbished, the pub boasts a projector in the lounge, two screens in the main bar, plus one in the garden (should you need a breather from all the excitement inside).
Everyone knows that you can’t beat the warm reception of a genuine Irish pub and with every game of the World Cup being shown across its seven screens and projector, The Corrib Rest looks to be no exception. Late kick-offs will be shown and a special World Cup menu is promised for the duration of the tournament.
The Piano Bar Soho
A reservations-only cocktail lounge in Soho that presents live music every night. There are four rooms to enjoy: the bar, snug, library and screening room. Cocktails range from the 'Bramble' (Bombay Saphire and blackberries) to the 'Twinkle' (Stolichnaya vodka, elderflower and prosecco) with the more standard Long Island ice tea, highball and old fashioned in between.
Venue says: “The Piano Bar Soho's daytime Jazz Jam, Saturday July 22, 2-8pm. Free entry, visit our website to register for tickets and more info.”