Coming together to watch a soccer game on TV while eating pizza with friends is one of the most Italian of traditions. Even Italian expats in New York stick to this habit, sharing the viewing of the national team’s games in bars, pubs, and restaurants in all five boroughs of the city.
As you might already know, on Sunday the 11th, Italy will play against England in the European Championship final that will take place at Wembley Stadium at 3pm EDT. Besides watching the game on ESPN, New Yorkers can go enjoy drinks and delicacies in one of the many venues that will be showing the game.
The first option is the authentically Italian restaurant Ribalta which for years has been offering delicious pizza (the fourth best pizza in the nation according to 50toppizza.it) love of soccer and conviviality. For the final match, the restaurant has organized a block party, closing the street and setting up two giant screens, one inside and one outside, to allow anyone who won’t find a seat inside to watch. Reservations won’t be allowed, so it’s suggested you get there around 1.30pm in order to get a table.
“We invite all Italians in New York to show up, hoping we can all come together and celebrate during the game,” said Rosario Procino, one of the owners of Ribalta. “Hopefully, the game will give us reason to celebrate!”
The restaurant frequently shows soccer games, but none have been as important as the European finals. Usually people of Italian, European and South American origin show up, although more and more Americans have also been getting interested in this sport.
The Football Factory, which is part of the Legends pub franchise and is considered “the New York soccer house”, will also be showing the game live, with over 20 big screens. What makes the Legends one of the most beloved sports pubs in the city is their traditional American menu, the largest collection of soccer memorabilia in the US, and a view of the Empire State Building.
BRONX AND QUEENS
Bronx’s Little Italy will also throw a party for the final of the European Championship, which will take place between Crescent Avenue and Adams Place. The neighborhood will set up a 12 foot wide screen and the surrounding restaurants will prepare traditional Italian dishes.
The Bronx Ale House, a brewery on 238th street, will continue the events that it has thrown since the beginning of the European Championship. Throughout the final game, besides screens on which to watch the game, the ale house will offer a happy hour, with $5 drinks and artisanal beer.
The Tutto Calcio Espresso Bar in Queens, has planned a hybrid event with inside and outside seating, where drinks, food and ice cream will be served, with live music in the background. They suggest arriving around 2pm, although you can reserve a table by calling the phone number found on their Instagram account. The long-awaited game will be shown on an 18 feet wide screen.
Finally, many venues in Brooklyn have also made big plans for this Sunday night. The Iona Bar, a Scottish restaurant and pub with a patio in the back, frequently shows soccer games. For the Italy vs. England game there will be no reservations, but the owners suggest showing up around 1pm to enjoy snacks, cocktails, beer and the relaxing environment in the garden before the exciting game.
The Jackbar, in the Williamsburg neighborhood, is among the best pubs with pinball machines in New York. The pub will allow soccer fans to watch the game, while anyone who is not as interested can enjoy the atmosphere and the machines on site.