Where To Watch Football & Eat Good Food
11 spots to eat good food and (maybe) watch good football.
Football! Footy! The beautiful game! These are the kind of things that someone who doesn’t care about football and, more importantly, doesn’t have a menu to distract them, will say to you as you mouth expletives at a screen and occasionally point to the heavens. This is why it’s always important when going out to watch football to choose somewhere that 1) serves good food and 2) has enough screens to allow you to melodramatically walk off if need be.
Butter chicken wings, multiple plasmas, and oil paintings of legendary footballers. Brigadiers is the only place where you’re going to find all three. And even if you’re not looking for any of these things, you should still be coming to this City restaurant. Not because of the pool table or the whisky vending machine either, but because it’s one of the best Indian restaurants in the city. Even if you watch your team lose, you can’t lose at Brigadiers. Not with lamb chops this good.
The Scolt Head
The Scolt Head is a popular pub in De Beauvoir that marries the surprisingly hard to find combination of being both a destination pub and a football pub. The enclosed front garden is usually full of the young and the not-so-young sinking pints and eating old favourites like fish and chips or slow-roasted pork sandwiches. While the inside features an enormous (and often very lively) projector room as well smaller screens in the main bar area.
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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Finding a pub in central London with football and food that isn’t straight from Iceland is no mean feat, but The George fulfills both of these wants superbly. The Fitzrovia pub has a handful of decently sized screens around its mahogany bar and is a fine place to pitch up as long as there aren’t too many slurring suits around you on a weekday. If you do nab a table in front of a screen, then you’ll more than likely do some serious damage to the menu. Red curry pork scratchings are the pre-match snack and, while there are all manner of tarted-up pub classics on the menu, the suckling pig vindaloo is surely the best way to celebrate a good result.
A bar-cum-pub that doesn’t serve much in the way of food, scampi and bacon fries aside, seems like an odd choice for this guide. But only the most experienced Yucatan regulars will know that this Stoke Newington football haven is more than happy for you to order in. Only if you ask nicely (and buy enough drinks) of course. So find a spot with a view of one of their many, many screens—this is the kind of place where there are more pixels than wallspace—and you’ve got spots like Mangal 1 or Micky’s Chippy very close by.
If you’re looking to escape the not-so-dulcet cries of IN-GER-LAND but still want to enjoy the football then heading to Stockwell is a savvy idea. The bars and restaurants that make up Little Portugal are all football and food mad and Estrela, with its multi-screen and multi-plate tapas menu, is an ideal setup for an afternoon and/or evening. Settle in, let whoever isn’t interested in the football settle down with a francesinha (a steak sandwich topped with melted cheese, a fried egg, gravy, and chips), and get involved.
The Faltering Fullback
Technically a rugby pub, but more often a football one, The Faltering Fullback is a popular Finsbury Park spot best known for its M.C. Escher-like garden. That’s an excellent space for solemn tactical analysis and post-match debriefs, but inside is where all the screens are (and also where Thai food is served). It’s familiar and tasty fare: noodles, curries, soups, and meat dishes. Be prepared: it’s very popular on match days and weekends.
Look, Bodean’s isn’t the greatest BBQ spot in the world, but it’s one of the few places in London where you can watch England implode against a team of semi-professional footballers and highly professional plumbers while stuffing your face with burnt ends and smoked sausage. For that alone, it has much worth. The Soho original is our favourite, not just because it’s got loads of screens and loads of meat, but because of its useful location in central.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
Part old-school boozer and part fantastic Thai restaurant, The Heron is our go-to spot for a combination of football and food. The upstairs room of this Paddington pub is reassuringly familiar: full of brown wood, TV screens, and the sense of hope and crushing disappointment that only football mixed with lager can bring. The downstairs restaurant meanwhile, well that’s a different story. It’s full of vibrant and fierce Thai food in a big, comfortable, dining space. Football fan or not, you should be coming here.
The Effra Hall Tavern
Effra Hall Tavern is one of Brixton’s most-loved pubs and you’ll see why as soon as you walk in. The atmosphere mixes locals holding up the bar and big groups in the back, football on the projector alongside live music almost every night of the week, and classic pub food with Caribbean influences. This is a straightforward place for a straightforward good time.
Bank of Friendship
A pub with one of the finest names and finest pub gardens in London. If you need somewhere to watch the football around Highbury, then the BOF is where you should be heading. There are multiple screens on both sides of the pub and they’re friends with Yard Sale Pizza (who are 10 minutes down Blackstock Road). So whether or not everyone in your group is interested in what’s happening on screen, everyone will be interested in pints and pizza.
Solid. That is the word we would use to describe The Lighthouse. This Battersea pub has everything you need when it comes to watching football or happily ignoring it with a plate of padron peppers tactically placed in front of you. With TVs indoors and out, a selection of excellent beers, and a menu that ranges from halloumi fries, to roasted aubergine salads, to your classic burger, it’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for a pub around south west.