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Soccer fans cheer in sports bar
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/2_dogs

The best NYC bars to watch the World Cup 2018

Find your tribe at NYC’s best soccer bars and cheer on your team during these World Cup 2018 viewing parties

By Rheanna O’Neil Bellomo

New York is rife with wonderfully dingy dive bars and rowdy sports bars for average weekend game watching. But when it comes to the World Cup, you'll want to stake out space at the city's best soccer bars, where you can toss back a few pints of craft beer, debate about your bracket, and—most importantly—unabashedly cheer on your country's team with fellow fútbol fanatics. To keep up with all 64 matches across Russia, head to the best NYC bars to watch the World Cup 2018.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in NYC

Best NYC bars to watch the World Cup 2018

1. Football Factory at Legends

Bars Sports Bars Midtown West

It's not unusual to hear one of the almost 40 supporters clubs that The Football Factory is home to, sing songs about how much they love head honcho Jack Keane. This soccer institution—a tried-and-true standby for over 20 years—streams 100 live games per week, typically relegating fans to the sprawling basement. But screenings have a tendency to overflow to the rest of the giant bar during grandstand events like the World Cup.

2. Banter

Bars Beer bars Williamsburg

Soccer fans find common ground at this airy saloon that schews sports-bar stereotypes with craft beer and natural light instead of boring swill and dingy quarters. Two dozen taps dispense a balanced rotation of both European classics and American microbrews so you can toast to every goal you see on the big screen. To celebrate the World Cup opening week, Banter will offer drink specials and jersey giveaways.


3. Lansdowne Road

Bars Sports Bars Hell's Kitchen

Named after the famous rugby stadium in Dublin—the oldest in the world!—this Irish pub proudly reps for all New York's sports teams. With 12 flat-screen TVs, 14 beers on tap, and traditonal booze-sopping bites like burgers and wings, it's an ideal spot for any big game day, but World Cup watchers will especially love all of the old-school soccer memorabilia. 

Photograph: Courtesy Natalie Keyssar

4. Nowadays

Bars Beer bars Ridgewood

This expansive indoor-outdoor hangout offers ample space for you and your crew to hunker down with pitchers of local brews and dig into barbecued brisket and jerk chicken while watching the month of World Cup matches. Ten-percent of the bar's profits benefit Robin Hood, which organizes to fight poverty in the city, which means you should order another round — no matter if your team wins or loses.


5. Woodwork

Bars Sports Bars Prospect Heights

This food-forward soccer saloon is in a league of its own. The wood-paneled barroom offers smartly curated drinks, including a 30-deep beer list with unexpected options, and nonstop live and tape-delayed matches on three 50-inch TVs and a 104-inch projection screen. Fútbol fanatics should head here to watch their favorite team's matches during the World Cup, because they'll be streaming every single one. But get there early: the space is sure to fill up quick with fellow soccer heads. 

Smithfield Hall
Photograph: Courtesy Facebook / Smithfield Hall

6. Smithfield Hall

Bars Pubs Chelsea

A self-proclaimed "NYC soccer temple," this brewpub is virtually dedicated entirely to football fanatics. The 11 televisions behind the bar offer views from almost anywhere in the bar, but the best vantage point is by the pull-down projector screen, which spotlights the biggest matchup of the day. Though partial to its Barcelona-supporting club, Smithfield will be streaming World Cup matches all month long. 

Kent Ale House
Photograph: Courtesy Kent Ale House

7. Kent Ale House

Bars Beer bars Williamsburg

Putting “soccer above all,” this Williamsburg watering hole will be opening its doors early for World Cup watchers to knock back a few cold ones and cheer on their favorite teams. The matches will be streamed across 12 flatscreens, but the bar also offers a private room for viewing parties if your crew would rather avoid the rowdy crowd and sprawl out. Whether you win or lose, take a victory lap or self-pity stroll along the waterfront and marvel at sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.

8. Sláinte

Bars Sports Bars Noho

This no-nonsense hangout—with wood booths and stools, exposed-brick walls, flat-screen TVs and 24 constantly-rotating beers on tap—sets the quintessential scene for a full afternoon and evening of World Cup watching. The Irish pub, on New York's former skid row, will also stream the biggest matches on a pull-down projector screen.

Twist & Smash'd Sports
Photograph: Courtesy Twist & Smash'd Sports

9. Twist & Smash’d

Bars Wine bars Astoria

Boasting 60 TVs and almost as many beers, this Astoria watering hole is an ideal place to get your footy fix East of the river. And if the matches bring out a competitive streak in you, you can satiate your bloodthirst with “spirited” games of bocce on the sprawling indoor courts between bites of griddle-smashed burgers and spiral-sliced "twisted" potatoes. 

Clinton Hall
Photograph: Courtesy Clinton Hall

10. Clinton Hall

Bars Beer bars Financial District

This chain of beer halls dotted across the city is hosting a series of viewing parties for World Cup matches at all of its locations. The Williamsburg brewpub will be streaming every single game live, including the early-rising 8am matches. Standard Bavarian fare like spaetzle, soft pretzels and house-made brats will be on offer, plus specials on Jägermeister and buckets of beer during game time.

Jack Demsey's
Photograph: Mike Skigen

11. Jack Demsey’s

Bars Pubs Midtown West

Do you bleed red, white, and blue? This by-the-book Irish pub is the Manhattan home of the American Outlaws, the loud and proud US Soccer supporters club. The bar gets narrow, crowded, and hot, but hey, isn't that how we're bound to watch the World Cup? If you can, snag a seat by a homey stone fireplace and ask for a pitcher so you won't have to fight your way back to the bar.

Roebling Sporting Club
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp / Roebling Sporting Club

12. Roebling Sporting Club

Bars Sports Bars Williamsburg

RSC took over a sweet corner building from semi-dance club K&M. But with the giant projector screen (supported by many smaller flatscreens) and actually interesting takes on pub food (try the sliders adorned with pimento cheese) the bar will be making a strong case to compete with the rest of the soccer joints in Brooklyn. 

Bar 43
Photograph: Courtesy Bar 43 / Facebook

13. Bar 43

Bars Sports Bars Astoria

You’ll be well imbibed at Sunnyside’s soccer mecca, which features 25 taps pouring local and domestic beers and hard ciders, plus a deep roster of liquor and riffs on classic cocktails. The official home in Queens for the Arsenal NYC Supporters Club and a partner to both NY Major League Soccer teams, Bar 43 will be streaming every World Cup match on its whopping 25 flatscreen TVs.

McHale's Pub & Grill
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp / McHale's Pub & Grill

14. McHale’s Pub

Bars Pubs Midtown West

In addition to acting as home for numerous New York supporter clubs, this Irish pub in the heart of Midtown also hosts world-famous FIFA footballers and local MLS talent during live soccer events. Stake out a spot on one of two levels to watch the ongoing matches during the World Cup, when this sports hub is sure to get slammed with soccer fans.

Want more action? Check out NYC’s best sports bars


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