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The United States is currently divided into two parts: Those who care desperately about the World Cup and those who steadfastly ignore any and all World Cup coverage.
Like most of the rest of the world, I am in the former group. Here are 9 great places to catch as many games as possible, score some good food and find some other distractions, if you’re not glued to the screen at all times.
World Cup Beer Garden; Portland, OR
This amazing pop-up beer garden—in the town that calls itself Soccer City USA—is offering a rotating selection of local beers (from breweries like Burnside, Coalition and Occidental) as well as cocktails. Meals are coming from hometown favorites Fried Egg I’m In Love, and the Bus Stop Café, which prepares pub food, like fish and chips in a double-decker bus (they’ll even have a TV playing the games on the bus’s top level—awesome).
Fontainebleau Miami Beach; Miami
The Fontainebleau’s World Cup coverage extends from its four bars and restaurants—you can watch outside at the Arkadia pool’s Glow Bar; or check out the games and a DJ and samba dancers at La Côte, where they’ll be specializing in cachaça cocktails. There’s also World Cup–themed spa specials and kids’ activities, including designing a team soccer ball and jerseys.
Botequim; New York City
Brazilian chef Marco Moreira has launched a pop-up at his Union Square restaurant in honor of the World Cup, starting, unsurprisingly, with the first game, Brazil vs. Croatia. The menu includes specialties like roast suckling pig and feijoada, plus cocktails like the Soccer Spritzer, a mix of Aperol, cachaça, Moscato and lime; or the açai caipirinha, plus house-infused cachaça for sipping. They games will be broadcast on multiple screens; when they’re not, you can watch Brazilian music videos.
Adesso; Oakland, CA
This Bay Area charcuterie specialist is introducing a special menu for the World Cup (sausage sandwiches and $4 Linden Brewery beers), and will be open to accommodate World Cup viewing hours. Though the regular menu will be available, including 17 kinds of salumi and pizza, they’ll also have cocktails geared toward specific games.
Four Seasons; Seattle
Seattle is another huge US soccer city, and the local Four Seasons is paying attention. It’s featuring beers from competing countries, as well as caipirinhas and Brazilian–inspired street food. You can check out games at ART Restaurant (which is featuring a Brazilian TV Tray that includes the sausage and kale soup caldo verde and churrasco steak sandwiches), or at Bar 84 at the outdoor pool deck.
Lucky Baldwins Pub; Pasadena, CA
This old school–style British pub has a couple of locations. The original has 63 beers on tap (!) from across the country and around the world; you can keep up with their latest tapped beer on Twitter. They open every day at 8—the early World Cup games start at 9 PDT—at which time they serve traditional English and American breakfasts. And beer. At lunchtime, you can move on to bangers and mash, and fish and chips.
Iron City; Birmingham, AL
This massive music venue is being converted into Birmingham’s World Cup Headquarters for the next month. Every match is shown on both a 240-square-foot projector screen and in the next-door Iron City Grill, so you can snack on bar food like braised pork shoulder, cheese-bacon grits, and of course, fried chicken with mashed potatoes and braised greens. They’ve also got a good craft beer selection, not to mention bourbon.
Brewhouse Café; Atlanta
This Atlanta sports bar has been the best place to watch the World Cup since it opened 1998. It’s especially popular with English Premier League fans (expect the England games to be packed) but they’ll show every game on their multiple TVs. The Brewhouse menu features 10 types of wings from teriyaki to Hot and Insane, plus assorted burgers (beef, chicken, veggie or bean) that you can get with my personal favorite tater tots. They have local microbrews on tap, plus a good selection of European brews, including Belgian beers.
Bar Fogo; New York City
This South American steak house—which has branches around the country and in Brazil—is hosting a party for every World Cup game and they’ve got five versions of the caipirinha to help the celebration. They’re serving special appetizers like sirloin sliders with chimichurri aioli, as well as a sampling of their 16 grilled meats.