The options for engaging with this year’s World Cup, which kicks off Nov. 20 in Qatar, are more diverse than they’ve ever been. In addition to watching the games on TV and streaming them on personal devices, there are also plans for officially sanctioned metaverse games and collectible NFTs.
But there’s nothing quite like experiencing an exciting match surrounded by a rambunctious crowd of day-drinking soccer fanatics. And given that the festivities won't be happening locally until 2026, we’ve compiled a list of local bars and pubs where you can watch the beautiful game with a gang of fellow fútbol fans.
According to its website, the Doors, Janis Joplin, Grace Slick and the Chieftains all played in previous incarnations of the Irish pub Maggie McGarry’s, which has been the location of iconic spots such as The Coffee Gallery and The Lost and Found Saloon. The bar opens at 5 a.m. for game days—before it’s even legal to pour a pint, according to state law—so it’s the perfect place for World Cup fans looking to catch games that start before the sun rises.
With nine HD LCD televisions and an HD projector for those early morning games, Danny Coyle’s has you covered for watching all the action. The Irish bar in the Lower Haight promises “always good times” with its friendly staff and counts Manchester United fans among its regulars. The bar also hosts a raucous trivia night on Wednesdays, if you want to add a side of knowledge to your sports.
A true saloon, McTeague’s oozes old-world vibes and already has its Qatar 2022 page up with information about which World Cup games it will screen. An ideal choice for those who like stronger spirits alongside their frothy pints, McTeague’s has a full menu of elevated cocktails alongside drafts. It also has one of the most generous happy hours in town—from noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.
This friendly Irish sports bar, where “you are a stranger but once,” has tons of HDTVs and the best soda bread in town—not to mention all the other delicious choices that make the menu more than your standard pub grub. With its expansive outdoor seating, full bar and spacious pool table room, it might just become your new favorite place to take in a big game.
You can reserve your own table to watch the game at the SFAC, a place that unapologetically advertises itself as the city’s best sports bar. Expect crowds and people drinking beers out of bathtubs (yes, really) at this lively bar that has a full, quality food menu. With a whopping 28 screens as well as pool and shuffleboard, it has everything to keep you in the center of the action.
This English pub has a wide selection of hard-to-find beers on tap and classic pub favorites. The roomy booths in the brick-lined bar are a great place to catch the Cup—and they also have trivia nights on Thursdays.
Find tasty Irish food—and particularly delicious wings—along with all kinds of sports fans at this friendly Irish sports bar that makes you feel like you’re part of the family. This is a true locals’ bar with a warm community feel, great tap list and lots of Liverpool fans. With 20 screens, there are plenty of vantage points.
A popular hangout for the University of San Francisco crowd, this spacious bar has a laid-back atmosphere, complete with pool tables. The fish and chips are stellar, and its Guinness is perfectly poured. While you can’t catch the earliest games here, the pub will be screening all the 11 a.m. matches.
This Mission hangout is more restaurant than pub, but don't let that throw you—they'll have all the games on the big screens during the taquería's opening hours. Roam anywhere around the Mission—in particular along Mission Street and 24th Street—and you're likely to find lots of spots filled with futból fans watching the action.
Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the incorrect neighborhood for McTeague's.
Julie Zigoris can be reached at email@example.com