The exciting FIFA World Cup that inspired thousands to chant “U.S.A!” and shined the spotlight on Brazil is coming to an end on Sunday. Here are some hotspots in downtown Tampa where you can catch the final World Cup games and cheer with fellow futbol fans.
Anise Global Gastrobar
With a menu inspired by the global travels of its management and staff, this spot serves as a local hangout to watch the World Cup tournament. Cheers and shots flow in an environment that blends gourmet food and quality cocktails, and the fun will continue throughout the final World Cup game. Don't miss the curried coconut wings or truffle tater tots on the restaurant’s small bites menu. 777 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, 813-225-4272, aniseglobalgastrobar.com.
Bizou Brasserie and Longitude Bar
Le Méridien opened in the old Tampa courthouse last month, and the hotel’s French bistro on the second floor shows World Cup games in its bar area for guests to enjoy. Order a Vieux Carré, a 1930s New Orleans cocktail named after the French Quarter of the Crescent City, which features cognac, rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. The cheese plate will not disappoint if you are looking for something to snack on. The Longitude Bar, just a floor below Bizou, is worth the visit if you are just looking for a drink. 601 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-221-9555, lemeridientampa.com.
Champions Sports Bar
Housed inside the Tampa Marriott along Florida Avenue, this bar boasts good grub and good times to go along with it. Chow on bar fare like burgers, nachos, salads and sandwiches while watching the World Cup on Champions’ huge TV. Patrons may sit around booths or tables with friends, or enjoy the games atop bar stools solo. A pitcher of beer may be necessary. 700 S. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-221-4900.
Established as a good ol’ neighborhood sports bar, Hattricks is showing all the tournament games. The bar is offering fans 16-ounce beer-bucket specials, as well as 60-cent wings during happy hour. A number of daily food specials are also available. 107 S. Franklin St., Tampa, 813-225-4288, hattrickstavern.com.
Maloney’s Local Irish Pub
This pub’s website says the “true flavor of Ireland permeates every aspect” of its business. Maloney’s recently set up shop downtown after success with its first location in Westchase, and is showcasing the World Cup on big screens in HD quality. Patrons may enjoy daily dine-in specials Sunday through Thursday at $5 a pop, and Magners Irish Cider is available for $4 during the soccer games. 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-284-7963, maloneyslocal.com.
Paddywagon Irish Pub
An upscale neighborhood dive that welcomes pooches and smokers. When you’re not gathering at Paddywagon for the World Cup, frequent the bar for daily drink specials, including Shot Caller Sundays for 20 percent off shots and What You Like Wednesdays for BOGO drinks. There are darts and a pool table to keep you busy, too. 808 N. Franklin St. #130, Tampa, 813-226-4235, paddywagontampa.com.
Taps Restaurant Bar & Lounge
Taps features more than 350 beer brands from around the world, and more than 25 of them are carried on draft. One hundred wine varieties, with nearly 60 available by the glass, resonate with the World Cup’s global appeal. During the tournament, Taps offers $1 off house draft beers, $5 single liquor cocktails, $5 house wines and other $5 specials on eats from 4 to 7 p.m. 777 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, 813-463-1968, tapswineandbeer.com.