World Cup 2018 Tampa Bay — here are 15 great spots to watch the matches

Plus a few more that are playing nice, too.

click to enlarge That's not a foil-covered chocolate, Vlad. - Kremlin /
Kremlin /
That's not a foil-covered chocolate, Vlad.

It's that dreaded phase of the sports calendar when only professional baseball is on TV. Thankfully the World Cup, Putin Edition is here to entertain us for the next four weeks. Soccer is a great sport to watch on TV while being a glutton, so here are some of the Tampa Bay area's best bets for World Cup watching.

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We've arranged them by county, but we suggest calling ahead when you get to the "Also Playing" section at the bottom of the post. Don't play with your balls inside, kids.

Did we miss your go-to spot? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter.


Irish 31 With four locations in Tampa Bay, Irish 31 has teamed up with another Bay area church of futbol (Cinco Soccer) to show every friggin’ World Cup Match. Heineken specials, and more details are available via (Hyde Park Village, Westchase, Westshore Plaza, Wiregrass)

MacDinton’s Irish Pub (Tampa) Tried, true and totally not douchey in the daytime when World Cup games are on. This South Tampa mainstay is one of the best places to watch soccer in Tampa Bay. Jager shots are $5 (ouch), and you can get more information on (405 S Howard Ave., Tampa. 813-251-8999)

Pokey’s This downtown Tampa Liverpool FC stronghold opens at 10 a.m. six days a week (closed on Mondays). Friendly staff, super comfortable, and a no-brainer if you’re looking to sneak away from the office. (100 East Madison St. Tampa. 813-223-6905.

Independent Bar & Café Seminole Heights The Heights gets its own World Cup HQ thanks to the Indie, which has committed to pretty much every game happening after 9 a.m. Great, international beer selection (read: Radeberger, Weihenstephan, Estrella Gallicia, Duvel, Dupont, Kronenberg and Greene King) and a bracket tourney, too. (5016 N Florida Ave, Tampa. 813-341-4883.

The Bricks I once saw Robin van Persie score the goal of a lifetime here. Mac 'n' cheese was tumbling out of my open mouth, and my life was changed forever. The Bricks has some of the best food in Ybor City, and watching the games at the bar is a laid back affair. (1327 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City. 813-247-1785.

London Calling British Pub Another Seminole Heights option will be opening early and serving breakfast. More than a dozen TVs. You won’t go wrong here, and folks are friendly enough to put you back on your barstool should you tumble off after one too many. (7701 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa. 813-231-7200.

Wild Rover Brewery This brewery near the ‘burbs makes its own beer, is cavernous and boats a mean menu or Euro and bar faves (think Scotch eggs, beer mac, shepherd’s pie, fish & chips, more). Open early and every game available. (13921 Lynmar Blvd., Tampa. 813-475-5995.

Zydeco Brew Werks This brand new Ybor City brewery will open at 11 a.m. to show World Cup games and start rocking lunch service. Here’s why we love this place. (1902 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City. 813-252-4541.

Mr. Dunderbak’s A USF-area favorite is opening at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday-Sunday during the world cup and will give away prizes for best dressed fans on the days that Germany plays. (14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa. 813-977-4104.

American Social A new Harbour Island hotspot will open at 11 a.m. to let downtown and Harbour Island residents kick back and watch some soccer. (601 South Harbour Island Blvd. Suite 107, Tampa. 813-605-3333.


The Joint This new St. Pete spot will open at 10 a.m. for games, but says it’ll open at 8 a.m. if there’s enough interest. If you wear your (participating) team’s jersey, then your first drink is free.
MacDinton’s (7630 34th Ave N., St. Petersburg.

Hofbrauhaus St. Petersburg This place is no doubt the go-to place for any and all Germany matches (Sat. June 23 vs. Sweden should be a good one), but the downtown St. Pete beer hall will be showing all games with sound. (123 4th St. S. St. Petersburg, 727-898-3333.

Three Birds Tavern This Crescent Lake neighborhood spot will open early (8 a.m.) for games, and the old farm house vibes and dog friendly patio make for some good vibes. (1492 4th St. N. St. Petersburg, 727-895-2049.

The Horse & Jockey South Pasadena was a World Cup gem here. OPen at 8 a.m. for breakfast and matches, this is a good excuse to tackle a full English breakfast, sausage rolls, finger sandos, Scotch eggs and more. (1155 Pasadena Ave. S., South Pasadena. 727-345-4995.

Old Northeast Tavern I once watched Holland lose to Spain in a World Cup final here. It was one of the saddest days of my sports spectator career, but the staff made me feel OK about it all. Neighborhood bar opens at 11 a.m., which means you can catch a few matches. (201 7th Ave. N., St Petersburg. 727-821-8070.

MacDinton’s Just like its Tampa sister location, soccer lives at MacDinton’s St. Pete. Staff here is so devoted that it is even opening the pub at 6 a.m. on June 16 so folks can catch France take on Australia in group play. (242 1st Ave. N., St. Petersburg. 727-201-9783. 

Jack's London Grill Because you can't ever eat too many Scotch eggs. Jack's — helmed by a chef-owner who trained in London — will open as early as 9 a.m. for matches like Argentina v. Iceland. (1050 62nd Ave N ., St Petersburg. 727-289-7170.

Bar Louie
Brass Tap
Coppertail Brewing
Game Time
Mickey McQuinn's Irish Pub and Grill
The Patio
Press Box
Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar
Thirsty First Lounge 
Queen’s Head

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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