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Where to watch the World Cup?

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Looking for suggestions about where to watch the world cup in Boston/Cambridge. Looking for places that open up for the 10am games and places with good bar food.

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  1. Atwoods in Cambridge would be a good option (great place to watch a game and solid food). I would also check with Muqueca to see if they will be showing the Brazil and Portugal matches, and they have delicious food. The Banshee in Dorchester would also be another solid option.

    There are also other great places to watch the games with some beers, but the food is unremarkable.

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    Muqueca
    1010 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

    1. Both Penguin Pizza and The Mission in Brigham Circle open at 7am for the matches.

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      Penguin Pizza
      735 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

      1. Phoenix Landing in Cambridge

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        Phoenix Landing
        512 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. The Field in Central Sq. is a great place to watch games.

          5 Replies
          1. re: verka

            I like watching at the Field too, but their food, not so much.

            1. re: verka

              so do they have a big screen to watch the games on? im looking for a place for me and some friends to watch it in boston but it cant be a pub or sports bar. We're all 18. im looking for something like a fanzone in europe

              1. re: lando10

                The Field is a pub. I don't know Fanzone, but a Brazilian restaurant (like Cafe Belo) or a cafe in the North End would probably be your best bet.

                I'm not sure, but I think during the day a lot of pubs around here will let you in and not card you unless you try to order alcohol.

                1. re: lando10

                  you wouldn't find a fanzone over here in the US like the ones they have in Europe. Sadly, the US just is not that into soccer in comparison to europe or south america.

                  I was over at Mcgreevy's on boyleston for the England-USA game and it was pretty crazy over there. You have to get in early, however you do have to be 21 to enter

                  1. re: lando10

                    I think most TGIMcFriday's type sports bars would let you in. Tavern in the Square, Game On, maybe Beerworks? Just don't try to order any beer.

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                    Game On
                    100 Terminal St, Charlestown, MA 02129

                2. The Druid opens at 11am daily and will be opening at 7am for select games.

                  1. I'm not sure how early they are open, but the Waterfront Cafe in the North End is a great place to watch the world cup.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Pegmeister

                      LIR

                    2. The Banshee in Dorchester all games and HUGE TV's!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Tonythe Chef

                        the banshee has the three dee tee vee, and the bar food ain't bad for the price either...

                      2. Last time 'round I very much enjoyed the intense fans at Phoenix Landing and The Field, they were also very flexible regarding early morning games. I also had fun going to the North End for some of the Italy matches, wound up at second-tier venues there however as it was so mobbed, and also going to Harvard Square - which had some fun, and interesting, and very global crowds.

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                        Phoenix Landing
                        512 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                        1. I'd love to hear some reviews of World Cup gathering places from this cup.

                          Italian oriented:

                          In the North End Caffe Paradiso should show all games and has a very mixed crowd (including French, English, supporters, etc). In past years they showed Italian games and other popular games in their basement room, but I wouldn't consider that unless they upgraded the TVs. But that usually doesn't fill when they do open it. They certainly have cordials and I think whiskey, so might be a full license, but no bar food.

                          I am curious if Caffe Graffiti will show the games in their new location since they aren't much of a money maker. But probably at least in the cafe part and maybe it will spill over to the dining room for Italy games.

                          Cafe Dello Sport isn't my favorite but they should show all of the games. And in Medford Caffe Toscano should have most.

                          Irish oriented (keep in mind that Ireland didn't qualify for the 2010 cup)

                          Phoenix Landing is an Irish bar, but also has a large mixed crowd. Bar food there is a mixed bag at best.

                          Banshee likely showing all the games, other Dorchester Ave joints should show most if they are crowded. Food is definitely better than Phoenix.

                          Brazilian:

                          Midwest Grill, Cambridge: This gets a nice mixed crowd (intellectuals, gringos, samba dancers) and they often have fixed-price food+game+1 drink for Brazilian games second-round on. Food is ok. For non-brazilian games, watch in their bar and they have some inexpensive meat+yuca plates (porcoes).

                          Samy's Patio on Revere Beach: This is a big Brazilian destination for weekend games, but will show weekday games too. They don't usually serve food, but you can bring your own from wherever you like or even get delivery so quality is up to you.

