LDNGuide

Where To Watch Football & Eat Good Food

The result might not be great, but at least the food will be.
The interior of The Chancellor's pub in Hammersmith where Crisp Pizza is made.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Pub

Old Street

$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good BeerCatching Up With MatesSports!Eating At The BarDay Drinking

Gibney’s is an Old Street Irish bar that sits beneath sister restaurant, Daffodil Mulligan, and it’s definitely the messy younger sibling with a twinkle in its eye. Perfect strangers spill their holiday plans with you at the bar, pints of Guinness are lined up with precision, and there are screens showing every sport under the sun above the bar. If you’re here to eat, nab one of the snug wooden booths where you can eat a juicy beef and bone marrow cheeseburger in relative peace. 

Little about the South Bank feels particularly Caribbean, but Limin brings a bit of sunshine mixed with football fever Thames-side. Book a table in their indoor-outdoor dining room, or ask for somewhere in the ‘beach’ seating area with a view of a screen. A generous plate of jerk chicken with a side of spinach and sweetcorn fritters makes for glorious football-watching food, and there are a tonne of cocktails on the menu too.

The Clarence Tavern, a Stoke Newington gastropub, is best-known for its family-friendly atmosphere and tender slow-roasted lamb shoulder, but this summer, the football will be on in the bar area. Not every game will be shown (expect England and knockouts to be the priority), but tables are bookable and there will be a special bar menu too. If the chips and the guinea fowl terrine are anything to go by, then it bodes very well.

Unless you’re strictly off social media and carbs, you’ll more than likely have heard about Crisp Pizza’s residency at The Chancellors in Hammersmith. This pub has become sacred turf for pizza fanatics and anyone who loves a thin, NYC-style pie with a blistered and charred crust, bubbling cheese, and splodges of creamy buffalo mozzarella. As well as slinging some of London’s best pizza, The Chancellors is also just a straightforward pub. There are big screens, there are pints, and there’s comfortable seating. But come early.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

You’ll find Shree Krishna Vada Pav’s Wembley location up in the top corner of Trader Wembley—a big, industrial food hall with an almost IMAX-sized projector screen playing Sky Sports on loop. There’s a bar on one side too, so if you’re interested in the unbeatable combination of cold beer and Maharashtrian vegetarian snacks (a pre-match, half-time, and post-match vada pav is an excellent idea), then there’s nowhere better to do it.

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. And the inside features an enormous (and often very lively) projector room as well smaller screens in the main bar area.

photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch

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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.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The Army & Navy doesn’t serve much in the way of food—Scampi and Bacon Fries aside—but only the most experienced regulars will know that this pub and football haven between Newington Green and Dalston is more than happy for you to order in. There are Yard Sale menus on the table, Micky’s Chippy is across the road, and Mangal 1 is a hop and a skip away. It isn’t hard to find a spot with a view of a screen inside or in the massive garden if you're at the Army & Navy for the football. This is the kind of boozer with more pixels than wall space.

Finding a pub in central London with football and food that isn’t straight from Iceland is no mean feat, but The George fulfils both of these wants superbly. The Fitzrovia pub has a handful of screens around its mahogany bar and is a fine place to pitch up. 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.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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.

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: noodles, curries, soups, and meat dishes. Be prepared: it’s very popular on match days and weekends.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Part old-school boozer and part brilliant Thai restaurant, The Heron is a 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 and mediocre 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. 

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.

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.

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