World Cup 2018 Montreal Sports Bars, Restaurants, Cafes: Where to Go
World cup season in Montreal is a pretty big deal, bigger than you'd think for a North American city. FIFA football (aka soccer) fans are known to take to the streets and hoot, honk and hurrah up a storm over their favorite team winning, even if it's just over whomever made it to the next round. But things really pick up a notch come finals. Memories of Italy winning the 2006 World Cup still haunt me. The noise lasted for HOURS as fans circulated through Little Italy and surrounding neighborhoods cheering well past sunset.
See Also: Montreal's Best Sports Bars
In 2018, the World Cup tournament runs June 14 to July 15, 2018. Here's the World Cup 2018 schedule.
So. Where should a self-respecting football (aka soccer) nut catch the tournament? Any bar, pub, restaurant or café with a big screen should do the trick, right? But if you're looking for the ultimate, die-hard World Cup experience in the city,... try these places out. You'll thank me.
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In case it wasn't clear in my preamble, Montreal's Italian community goes berserk come World Cup. You want a guaranteed World Cup fever experience? Follow in their enthusiastic foosteps.
Soaking up the atmosphere at the Mile End institution that is Café Olimpico is thus a NO BRAINER.
Just don't expect the most amazing sports bar facilities. This is a café, after all, not a buffalo wings emporium, and a small one at that with simple chairs and tables. Nothing fancy. But dear God, is the iced coffee incredible.
Neighborhood: Mile End
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Okay. So you like the idea of Café Olimpico but can't stand the thought of sharing space with the Mile end hipsters who typically spill out onto Olimpico's terrace space? Can't we just all get along? Until that utopic moment arises, try Caffè Italia. The coffee is solid and the regulars have been going there for decades (apparently a bunch of them are hiding from their wives). It's as Italian as a Montreal café can get. But if for whatever reason, the place is packed, it shouldn't be difficult to find another Little Italy haunt blaring the match. Just walk around until you see a cheering mob. (No pun intended, I swear).
Neighborhood: Little Italy
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Looking for Team Brazil? Try Le Milsa, a family friendly churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ restaurant).
It's already football (aka soccer) themed on a regular day, with staff uniforms consisting of Seleção jerseys. Show up AT LEAST one hour before the match starts (no reservations, it's first come first serve) and bring the whole clan along. Just remember to take your blood pressure meds. That meat is salty.
Neighborhood: downtown Montreal (others locations include the West Island, Laval and Brossard)
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So I have no idea who's rooting for what or when at le Boudoir, but I love this unassuming, off-the-radar Plateau pub and its well-placed LCD screens. Dozens and dozens of different scotches are offered on location, happy hour prices on local microbrews are competitive and even regular prices are more affordable than what you'd find in Montreal's Irish pubs AND Le Boudoir's bring-you-own-food-heck-even-order-your-own-food-and-get-it-delivered-at-your-table-but-you-gotta-buy-our-booze policy is downright amazing. Oh, and the hipster count is low for those of you who just can't deal. (Can't we just all get along?)
Neighborhood: PlateauContinue to 5 of 12 below.
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I'll let you guess which team this locale is supporting. But regardless of which team the house is rooting for, Le Club Espagnol is a great place to bring the whole family, an informal restaurant that attracts all age groups with its reasonable prices and solid tapas selection (apart from the cheese platter, all tapas items are under $10, no rip offs here). And if anyone knows how to do tapas in this city, it's Montreal's Spaniard community. Just keep in mind that like with Le Milsa, le Club Espagnol does not take reservations. It's first come, first serve. Plan accordingly.
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Montreal isn't exactly teeming with Argentine hangouts and restaurants, now is it.
Apart from Club Social Argentino de Montréal located on the far North end of Montreal in Ahuntsic, I can't think of any EXCEPT for the one place for which I do have solid intel. I can't believe I still haven't gone yet but all of the unanimously positive feedback my grapevine's been dishing out since its 2012 opening gives me sufficient confidence to personally vouch for and recommend Atelier d'Argentine.
Just don't expect out-of-this-world menu specials. But do anticipate quality. For the World Cup, management is setting up giant screens and will be religiously airing matches. Just a quick note to families: Atelier d'Argentine tends to attract a more adult crowd on weekday evenings and evenings in general. Weekend afternoon matches are a better fit for folks who want to bring their kids. And besides, their weekend brunch menu is within budgetary reach. But if you really... have your heart set on a weekday, give staff a call and run it by them. Reservations required.
Neighborhood: two locations, one in Old Montreal and the other in downtown Montreal
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As your Montreal expert, it's amazing to me that I didn't realize L'Barouf was the equivalent of a French expat town square. I mean, the name alone gives away its roots. I dunno. Maybe it's because I haven't been in years. It used to be one of my favorite watering holes back in my National Film Board days. At the time, their beer selection was like heaven to me. I still remember the day the barman told me they had strawberry beer. My life was suddenly complete. (I digress, I digress).
Right... so football... soccer... hopefully, the giant French flag conspicuously positioned outside the bar is enough clarification that Team France is in the building.
Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
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While we're on the topic of French flags, do expect copious draping of the latter on select patrons enjoying the World Cup at Montreal's only Marseilles style bistro, one offering up a slice of Provençal life footsteps away from Mount Royal Park. It's been on my Montreal sports bar list ever since I've had a Montreal sports bar list, this even though le Massillia isn't an actual sports bar. Why? They're doing something right. Besides, the place is so cute, the energy in there is infectious on a regular day AND I can count on my hand how many places in Montreal bother airing football (aka soccer) and rugby matches in the first place. Le Massillia is one of them so if you wanna a chance to pick the brains of some true diehard football fans who've been paying attention to the sport since, say, the last World Cup... c'est ici qu'on se pointe.
Neighborhood: downtown Montreal
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