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World Cup South Africa

The Best Places to Watch in SF

South Africa may be roughly 10,248 miles away from California, but for one amazing month the country will be the focus of the world's attention. The FIFA World Cup runs from June 11th through July 11th, and thousands of fans across San Francisco will have their eyes glued to television sets. Granted these eyes will most likely be bleary as, with the time difference, live games will run at 4:30am (yikes), 7am (meh, doable) and 11:30am (early lunch?).

But, these are not the kind of games you want to watch all by your lonesome. Ideally, you’ll want to experience every nail-biting penalty kick, every over-dramatized Oscar-worthy injury, and every hard-fought win of the beautiful game with good company.

Well, SF Station has your back. Here is a short-list of the best places to watch the World Cup around San Francisco.

The Mission

El Farolito Soccer Club
Right next door to taqueria fav El Farolito, this is the place to be for fans of the Latin American teams. 2779 Mission Street @ 23rd/24th Streets.

Phoenix Bar and Irish Pub
By far the best pub-grub in town, Phoenix Bar has 10 HD flatscreen TVs for your viewing pleasure. Starting June 11th, they’ll be showing the 7am and 11:30am games live. 811 Valencia Street @ 19th Street, 415.695.1811.

North Beach

Steps of Rome
It may not be the metropolis of Rome itself, but it’s the real deal. For Azzuri fans, this is the place to be. You can watch the 7am and 11:30am games live here, and be prepared for crowds spilling out onto the sidewalk when Italy plays. 348 Columbus Ave. @ Grant Street, 415.397.0435.

The Tenderloin

Edinburgh Castle
One of the best bars in town, the Castle will be showing all the day’s games (taped) starting at 6pm; perfect timing to head over right after work. Plus the manager, Alan Black, is football fanatic and author of The Glorious World Cup. 950 Geary Street @ Larkin Street, 415.885.4074.

The Haight

Kezar Pub
The pub of all pubs, Kezar has history and clout. Opening up at 4:30am and showing ALL the games live, these guys are nothing if not dedicated. This place will quite possibly be the rowdiest and most crowded in town — and also the most fun. 770 Stanyan Street @ Waller/Beulah Streets, 415.386.9292.

Mad Dog in the Fog
Another great soccer mainstay, Mad Dog in the Fog will also be opening at 4:30am and will be showing EVERY match live. Don’t be surprised if you show up for a 4:30 game and it’s standing-room only. 530 Haight Street @ Fillmore/Steiner Streets, 415.626.7279.

The Richmond

The Pig and Whistle
The 7am and 11:30am games will be broadcasted live, and the 4:30am games will be taped and shown at 9am. If you plan to attend for the England vs. USA, it may be a good idea to be rooting for the Brits here. 2801 Geary Blvd @ Wood Street, 415-885-4779.


Jake's Steaks
This unassuming neighborhood joint specializes in mouth-watering traditional Philly cheesesteaks. They will be showing the 7am and 11:30am games live with breakfast, coffee and beer being served. Plus, if you wear the jersey of any team playing that day, you get your first beer for $2. 3301 Buchanan Street @ Lombard/Chestnut, 415-922-2211.

Bernal Heights

Stray Bar
One of the best neighborhood bars in town, Stray Bar will be showing games at 11am, 3pm & 7pm. And, hey, you can bring your dog with you. 309 Cortland Street @ Bocana Street, 415.821.9263.


The Mercury Lounge
Marketing itself as the “only Bar in San Francisco dedicated exclusively to the World Cup”, this lounge wins the prize for enthusiasm. Games here will be shown at 7am and 11:30am, and they’ll be offering a yummy breakfast menu that includes bacon cheese fries! 1582 Folsom Street @ 12th, 415.551.1582.


The Irish Bank
Five minutes in this bar tucked in an alley and you’ll be turning Irish. Sadly, Ireland was knocked out of the Cup, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching other teams battle it out. They’ll be showing the 7am and 11:30am matches live, and the taped 4:30am game will be on at 9am. Stop by for great beer, great grub, and strong coffee. 10 Mark Lane @ Grant/Kearny Streets, 415.788.7152.

Jillian's in the Metreon
Arguably one of the best sports bars in the city, Jillian’s will be showing the 7am and 11:30am games live. On the way to work or during an extended lunch break, you can watch the action on a 50-foot video wall (!!) while enjoying something off the menu. And it’s close to BART. 101 4th Street @ Mission, 415-369-6100.

City Hall
Bring a blanket, pack a picnic, and sit on the green at City Hall. 11:30am games will be shown live on a big screen along with all Round 16-Finals matches. 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

AT&T Park
The ballpark will be opening its doors for the much-anticipated USA vs. England match on
Saturday June 12th at 10am before the game starts at 11:30am. This will be one of the biggest events of the week. 24 Willie Mays Plaza.

World Cup 2010 kicks off at 7am PST on June 11th with South Africa vs. Mexico. View the full schedule: