It's official, the games have begun! The World Cup 2010 in South Africa is under way, and for those of us who aren't going to actually be in Rainbow Nation to soak it all in, we're just as privileged here in Seattle with so many unique soccer experiences to enjoy. Everyone has their one or two favorite places, whether its the George and Dragon or Fuel Sports Bar, but did you know about all of these other interesting places and events around Seattle?
I'm a bit of a fledgling foodie geek, and I squeal like a piggy when I think about combining the three most fantastic things in my world: food, beer, and soccer. Below is a small summary of the places that do one or all of these things well, and that I think will be worth checking out during the World Cup to make your viewing pleasure that much better. Whether it's rowdy crowds, delicious breakfast or pubfare, or just overflowing beer everywhere, there's something for everyone to make this World Cup that much better.
Atlantic Crossing - Ravenna
In addition to being an official MLS pub (a title only a few bars in the USA share), it's usually home base to the Emerald City Supporters and American Outlaws. With exception to the Neumo's veiwing party for USA-England (which you should all know about if you don't already), most World Cup matches will be available here as replays, starting at 11am. Just in time for their delicious lunch and beer menu.
Fado - Pioneer Square
A classic Seattle soccer bar, this place is always great for an early morning match. Opening at the ungodly hour of 4:30AM, almost every match will be showing live. As an Irish pub, availability of fantastic beer and food is what draws fans from all over into the Pioneer Square fixture, not to mention their special World Cup menu to keep you warm and happy around breakfast time. Sure to be packed and riotous for all major games.
Other places to check out: Celtic Bayou in Redmond, Azurri Italian Soccer Bar in Fremont, Prost! - Greenwood and West Seattle
Food and Beer
The Dray - Ballard
Many recommendations for this cozy football and food experience. Located in Ballard, they will be showing all matches live, starting at 4:30AM, and replays of each game from 4PM, 6, and 8. But more importantly, they will be serving coffee, beer, and delicious foods. I quote an item from their menu, "four little pigs: chopped bacon and thyme-blended cheddar cheese with diced onion, apples and jalapeno on brioche rolls with curry mayo." Sound delicious? Will likely be crowded for big games, so go at an odd hour.
Brouwer's Cafe - Fremont
This bar is run by association with Bottleworks, the everything beer store in Wallingford, so it's not surprising that their beer selection is top-notch. In addition to showing all 11:30 games live, with most replays throughout the day, they have a simply scrumptious menu to enjoy. Definitely a place to check out, after you've stumbled from your games at Azzurri and the George and Dragon.
Other places to check out: Taphouse Grill in Bellevue, The Ram in University Village
Family Friendly and Outdoor Showings
Nord Alley - Pioneer Square
A big group of sponsors will be showing all 11:30 games live in Pioneer Square, in an family friendly and open environment. They will have staff to assist with parking and seating, with room for 50-60 seating and many more standing. Best part, the showings are free! Definitely go for a match when the weather is nice. Check out their facebook page for more info. Should be fun!
Phinney Neighborhood Association - Phinney
A great event for the entire family, the PNA will be transforming the Phinney Neighborhood Center with projectors and audio from Magnolia Audio/Video, food vendors, and activities and face painting for children. Admission is by suggested donation, but anyone is welcome to enjoy the set up. Most games will be shown live, starting at 6:30AM.
Other places to check out: All Nations Soccer Restaurant on Aurora
Personal Picks - Where I'll be trying to go for a game!
Cafe Presse - Capitol Hill
Jim and Joane of Le Pichet fame opened the smaller Cafe Presse with soccer in mind. It's a cozy breakfast and bar that will be showing all the World Cup games live, starting at 7AM. Enjoy a yogurt with honey and walnuts or chocolate on a baguette with your early morning coffee. Online TV schedule here.
Musicquarium Lounge at the Triple Door
The Triple Door lounge will be showing all 11:30 games everyday in the swanky new Musicquarium, with a huge projector, lunch, and beer specials all day. Their dinner and happy hour menu is enough of a reason to go, but this is definitely an exciting step up from your local dive. Check out their facebook page.
My other places I'm checking out: Summit Public House, St. Andrews Pub on Aurora, the Baltic Room on Capitol Hill, and many more!
Check out my full list here, available in a convenient Google map. It's keyed according to the the categories above, with a short description for most of the places I've picked out. If you have any suggestions, feel free to add your favorite place below as a comment!
Quick Edit: Now for you West Seattle-ers, a full list of places near you that will be catering towards the World Cup.
Early = Open Early(time listed)
* = Official MLS Bar
:D = Family Friendly
:X = Go for the Beer
View Seattle Guide to the World Cup in a larger map