Want to experience more World Cup fever than you can get watching at home on TV? Here's where to catch serious Cup fever in a room full of fanatical soccer supporters cheering their national teams on to victory. In front of a big-screen TV. With beer and food, too.
Costa Rica vs Germany
Friday (June 9), 11:30 am
The cerveza flows at Pura Vida (685 Lansdowne, at Bloor West, 416-915-0097), a low-key grocery store slash family-style café where the Costa Rican crew pray for a victory over favoured Germany. Catch the action on the humongous TV while wolfing down Enchiladas Suisas with Diablo Sauce and Molletes Pura Vida, refried beans topped with crema fresca, sharp queso, pickled jalapeño, coriander, tomato 'n' onion. A block away from the Dimpfelmeier Bakery factory outlet in Etobicoke, the Musket (40 Advance Road, at Shawbridge, 416-231-6488) offers the Teutonic horde two rooms equipped with TVs and a menu that features nostalgic back-home comfort food like goulash, schnitzel und strudel.
Back downtown, U of T student bierkeller EinStein (229 College, at St. George, 416-597-8346) shows the match on its projection-screen TV as well as eight smaller monitors. Fans are encouraged to bring their favourite tankard and fill up on Great Lakes-brewed house lager and discounted Guinness while noshing on deep-fried pickles.
Germany vs Poland
June 14, 2 pm
It could be the second world war all over again at 350-seat Scarborough banquet hall the Blue Danube (1686 Ellesmere, at McCowan) when the German and Polish Consulates throw a simultaneous World Cup bash in the same room. Tickets are $20 in advance (416-598-7088) and include finger food, drinks and the chance to win prizes like dinner with wine at Tundra for correctly predicting the outcome of the match. But what about the rivalry between the fans? "If anything, it makes the atmosphere even better!" says event organizer Julia Scholtz .