The Best Places in Houston to Watch the FIFA World Cup
Houston was recently ousted from its top spot as the most ethnically diverse city in America by some strange credit monitoring website. But it’s still the most diverse REAL city in the US, making it arguably the best place for watching the World Cup amongst rowdy die-hard futbol fans. With that infallible, completely sound logic behind us, we scouted the streets to find Houston’s choicest futbol watching spots, from dedicated soccer bars packed with real deal fans to boozy watering holes with winning screen setups. For a little more help, we tapped retired US men’s national team member and current FOX World Cup broadcaster, Stu Holden, and asked for his No. 1 pick, which you'll find below.
Remember: the action begins on June 14 and the first matches run through the 28th, with games kicking off around 8am. We’ll also be updating this list with new events, parties, and drink specials as the tournament progresses, so be sure to check back.
Stu's Pick! An outdoor beer garden and an indoor soccer field (this place is huge!)
Just a block away from BBVA Compass Stadium -- home of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash -- this fresh-faced beer park is Houston’s first soccer bar and restaurant, and it has big plans of becoming the city’s ultimate soccer fan destination. A lineup of 20 strategically placed TVs will broadcast matches from around the world, allowing you to fully immerse yourself into the World Cup experience. Fuel your fandom with the bar’s extensive beer list (there are 100 taps at both the indoor and outdoor bars) and classic pub fare, and hit the outdoor beer garden when you need to catch a breather and some live music. Follow its Facebook page for updates.
Solid neighborhood brewpub that’ll be playing every. Single. Game.
This longtime soccer hub will be showing all of the games, regardless of kick-off times. Every screen in the neighborhood watering hole will be dedicated to the World Cup (19 LEDs and five projectors, to be exact), with additional screen setups for the patio and parking lot to accommodate a rowdy crowd. Expect drink promotions throughout the tourney, plus blackboard specials and pub eats from the year-round menu --- think sausage rolls, fully loaded nachos, and a lineup of burgers (including the meatless “impossible” kind).
A devoted English soccer bar with a sprawling food menu to boot
This old-school English pub houses soccer devotees for matches season-round, and the brouhaha only gets more explosive throughout the World Cup. Cozy up with a pint (there are over 80 beers on tap) and some best-in-class pub grub, from hot wings and banger sandwiches to fish & chips and cottage pie. While the television setup may be a little more dated than it is at Houston’s bright and shiny sports bars, the fan community is as diverse, authentic, and passionate as it gets. The bar puts out a weekly sports schedule with games and showtimes, so check it out and show up early if you want a prime seat.
A giant German bar loaded with a ton of German beers and brats
Doors will open early throughout the Cup (the bar is also known to do so for all league matches even before the tournament). You can bet on a “das boot” while cheering on your favorite team at this Old World bier emporium, where the soccer fanship is in full effect. At Bar Munich, emotions will run high, Hofbräu will be guzzled, brats will be ‘krauted, and friendships -- or rivalries -- will be made. Follow Facebook for updates.
Neighborhood pub that always roots for Liverpool
The beers are cold and the darts are sharp at this dark and gritty strip center sports bar, which has been keeping locals quenched since 1987. The nostalgic pub was the original home to the Liverpool Fan Club, showing all games and championships throughout the year. High-end Scotches and pints of Guinness are the drinks of choice here. And if you were wondering who the crowd favors... it’s England. Keep that in mind.
A sprawling bar with TVs all around and an extensive beer menu
Open at 11am on weekdays and 10:30am on weekends, this beer-forward concept (specifically the Midtown iteration) is the champ when it comes to watching sports. It’s impossible to have a bad view there, thanks to side-by-side flat screens that cover pretty much every square inch of the indoor and covered outdoor space. You’ll want to take your eyes away from the game just long enough to make your way through the 365+ beer vault and solid roster of pub grub -- the buttery pretzel sticks and accompanying queso are the play here. Check out their weekly happy hour from 2-7pm.
