Where To Watch
In order to prevent traveling barcelonistas from having to miss a game or two while on the road, I thought it a good idea to go ahead and list, as well as possible, all the great places to watch FCB throughout the world. This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but is instead a list of places suggested by myself and the readers who have graciously written me with their suggestions. You can email me your suggestions at info [at] barcelonafootballblog [dot] com.
Cuatros – According to reader Brian, “Soccer is prominently featured on the website and in the establishment (large screen TVs everywhere). Chelsea fans are here for EPL games, but with the University of Texas down the block and its 50,000 students (many from Mexico and Europe), [it’s full for] the Barça and Real matches. [The] atmosphere is passionate, but upscale.” It’s on W24th.
Fado’s Irish Pub – The chain restaurant doesn’t skip Austin and it “fills quickly for big matches to standing room only. Full of Eurosnobs and expat Brits, [it is] expensive, unruly, and fun when we play Manchester United. Find it at 214 W4th St. in downtown Austin.
Phoenix Landing – While technically in Cambridge, this is the only bar in the Boston area that I have found with GolTV. It attracts a small following of La Liga fans, if not Barcelona specifically, but is mainly dedicated to showing EPL games. It’s a Central Square bar, located at 512 Mass. Ave. It has an adequate number of TVs, including one large projection screen.
The White Horse Tavern – Reader Brian has this to say about White Horse: “Pretty much always has GolTV on the back right flat screen. The crowd is not soccer oriented, but if you want a decent Sunday brunch and a few beers/bloody marys while watching the team destroy La Liga, then this is the place to be.” Awesome. Find it at 116 Brighton Ave, Allston.
Buffalo, New York
Wellington Pub – Our fellow Offsider, Ryan, over at the Sevilla Offside suggests this pub for watching The Beautiful Game. Google Maps has the directions, as always. You can check out their bare bones website if you need to know their menu, but what matters is La Liga appears on their big screens. The address, in case you’re Google Maps averse, is 1541 Hertel Ave, Buffalo NY 14216.
Old Town Social – Home of the Chicago Penya, Old Town Social is a sports bar, which brings complexities. More on that later. Meanwhile, I discovered the Chicago Penya courtesy of a Barcelona resident who was visiting Chicago. I have never looked back. Usually the Penya (on Facebook, search for Penya Barcelonista Chicago) is stationed in the platform area, in the southeast corner. Look for the giant banner. Most matches will feature a substantial presence, and expect bigger matches to fill up the area. The Old Town Social food is excellent, from brunches to lunches and other meals. Estrella Damm is the beer of choice with the Penya, which will often have raffles, etc related to the product. The Chicago Penya is heavy on Catalan and Spanish ex-pats. Most matches, I am just about the only native English speaker there, and it’s really cool. The atmosphere is excellent, even given that Old Town Social isn’t a footy bar, like the Globe, Fado or Ginger’s, but more an overall sports bar. Now for the caveat: During big American sports game, if they coincide with a Barça match, it isn’t going to go well for the Penya. The Betis match, for example, was on at the same time as the Bears game. Old Town Social had a full house, and when I arrived at match time there were exactly ZERO other Penya members there. So I went home. Old Town Social is at 455 W. North Ave., in Chicago. (Note: for bit matches such as the Classic, the Penya space will be reservation-only, but room in a booth or Plan B space will always be made for you.)
Ginger’s Ale House – A pub through-and-through, it will show La Liga, but is very dedicated to the EPL and rugby, so perhaps be aware of those schedules before banking on Ginger’s as your place to take in a Barça match. I went there on the coldest day I’ve ever been a part of (-30 in the wind, which was formidable). I had breakfast/brunch there and it was fairly tasty. Google maps will help you find it.
The Globe Pub – A soccer-heavy (though not completely soccer-specific) that has some seriously good beer and all the games you could want. Reader JT writes that it’s got a great atmosphere, especially for big games and that the bar’s extremely friendly owners, Stuart and Jamie, can usually be found wandering around chatting with patrons and even having a few pints with them. Stop in and check out its location here.