                          Any Brazilian bar: Cafe Belo, Brazilian Country, Samba, PicanhaĊ› should have large screens. Some self-serve restaurants do too: Oliveira's, Pampas. These and Samys can get rowdier than Midwest Grill so keep that in mind. Look for "porcoes" for Brazilian bar food (frango a passarinho, fried sausage and yuca, carne de sol (dried beef).

                          Club Lido is often rented out of the final game and will be crowded if Brazil makes it, if they don't....

                          The Paddock should probably show both Brazilian and Portugal games. The bars at Portugalia (nicer) and the Sunset are options for Portugal games, although social clubs would be more animated and the Paddock has a nicer TV.

                          Central American:

                          Mexico is the only country which qualified from Central America, but others will watch and Chelsea is probably your best bet. El Chalateco and a non-descript bar up the street from it showed the eliminatories from several other countries, I suspect they will show the games. There are several other bars around there (a pool hall on the side street behind el chalan). Most bars will tend to have a male only crowd, Chalateco might be a bit better.

                          The French Library usually provides a pointer to some French supporter gathering point for the cup.

                          The 10am openings aren't going to be a big deal overall, many places opened for regulars during the Seoul Cup much much earlier despite local cities not approving early opening hours. Some bars might not be opening, but you will still have a good selection.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: itaunas

                            Some England supporters are making McGreevy's on Boylston Street their home.

                            It's not big but The Druid seems very congenial to footy, and seemed a reliable host for the Champions League final the other week. They also have a Colonel Gadaffi-style map of western Europe with Great Britain missing, entitled something like "An Irish view of European football". (Although pedantically, that exclusion also omits the footballing nations of Scotland and Wales, though England is the likely intended target.)

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                            McGreevy's
                            911 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115

                            1. re: chickendhansak

                              "Some England supporters are making McGreevy's on Boylston Street their home."

                              Thanks for this info. I always like to be around my people. When are you going? ;-)

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                              McGreevy's
                              911 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115

                              1. re: yumyum

                                I don't think I'll be there on Saturday. :)

                            2. re: itaunas

                              Thanks for the (typically) great list Itaunas!

                              I saw bunches of Argentina fans at Phoenix Landing last time FWIW - but the food is nothing to recommend as you note.

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                              Phoenix Landing
                              512 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                              1. re: itaunas

                                itaunas, last time I looked Honduras was also in Central America.

                                1. re: hargo

                                  Thanks for the correction hargo, I am pretty good with geography but can always use some error checking. I should have remembered to look for Honduras because it was one of their qualifying games which was to be shown when El Chalateco was setting up TV for it.

                                  BTW French Library is showing the games themselves, although I recall in the past there was some bar where French supporters tended to congregate. The North End gets a decent group of Argentine supporters too.

                                  I was also wondering about Harvard Square. Shay's owner certainly would probably be a England fan, but he certainly hasn't shown any English League games and I don't recall him doing anything for the cup in the past. Grafton St is probably the best bet, perhaps Redline (ick) might do them, Russell House seems too focused on dining... but there certainly is a demand both from academics and manual workers in the area to keep up on the games. Maybe Shay's will bring both the games and their cornish pasties (not a fan of the carrot though) and some sausage rolls for YumYum (baked goods only).

                                  On the topic of bar food I should note that in the past I was a fan of Samba's "porcoes" out of all the Brazilian bars, but that is faint praise as its something Brazilian bars/restaurants in the area don't do some well. There are a few things from the bar menu at Cafe Brazil (frango a passarinho, etc) which are pretty good, but that is so small that it would be hard to get a seat for Brazilian games so I didn't even mention it.

                                  For some other Brazilian ideas elsewhere. In metrowest Tropical Cafe in Marlborough (good for porcoes & lanches and open early/late, but no alcohol) and Brazzille in Framingham, plus the upstairs room at Red Pepper will probably show some games. Didn't Cafe Belo there have to reduce their capacity (forego the upstairs room) to get their license back? Is Zona Sul Churrascaria still open in Quincy. Taboca's in Lowell is now WeSamba which should be an option.

