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 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. Here are 10 spots that have both.
Butter chicken wings, multiple plasmas, and 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 London. Even if you watch your team lose, you can’t lose at Brigadiers. Not with lamb chops this good.
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 as smaller screens in the main bar area.
Thanks in part to Four Legs, the people in the kitchen, backstreet Islington boozer The Compton Arms has turned from carpets and crisps to pale ales and pig’s head tacos. And although The Compton has scrubbed up a bit, it’s still a destination to watch football: it’s full of screens (including one in their small garden) and screaming on match day - especially if Arsenal are playing. You’ll also have trouble walking alone (or otherwise) after their excellent cheeseburger.
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 wall - and choose from excellent Turkish, pizza, or Jamaican (amongst others) that are all very close by.
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 whilst 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 central location.
Part old-school boozer and part fantastic Thai restaurant, The Heron is a go-to spot for a combination of football and food. The upstairs 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.
Technically a rugby pub, but more often a football one because, well, football, The Faltering Fullback is a somewhat legendary Finsbury Park spot that’s best known for its M.C. Escher-like garden that always results in at least one lost mate and several dropped pints. The inside is where all the screens are. It’s also where all the Thai food that’s served is cooked. It’s familiar and tasty fare: noodles, curries, soups, and meat dishes. Be prepared: it’s very popular on match days and weekends.
Effra Hall Tavern is one 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 (who are ten 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. And, as a result, just have done. This Battersea pub has everything you need when it comes to watching football or happily ignoring it with 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, or your classic burger, it’s a no brainer if you’re looking for a pub in south west London.