Soccer’s World Cup happens only once every 4 years. It’s being held in this year of 2022, and runs November 20 through December 18. As it features 32 different nations’ teams, Los Angeles, with its tremendous multicultural diversity, is a fabulous and unique place to partake in the event. It’s much fun and culturally exciting to watch a particular team’s game in an ethnic venue corresponding to that country and its cuisine, where the local expats/nationals of that country gather year-round.
Here is a list of eateries at which the games may be viewed on live TV. All are in reasonable areas, and are comfortable for both women and men. Recommended to arrive 1 hour early to get parking, a seat and your food order in; sometimes even earlier, as noted. These events can get crowded. As the event is being held in Qatar, the timezone differential renders the games to have start times between 2am and 11am here in SoCal. Understandably some venues might not be open super-early. You should check with them first. Menus will lean toward the breakfast & lunch selections.
Pragmatically it’s wise to see the lower-ranked teams right away, as teams get eliminated by December 2 upon which it will be over for them. Odds are the highest-ranked teams (i.e. Argentina, Brazil, England, France) will endure longer into the schedule. But, you never know. Here’s a link to the schedule; to open fully you may have to click on “related matches;” and make sure timezone is converted to Pacific: https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/en/match-centre/match/17/255711/285063/400128082?competitionEntryId=17
ARGENTINA: The Mercado Buenos Aires, 7540 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys is a daylit, casual, and reasonable-priced diner-cum-market that absolutely loves its soccer.
Buenos Aires Grill, 8856 Corbin Ave., Northridge is an artistic and even romantic restaurant with sangria and big plates of grilled meats+mashed potatoes. Unfortunately the service can be lousy, and wait times for your order long. On a weekday, arrive 30 minutes ahead to get a good choice of table; on a weekend, 2 hours. Reservations a good idea, if they’re taking them.
Grand Casino, 3826 Main St., Culver City, quaint décor and with bakery in addition to its kitchen/grill.
The Argentine expats who will be at the above venues are very serious about their soccer team and seeking the championship.
AUSTRALIA: No strictly Aussie venue in LA that is a full sit-down bar/restaurant; but any of the Britpubs (see England) draw the Oz element. In particular, Market Tavern’s wonderful proprietor, Gary Twinn, was raised partly in Australia (and partly in the UK); so this may be your best bet of the pubs for Oz!
FWIW, the U.S.-Australian Football League recently held a watch party for its championship at Busby’s West in Santa Monica (3110 Santa Monica Blvd.), though that’s not a Britpub…nor are the players Aussies (they’re Americans, playing Aussie-rules soccer)…
BELGIUM: It is perplexing that neither of the local Belgian venues will change to open early for customers/expats to watch the Belgium games. The best you can do is for 11am games on a Thursday thru Sunday, possibly miss the first hour of the game and be waiting at the door of Brussels Bistro before noon, which is when they open. Brussels Bistro, 222 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach features SoCal’s most full-on Belgique menu (escargot, gratin dauphinois, bitterballen, croquettes, salade endive, meatballs liegeoise, mussels Hoegaarden, boeuf bourguignon, crepes, and spaghetti carbonara made with beef stock – must be a Belgian thing), and more Belgian brews than you can shake a stein at. Environ is Euro-modern, painted almost totally black, with mostly middle-aged crowd.
The other venue is Little Bear in DTLA, but they don’t open till 4pm, so n/a.
BRAZIL: Roma Specialty Pizza, 10826 Venice Blvd., Culver City is fairly spacious and sunlit, with big soccer mural on the wall. $40 entry charge gets you a seat and an all-you-can-eat situation. They say no reservations, yet somehow their first event was sold out a day in advance. Therefore, inquire to buy an advance ticket. Most seating is in a tableless bloc of about 80 folding chairs facing the game’s movie-size screen. Early-morning games will have a breakfast item buffet; 11am will include some pizzas with adventurous Brazilian toppings, such as catupiry, frango, green peas, hardcooked eggs, beef carne seca, malagueta peppers, bland calabrese sausage, and beef stroganoff with potato sticks (yes, you read correctly, that is a topping).
