Where to watch World Cup 2018 football in Montréal

Jamie O'Meara

There is really nothing comparable to the mass multicultural sporting dementia that descends on Montréal every four years when the World Cup, the biggest single-event sporting competition on the planet, gets underway, and rest assured Montrealers will once again be partaking in the crazy…

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From June 14 to July 15, thousands of Montréal soccer fans representing a cultural cross-section of the tournament’s 32 teams will swing on an emotional pendulum that frequently expresses itself on the streets, horns blaring and flags waving, a chaotic and colourful celebration of “the beautiful game.” While you can be guaranteed that all of the city’s best sports bars will have the games on, there are definitely specific places to see specific teams play…

Montréal’s historic Little Burgundy in the Quartiers du canal neighbourhood is home to the Burgundy Lion pub, arguably ground zero for the city’s England team supporters, so the Lion will be roaring as long as England stays alive. For their part, French fans will pack inside the inviting L’Barouf, as well as on the sidewalk in front of its big Saint-Denis Street window, as good for people watching as it is soccer watching.

Even though Italy didn’t make the final cut, expect a wave of World Cup fever to sweep through this community of hard-core fans. The perpetually popular Café Olimpico turns its normally hipster-dominated confines over to Italian soccer fans, and, in Little Italy in the north end, spots like the storied Caffè Italia capture the essence of Italian soccer spirit whilst serving up some of the best lattés in town.

In terms of intensity, one would be hard-pressed to top the Spanish fans, who crowd into Saint-Laurent Boulevard’s Club Español de Québec for awesome Spanish tapas on its terrasse and anxious soccer action on the screens. That said, also on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, there’s no underestimating the fans of Portugal and Brazil, who will compete for space at places like the ever-popular CHAMPS BAR and Le St-Laurent Frappé, with its large outdoor terrasse.

Though the Netherlands won’t be in the World Cup this year, expect to spot Dutch fans in their glowing orange garb all over the Plateau and maybe sharing a pint or two at pubs like Benelux or Bier Markt.

Jamie O’Meara

Jamie O’Meara, blogger

Jamie O’Meara is a writer for The Montreal Gazette, C2 Montréal, Moment Factory and more. He also manages the PR Team at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and is the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

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