June 2nd, 2010

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Where to Watch the World Cup in SF


Sure, you could watch the World Cup matches on your laptop. But that'd be like signing up to bring the half-time snacks for youth sports, and instead of the traditional oranges, you'd be bringing prunes.

The real scene for the World's Super Bowl will be at a few local spots. Just be sure to know to root for… or root against if you're at an Irish pub.

La Victoria (all Latin American teams; 2937 24th St, Mission; One HD TV)
Enjoy the mellifluous “GOOOOOOLLLLLL” mixed with the wonderful scent of pan dulce. What better spot to watch the kickoff match featuring México vs the host country, South Africa? As they say, this place is so authentic, “you'll think twice about drinking the water.” Note: BYOB.

Irelands32 (Whoever is playing England; 3920 Geary Blvd; Inner Richmond)
It's always a lovely day for a Guinness… and to root against the Brits. Ireland32 will pour a free shot for every goal scored against England. Much better than dumping tea in the Boston harbor.

Steps of Rome (Italy, duh; 348 Columbus Ave, North Beach)
Head over to one the most authentic Italian restaurant in San Francisco, the pantheon of places to cheer for the defending champs. You'll appreciate the extra ounce in a macchiato (3oz vs espressos topping out at 2oz) along with the sage wisdom of il dolce far niente.

Maggie McGarry's (Sportsmanship; 1353 Grant St; North Beach)
Watch the match with some lads. They're pouring $3 Trumer Pils throughout the Cup. They’ll also be hosting a free book signing, the Indispensable Guide to Soccer & Geopolitics–World Cup 2010, after the USA vs England match on June 12th.

Horatius (Spain, Portugal; 350 Kansas St; Portrero Hill)
Wake up with the first round of matches each morning. They're swinging open their “barn cinema” doors at 4:30am featuring free Ritual Roasters coffee. A cock-a-doodle-duplex.

Aces (Spain, Mexico, USA; Tenderloin)
Aces has opened at 6am every single day for the past five years with happy hour prices all day long. A renegade of bars… perhaps, there'll be a few folks rooting for North Korea here.

Kezar Pub (The Magic Spray; 770 Stanyan St; Upper Haight)
This is one of the iconic pubs, not just in San Francisco, but on this side of the pond, to watch football. Think of the $10 entry fee as admission to an exclusive club of English Premier League fanatics. The pub will be opening up for all the 4:30am matches… with free admission. So take the $10 you might have spent to get into the premier league matches and order up some wings instead. Mmmm, wingies for breakfast.

Elephant & Castle Pub (England; 424 Clay St; Financial District)
They put the 'U' in “favourite”… and also in both “neigbourhood” and “pub.” For those already downtown, turn your coffee break into a two hour fish and chip break-fest.

Pig & Whistle (England; 2801 Geary Blvd; Richmond)
Opening at 7am each morning, they're broadcasting the full slate of games with the 4:30am matches replayed at 9am. See a life-size Wayne Rooney projected on their massive 100” screen.

O'Neills Irish Pub (Whoever is Playing France; 747 3rd St; SOMA)
For every goal scored against France, O'Neills will buy you a pint on the house. Faites-vous des amis prompts à vous censurer.

A few other options to watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup…
Republic (USA; 2401 Lombard St; Marina) Hit this American gastropub to root on the Red, White and Blue.
Silver Clouds (Germany; 1994 Lombard St; Marina) No word on whether karaoke will be running simultaneously.
Mercury Lounge (Brazil et al; 1582 Folsom St; SOMA) Arrive before 7am and your first beer is a dollar (or a free coffee).
The Chieftan (Corner Kicks; 198 5th St.; SOMA) All games live… even the 4:30am kickoffs.
McKenzie's Bar (Passing Combinations; 5320 Geary Blvd; Outer Richmond) What better spot to watch guys take a dive than the ultimate dive bar?
La Rocca's Corner (Extra Time; 957 Columbus Ave; North Beach) This rugby joint will masquerade as a soccer bar for at least one month.
Danny Coyle's (Tottenham Hotspurs; 668 Haight St., Lower Haight) Another great venue showing every game live in HD.
The Dubliner (Social Media; 3838 24th St; Noe Valley) 14 plasma televisions… 12 more than their number of tweets.
Abbey Tavern (Failte Sports; 4100 Geary St.; Richmond) The official home of the Brothers Across the Ocean Celtic Supporters Club.
Edingburg Castle Pub (Three Lions; 950 Geary St; Tenderloin) All games replayed nightly at 6pm.
Mad Dog in the Fog (England; 530 Haight St; Lower Haight) The World Cup will replace their trivia night up on the marquee.

Oh… you already got a rowdy bunch of friends, then look into booking a front row seat to the matches at Barbacco (220 California St.; Financial District), which is opening up for a weekend lunch for their first time ever. Call Sophie at 415.955.0663 to reserve a spot.

For the families, the City of San Francisco will be broadcasting select matches at City Hall on a 13-by-18-foot hydraulically elevated video screen. They will project live most of the 11:30am first round matches along with the Round of 16 through the Finals. The biggest screen to watch a World Cup match will be the centerfield scoreboard at AT&T Park for the USA vs England match on June 12th. Admission is free.

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