The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off Thursday morning, and early a.m. day-drinking will be the gooooal of many San Francisco sports fans. The Beautiful Game will bring the entire global community together thanks to the most detestable and corrupt sports organization on earth, and here’s a friendly guide to the best San Francisco bars to watch the World Cup.
The full 2018 FIFA World Cup schedule is online at FIFA.com, and conveniently converts times to your local time zone. Games start as early as 5 a.m., with one game on Sat. June 16 starting at 3 a.m. The big, public City Hall watching parties don’t begin until July, as SF Rec and Parks just announced World Cup watching parties of “the Semi-Final matches on Tuesday, July 10 and Wednesday, July 11 beginning both days at 11 a.m. along with the Final on Sunday, July 15, beginning at 8 a.m. at Civic Center Plaza.”
But if you’re rising early to root for Team England, Mexico, Germany, or Whichever Team Has the Hottest Athletes, here are the S.F. bars to watch the World Cup and their opening times.
Promising that they “will open for all World Cup games,” the Kezar Pub on Stanyan Street (not to be confused with the Kezar Bar & Restaurant nearby in Cole Valley) begins serving booze at 7 a.m., but the breakfast menu will be in effect even for the 3 a.m. matches.
Open for all matches, no matter how early, 770 Stanyan St.
Mad Dog in the Fog
Of fookin’ course the Mad Dog will be open for soccer-watching and hooliganism no matter the match time (except the June 16 3 a.m. match) , though the crowd tends to root very, very strongly for England. But they’ll serve Bangers and Mash for the match!
Open for all matches, no matter how early (except the June 16 3 a.m. match) , 530 Haight St.
For those who prefer to root against England, bring your hate to the Lower Haight’s Irish pub Danny Coyle’s, and plan for a magnificently crowded and rowdy scene.
Open for all matches, no matter how early, 668 Haight St.
This could be the last World Cup you’ll be able to watch at the iconic 6 a.m. drinking spot, since the 500 Club just sold for $5 million. They’re only open at 6 a.m. for Saturday and Sunday games, and not ’til 10 a.m. on weekdays. But pop in for a sentimental game, bask in the dazzle of their neon cocktail sign, and maybe enjoy a tune on their often-broken jukebox.
Open at 6 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. on weekdays, 500 Guerrero St.
Open at 6 a.m., 998 Sutter St.
Open at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. on match days, 4100 Geary Blvd.
The Chíeftaín Authentíc Irísh Pub & Restaurant will be more of a weekday SoMa lunch spot for World Cup matches, as they’ll be opening in time for the 11 a.m. games. But they’ll also open earlier for some Saturday and Sunday matchups.
Open at 10:45 a.m. on weekdays, earlier on weekends, 198 Fifth St.
No San Francisco sports bar listicle is complete without the obligatory mention of the Castro’s Hi-Tops, the LGBTQ-friendliest sports bar in town. But they’re not opening any earlier than 11:30 a.m. on any match days.
Open at 11:30 a.m., 2247 Market St.
For you homers, the games will all have live television broadcasts on Fox, FS1, and Telemundo. Gizmodo also has a lovely Exhaustive Guide for Streaming the 2018 FIFA World Cup as Cheaply as Possible
As an aside, the 2026 World Cup was just awarded to the U.S., Canada, and Mexico as a joint North America bid, and Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium is on the short list to host matches. This all assumes that by 2026 we will still be North America as opposed to ‘West Russia,’ and that our nations will not be a post-apocalyptic rubble of radioactive wasteland.
Enjoy the games!