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Where to Score a World Cup Seat in NYC
World Cup fever is about to take over the city, and with 32 nations vying for the trophy, there are plenty of chances to watch your team fight to the top. From the city's best soccer bars to restaurants celebrating their home country's stars in style, here's a roundup of where to take in the tournament all month long.
Baby's All Right: This musical oasis in Williamsburg is playing host to several nations by featuring drink specials like palm-wine spritzers for Nigeria, shandies for England, and caipirinhas for Brazil, in addition to $8 frozen cocktails (718-599-5800).
Bleecker Kitchen & Co./Sweetwater Social: Bartenders here are mixing up a specialty cocktail to represent each country on game day, including a Negroni for Italy and a sangria for Spain. When the United States takes the pitch, guests can enjoy an American beer and shot special for $14, and all drinks are also available at the bar's downstairs lounge, which will have a revised schedule to showcase the games (212-253-7467/212-253-0477).
Boqueria: Supporters of defending champion Spain will feel at home at these tapas joints in SoHo and the Flatiron, where all games will be broadcast via large projection screens beginning at 12 PM daily. The bar will offer its selection of sangrias and Spanish beers, while items like bacon-wrapped dates may have us rooting for "La Furia Roja" at least for a little while (212-255-4160/212-343-4255).
Botequim: Few things grab our attention quite like a World Cup pop-up, which is why this party is a great option if you're looking for something new this time around. For Brazil game days, chef Marco Moreira will prepare suckling pig, while guests can also enjoy grilled shrimp, the Brazilian cheese bread pão de queijo, as well as five dollar shots of cachaça and açai- and guarana-flavored caipirinhas. To start hyping the festivities, Botequim will be handing out free sorbet from 4 PM to 7 PM this Thursday and again during the tournament on June 19 and June 26. There is a $25 entrance fee (212-432-1324).
Campeón: The Flatiron's newest sports bar is one of the city's go-to spots if you plan on cheering for Mexico, though its World Cup drink special - a frozen margarita topped with Dos Equis beer - is meant for everyone. The Arracheras Party platter, full of grilled meats and veggies, is perfect for splitting with fellow fans (212-675-4700).
Casa Lever: This Italian restaurant invites all World Cup fanatics to enjoy a cocktail or bite in its new outdoor seating area, Casa Lever Gardens. Games will be broadcast live throughout the month-long tournament, and guests can select from a list of Italian wines and antipasto (212-888-2700).
Daruma-Ya: Every time Japan or the United States scores a goal, guests at this soba and izakaya house will get a free round of beer. And in case free beer isn't enough to make your day better, daruma good luck dolls will be handed out when Japan wins a game or scores (212-274-0428).
Distilled: Bartenders at this Southern spot are mixing up $9 specialty cachaça cocktails during Team USA games: a classic caipirinha and a drink called Shandy Chope, which blends the spirit with wheat beer and fresh fruit, are a few of the drinks on offer. The special will also be available from the quarterfinals all the way through to the championship game (212-601-9514).
Grape & Vine: Supporters of the Netherlands, England, and Argentina can take advantage of theme cocktails while watching their home team do battle. The drink specials include options like the Stevie G & T, named after English captain Steven Gerrard, or the Clockwork Oranje, a nod to the Dutch national team's nickname The Orangemen (212-300-4525).
Houdini: Bushwick residents can head to this restaurant's outdoor area to catch the World Cup games starting June 12. Though all of the pizza being fired up may inspire you to root for Italy, all fans are welcome (718-456-3770).
The Hudson Bond: With three large projections screens and $7 sangrias, this Midtown West bar is a convenient location for tourists and local office workers in need of a game break. The bar is also offering $15 guacamole and spinach dip appetizers along with $6 select beers for every game (212-719-1200).
Grotta Azzurra: If you're a fan of the Azzurri, Little Italy is your go-to destination, and this restaurant is honoring the team with a blue grotta martini to match their jersey. There are also plenty of Italian beers and limoncello martinis to sip on while viewing the games, which will be playing on screens throughout the place (212-925-8775).
Jones Wood Foundry: This British pub will be cheering on Wayne Rooney and company with $6 Carlsbergs and a weekday BBQ in its garden area. Games will be broadcast in every room throughout the World Cup, with grilled calamari and salmon burgers a few of the lunchtime options available (212-249-2700).
Kent Ale House: A popular hangout for Arsenal football fans throughout the year, Kent Ale House is inviting guests to come out for opening kickoff on June 12. Brooklyn Brewery will be taking over the taps for the evening, while the bar always features a wide assortment of brews from around the world that will put you in the spirit - even if you aren't really sure about all of the rules (347-227-8624).
Louro: Fans of Portugal are encouraged to make David Santos' kitchen their headquarters throughout the tournament. From June 12 through July 13, Santos is offering a special menu with favorites like the belly goat burger, piri piri wings, and daily drink specials. To up the ante, during Portugal's games the bar will pour out free shots of aguardiente for each goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo and company (212-206-0606).
Pop@Pod: The gastropub at the Pod Hotel welcomes all fans to stop in for a championship-caliber lineup of cachaça-based drinks in celebration of Brazil. Additionally, fans of Italy can stop by to watch their team on game days, as the bar offers $7 Peroni drafts and $30 beer buckets (646-277-2900).
Ribalta: This Neapolitan pizza haven is offering a special menu of globally inspired dishes to celebrate the the tournament. Guests can dine on items like guacamole pizza and frankfurters and sauerkraut while taking in matches, which will be displayed on a 16-foot screen (212-777-7781).
Rock Center Café: Kicking things off with an opening day party June 12 at 3 PM, the restaurant's Summer Garden and Bar will welcome guests to take photos with New York Red Bulls stars Eric Alexander and Luis Robles. Prize giveaways will be awarded to guests, bartenders will mix up caipirinhas, and a special menu of globally inspired eats will be available throughout the duration of the games (212-332-7620).
The Standard Biergarten: If you're looking to score a private table with your own TV, this biergarten offers group packages with select unlimited beer and food deals. The hotel hangout will also be whipping up frozen caipirinhas and a Brazilian football sandwich to honor the host nation (212-645-4100).
SushiSamba: Both the Flatiron and West Village locations are celebrating Brazil and Japan with food and drinks specials, plus a special samba performance for the tournament kickoff on June 12. In addition to caipirinhas and batidas, the bar is offering a sake cocktail representing Japan and a coffee-infused bourbon for the United States (212-475-9377/212-691-7885).
Toloache Thompson: Supporters of "El Tri" are invited to spend their lunch, dinner, and every hour in between relaxing at Julian Medina's classy Mexican cantina. The restaurant will offer up its flavored guacamoles and margaritas as well as bringing in televisions and projectors to turn the dining room into a stadiumlike atmosphere (212-420-0600).
Zum Schneider: The official headquarters for Germany's national team, this biergarten is a go-to for authentic German brews and is featuring a special World Cup menu full of Bavarian delicacies. (212-598-1098).