*This article first appeared on DCcool.com, a website dedicated to exposing readers to unique experiences often off the Mall and throughout Washington, DC's diverse neighborhoods.
The four-year wait is over. Kickoff of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is set for June 12. Many sports will surely play the U.S. games, but that won’t be enough for the true football hooligans. Enjoy the action on the pitch, plus an X-Factor at these trusted soccer sanctuaries.
District denizens filled Dupont Circle during the 2010 World Cup for a wild 1-1 draw between U.S. and England. Well, it’s happening again on Thursday, June 26 at noon as the U.S. aims to upset the number two best team overall, Germany – a game rife with compelling storylines like U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann going up against his countrymen and whether the U.S. will escape the Group of Death. Join the masses and catch all the daytime action on one of two 25-foot screens showing the game.
X-Factor: It’s outdoor footy, with a crowd, in America – what more could you ask for?
1 Dupont Circle NW, Washington, DC 20036
Situated in the lively Dupont Circle neighborhood, Lucky Bar is a go-to for DC’s soccer fans. Cheer on the country of your choice with other obsessives while enjoying exclusive World Cup specials, including a Taste of Brazil menu and 16-ounce Budweiser World Cup stadium bottles for just a fiver.
X-Factor: Known for its dedication to REAL football, Lucky Bar will be broadcasting every game of the tournament.
1221 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
This authentic British pub is a local favorite with acclaimed beer cocktails, perfect for downing during a match. Plenty of soccer nuts frequent this bar so you’ll be right at home rocking your favorite national team’s jersey. The Queen Vic combines a friendly atmosphere with locally sourced, fresh food and a wide selection of brews to make it a can’t-miss public house for soccer fans.
X-Factor: Simply put: fish ‘n’ chips. The Queen Vic’s take on the British fave is crispy, flaky and overflowing with fries.
1206 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
A bar hop through Chinatown best include the best pour of Guinness: Fado Irish Pub. The place packs it in with football fans even when the World Cup isn’t on, so imagine the ruckus the big tournament will bring. Whether it’s a cocktail, a pint or a tasty bite you seek, this Irish pub has you covered.
X-Factor: All 64 games of the World Cup will be shown live. Select apps and sammies will be bundled for savings throughout the tourney, and you can enter the $1 Million Bracket Challenge.
808 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Even after the big kick-off party on June 12 (with ESPN980 broadcasting live inside the pub), The Brixton will be a hot spot for World Cup watchers throughout the summer tournament, as every game will be shown there. The English pub located within the buzz-worthy U Street neighborhood will welcome fans of The Three Lions, but don’t be afraid to walk in wearing red, white and blue. Happy Hour will be available during every game (yes, even noon). Peep the pub fare as well, including Welsh Rarebit and Bangers & Mash.
X-Factor: Take a few shots of your own with the creative and interactive shot specials during the games. Things could get a bit … rowdy.
901 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Located just a block away from the Cleveland Park metro station, Nanny O’Briens is a haven for wings lovers, beer drinkers and sports enthusiasts. There are specials featured nightly, along with weekly traditional Irish music sessions (Monday nights) and trivia nights (Tuesdays). They’ll take it to another level for the World Cup: starting June 16, all TVs will be tuned to the games starting at 12 p.m.
X-Factor: You a Guinness guzzler? There’s no better time to be one than at Nanny O’Briens during the World Cup. Each pint purchased during a World Cup game enters you into a raffle to win 2 tickets to the FC Inter Milan vs. Manchester United match at FedEx Field on July 29.
3319 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, DC 20008
If you’re more inclined to eat while you watch soccer than drink, Pinstripes – of bocce, bowling and bistro fame – should be on your list. The Italian eatery is offering up select half-price wood oven flatbreads whenever the U.S. or Italia take the field. U.S. fans can feel good eating an avocado-lined chicken club flatbread, while Italia supporters can nosh on a mozz-kissed fig-prosciutto version.
X-Factor: Any time either the U.S. or Italian teams score a goal, everyone in Pinstripes will score a free scoop of house-made gelato.
1064 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
H Street is a prime spot for some of DC’s finest bars, and Irish Channel is no exception. The owners hail from Cork County, Ireland, like, so they’re well in the know of what an authentic Irish bar should feature. Chow down on Irish Nachos and homemade Guinness sliders while enjoying World Cup matches on any of the pub’s nine flat-screen TVs, all 55 inches or above. The beer list boasts suds from Europe and, of course, the Irish standbys.
X-Factor: Throughout the World Cup, make good on food specials as well as Carlsberg and Heineken specials. The joint will be jumping inside during matches, but you can still peer inside from the outdoor patio if you need some fresh air.
500 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
This lively downtown locale is more than just a bar – it’s got games galore (even ones you’d find in an old arcade), large projector screens and a dance floor, stretched across two levels. And for all World Cup matches, it’s gearing up to keep your cup of Bud Light full for a mere $3. Get in on the Penn Social experience and turn the world’s most popular tournament into your own party.
X-Factor: Play the Penn Social Fantasy Cup Challenge and you can win a litany of prizes, like a keg party for you and your fellow football-loving friends.
801 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
It may be called the Laughing Man Tavern, but it’s all serious when the U.S. takes the pitch at this Downtown DC bar. That’s because this is the official bar of the American Outlaws DC chapter, the U.S. Men’s National Team’s unofficial and rowdy-as-all-get-out fan club. For the duration of the World Cup, the bar will offer $4 Heineken drafts and $3 PBRs.
X-Factor: For any U.S. match, this is the all-American experience. It’s loud. It’s crazy and it even shares a kitchen with Astro Doughnuts next door. The U.S. gets the top billing here, but you can retreat to the basement floor to catch every World Cup match.
1306 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Sushi, ceviche and soccer are the name of the game at Zengo all World Cup long. For every single game, score $5 drink specials like the classic Brazilian cocktails caipirinha and caipiroska, or if you’re into beer, Coronas com cal (with lime).
X-Factor: It’s not just this Richard Sandoval-run restaurant getting into the act – go wild on the same drink specials at Masa 14, Ambar and both El Centro D.F. locations.
781 Seventh Street NW, Chinatown, Washington, DC 20001
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