Don’t let the fact that the USA didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup stop you from enjoying the games.
Find your inner expat and cheer for the country you, yourr ancestors or best friends immigrated from, your favorite vacation destination, or the home country of your favorite food, and eat, drink and watch the games live on giant TVs among friends.
Some restaurants are offering FREE shots when the home team scores a goal.
Here’s a handy guide where to watch World Cup games in NYC, in alphabetical order, since that’s the only fair way.
Depending on the location of the home games, it could be an early morning, late night, or failing to return to work after lunch.
Boca Juniors Restaurant, 81-08 Queens Boulevard, Elmhurst, Queens
- June 16 at 9 a.m. vs. Iceland
- June 21 at 2 p.m. vs. Croatia
- June 26 at 2 p.m. vs. Nigeria
You’d be hard-pressed to find a wilder soccer atmosphere — not just for Argentina, but for any nation — than at 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 9467 Corona Avenue (or just walk two blocks in any direction).
The Australian NYC, 20 West 38th St., Midtown Manhattan
- June 16 at 6 a.m. against France
- June 21 at 8 a.m. against Denmark
- June 26 at 10 a.m. against Peru
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 beers will be on offer, as well as a traditional Aussie breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes and baked beans, along with vegemite toast. When Australia scores a goal, vodka shots will passed around.
BXL Zoute, 50 West 22nd St., Manhattan
- June 18 at 11 a.m. vs. Panama
- June 23 at 8 a.m. vs. Tunisia
- June 28 at 2 p.m. vs. England
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 – which pairs well with any of the Belgian beers on tap. If you are stuck in Times Square, Zoute’s sister bar, BXL Café on 43rd Street, is a fine option.
Miss Favela 57 South Fifth Street, Brooklyn
- June 17 at 2 p.m. against Switzerland
- June 22 at 8 a.m. against Costa Rica
- June 27 at 2 p.m. against Serbia
This bistro next to the Williamsburg Bridge opens as early as 6am during the World Cup. 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 (SOB’s), at 204 Varick Street.
D’Antigua 84-16 Northern Boulevard, Jackson Heights, Queens
- June 19 at 8 a.m. against Japan
- June 24 at 2 p.m. against Poland
- June 28 at 10 a.m. against Senegal
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 one of the owners, Diana Narvaez, remembering the last World Cup. “People were screaming, and after, if the game was good, we had a D.J. 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 Street.
Bogotá Latin Bistro, 141 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn
- June 17 at 8 a.m. against Serbia
- June 22 at 8 a.m. against Brazil
- June 27 at 2 p.m. against Switzerland
This Park Slope restaurant has added extra TVs throughout the restaurant — at the bar, in the main and side dining rooms, and on the patio — to welcome the World Cup. They’ll be showing every game, but plan to arrive early for the Latin-American matches (particularly Costa Rica and Colombia).
Cafe Baltazar 43-03 Broadway, Astoria, Queens
- June 16 at 3 p.m. vs. Nigeria
- June 21 at 2 p.m. vs. Argentina
- June 26 at 2 p.m. vs. Iceland
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.
Danish Athletic Club, 725-741 65th St., Sunset Park, Brooklyn
- June 16 at 6 p.m. against Peru
- June 21 at 2 p.m. against Australia
- June 26 at 4 p.m. against France
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.
Jasmine Lounge, 25-50 Steinway St., Long Island City, Queens
- June 15 at 8 a.m. vs. Uruguay
- June 19 at 2 p.m. vs. Russia
- June 25 at 10 a.m. vs. Saudi Arabia
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.
Highbury Pub, 1002 Cortelyou Rd., Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
- June 18 at 2 p.m. vs. Tunisia
- June 24 at 8 a.m. vs. Panama
- June 28 at 2 p.m. vs. Belgium
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.
Le Baratin 26 Greenwich Ave., Manhattan
- June 16 at 6 a.m. against Australia
- June 21 at 11 a.m. against Peru
- June 26 at 10 a.m. against Denmark
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 longstanding Francophone venue in Brooklyn is Bar Tabac, a Boerum Hill bistro that’s open for breakfast every day.
Goethe Institut, 30 Irving Place, Gramercy Park, Manhattan
- June 17 at 11 a.m. vs. Mexico
- June 23 at 2 p.m. vs. Sweden
- June 27 at 10 a.m. vs. South Korea
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, and Black Forest with two locations in Brooklyn.
Bloom’s Tavern, 208 East 58th Street, Manhattan
- June 16 at 9 a.m. vs. Argentina
- June 22 at 11 a.m. vs. Nigeria
- June 26 at 2 p.m. vs. Croatia
When Iceland played in Euro 2016 – making it to the quarterfinals in its first-ever 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 West 40th St., for the Croatia game.
Colbeh, 32 West 39th St., Midtown Manhattan
- June 15 at 11 a.m. against Morocco
- June 20 at 2 p.m. against Spain
- June 25 at 2 p.m. against Portugal
Colbeh might be fancier than most venues on the list, but Iranian-Americans swear by this well-established Persian restaurant, where the games will play on three 42-inch televisions. Serving lamb, beef and chicken kebabs.
