There is really nothing comparable to the mass multicultural sporting dementia that descends on Montreal 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…
From June 12 to July 13, thousands of Montreal 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 be have the games on, there are definitely specific places to see specific teams play…
Montreal’s historic Little Burgundy 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 (which at an average 26 to 1 odds, may not be that long). For their part, French fans will pack inside the inviting L’Barouf, as well as on the sidewalk in front of its big St-Denis Street window, as good for people watching as it is soccer watching. French bistro Le Massillia, on Parc Ave. in the Mile End district, provides another bastion for French fans with a southern France feel.
If you want to stay in Mile End but Italy is your squad, the perpetually popular Café Olimpico isn’t shy about turning its normally hipster-dominated confines over to rabid Italy fans, though a major chunk of Italian adoration will be taking place in Little Italy to the immediate north. Places like the storied Caffè Italia capture the essence of Italian team pride 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 St-Laurent Blvd.’s Club Espagnol for awesome Spanish tapas on its terrasse and anxious soccer action on the screens. That said, also on St-Laurent Blvd., there’s no underestimating the fans of Portugal and World Cup host country Brazil, who will compete for space at places like the ever-popular Champs and Café Saint-Laurent Frappé, with its large outdoor terrasse. And not to be outdone, Dutch fans, in their glowing orange garb, are tough to miss at Mont-Royal Ave.’s Taverne Normand, while Greek soccer aficionados are known to be vocal on the section of Parc Avenue known unofficially as Montreal’s Greektown.
If we’ve missed any great places to watch World Cup football in Montreal please leave a comment on his blog post and let us know!
Photo Credits: Austin H. Kapfumvuti
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