Where to watch the World Cup

Local restaurants, bars where you can catch a match


Soccer's biggest event, the World Cup, has returned after its regular four-year hiatus. Fans from all over the globe will be flocking to Brazil to view matches for the next month.

For those of us stuck here in Palo Alto and the surrounding Mid-Peninsula, there are still plenty of places to catch the action. Depending on who you are, how you're feeling and where you might be over the course of the World Cup, the ideal viewing venue will likely shift for you from day to day. You might just want to kick off your shoes and watch from home. But for those wanting to belly up to the bar, enjoy a game at a restaurant, or even sneak some peeks from the office, we've got you covered. The only question is, what kind of fan are you?

The Foodie Fan: Microwaved and or hastily reheated bar food is unacceptable for you. You need to satisfy your sophisticated palate while overlooking the pitch. Well then, you might consider Steins Beer Garden in Mountain View. With several screens, plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, a vast selection of craft beers, innovative cocktails and food fit to satisfy the most epicurean tastes, this is the place for the foodie fan. And, for early risers, Steins will be opening early, at 8:30 a.m., to ensure no patrons will miss a minute of the action. 895 Villa St., Mountain View | 650-963-9568

Soccer Hooligan: Grab the scarf of your favorite club and head down to St. Stephens Green. With its dim lighting, dark wood and brick walls, this traditional public house-style bar is the perfect place to do what you do best: drink Boddingtons and cheer at the top of your lungs. The pub will be showing matches on 11 high-definition screens and serving up plenty of bar bites. So grab a pint and a basket of fish and chips, mate. 223 Castro St., Mountain View | 650-964-9151

The Party Fan/Bandwagon Jumper: When you heard the World Cup was coming back this summer, you got excited -- not because you care about soccer, or any sport for that matter. It's just another excuse to get together with friends and throw some back. For a boisterous, community atmosphere, check out The Old Pro in downtown Palo Alto. It's big, the beer and booze flow easily and those who do understand the game will let you know when you're supposed to cheer. So, cheers! 541 Ramona St., Palo Alto | 650-326-1446

The Low Key Fan: If you enjoy going out, but you don't want to be bothered by the heaving masses, then 4141 El Camino might be for you. Driving past the place, you'd never know what it was if it weren't for the understated bottle and mug of beer, painted on the outside of the building, right above three block letters: B-A-R. This no-nonsense establishment will set you up with a quality brew and leave you alone to enjoy the game, and your drink, in peace. 4141 El Camino, Palo Alto | 650-800-7691

The Cocktail Connoisseur: For those soccer fans who prefer watering holes with "mixologists" behind the bar, consider the Palo Alto Grill. With a small bar and lounge area and two TVs, this is not the place to get wild. It is, however, a go-to for some quality craft cocktails in Palo Alto (try their Moscow mule with house-made ginger syrup and lime). They also have an extensive wine list, high-end eats (it's a great spot for foodie fans, too) and some happy-hour deals to boot. 140 University Ave., Palo Alto | 650-321-3514

Lounging Around: Want the best of both worlds? The Living Room in Redwood City provides many of the trappings and advantages of a night in, while simultaneously providing customers access to a full bar, craft beer and a great wine selection. Multiple plush couches, plenty of TVs, board games, a fire place and a policy that not only allows, but encourages, bringing your own snacks, this concept bar is right for those who would prefer to stay in but feel compelled to go out. 2048 Broadway, Redwood City | 650-365-7666

Burgers and (Soccer) Balls: If you're the kind of soccer fan who craves big burgers and big beers, then Tied House in Mountain View might be your place. With two regular weekday happy hours (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m.), plus $5 off pitchers during every match of the World Cup, your wallet will catch a break, even as you fill your stomach with any one of their seven original microbrews, garlic fries and the "Brewers Burger," a behemoth topped with griddled pastrami and Swiss cheese. 954 Villa St., Mountain View | 650-965-2739

South of the Border: The World Cup is being held in South America this year. As such, it might make sense to enjoy some Latin flavor while taking in a match. If this sounds like your kind of fiesta, check out downtown Palo Alto's Tacolicious. The restaurant serves a variety of signature tacos and snacks as well as imported beer and cocktails featuring tequila and mezcal -- including margaritas, of course. 632 Emerson St., Palo Alto | 650-838-0500

Stuck At Work: Stuck at work for most of the Cup? Well, we won't advocate drinking at your desk, but if you need to take a break from the drudgery and you are a cable subscriber with access to ESPN, you may also have access to the World Cup on your computer. The sports network is streaming all 64 matches on computers, mobile devices, video game systems and box-top sets, like Apple TV and Roku. Contact your cable provider or go to espn.go.com/watchespn for more information.

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Like this comment
Posted by Dennis
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm

No cable needed at espn3.com. Look for entries without a key symbol.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2014 at 9:04 am

The World Cup is a big sporting event for all the world. We have many people in Palo Alto who are more interested in the World Cup than any other sporting event. Many will want to visit downtown sports venues to catch the matches. This means that people will want to park for more than 2 hours. Putting up places where people can pay to park per hour is just as important as where people can watch.

Like this comment
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2014 at 3:13 pm

@resident - there will be a lot less parking in general in Downtown Palo Alto tomorrow, its closed for World Music Day!

Like this comment
Posted by Sidd
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm

John's Cafe (at Lytton and Waverly) is showing every match. Great place to watch matches, especially earlier in the day. Fantastic sandwiches and a decent beer selection. I had a great time watching England-Italy there this afternoon.

Like this comment
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

As usual, Antonio's Nuthouse is ignored by the Palo Alto Weekly. Lots of TVs and great Mexican food. Also, Firehouse Brewery in East Palo Alto by The Rack is a great sports bar with delicious food. We went to the Old Pro for the first France game, and the food was terrible. It was the second time I got bad food there, so it's really off my list. Old Pro, in its original location, had wonderful good, and was a destination lunch spot for me even without a game. We saw the second France match at Rose and Crown, and that was quite pleasant on the week day. We were able to sit right in front of a HUGE TV.

Like this comment
Posted by Jürgen
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2014 at 11:23 pm

I watched a game in the Old Pro, great atmosphere and good beer. Will be there again!

Like this comment
Posted by Intransigent
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 30, 2014 at 9:55 am

Considering that Zuckerberg and Kevin Skelly used to spend a lot of time there, I am surprised that Antonio's Nut House was not mentioned.

But actually, the Old Pro is probably the best place of all for viewing the games.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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