Today is the first day of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and you know what that means: It's time to flex your vastly finite knowledge of soccer and spend the next four weeks bullshitting your way through games at the bar. The quadrennial international tradition takes place between June 14 and July 15, and while we can't tell you who to root for (we barely know who's playing), we can let you know of ten places around town where you can eat and drink while watching the action.
The British Bulldog
2052 Stout Street
The Bulldog is one of just a few stalwart soccer bars in town; it's been opening at the crack of dawn on the weekends to welcome fans for years. With World Cup play kicking off on Thursday, bartenders have their work cut out for them as they welcome customers as early as 4 a.m. Visit the bar's website for a schedule of the games that will grace the tellies at the old-school pub, then settle in for a full English breakfast and some excellent Pakistani fare.
Celtic on Market
1400 Market Street
The Celtic doesn't have quite the commitment to the early morning games as some bars, but it will still be airing a respectable selection of matches throughout the tournament — and if there's one game you don't want to miss here, it's the Tuesday, June 26, faceoff between Croatia and Iceland. That's because the Icelandic consulate has named this Irish bar the official place for Iceland supporters in Denver. That means you can expect plenty of Reyka Vodka behind the bar (so perhaps it's a good thing the Celtic won't be pouring at 4 a.m.). You can also catch the Icelanders as they battle Nigeria on Friday, June 22.
The Living Room
This clubby, late-night spot will definitely be coloring outside the lines when it opens up at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 18, for the Germany v. Mexico match. The rest of the event, though — raffles, prizes and a free shot every time Mexico scores — is right on brand. So drag yourself out of bed, get dolled up and pray for a high-scoring match.
1298 South Broadway
Maria Empanada celebrates all things Argentinian — and that includes soccer (or football, if you're intent on establishing your international cred at the expense of being likable). For this year's World Cup, Maria will be showing games every day during regular hours — and opening early for all of Argentina's games that happen before 7:30 a.m. Since neither the U.S. nor Canada made the cut, show up to cheer on Mexico, the lone North American representative. Trump, of course, will be cheering for Russia, so do a good deed and tag @realDonaldTrump with a picture of you brandishing el Tricolor.
The Monkey Barrel
4401 Tejon Street
If you're a casual fan of the Beautiful Game and just want some cheap drinks and a comfortable Sunday brunch while watching the action, the Monkey Barrel's watch party on Sunday, June 17, is the place to be. The bar's eleven TVs will be tuned to two games (Germany v. Mexico at 9 a.m., Brazil v. Switzerland at noon) while bartenders turn out $5 Bloody Marys and team cocktails and $4 red beers and mimosas, plus brunch plates. Those deals are so good, they might even get some non-fans through the door.
The Post Brewing Co.
2027 13th Street, Boulder
If you drink north of Denver, don't despair; Boulder's outpost of the Post Brewing Co. isn't letting the World Cup pass it by. From Friday, June 15, to Sunday, June 24, everyone's favorite fried-chicken house is offering happy-hour pricing on all draft beers; $10 pitchers of Otter Pop Pale Ale, Calm Log Common Lager and Meathooks Mild Ale; and $2 crispy black-eyed peas. Since the specials only run for the first week of the tournament, you'll need to get into the action quickly — but that could work in your favor, as you might actually know what you're talking about by the end of the tourney.
1415 Market Street
Fans of the Fatherland should make it over to the Rhein Haus to take in Germany's games on Sunday, June 17; Saturday, June 23; and Wednesday, June 27. Doors will open at 9 a.m. for the first two matches (Germany v. Mexico and Germany v. Sweden) and 8 a.m. for the last (Germany v. Korea Republic); early birds will get the first crack at the wealth of German bier on tap — and who can resist spaetzle for breakfast? Not us.
99 West 9th Avenue
A club better known for dancing than dead balls is changing its tune for the duration of the World Cup. La Rumba will focus on Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking teams from Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and more for the next month; it will also air all matches in Spanish. The party kicks off at noon on Friday, June 15, with Portugal v. Spain; on Saturday, June 16, the doors open at 7 a.m. for Argentina v. Iceland, followed by Denmark v. Peru at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 17, brings Germany v. Mexico (9 a.m.) and Brazil v. Switzerland (noon). Visit the club's Facebook page for details and future viewing parties.
Sloan's Lake Tap & Burger
1565 Raleigh Street
Chances are you're as committed to drinking as you are to soccer (let's face it, probably more). And while Sloan's Lake Tap & Burger has an impressive number of big screens on which to watch the tournament, its dedication to drinking is also paramount: The bar will be running happy-hour pricing from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and during matches on weekends throughout the World Cup. Even if you can't be bothered to pretend to like soccer, that's a deal worth showing up for.
The Three Lions
2239 East Colfax Avenue
Another well-established Denver soccer bar, the Three Lions is consistently open early for games throughout the year. During World Cup madness, it will open its doors fifteen minutes before every day's first game, with coffee and tea service until 7 a.m., when the tap handles open and the beer starts flowing. Fans will also be able to get breakfast — ranging from English beans and toast to American biscuits and gravy — until 11 a.m.
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