Café Brasil, 11736 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City is colorful, tropical, casual and charming. This is not a “churrasco” joint at all. Rather, it has feijoada and carefully-seasoned combo plates; grilled sandwiches; and fruity drinkables. A sweet-touch avo-type cooks and oversees. Arrive at least 90 minutes pre-gametime, and once inside, stake your turf near the exit or washroom. BUT: expect bad management. They cannot handle the big crowd, and do some incredibly stupid things in that regard. If they’re not open well prior to gametime, and you are not inside and seated with your order placed an hour before kickoff, bypass this entirely and head to Roma Specialty Pizza.
CAMEROON: No strictly Cameroonian venue in LA anymore since Mama D’s in East LA closed within the year. But, a pan-African place such as Sumptuous African Restaurant, 1170 S. La Brea in Inglewood and 1909 Atlantic Ave. in Long Beach, would likely be supportive.
CANADA: No known Canadian venue in LA/OC. Hit a local sportsbar instead, such as Barney’s Beanery in WeHo, Burbank, Pasadena, Westwood, or Santa Monica.
COSTA RICA: Costa Rica Restaurant, 2500 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim is a slightly dark (in a nightclubby sort of way) multi-room community epicenter/dancefloor/party hole with nautical/fisherman’s theme. Arrive at least 2 hours before gametime; definitely 3 if on the weekend. If you’re squeamish or claustrophobic you should try to get seated near an exit, as this place gets fanatically crowded. For the 2014 Cup there was a $5 cash-only cover charge. No big deal, for the only such Costa Rican experience in LA/OC. Plenty of free parking in the lot out front for earlybirds. Very reasonable prices on its Spanish language-only menu, and the food is quite tasty. Almost all selections are “gallo pinto” oriented (rice & small beans cooked together, yummy and not overspiced).
CROATIA: Croatian American Hall, 631 W. 9th St., San Pedro will be screening their games and possibly serving food; bring cash. No lot, so allow time to find street parking. Open to all; no membership required.
St. Anthony’s Croatian Church, 712 N. Grand Ave. in Chinatown shows games (except 2am) in its big parish hall; figure on a crowd of 200. They’ll have edibles on hand of breakfast burritos and palacinke (Croatian crepes). Beware the foodline can be extremely slow. Beer/wine/soda bar on site which hopefully will be open. Free parking lots for earlybirds.
DENMARK: Am heartbroken that Olson’s Scandinavian Café & Deli of 5660 Pico Blvd. closed last year, after 70 years in LA at the same location. It was a terrific place to watch the World Cup in the past. There is no Danish venue in LA/OC to replace it. Might as well drive up to Solvang…or hit a local sportsbar, such as 33 Taps, 3725 Sunset Blvd. in LA/SilverLake.
ECUADOR: Another heartbreak: SilverLake’s beauteous El Caserio is no more; went down in the pandemic. That leaves us with:
Donde Angie, 14828 Valley Blvd., La Puente; Google has flagged it “temporarily closed,” so call and check first.
Cancun Ole will be operating out of the proprietor’s house for the games. Address is 4927 Maplewood Ave. LA, and is such an oddball setup that it’s best you check their Facebook page each game for location updates: Cancun Ole Ecuadorian Restaurant
ENGLAND: Ye Olde Kings Head, 116 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica a half block away from the beach is the most established and well-known gathering spot for limey expats in LA. On a weekday, arrive at least 90 minutes prior to gametime if you want a seat/table in the bar area, or 30 minutes prior for the restaurant area. If on a weekend, come 3 hours ahead. Otherwise it’s just standing. Even standing room will get filled to capacity prior to gametime. Expect a minimum $20 food/drink purchase required per seated table. Bigscreens have been specially set up for the event. Park in nearby City pay-garages, such as the one on 2nd Street, for about $12.
Cat & Fiddle, 742 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood is indoor/outdoor and rockingly quaint but a bit small at its new location. Get there maybe 2 hours early (and even earlier for games past the initial stage). Beware of tow-away on Highland; best to park on a sidestreet. Gastropub kitchen which goes past (albeit includes) the usual Brit fare.
New venue Market Tavern, at The Original Farmers Market (3rd St. & Fairfax, LA), features a classic rock & roll vibe.
Fox & Hounds, 11100 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; requires $5 advance tix for England (and some other) games, paid in cash-only at the venue, limit 6 tix per buyer.
Lucky Baldwin’s, 17 S. Raymond Ave., Old Pasadena. Arrive 90 minutes early. Parking in the city garage 2 doors south. Xlnt fish & chips. Indoor/outdoor. Bigscreens are in place. They will be open for die-hards for some of the 2am and 5am games, with a $10 mandatory coffee-and-donuts charge for those. Well worth it!
