This Sunday, the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar, and although we’re excited about any football match, we’re particularly ready to cheer on Les Bleus. From November 20th through December 18th, a total of 64 matches will be played by 32 teams across a handful of cities worldwide, though we’ll be holding down the celebrations locally in New York City. Although the majority of New Yorkers (and New York-based Frenchies) won’t be making it across the pond in the coming weeks, worry not – we’ve put together a list of places to eat and drink like Les Bleus while enjoying the match du jour.
This year, Les Bleus will head to Qatar in hopes of defending their winning World Cup title from 2018. Although top players Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante will not be present due to untimely injuries, the star-studded final roster of 26 players includes numerous highlights, most notably Kylian Mbappe, who scored an impressive four goals—as a teenager nonetheless—at France’s last World Cup appearance. Les Bleus’ goal will be tended by Hugo Lloris, while fan favorites Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann will occupy the field.
Catch Les Bleus at the World Cup on Tuesday, November 22nd (versus Australia) at 2pm, Saturday, November 26th (versus Denmark) at 11am, and Wednesday, November 30th (versus Tunisia) at 10am.
340 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013
For Frenchies, francophiles, and New Yorkers alike, Félix is simply a classic. Located on West Broadway in the heart of the city’s SoHo neighborhood, this lively establishment is known for its sprawling windows, rowdy crowd, and ample sidewalk seating. Pop in 7 days a week for lunch, brunch, or dinner and enjoy classic French favorites such as escargot, confit de canard, and steak frites, as well as oeufs mayo, cheese boards, and other shareable bites – washed down with copious amounts of French wine or aperitifs, of course.
128 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood is no stranger to French establishments, with Bar Tabac at the helm of it all. Known for its bistro favorites, summer pétanque, and consistently flowing supply of Ricard, this beloved restaurant pays homage to the classic tobacco shops of Paris yet offers a more refined selection of food and drink. From moules frites to coq au vin to cheese boards, charcuterie spreads, and beyond, this neighborhood classic will instantly transport you to your favorite French tabac.
Café du Soleil
2723 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
For a classic uptown spot that promises not to disappoint, look no further than Café du Soleil. Beloved for its fuss-free French fare and classic wicker bistro furniture, this no-frills French establishment is the perfect place for watching the game with a delicious meal, no bar frenzy required. The bar’s ample sidewalk seating and two interior screens offer a welcome reprieve from the craziness of midtown bars, and the authentic, home-cooked food is not to be missed. From pâtés and rillettes to cassoulet, choucroute, foie de veau, moules frites, and beyond, one thing’s for sure – no matter how the game goes, you’re definitely not going to leave here hungry.
137 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
Whether Lower East Side or West Village is more your vibe, Lena’s got you covered. This rustic French restaurant / wine bar brings the best of the Basque Country’s flavors to downtown Manhattan, with a slew of French wines and handmade cocktails to boot. Enjoy a variety of small plates and cheese / charcuterie boards in a tapas style setting, perfect for enjoying the World Cup in a less chaotic environment than most sports bars. For weekend brunch, we can’t recommend the Basque Croque Monsieur enough.
For those looking for a more European beer hall versus full-blown French vibe, check out these legendary beer gardens / classic NYC sports bars for a dose of football-fueled fun.
712 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10017
Okay, so it may not be French, but this German-inspired bierhaus promises to give you all of the European sports vibes. Opened in 2011, this rowdy beer hall is conveniently located just two blocks from Grand Central, making accessing the bar’s space easier than ever. Expect communal tables, meat-heavy dishes, and employees clad in traditional Bavarian garb. Opens at noon daily, reservations available (and don’t skip on the schnitzel!)
29-19 24th Ave, Queens, NY 11105
Queens dwellers, you’re in luck. One of the city’s most authentically European venues—and best places to watch sports—is located right in Astoria. Occupying an entire city block, this European-inspired beer garden is known for its ample outdoor seating, communal picnic tables, and grilled bratwursts as far as the eye can see (or should we say, as far as the nose can smell). Czech beers and a variety of other brews are served up cold in large steins, and massive TV screens genuinely occupy the area’s outdoor stage space, especially during sporting events. You may need to bundle up, but we promise that a trip to this unforgettable beer garden is absolutely worth it!
The Red Lion
151 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Situated on MacDougal Street in the heart of Greenwich Village, The Red Lion has long been known for its live music and sporting events, and still continues to attract die-hard fans of various sports teams in the present day. Expect reasonably priced beer and easy-to-share bar food, including street tacos, truffle tater tots, and loaded pub nachos, as well as 20+ beers on tap (and even more available by the bottle). While this place may not be your typical French establishment, think of it as a nostalgic nod to the rowdy pubs on the rue Mouffetard from your study abroad years in Paris.
Legends / Football Factory
6 W 33rd St, New York, NY 10001
Although a number of sports are broadcasted at Legends, football (soccer) is the name of the game. Situated just across from the Empire State Building, this Midtown establishment boasts over 100 matches per week and is known for its easy pub fare, including a variety of burgers, fish and chips, nachos, and more. While the food may not be French, the ambiance of the crowd will instantly make you feel like you’re back at Stade de France in no time.
"Allé les bleus!"