The 20th FIFA World Cup is off to a exhilirating start. If you’re anything like me, you love the thrill of cheering for your team with other like minded, similarly dressed folks with an equal level of passion for yelling at the screen.
Quite a few local media outlets have created some really great World Cup watching guides such as this one and this one. CBC has even put together a fantastic interactive map of places to watch the FIFA World Cup around Vancouver.
World Cup games can run more than two hours with extra time, the half time interval and/or penalty kicks so you’ll likely get peckish as you watch some of the fittest legs in the world run up and down the pitch.
Staying hydrated and nourished is key to a positive FIFA World Cup watching experience. Below you’ll find my guide on where to watch the Beautiful Game and have a great plate of nosh.
Cheer on team Japan at Kamei Baru while you tuck into a steaming bowl of Oyster Motoyaki, washed down with a cup of Dassai “50” Sake.
Fans of Gli Azzuri or team Italy will be concentrated in the Commercial Drive area. I recommend a steaming americano from Abruzzo’s Cappucino Bar on Commercial Drive or a pizza pie from Red Card Sports Bar on Smithe Street.
Supporters of Latin American teams like Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico can venture out to the Edgewater Casino for Latincouver’s Latin America House. While the food may not be the best (their website notes hot dogs for sale), there will be soup pots full of ambiance and glasses charged with thrifty drinks during the World Cup. Las Margaritas in Kitisilano will be serving up their delicious Mexican cuisine while playing World Cup games.
Fans of African teams like Les Elephants (Ivory Coast), Black Stars (Ghana), Les Fennecs (Algeria), Indomitable Lions (Cameroon) or Super Eagles (Nigeria) head to Harambe on Commerical Drive for some classic East African fare like injera bread with a spicy Doro Wot or Lamb Tibs.
France fans can gather at The Loden Hotel’s Tableau Bar Bistro to watch Les Bleus. Might I recommend their Steak Frites with a glass of Calliope Figure Eight Red Syrah/Merlot.
If you’re planning on cheering for the home team Brazil then head to the WestEnd for some rodizio at Rio Brazilian Steak House on Denman. Don’t forget to bring a napkin to keep the resulting meat sweats under control.
Spain fans can get cozy at the Sardine Can while they eat some Diablos Espagnoles (ham cheese stuffed prunes wrapped in ham) or Mejillones con chorizo (mussels with chorizo, celery and smoked paprika) while watching La Furia Roja.
To watch Cristiano Ronaldo and his entourage great looking Portuguese brethren head to Joe’s Cafe or the Portuguese Club of Vancouver on Commercial Drive for the hottest darn espresso drinks in East Van.
On Tuesdays, team Germany games enjoy Schnitzel specials, meanwhile on Thursday game days tuck into a Bavarian Pork Hock or Haxen at the Vancouver Alpen Club.
Remember to call ahead before you go out for World Cup fun – some places are charging cover and/or can reserve a table.
What’s your favourite World Cup watching meal? Tell us where you watch the cup and what’s great on the menu in the comments section below.