It's the game that extended drinking hours in Toronto (hello, 10am beer) and had Haligonians spilling wine while cheering at the Italian Cultural Centre before lunchtime. Now it's time for finals, and we've gathered some of the busiest spots to watch the World Cup until July 11 closes this tournament and sends all those vuvuzelas home.
A white tent plunked itself down in the middle of Niche's street-level patio in June to give World Cup fans an outdoor spot to watch the game---rain or shine. The big screen's out there, with four screens inside the bar if the tent's full. Niche was "smokin' busy" Saturday night for the Germany vs. Argentina game, so it's best to come early for seats. You can also hand the bartender a $20 bill and get a five-bottle bucket of Bud or Bud Light, taxes in. Maritime Centre, 1505 Barrington Street, 423-6632
Gatsby's Pub & Eatery
Gatsby's owner Helen Davenport knows everything off the top of her head when we ask what's up for World Cup finals week. "We're watching it Saturday and Sunday at 3:15 p.m.," Davenport says quickly, adding that she has nine screens for game-watching---including one 106-inch TV and a private bar, which pile the fans in. When you buy a litre of beer, it's only three bucks extra for a slice, and you can get a five-bottle bucket of domestic for $22. 5679 Spring Garden Road, 429-9999
Lion's Head Tavern
The Lion's Head has been hopping with soccer fans---England's games brought the house down. Since Netherlands won Tuesday night, the staff's preparing for a busy weekend---"I keep joking to my coworker that we'll have to have one room set up for Holland and one room set up for Germany, so they're not fighting in the middle of the room here!" laughed a bartender when we talked to her Tuesday. Watch the games via two huge HD televisions and reader boards to flash the scores. 5833 Sullivan Street, 455-0181