After over a month of waiting since the end of the regional qualifiers, Peru and New Zealand are finally set to square off in the World Cup intercontinental playoff. Two legs, and only one team advances to the biggest tournament in the world; yeah, excitement is starting to bubble into full-on hype. It’s not all good news, either, as the recent controversy surrounding Peruvian star Paolo Guerrero and his drug test has overshadowed what should be a nervous-yet-joyous pre-match week.
With a spot at the World Cup on the line–in what would be New Zealand’s third ever appearance and Peru’s first since 1982–the stakes could not be higher. As such, you’ll want to be around the correct people and atmosphere for watching as Peru takes on New Zealand on Friday night and next Wednesday evening.
To that end, we’ve compiled 11 bars and restaurants across the United States to go to in order to cheer on La Blanquirroja as they look to make history.
Photo: Yelp user Sam M.
Leña Y Carbon
359 Union Ave.
Paterson, NJ 07522
In the Lima-away-from-home that is Paterson, NJ, Leña Y Carbon can be your home base for the insanity that will be the World Cup qualifying playoffs. As Peru tries to topple New Zealand, you can enjoy some authentic Peruvian cuisine while screaming about the unfairness of Paolo Guerrero’s drug test. In the city with one of the biggest Peruvian-American populations in the US, you won’t be alone.
429 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07208
If you’re not in Paterson but you’re still looking for a fun and festive place to watch the game in Jersey, Barcode NJ could be the move. As the bar says on their website, “Our massive 20ft by 8ft indoor LED Screen was designed so that every seat in the house is ‘the best seat in the house’.” This bar is hosting a viewing party for the game and afterwards, if you’re looking for something to do while buzzing on the result, you can play a game of pool or some mini-bowling.
1241 Indian Trail Lilburn Rd. NW
Norcross, GA 30093
Contigo Peru is a great option to watch the playoff if you are in the ATL area. This restaurant/sports bar hybdrid will be showing the game and, if you get hungry, no problem: feast on some traditional Peruvian food while you root on La Blanquirroja. Make sure to get there early though, because this place will surely get packed as game time approaches.
Inka’s Bar and Grill
827 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
If you’re in San Diego and looking to grab some rotisserie Chicken, Peru style, Inka’s Bar and Grill is the place for you. House of Peru is hosting a viewing party at the bar with a $20 entry fee, but that $20 will get you two dishes–causa limeña and ceviche pescado–and a seat to watch the match. Located in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter, you could do a lot worse.
New York City
Smithfield Hall NYC
138 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001
Located in midtown, Smithfield Hall NYC is one of the best sports bars in New York. With TV’s strategically placed, it’s hard to have a bad seat for the match. They serve a variety of classic contemporary American dishes and have an assortment of beer and liquor to choose from. You may want to get here early because it’s sure to get packed on a big sports Friday night. While not a Peruvian spot, the atmosphere is sure to be bumping; just watch out for any New Zealand fans with opposite rooting interests from you.
6025 Richmond Ave
Houston, TX 77057
Winner of Best Margarita in Houston at Houston’s Margarita festival in 2015, Diablo Loco should be a great place to enjoy the World Cup playoff. Best known for their wings, burgers, and tacos, Diablo Loco curates a homely feel perfect for any Peruvian fan looking to do a bit of yelling.
The Globe Pub
1934 W Irving Park Rd.
Chicago, IL 60613
The Globe Pub has you covered if you’re looking to catch the game in Chicago. This classic sports bar caters to what fans want to see. With over 30 TV’s and Direct TV, Dish, and Comcast receivers available, they will be sure to have the match on multiple screens. They also have a stacked menu filled with sandwiches, quesadillas, and bar staples. And if the nerves get to you, the Globe’s beer selection is extensive, to say the least: 2 casks, 19 beers on tap, 226 bottled beers, and 35 canned beers.
620 T St NW
Washington, DC 20001
Looking for somewhere to catch the playoff in Washington D.C? Look no further than the Howard Theatre. They will be showing the game on multiple big screens, and drink specials and giveaways will be on deck. Jolgorio will be performing a live Peruvian dance and percussion show at halftime and, after the game, Dj TC Soundz will be spinning the best Peruvian sounds. Howard Theatre is selling $10 standing room tickets for their viewing party; there were $20 seats available, but they already sold out, so act fast.
Fadó Irish Pub
900 S. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33130
Miami’s Fado Irish Pub is no stranger to World Cup soccer. Back in 2014, for the kickoff of the last World Cup, they had drink and food specials as well as a 1 million dollar bracket challenge. With this year’s tournament almost underway, there isn’t a better atmosphere for soccer in Miami.
The Fox and Hound
11100 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
The Fox and Hounds is one of the premiere sports bars in Los Angeles to watch soccer; they always have a stacked schedule and a full bar. Enjoy the World Cup playoff here on one of their eleven HD screens. There’s a chance there’s live music, and breakfast is served all day long so you can’t go wrong.
The Cigar Bar and Grill
850 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
San Francisco’s Cigar Bar and Grill will surely rock a great atmosphere for Peru’s World Cup playoff. It’s free to get in, and they will be showing the game on a projector and three large screens. There’s a pool table, two full bars, four rooms and a spacious outdoor patio so expect plenty of fun.
If you’re looking to reserve a table for either leg of the playoff, you can do so by e-mailing [email protected]