The Robin Hood, 13640 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks is lower-key and has a nice dining room separate from the bar; it has the most comfortable seating of the pubs. Mostly middle-aged/senior crowd. No cover charge or minimum purchase requirements; arrive 30 minutes ahead. Free parking lots around the back.
Note: The Robin Hood was deemed overall THE BEST World Cup soccer venue of all of them, i.e. all venues whatsoever, in the 2018 Cup’s version of this post.
Remember, the English invented the game of soccer!
FRANCE: Atmosphere Mar Vista, 12034 Venice Blvd., LA/Mar Vista, French-owned, is a very Euro-boho café/wine sippery with conforming menu. Advance arrival not necessary. Free parking around the back alley entrance.
Sweet Lily Bakery Cafe, 3315 Cahuenga Blvd. W., LA, is go-go-go for the World Cup and France!
GERMANY: The Red Lion Tavern, 2366 Glendale Blvd., LA/SilverLake will be PACKED, and sometimes can involve a 2-hour advance wait in line on the sidewalk outside if you want to get in (let alone get a table). Despite the hurdles it’s still the place to be for Team Germany! It will even be open for all teams’ 2am games.
Wirtshaus, 345 N. La Brea, LA, is about modern German sausages & beers, and has both indoors/outdoors. Draws a younger crowd. The millennials will be busy posting live Instagram and Facebook reels of themselves & their friends during the event.
Rasselbock German Kitchen & Beer Garden, 3817 Grand View Blvd. @ Venice Blvd., LA/Mar Vista, and 4020 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach, a modern and recent establishment, opening early for the 5am Germany and USA matches. Reservations mandatory if you want a seat, and reserve for an hour before matchtime recommended. Place will get packed (and loud) with a young crowd, i.e. 20s & 30s, standing room only.
Alpine Village’s restaurant = yet another heartbreak, having closed in Spring 2020. It was a soulful and big-crowd venue to watch the Cup’s Germany games, filling with 700 attendees on 2 floors and serving Old World German food. Sadly no more, but the building still stands so hopefully a brave new proprietor will step in and reopen the restaurant, keeping its Euro theme.
GHANA: Airport Royal Cuisine, 4956 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 10B, Inglewood.
IRAN: Cabaret Tehran, 16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino gives you a buffet with its $45 cover charge (can be upgraded to $55 which will get you three extra buffet specialties). Although it’s a glamorous, dark red nightclub, everyone dresses casual (tee shirts, torn cutoffs etc.) for this particular event. Parking with Cabaret validation about $5 in the mini-mall’s subterranean garage. They are screening ALL teams’ World Cup games, live; for Team Iran matches, reservations are practically mandatory, as those games will be a full house. Phone 818 985-5800.
Shamshiri has locations in Glendale (122 W. Stocker St.), West LA (1712 Westwood Blvd.) and Northridge (19249 Roscoe Blvd.). Of them, Northridge is probably the overall best for soccer-watching, insofar as energy, a crowd, and multiple monitors.
JAPAN: Miyako Hybrid Hotel, 21381 S. Western Ave. (enter on 213th St.), Torrance opens its bar/restaurant the Ise-Shima at 7am; the bar has crystal-clear sports TVs. Japanese and American breakfast buffets available, then lunch menu. The hotel may possibly also set up a bigscreen for Japan games viewing in a large conference room near the lobby. Nice all-ages crowd. This is a posh 4-star facility, state of the art, brightly lit and clean as a whistle. Free parking out front.
In Little Tokyo: Count on the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel to show the Japan games on the TV in the center of its lobby. Not a dining facility, but noted because it’s open 24/7 and therefore 2am & 5am games; so brown bag a bento box – ha! 120 S. Los Angeles St.
More Little Tokyo: Many other eateries onsite which don’t open till mid-morning will have the Japan 11am games on, such as: Far Bar, 347 E. 1st St. in the building with the distinctive vintage vertical “Far East Chop Suey” neon sign outside. It’s got at least 8 TVs (and dozens of millennials). Las Galas, 103 Japanese Village Plaza Mall #103/105, has a more mixed-age crowd.
Nearby low-cost parking for Little Tokyo is in the City lot a half-block north of E. 1st St. on Judge John Aiso St. (which is the top of San Pedro Ave.).