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                                  Cafe Brazil
                                  421 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                                  Red Pepper
                                  122 White St, Haverhill, MA 01830

                                  1. re: itaunas

                                    "some sausage rolls for YumYum" ... Oh if only I could have some sausage rolls with my footie and a pint of bitter I'd be in heaven.

                                    1. re: itaunas

                                      :)

                                  2. re: itaunas

                                    How are the TV's set up at Midwest Grill for the matches? I wanted to get a reservation for Sundays match vs The Ivory Coast. Can you see the TV's from anywhere in the dining area?

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                                    Midwest Grill
                                    1124 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                    1. re: Matt H

                                      Matt I am not in the area so I can't tell you exactly about what they are doing this year. In past years they showed all the games in the bar (medium-sized TVs, small bar in Cambridge, both slightly larger in Saugus) regardless of the team. For Brazilian games they put a large TV in the middle of the middle dining room in Cambridge, with a fixed-price buffet and plenty of room around the edges to jump/cheer/dance/etc. The seating was mostly in rows towards the TV, with some tables. For the most part last time they didn't offer the full rodizio, but the Sunday game they might and will probalby have both dining rooms open. I would give them a call, if you can't get enough answers leave your number and ask for Gilmar (one of the owners) to call you. For Sunday's game its an afternoon game which is good, but for folks considering a more "ethnic" Brazilian venue its worth exercising a bit of care since Sundays are when more fights tend to break out at clubs and such (due to crowds and people drinking all day at a churrasco then going out). Sammy's Patio in particular will probably be very crowded.

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                                      Sammy's Patio
                                      63 Revere Beach Blvd, Revere, MA 02151

                                  3. What about Shay's in the square?

                                    1. As an avid football fan who has lived in other parts of the country, I must say we are blessed with a great footie scene here in Boston. Great lists everyone.

                                      1. The Lansdowne Pub is showing every single match, including all the 7am starts, and has a pretty good big-screen HD setup. They'll be serving breakfast on weekdays, brunch on weekends with it.

                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                        1. Does anybody know if any bars in Harvard Square will show the early (7:30 am) games? (in particular, the Denmark-Netherlands game on the 14th).

                                          1. I was at the Porter Square Tavern in the Square for the England vs. USA match on Saturday. This is not a destination that gets much praise on Chowhound generally, but as a venue for a WC match where it was always going to be busy, I thought it was pretty good. Capacious, good atmosphere and a LOT of TVs.

                                            From a food and drink perspective they had good, hard-working staff who paid the maximum possible attention to a big crowd, and the food was decent in my case (chicken parm sandwich) and for others, who ordered the ahi tuna sandwich, it seems like it was pretty good. The beer situation seems to have improved since I was last there and they had some nicely kept craft beers like the BBC Steel Rail EPA.

                                            All in all I was impressed. Clearly when a place is rammed you hope for attentive service and we got it.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: chickendhansak

                                              And at the Porter Square Tavern in the Square again for the England vs. Germany debacle, but at least I got to sample the Tavern's brunch buffet. At 16.99 with coffee and soft drinks included, it was not too cheap, but at least having got there early it was not picked over, and was eatable, though I wouldn't exactly go running to have it again. Certainly better breakfast food can be had for less money and with less temptation to over-eat. Some good beer available and pleasant staff.

                                              McGreevy's, on the other hand, had bad beer and bad food. For what is obviously a sports bar they were surprisingly out of glasses quite quickly (when not even approaching capacity) and began serving in fairly random plastics, some of which were considerably smaller than the 16oz glasses, yet charging full price. When I pointed out that my beer was a bit small they did serve me another one by reusing my empty glass, but that attempt to charge me full price for about 8oz of beer sealed it for me as a waste of space.

                                              Tavern in the Square 2 - 0 McGreevy's (Final Score)

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                                              McGreevy's
                                              911 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02115

                                            2. The Squealing Pig in Mission Hill (right off Huntington) is showing all games. Great neighborhood atmosphere. Solid, curated beer list and a diverse crowd that knows sport. And good toasties and fries to snack on for the 90 minutes.

                                              134 Smith Street Boston 02120
                                              (617) 566-6651

                                              1. In bed so I can fall asleep. Soooooooo booooorrrrring.