Taylors Bar and Grille – Basically a college sports bar that shows soccer. It’s near the University of Oregon campus, so, well, it might just be a college sports bar. It has a large number of screens (10+) and serves food (along with the obvious beer). It’s located at 894 East 13th Avenue. Thanks to reader BA for this one.
BARcelona Tapas – A restaurant dedicated to the traditional feel of a Spanish tapas bar that also features GolTV broadcasts of the games? That sounds…perfect. While not a soccer-specific restaurant/bar, it’s got the Spanish thing down, which is certainly a bonus. Reader llobster suggested this one as the place to go for the authentic feel of a Catalan restaurant when you’re in Indy and now it boasts Barcelona games as well! It is located at 201 N. Delaware and also has Fox Soccer Channel, just in case you want to dabble in the EPL before a Barça match.
Busby’s – The home of Penya Los Angeles, this bar is, according to reader Karo, “in the heart of LA very close to Hollywood Blvd. They have GolTV, ESPN Deportes as well as ESPN2 and Fox Soccer Channel on multiple flat screen HD televisions. The food is also good and reasonably priced and the number of fans keeps getting bigger every weekend.” Sounds like a blast! It’s located here at 5364 Wilshire Blvd.
The Fox and Hounds – This English pub is recommended mainly for Champions League matches by readers Stephanie and Martin, but they show all of the Liga matches as well. Their food is supposed to be good, but go for the tremendous atmosphere. It’s here at 11100 Ventura Blvd.
Barney’s Beanery Burbank: Reader Soto has suggested this offshoot of the Santa Monica-based bar, Barney’s Beanery, as a place for cules in the LA area to take in the matches. It’s located right off the Golden State Highway (5), here via Google Maps.
Morro Bay, CA
Blue Bean Espresso Bar – If you need a pick-me-up while you’re taking in the game, check out reader Alex’s espresso bar. It’s next to the ocean, too, in case you need to throw yourself in (happily) after another awesome Barça goalfest. It’s located at 2700 North Main St.
New York City
Nevada Smiths – “Where Football Is Religion” is the motto of this pure soccer pub in Manhattan. It’s located at 74 Third Ave, between 11th and 12th streets. If you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of getting around Manhattan or New York City in general, feel free to consult OnNYTurf’s subway map. Nevada Smiths is the home of the FC Barcelona NYC Penya and is routinely packed with Barça fans from around the world. Check out the Penya’s website here and Nevada Smiths list of supporters clubs who call it their home here. You can also routinely find me here, having a couple of rounds and watching the boys do their thing.
FloydNY in Brooklyn is a far more relaxed atmosphere, but does boast some nice TVs and bocce for when the game is over. It’s not a real soccer hang out, but it does attract quite a few EPL fans (its the home of a Tottenham supporters club) before La Liga gets going in the afternoons. And did I mention the bocce? They’re really serious about that stuff there. Getting to this slightly out-of-the-way is a little harder than getting to than Nevada Smiths, but could be worth your time if you’re not into raucous crowds. It’s located at 131 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn (on the border of Brooklyn Heights and Carroll Gardens, says their website, which has specific directions).
Downtown Bar and Grill – This little bar has a fantastic beer selection, knowledgeable bartenders, and several TVs with GolTV, FSC, and other sports-centric channels. It’s located at 160 Court St, Brooklyn at the corner of Court and Amity Sts.
Woodwork – Another Brooklyn football-specific bar that has good food and a wide selection of delectable brews. It has become the official home of my very own unofficial Brooklyn Penya, so if you’re in town, give us a heads up and we’ll meet you there.
Oxnard, California (greater LA area)
The Lookout Bar & Grill – Reader ballbeav also suggests this coastal pub as a place to watch the game. It’s located at 2800 Harbor Boulevard.
The Dark Horse: Located in downtown Philly, this pub comes recommended by reader Kyle. It’s at 421 S. 2nd St. It appears to cater more towards the English football fan, but, like many other such bars, is willing to make room for a little La Liga-lovin as well. Thank goodness the “birthplace of American democracy” has multiple choices for footballing entertainment!
