With World Cup 2018 matches taking place in the morning and early afternoon due to the time difference in Russia, you can’t just show up to any bar and/or restaurant in Medellin to take in the action like in the past. Most places aren’t opening for the early games, and some may only open early for those highly-anticipated Colombia games. Rather than play a game of Russian roulette (see what we did there?) and risk missing the match, check out our list of places to watch the World Cup in Medellin. And keep in mind many of these places accept reservations.
Ay Wey Bar
Where better to watch the Mexican national team play than at this Poblado newcomer with a Mexican-focused menu? Ay Wey serves tacos, burritos, chilaquiles and micheladas, among other items. But feel free to watch other teams here as well, as Ay Wey will be open every game day beginning at 6:45am. Calle 10 #35-33, Medellin; facebook.com/ayweybar.
Centro Comercial Oviedo
Hit the mall for a more family-friendly atmosphere, where games will be shown on two big screens (one in Sector Manzana and the other in the Rotonda del Tercer Nivel) beginning at 8am on match days. On Saturdays during the tournament, Oviedo will host a two-on-two soccer-tennis tournament. Carrera 43A #6 Sur-15; Medellin; oviedo.com.co
El Aleman Pues
Guests in attendance will be treated to a 5-liter German beer barrel when either Colombia or Germany wins, so, well, expect free German beer often. Other scenarios that will earn patrons gratis booze: If Colombia or Germany is winning by three goals and if any World Cup team scores five goals. Count on plenty of appetizing breakfast options and giveaways such as free meals. Make sure to check El Aleman Pues’s World Cup schedule to see if they’ll be showing the match you’re interested in. Carrera 43B #11-76, Medellin; facebook.com/elalemanpues.
It’s time to break out the big screen. El Social will once again put on the games for people outside the no-frills Provenza bar. And yes, that includes all the 7am games. Expect a big crowd for Colombia matches. And if you don’t get there early, expect to stand. Carrera 35 #8a-8, Medellin; facebook.com/elsocial1969.
Kusi Cocina Peruana
It’s not every day Peru plays in a World Cup. In fact, it’s been something like 13,000-plus days since Los Incas last played in one — but who’s counting? You can bet this Peruvian restaurant in Laureles is going to be filled with excited fans and red and white balloons, just like it has been for recent matches. Kusi will open early for all Peru games and show other games that start at noon or later. Transversal 39B #72-71, Medellin; kusiperu.co.
Mahalo Action Sports Cafe
The place has a bit of a surfer theme and even shows surfing competitions on its TVs, but come World Cup time those TVs will be tuned in to the soccer action in Russia. Mahalo will be open for all matches and offers specials on beer buckets and 50 percent off cocktails. Calle 36D Sur #23-70, Envigado; mahaloactionsports.com.
Randy’s Sports Bar & Grill
For those who want to be a part of the Parque Lleras madness, there is the new-ish Randy’s, a kitschy Poblado bar with sports jerseys and scarves on the wall and waitresses in referee-like tops. Randy’s will show all matches starting at 7am or later on its eight TVs. Carrera 39 #8-58, Medellin; facebook.com/randysbaroficial.
Sancho Paisa Plaza Pakita
Catch the “main games” on a massive LED screen and four TVs at Sancho Paisa Plaza Pakita (not to be confused with the Sancho Paisa Las Palmas down the street). This traditional Colombian restaurant will show 24 of the group stages 48 matches, including a handful of early games, and serve breakfast menu items such as calentaos, eggs, bunuelos, pandequesos and, obviously, arepas. Kilómetro 17 Vía Las Palmas, Envigado; facebook.com/sanchopaisapakita.
Correctly guess the final score and goal scorers while watching Colombia matches at this trendy Rio Sur restaurant and win prizes. The matches will be shown on Sinko’s two big screens and and breakfast will be served during early games. On days when Colombia isn’t playing, Sinko will only show the 1pm games. We recommend Sinko’s underrated pizza if you’re there for an afternoon game. Carrera 43A 6S-26, Medellin; facebook.com/sinkobar.
This second-floor Provenza sports bar — which currently features a replica World Cup trophy and a variety of framed national team jerseys by its entrance — plans to show all mid-morning and afternoon matches. Sport Town and its Colombia jersey-wearing staff will also open for early matches if there are enough reservations. Try the Donburger while you’re there, if you’re into eccentric food combinations. Carrera 36 #8A-18, Medellin; facebook.com/sportown10.
We hope you like booze for breakfast. This nightclub on la 70 says it will show all matches starting at 9 a.m. or later on its six HD TVs, but — and this could be a deal-breaker for some of you — it won’t be serving any food. Carrera 70 Circular 3-11, Medellin; discotecatamarindoseco.com.