The World Cup kicks off tomorrow, disrupting everyday lives all over the globe. For 90 minutes, viewers will be glued to their TV sets, phones, and work computers, watching the most talented athletes play their hearts out for their countries’ honor. So what if the U.S. men's national soccer team was unable to qualify? The great thing is that Houston is a melting pot of nationalities, and you’d be remiss to not witness such world-class talents like Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Leo Messi take to the pitch. So whether you're planning to take a couple of days off or playing hooky from work, here’s a list of places you can take in the Beautiful Game that are better than your couch.
The Kirby Group and Brian Ching have combined their might to bring us this EaDo spot, mere blocks away from BBVA Stadium. Boasting 100 beer taps, some classic cocktails and a couple of frozen drinks, there will be plenty to imbibe and munch on, as executive chef Brandon Silva has an impressive food menu selection. With a rather unique layout, Pitch 25 has 42 TVs throughout, so there shouldn’t be a bad seat in the house. What other place has an indoor soccer pitch where you can play a bit of footy while on halftime?
Another football favorite that’s a hop-skip away from BBVA is Lucky’s Pub. Having witnessed my share of Champions League Finals, I can report that the space is large enough to accommodate big groups and they have loads beer and grub. You’ll be able to watch every single match, as they’ll be opening as early as 7 a.m.
Staying in EaDo, King’s Court is a lively place. As it’s the headquarters for Real Madrid fans, expect there to be a strong Cristiano Ronaldo presence and the Portugal jerseys to be on full display. They have a British and Indian pub-style cuisine and plenty of TVs with the games on display. If the games leave you feeling some kind of way, head up to the rooftop patio with an impressive view of downtown and zen out.
Come to Midtown, raise a stein, and shout out, as Bar Munich will be showing most of the games. With an impressive lineup of German beers on draft, from Ayinger to Hofbrau to Spaten, you’ll be imbibing on Germany’s best. Don’t miss out on a Spicy Kielbasa Bratwurst basket.
The Phoenix is so committed to the World Cup viewings that they will be opening up 30 minutes before each game, regardless of kick-off times, and yes, there will be 5 a.m. games. All ages will be welcomed, so be sure to grab the kids and bring them along, because the World Cup only happens every four years and 2022 is a long way away. They have a good mix of brews, as they carry local favorites 8th Wonder and Buffalo Bayou and imported brands like Asahi and Chimay—plus their own batch of beers.
Richmond Arms has earned the title of a proper football pub and for years they have been hosting World Cup viewings, even going so far as to paint the patio tables after the different national flags being represented on the world stage. Even if the interior is packed tighter than a can of sardines, Richmond Arms sets up tents in the parking lot to accommodate. Be sure to get there early, as it is a favorite locale of Houstonian soccer fans to flock to. There will be beer specials during every game and breakfast for the early games.
Located in a strip center on Fountain View, adjacent to San Felipe, you won’t have to look long to spot the Ron’s Pub signage or the White Horse Inn graphic. Primarily a Liverpool friendly pub, with plenty of locals, this homey bar will be showing all the games with drink specials.
For those in the Energy Corridor, you won’t have to go far to partake in the World Cup madness. King’s Head Pub, sister bar to Richmond Arms, is a proper English football pub and it will be showing all the games. They will have beer specials and breakfast readily available for the early games.