San Diego, California
Costa Brava Tapas Bar and Restaurant – “San Diego’s best paella” according to their website — and reader inNYC agrees that it does have good food — they serve up Spanish cuisine (tapas, paella, tortilla española, jamón ibérico) while allowing you to catch the game in a wonderful atmosphere. Thanks to inNYC, Jason, and Martin for this one. Here it is on a map.
Santa Barbara, California
The Press Room – Only two screens in this “British-style” pub as well as no food, but they’ll gladly put on Barcelona’s match, so they can’t be half bad, right? Check it out and thanks to reader BA. You can find out where it is here.
The George and Dragon Pub: “Seattle’s Only Authentic English Pub” has a pretty wide-ranging series of games available every weekend, according to their website. You can check out their TV schedule here. They’re located in the Fremont neighborhood at 206 North 36th Street. Here is a link to where Google Maps places it. Reader Chucho writes, “A British pub with emphasis on the Premier League, but also shows La Liga matches broadcast on GolTV. Good beer selection, and typical British pub fare: greasy, meaty, and on the cheaper side. Several screens, dimly lit, but with a good atmosphere. Often offers a live and delayed broadcast for the work-a-day crowd. Bigger crowds often appear for the delayed matches on weekdays (e.g. Champions League). It’s the most reliable place in Seattle for watching footie.”
St. Louis, Missouri
Amsterdam Tavern – Suggested by a couple of readers, Amsterdam is a full-on soccer bar that, unlike most of St. Louis, is non-smoking indoors. The bar is decked out with plenty of TVs and memorabilia and there’s beer garden out back where higher profile matches are shown on projection screens. The crowd is knowledgeable and the beer list is good (thought it’s mostly bottles) and Barça is always afforded a TV. The CL crowd is a bit light. It’s located at 3175 Morgan Ford Rd.
Walnut Creek, California
Stadium Pub – Thanks to reader IceMel, we learn about this Bay Area pub. It’s not in San Francisco or Oakland or Berkley, but it is there, nonetheless. A review: “…a fine place to catch the game last weekend. They gave me 2 giant screens (of their 30 or so) plenty of audio volume, good food, and painstakingly researched the nether regions of their cable offerings to confirm on phone that GolTV was indeed in the house (Ch 620 BTW).” Rock on. Here it is on the maps from Google.
Elephant and Castle Pub – A British style pub chain that has a lcoation in downtown DC, near all the touristy stuff. Reader Ajani says it’s pretty good, but Summers (below) is better if you can get to it. It’s located here (map) at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20004.
Lucky Bar – A reader suggested bar that has 20+ screens and a solid atmosphere for fans of all leagues. As well as $0.50 taco nights on Mondays! It’s located at 1221 Connecticut Ave NW #1.You can check their website for a full list of games available (and there are plenty).
Summers Restaurant – Located in Arlington, VA, it’s technically outside of Washington, but it comes with a recommendation from reader Ajani: “It’s pretty consistent with coverage of international soccer–a bit of every kind–and it has a schedule on its website listing when they will be showing games. Soccer fans around here love it because it has a lot of coverage, but opinions on the food differ.” There are also detailed directions and a map on the site if you need help getting there. The address is 1520 N. Court House Road, Arlington, Virginia.
Jaleo – Located in Bethesda, MD, this is José Andrés’ restaurant. “The only place to watch Barcelona!” writes reader and head chef James Gee, boiling it down to the most important things in life. The address is 7271 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD.
Champs – Reader Nolan sent this in, claiming “It’s not football-centric and as far as La Liga goes only the Clasico gets priority on the main screen (along with a pretty lively crowd), but there always seems to be a cult following of cules who frequent the bar, so the game will usually get a decent showing. Drinks are affordable too which is always nice.” Here is a small review of it, and a link to Google Maps. It’s located at 3956 Saint Laurent Blvd.