KOREA: Biergarten, 206 N. Western Ave. in K-town is a nouveau sportsbar with lively menu of gastropub fusion delectables such as bratwursts with kimchi on the side. Darkened windowless environ with full bar and millennials-heavy base. Opening early for 5am & 7am Korea games. Try to get a reservation for these; might be futile to try to get in at gametime without one. (323) 466-4860
Jug Jug Sportsbar, 11908 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, usually doesn’t open till 1pm, however online their site states state they are “showing the World Cup.”
MEXICO: Guelaguetza, 3014 W. Olympic Blvd., LA, is a large, lovely, colorful, partly-skylit hub of tremendous Oaxacan cuisine. Their moles are world renowned. James Beard award winner for best Oaxacan food in the USA. You will not be disappointed. Several big TVs and full bar. Opening early for Mexico games; arrive at least 2 hours before gametime. Park on the street; their lot might be closed off for their VIPs.
Other venues: This is Los Angeles. There will be a Mexican restaurant every few blocks, screening Team Mexico games! Too many to list, but very easy for you to find. Have fun!
MOROCCO: No Moroccan venues (i.e. Babouch, Koutoubia) are open in the morning during gametimes. You might want to hit a neutral sportsbar such as The Village Idiot at 7383 Melrose Ave., Hollywood.
NETHERLANDS/HOLLAND: Springbok Bar & Grill, 16153 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys is actually South African. However, Dutch fans come here for their games, probably because of Holland’s big part in South Africa’s history. Wear orange!
POLAND: Polka, 4112 Verdugo Rd. in LA/Eagle Rock has gotten inconsistent in service compared to what it used to be, but has spunkily rebuilt some of its original homey/artsy Polska décor. For daytime-open sit-down it’s the only Polish show in town. They intend to screen Poland’s 11am games and say to check back on their social media for updates.
PORTUGAL: Natas, Ventura Blvd., 13317 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks is a tiled work of art (you’ll think you are in a palace in Lisbon), full menu, and owner/chef top-rate. On top of that it has an exquisite bakery in the lobby. But this is a TINY place with only one monitor, just 9 little tables, and miniscule standing room. Arrive 30 minutes before gametime to get a seat.
QATAR: No known Qatar venue in LA. For a reasonable facsimile you can try the soccer-friendly Sahara Falafel at 590 S. Brookhurst St. in Anaheim, or Aloosh down in Westminster at 7032 Hazard Ave. #2; or instead hit a local sportsbar such as The Derby Room at Glen Arden Social Club, 357 Arden Ave., Glendale.
SAUDI ARABIA: No strictly Saudi venue in LA that’s open in the mornings; see Qatar entry.
SENEGAL: No strictly Senegalese venue in L.A., but a pan-African restaurant such as Nkechi African Café, 2717 W. Manchester Ave, Inglewood would likely be supportive.
SERBIA: Metro Café, 131 W. Grand Ave., El Segundo.
SPAIN: Spain Restaurant, 1866 Glendale Blvd., LA/Echo Park offers Spanish cuisine (and LA’s best sangria); and despite the Argentine ethnicity of its proprietors, they will be showing the Spain games.
SWITZERLAND: No Swiss venues in LA anymore. Euro Caffe, 427 N. Canon Dr. #111, Beverly Hills, is Italian but may draw Swiss fans since Italy is not in the Cup this time. Easiest parking is in city lot a few doors north. Or, try a local sportsbar such as Tom’s Watch Bar at LA Live in DTLA.
TUNISIA: Hybrid Tunisian/Moroccan eatery Moun of Tunis in Hollywood unfortunately is not open in the morning when the games are on. Try a neutral sportsbar, such as The Crest, 1625 Cabrillo Ave., Torrance.
URUGUAY: No venue in LA. Instead try a neutral sportsbar such as Legends in Long Beach, 5236 2nd St.
U.S.A.: GO TEAM U.S.A.!!! Head to your favorite all-American, stars & stripes, red-white-&-blue sportsbar to watch our guys kick the world’s butts, such as The Derby Room, 2201 N. White Ave., Pomona, at the edge of the Fairplex grounds.
WALES: Britpubs draw the Welsh element; see England entry above for venues.
Joxer Daly’s, 11168 Washington Blvd., Culver City is an American sportsbar with Irish overtones that draws crowds for soccer games year-round involving teams from the Brit Isles. They will be opening early for 5am Wales games.
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