A large English pub that can handle a lot of people, but doesn’t have a lot of TVs
Although they lack a ton of TVs, this friendly public house keeps a steady crowd year-round (belly up to the bar and it’s likely you’ll meet some Brits drinking and chatting). With the excitement surrounding the World Cup, you should anticipate the bar to go from its usual cozy vibe to downright titillating. Settle into a red leather booth and complete the game experience with proper bangers and mash and a perfectly poured pint.
A vast space with English and Indian food, a rooftop patio, and TVs all over
Clutch City gained another clutch soccer watching spot with the introduction of this cool British pub, located just steps away from BBVA Compass Stadium. (The bar is a meeting place for El Batallon, a group of Dynamo fanatics.) There are plenty of screens, including a huge 15-footer inside, and the rooftop patio boasts great views of downtown Houston when you need some fresh air. Nibble on British and Indian, from chicken tikka and samosa to masala sliders and traditional English breakfast. Daily specials include Texas Thursdays, Soccer Saturdays, and Sunday Fundays with all-day breakfast.
A large Irish pub boasting Houston’s biggest, baddest 21-foot HDTV
Aside from the giant screen, there are over 50 other HDTVs in the main area, plus projection screens in every room. The massive sports bar is also within walking distance to Dynamo Stadium, Minute Maid Park, and the Toyota Center, so it brings in enthusiastic sports fans on the reg. Quench your thirst with a selection of 250+ beers, available by the pint, can, bottle, bucket, and 32-ounce “smitcher.” Classic bar bites range from nachos and wings to burgers and 16-inch pizzas.
A little more upscale, but still unpretentious and fun (with a huge patio)
This stylish sports bar boasts a smart 40-tap library of rotating craft brews (many of which are local), plus ample dog-friendly patio space, a solid screen setup, boozy adult beverages, and elevated bar food like H-town Fries complete with Saint Arnold beer-braised short rib. You can check out its upcoming sports schedule online. Sidenote: Food and drink specials haven’t been released yet, but the bar is known to offer promotions like $3 tacos and $15-$20 buckets.
The go-to spot for the Argentine squad to post up and watch the matches
It’s a safe bet that there will be a soccer match on playing whenever it is you dine at this Argentinian cafe, but the fandom gets extra boisterous around World Cup season. Snag a seat in front of the big screen and enjoy the tournament with a side of choripan, milanesa, or toasted sandwiches de miga.
A Houston institution (with five locations) and a gigantic menu
This cult favorite sports bar (with a cult favorite one pound burger) has locations scattered around the city, and each will be showcasing the World Cup over their extensive TV spread. Enjoy the games with a side of hot wings, fish tacos, or those aforementioned massive burgers topped with everything from green chili and bacon to ‘shrooms and onion rings. No specials have been announced yet, but the bar confirmed it will be running beer, food, and cocktail specials for every game.
ESPN Houston’s official watch location
All World Cup matches will be shown live at this rowdy Irish sports bar, which is the official watch location for ESPN Houston and The Official LFC Supporters Club, aka the Houston Reds. Expect a big screen with sound, live broadcasts of ESPN’s Soccer Matters, boisterous fans, and plenty of good food and drink -- think beer buckets, Guinness burgers, and Irish nachos.
A huge pub with an outdoor area and specials seven days a week
With a fan-covered outdoor patio and smartly configured, 80+ deep flat screen setup, you can expect this game day haven to put on a wild weekend show during the World Cup. Saturdays and Sundays offer brunch eats and a Build-Your-Own Bloody Bar, plus specials like $5 Absolute Mules, $4 Absolut Bloody Mary’s, $5 sangria, and $10 mimosa or poinsettia carafes (10:30am to 3pm on Saturday, all day on Sunday). Also, the HDTVs are numbered, so you can request a specific game on any screen and the staff will do their best to accommodate you. Doors open at 3pm on weekdays and 10:30am on Saturday and Sunday.
Wanna watch for a good cause? Join the Dynamo for one of their watch parties all over town.
Catch all the action from Russia at the Houston Dynamo World Cup watch parties, taking place at bars around Houston. Each party will also act as a opportunity help fill Diesel’s Toy Chest, a toy collection for kids undergoing cancer treatments in area hospitals.
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