The best places to watch the football in London are also serving up excellent beer and food — and they’re going beyond the normal diet of Barclays, too. Find Italian, Colombian, and other leagues on show, as well as the Champions League and Europa League as they return for 2022.Read More
Where to Watch the Football in London
Premier League, Champions League, and leagues from around the globe
Famous 3 Kings
Part of the sizeable Craft Pubs stable, independent quaint boozer this ain’t. But if wanting to watch football rather than talk hops — there are few pubs in London with more surfaces showing it. In its words, this cavernous pub is “a venue that fulfils your dreams in televised sports.” Finally.
Sporting Clube de Londres
The Portuguese community of Notting Hill has frequented this bar, restaurant, and sports club for many years, though its tucked-away location has meant it has remained an insider secret for most everyone else. During the warmer months, a big churrascaria (barbecue) is fired up outside — for chicken, sardines, and other generously seasoned hunks of protein. Inside, there’s no shortage of cold beer. This is a paired-back, canteen-like affair with plenty of flat screen TVs, which constantly show English and European football, as well as other sports. Especially suitable for big parties.
The Round House
Given it is probably better known for pre-theatre food (and drink), and that Covent Garden isn’t necessarily the first port of call for screens showing football, the Round House is a bit of a gem in this part of London. But, situated on 1 Garrick St, and with a well-lit homely interior — hidden it is not.
The Coal Hole
Trying to find a decent spot to watch sport in central London can be a Herculean task, but it needn’t be. Head to The Coal Hole — housed in the former coal cellar of the Savoy Hotel. Nicholson’s landmark pub offers ‘real ale’ — both draught and bottled — good British food classics on the menu and a traditional interior (note the tiled floor.)
The Faltering Fullback
This Finsbury Park boozer has a near-legendary reputation when it comes to watching sport. Labyrinthine and decked out with an assortment of bits and bobs that some might refer to as ‘bric-a-brac’ — it has more screens than you can shake an empty pint glass at. And it has a sprawling garden out back, too. Hungry? Try the Thai food menu.
Leños & Carbon
Leños y Carbon — a vast venue in Elephant and Castle — is one of the best places in the city not just to watch sport among South American fans, but also one a fine restaurant in which to experience generous, fairly priced Colombian food. A mixed grill includes chicken, beef and pork steaks, huge Colombian sausages and a rack of fatty pork ribs; churrasco al carbón is a thick slab of T-bone steak blackened, crispy on the outside and still rosy within. Equally good to try are cassava fries, plantains, and a selection of delicious Colombian fruit juices, particularly the guanábana or lulo, diluted with either water or milk.
Anyone who spent the 1990s and 2000s watching James Richardson sit with an espresso, cannolo, and pile of Italian sports papers on Football Italia will love Golazio, and so will anyone who enjoys pizza and beer. This is a sports bar for the obsessive as much as the casual observer, with 1990s and contemporary football on the screens and hot, decent pizza by the slice on the plates. Italian craft beer, natch.
The latest addition to the formidable JKS portfolio, Brigadiers’ opening in Bloomberg Arcade was one of the most anticipated of the year. True to its promise to capture the social atmosphere and camaraderie of past Indian army mess bars, Brigadiers will be showing the World Cup from three screens in its Blighters dining room, where visitors can fill up on the Indian barbecue menu while watching the game.
Bar Kick can get raucous when there’s a big game on, and it’s bang in the middle of Shoreditch, but its table football, long beer list, and decently made cocktails make for a winning combination whether it’s heaving with rival fans or quiet on a night with no game.
With five big screens and 15 TVs, the Yucatan is a fine example of a sports bar with all the character of a dodgy local. The décor is mismatched, there’s a lively, ever-so-slightly intimidating atmosphere for football matches, and there are no sophisticated food or beer options to speak of. But that’s not the point.
The little-known Wheatsheaf is a welcome contrast to the gentrified watering holes of Stoke Newington. It’s populated with long time local regulars, there’s a free jukebox, and fancy ale is nowhere to be seen. If Manchester United are playing, the die-hard contingent of cockney reds will drown out the commentary. Come for the match, stay for the lock-in.
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Mama Shelter London - Shoreditch
The ground floor of this modern, slightly OTT hotel on Hackney Road in east London is a grown up choice for a comparatively low-key football watching experience. There’s plenty of space, lots of TV screens, and functioning air conditioning. On the snacks menu, a croque madame is the route to travel; on Sundays, go for the roast.
If way out east, perhaps after a walk on the marshes, The Coppermill, tucked away at the bottom of the market at the end of Copper Mill lane, is probably the best bet in Walthamstow for a hearty atmosphere on match days. Good pub grub (BBQ burgers, hot dogs etc) compliments decent beer — think Greene King IPA, Fullers ESB and London Pride — and a local, honest vibe.
William The Fourth Pub | Leyton
Leyton’s William the Fourth was refurbished back in 2019 at the hands of new owners, Rose Pubs, who are behind other East End favourites like Homerton’s Adam and Eve. Gone are the dusty carpets of old, but the pub has retained much of its local appeal, and two new big screens installed in the courtyard beer garden — ready to show Premier League and Champions League matches as well as this tournament — make a welcome addition.
The Kings Arms
Wood-panelled and pleasingly old-fashioned, the Kings Arms offers a decent beer selection and, crucially, two large screens at either end of the bar — one projected — for maximum football viewing pleasure.