People of Manchester, it’s time to do away with the Red and Blue rivalry for a few weeks this summer and join together in collective football hope with your fellow Mancunians when the World Cup kicks off on June 14th followed by disappointment when England get knocked out in the quarter-finals.
So let’s dust off those shiny Italia 90 shirts, remind ourselves of the lyrics of Three Lions and get behind the boys.
If you’re planning on getting out and about for the matches, here’s where you should be spending your time and enjoy some decent footy, hopefully some sun and definitely a few beers when they get knocked out by Germany on penalties. Or Iceland.
Walkabout are screening every match live from Russia and are offering advanced bookings for tables, making them the perfect choice for large groups. The number of screens alone make it a firm favourite for football fans whatever their allegiance – there won’t be a bad seat in the house. The team also run sports table service, meaning you don’t have to worry about missing any of the action by queueing at the bar, and the large menu makes Walkabout ideal for an afternoon spent eating, drinking and watching the footy.
As one of four bars in Bierkeller, this is technically a German-themed bar. But look past that. And just imagine how good it will be if we beat Germany in the final. We can’t guarantee that, but what we can guarantee here is 20 HDTVs and a 3m x 3m projector screen. The atmosphere will be big, too. This is a great shout for England’s biggest match in the group. The big one against Belgium is Thursday night with a 7pm kick off. Get down early after work, it’s gonna be huge. PS we’ll probably lose and Lukaku will score the winner, but you get what we mean.
The Refinery are screening selected games from the World Cup 2018. Cheer on your favourite team with a cold pint, a refreshing summer cocktail or glass of Pimms. Tuck into The Refinery’s exclusive World Cup sliders – £12.95 for four, or £95 for 20 sliders, a bucket of ten beers and two trios of fries (perfect for a group of ten).
The Director’s Box
Dedicated sports bar the Director’s Box took over the old Beef & Pudding site on Booth Street last year and revamped it for sport-loving city slickers. Alongside offering sharing boards and burgers, there’s also a good selection of beers, spirits and wines behind the bar.
Tib Street Tavern
England’s second game in the group sees them face off against the plucky Panamanians. Apparently they’re filthy, so this one could be pretty lively. Thing is, it’s 1 o’clock on a Sunday, so we’re thinking a Sunday session with a big scran thrown in. Tib Street Tavern caters for your Sunday World Cup needs with eight good size screens across two floors and a plentiful food menu with burgers, nachos, skewers and the rest. When we win? A few pints round the rest of the Northern Quarter.
Carlsberg Pop-Up Sports Bar @ Manchester 235 Casino
Great Northern is now offering non-stop, 24 hours of sporting action, thanks to a unique Carlsberg Pop-Up Sports Bar open inside Manchester 235. Soak up this summer’s sporting action in style at this floor-to-ceiling sports haven. The Carlsberg Pop-Up Sports Bar offers free entry and will show all major sporting events throughout summer 2018, including the much-anticipated World Cup. They’ll be showing all of the live games in their Vegas lounge and 235Live suite.
The Victorian Chop Houses – Sam’s, Albert’s and Tom’s
If you’re after somewhere to get a hearty feed and a proper pint whilst you watch the England matches, look no further than Manchester’s Victorian Chop Houses. Now taking bookings for England vs. Tunisia, Panama and Belgium games on the 18th, 24th and 28th respectively. Give them a call in advance to secure yourself a premium seat to catch all the action.
This dedicated Ancoats sports bar is located on the Cutting Rooms square. With large screens easy to see no matter where you find yourself sat, you can’t really go wrong. Serving up a decent mix of local and national beer alongside classic cocktails and mixers, plus some tasty but naughty grub to go alongside, Second City is certainly a decent shout.
England kick off their latest tilt at regaining their 1966 crown with an intriguing encounter against north African hotshots Tunisia. While the game itself doesn’t scream classic, it’s the World Cup, it’s England, and we’re pumped. It’s also a Monday night, so we’re not going too hard. Dive ticks all the Monday night football boxes. According to Sky Sports and Carling, it’s the best place to watch live sport in Manchester. There’s 11 screens and the food is decent with sliders, tacos, nachos, fried chicken and some dirty burgers on the menu. Grab a booth and make the most of the worst day of the week. And surely England will beat Tunisia?
Head down to Impossible on Peter Street for a bit of sun with your footy. Weather permitting, the Impossible team will be screening all of the football games on their big screen on their ground floor terrace. Out with a big group? They’re also taking table bookings for corporate parties on their terrace with buckets of beer and lots of tasty sharing snacks available too.
Connected to the Hatter’s Hostel group, sleek and stylish Northern Quarter bar The Patron has already developed some substantial acclaim in the short time that it’s been open. With a top-notch chef team dishing up small plates, a fine selection of wine, beer and spirits and some well-positioned big screens, if you’re after a more upmarket football watching experience then give them a look in.
Recently idle hands have ventured into late-night service, offering up a grand selection of local wine and beer as well as cocktails and tasty snacks. Head over to their new home on the junction of Tarrif and Dale street for a laid-back spot to watch the World Cup matches.
The best of the rest
If England manage to scrape through the group and then God forbid actually win a knock-out match, a couple of other decent options include Black Dog Ballroom on New Wakefield Street where the big screen and terrace combo is perfect for the heavenly combination of good weather and decent football. Just keep your tops on lads.
Or try Café Football at the National Football Museum for some 1966 nostalgia and football-themed grub and pre-match pies.
To mix it up with a round of golf post or pre-match head to The Green where they’ve got 27 screens including nine jumbos. To spend a Saturday taking in a match at one, four and seven o’clock while never running out of beer money, hold court at The Courtyard. And to re-enact the big screen action with your FIFA controllers, make a date with Ancoats’ Second City.
A little further afield, Sweet Diner in Denton is hidden gem which has everything you’d want to eat on your cheat day. What’s more, they’re screening every football match and with new opening times of 12pm-11pm every day you’ll be hard pressed to miss a game. If England win, they’ll be giving out a free milkshake to everyone who’s dined too.
But if you’ve had enough of England and just want to enjoy the atmosphere, Manchester really is your oyster.