- June 19 at 8 a.m. against Colombia
- June 24 at 11 a.m. against Senegal
- June 28 at 10 a.m. against Poland
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 Street.
Cantina Rooftop, 605 W 48th St., Midtown Manhattan
- June 17 at 11 a.m. vs. Germany
- June 23 at 11 a.m. vs. South Korea
- June 27 at 10 a.m. vs. Sweden
This enormous rooftop spot is a safe bet to get a bar stool during a Mexico game, and get some breezes from the Hudson River, too.
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 hard time finding an open seat. Try Juan Bar, at 96-15 Roosevelt Avenue 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 Avenue 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.
Arabesque, 4 East 36th St., Midtown Manhattan
- June 15 at 11 a.m. against Iran
- June 20 at 8 a.m. against Portugal
- June 25 at 2 p.m. against Spain
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.
Buka, 946 Fulton St., Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
- June 16 at 3 p.m. vs. Croatia
- June 22 at 11 a.m. vs. Iceland
- June 26 at 2 p.m. vs. Argentina
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 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 the Barclays Center.
Michelle’s Cocktail Lounge, 2294 Bedford Avenue, Flatbush, Brooklyn
- June 18 at 11 a.m. vs. Belgium
- June 24 at 8 a.m. vs. England
- June 28 at 2 p.m. vs. Tunisia
This long-time 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.
Mancora Restaurant and Bar, 97 First Ave., East Village, Manhattan
- June 16 at noon against Denmark
- June 21 at 11 a.m. against France
- June 26 at 10 a.m. against Australia
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.
853 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- June 19 at 11 a.m. against Senegal
- June 24 at 2 p.m. against Colombia
- June 28 at 10 a.m. against Japan
Christina’s is a Polish diner in Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s longstanding Polish enclave. Count on Christina’s to have pierogies ready and the TV on for every game. There also are many Polish options in Ridgewood and Maspeth in Queens. Try Rogner Café & Lounge in Ridgewood, at 63-59 Forest Avenue.
Raizes Churrascaria, 39 Nassau Ave., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
- June 15 at 2 p.m. against Spain
- June 20 at 8 a.m. against Morocco
- June 25 at 2 p.m. against Iran
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’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 Street.
Russian Baths, 1200 Gravesend Neck Rd., Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
- June 14 at 11 a.m. vs. Saudi Arabia
- June 19 at 2 p.m. vs. Egypt
- June 25 at 10
This is about as close as you’ll get to the culture of the host country without boarding a flight to Moscow. The Russian Baths is 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.
Bai’Dar Cafe and Restaurant, 6810 3rd Ave., Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
- June 14 at 11 a.m. vs. Russia
- June 20 at 11 a.m. vs. Uruguay
- June 25 at 10 a.m. vs. Egypt
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 play every World Cup match and serves a variety of drinks and Middle Eastern delicacies.
The Senegalese Association, 121 St. Nicholas Ave., Harlem, Manhattan
- June 24 at 11 a.m. against Japan
- June 28 at 10 a.m. against Colombia
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, 2375 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.
- June 19 at 11 a.m. against Poland
Kafana, 116 Avenue C, East Village, Manhattan
- June 17 at 8 a.m. against Costa Rica
- June 22 at 2 p.m. against Switzerland
- June 27 at 2 p.m. against Brazil
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.
Kum Gang San, 138-28 Northern Blvd., Flushing, Queens
- June 18 at 8 a.m. vs. Sweden
- June 23 at 11 a.m. vs. Mexico
- June 27 at 10 a.m. vs. Germany.
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.
O Lavrador, 138-40 101 Ave., Jamaica, Queens
- June 15 at 2 p.m. against Portugal
- June 20 at 2 p.m. against Iran
- June 25 at 2 p.m. against Morocco
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 venue, Boqueria will open at 6:30 a.m. for all games, even when Spain is not playing, and breakfast will be served.
Tonic Times Square, 727 Seventh Ave., Midtown Manhattan
- June 18 at 8 a.m. against South Korea
- June 23 at 2 p.m. against Germany
- June 27 at 10 a.m. against Mexico.
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 Street, will show the game against Germany. Coffee and cinnamon buns will be served (no alcoholic beverages in church).
Café Select, 212 Lafayette St., Manhattan
- June 17 at 2 p.m. against Brazil
- June 22 at 2 p.m. against Serbia
- June 27 at 2 p.m. against Costa Rica
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.
Cafe Borbone, 25-07 Steinway St., Astoria, Queens
- June 18 at 2 p.m. vs. England
- June 23 at 8 a.m. vs. Belgium
- June 28 at 2 p.m. vs. Panama
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 throughout 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 flat-screen TVs, some of which might even open early for World Cup games.
Charrúa, 131 Essex St., Lower East Side, Manhattan
- June 15 at 8 a.m. vs. Egypt
- June 20 at 11 a.m. vs. Saudi Arabia
- June 25 at 10 a.m. vs. Russia.
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.
Thanks again to the NY Times for this fabulous list of where to watch World Cup matches.