There’s nothing more fun for soccer fans than watching their national teams ball out while in the company of like-minded people at a bar. Soccer culture in the United States, especially, is based around meeting friends out at bars to drink, chant, and generally enjoy being in the presence of other appreciators of the beautiful game, particularly in a country where it is not the most-followed of sports. That goes double for fans of Mexico’s powerful El Tri, who find community not just in their fellow futbol fans, but also in watching games with people who speak their language–literally and metaphorically.
From New York to Los Angeles, Chicago to Miami, fans will be heading out of work today to catch two important CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers: First, the US will take on Costa Rica in a battle of second and third place countries from Red Bull Arena in New Jersey; with a win on home soil, the USMNT could catch Los Ticos in points for second-place, which would put them in great position to automatically qualify for Russia 2018. In the night game, Mexico will host Panama at the Estadio Azteca, in a game that could seal up El Tri’s qualification; a win would put Mexico at 17 points, and would clinch them at least a spot in the inter-confederation playoffs.
With the stakes in mind, we’ve compiled the best places to go meet up with your gente–or your bros, depending on your rooting interests–in cities across the country. These are the 10 best bars for grabbing a cerveza, eating some wings, and cheering on your country of choice.
New York City
104-05 47th Ave.
Queens, NY 11368
Fans of El Tri will find that this Corona, Queen taqueria is the spot to be for the Panama match. Come drink, eat, and be happy as Mexico pushes to qualify for the World Cup on Friday; the celebration if they do should be incredible.
138 W 25th St.
New York, NY 10000
If you want to watch the USMNT with your fellow Yanks, there’s no better place in New York than Smithfield, the home of the city’s American Outlaws chapter. The semi-official fan club will be out and about with their good vibes and “I BELIEVE” chants.
3014 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
If you want to eat well while watching Mexico ball out, Guelaguetza is the place to be. Voted one of LA’s best Oaxacan restaurants, you’ll be able to get your fill while enjoying the match.
1739 Public House
1739 N. Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
The American Outlaws call Public House their home for big matches, so for the American fan, there’s no other choice in the SoCal metropolis. Call ahead to see if they have any drink deals or special raffles before the match starts.
1519 W 18th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
Pl-zen is the spot if you want to get a little more turnt while watching the Mexico-Panama match; their cocktails are renowned, and the gastropub offers a variety of food that will keep you more satisfied than the traditional soccer pub food.
Timothy O’toole’s Pub
622 N Fairbanks Ct.
Chicago, IL 60611
Although it seems like an Irish bar, Timothy O’Toole’s is the home for American soccer in the midway. The American Outlaws call this their home bar, so it’ll surely be packed for an important qualifier that could give the USMNT breathing room.
La Mexicana Cantina
1451 S Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33131
Sensing a trend? If you want to watch Mexico in the company of other El Tri fans, taquerias and Mexican restaurants are the way to go. La Mexicana Cantina is a bit garish, but it’s also considered one of the better Mexican restaurants in Miami.
Fado Irish Pub
900 S. Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 33130
Once again, the American Outlaws are claiming an Irish pub for their own. Fado serves as the home base for the USMNT fanbase in the 305, so get there early for a seat, or risk standing for 90 minutes.
El Farolito Bar
2779 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
What looks like a tiny taqueria also has TVs, if you want to enjoy some of San Francisco’s best tacos while watching what is hopefully a good match between Mexico and Panama. And if it’s not? Those tacos are truly iconic, so you’ll be fine.
1237 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
Last but not least is the American Outlaws’ San Francisco headquarters, McTeague’s. Located near Downtown and the Tenderloin, McTeague’s is perfectly suited for an afternoon of drinking and cheering on the ol’ Stars and Stripes.