Toronto bars and restaurants anticipate ‘incredible’ FIFA World Cup action

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The FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday with 32 teams vying for the biggest prize in men’s football.

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More importantly, Canada’s national team returns after a 36-year absence with its first game against Belgium at 2 p.m. Wednesday followed by games against Croatia at 11 a.m. on November 27 and Morocco at 10 a.m. on December 1.

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“It’s been a long time coming,” said Andrew Cutrara, Mississauga member of the Voyageurs, the official supporters group of Canada’s national soccer team with a roster of hundreds of bars across the country hosting watch parties. of the World Cup through lesvoyageurs.org.

“I have Italian origins, so I always supported Italy because I never had a chance for Canada to participate in the World Cup,” he said. “So finally, it’s good that I can represent Canada.”

Canadian midfielder Alphonso Davies during their Concacaf Nations League soccer match between Canada and Curacao at BC Place stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 9, 2022. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP)
Canadian midfielder Alphonso Davies during their Concacaf Nations League soccer match between Canada and Curacao at BC Place stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 9, 2022. (Photo by Don MacKinnon / AFP) Photo by DON MACKINNON /AFP via Getty Images

Usually held in the summer, the World Cup was also postponed to November-December due to the heat in Qatar. But for most of Canada, that means it’s cold outside and will likely only get colder before the World Cup ends on December 18.

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Still, you can expect Toronto’s warm, football-loving, and multicultural population to come out in droves with toques, parkas, and boots if needed.

“We’re planning a sea of ​​reds (shirts) – it’s going to be amazing,” said chef Chris Zielinski, MLSE’s senior culinary director who oversees the menu at Real Sports, Toronto’s 25,000-square-foot sports bar – the most city ​​center – across from the Scotiabank Arena.

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And despite drinking earlier than usual across the city – the 7 a.m. serving time for alcohol in bars and restaurants across Ontario was AGCO approved Friday for the duration of the World Cup – it will be business as usual for Toronto Police.

“Officers will be patrolling regularly during the World Cup,” police spokeswoman Stephanie Sayer said. “We encourage everyone to enjoy FIFA activities, but always plan ahead to get home safely, by public transport, carpooling or with a designated driver.”

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  1. The Century Marina Hotel Lusail, which will serve as the base camp for Canada's national soccer team during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, is pictured in Lusail on November 12, 2022.

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  2. Members of the Belgian national football team (LR) Kevin De Bruyne, Lois Openda, Wout Faes, Leandro Trossard, Jeremy Doku, Romelu Lukaku and Yannick Carrasco pose for a photo near the new Brussels Airlines Belgian Icon

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  3. Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, Pierluigi Collina talks to the media during the Referees Media Day ahead of the official start of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at Qatar Sports Club on November 18, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

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In the meantime, here are our five best bars/restaurants in Toronto/GTA to watch the World Cup action:

Rosario cheers as he watches Italy take on Turkey at EURO 2020 at Cafe Diplomatico Restaurant and Pizzaria, located at Clinton and College Sts.  in Toronto, Ontario on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Rosario cheers as he watches Italy take on Turkey at EURO 2020 at Cafe Diplomatico Restaurant and Pizzaria, located at Clinton and College Sts. in Toronto, Ontario on Friday, June 11, 2021. Photo by Ernest Doroszuk /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Cafe Diplomatico, 594 College St., 416-534-4637 — Little Italy’s The Dip rises to Canada’s Nov. 23 return to the World Cup with a noon street party that day, says the owner Rocco Mastrangelo Jr. “We” We’re taking over Clinton St. We’re setting up a huge tent with 250 stadium-style seats, a live band, entertainment, concession stands and a video wall to broadcast the game. They will do it again in the cup final. Otherwise, the 100-seat outdoor terrace will be heated with an additional 100 seats inside.

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Interior Real Sports Bar and Grill, Air Canada Centre, Toronto.
Interior Real Sports Bar and Grill, Air Canada Centre, Toronto.

Real Sports (RS) Bar and Grill, 15 York Street, 416-815-REAL (7325) — Zielinski, known as Chef Z, says the 700-capacity bar in Toronto to watch the Cup of the world is unprecedented. “We have the only real 39-foot television in town.” It also offers special breakfast items for these early games, including the Extra Time Breakfast Poutine with thick fries, maple-smoked bacon, sage sausages (sausages), cheese curds from Quebec and a tasty sauce with a fried egg on top.

International sports bar and restaurant in Mississauga.
International sports bar and restaurant in Mississauga. Photo by International Sports Bar and Eatery /Facebook

International Sports Bar and Eatery, Unit 1 – 2480 Cawthra Rd., Mississauga, 905-848-0555 — This Voyageur-approved 100-seat bar west of town is special, Cutrara says, because it’s a meeting place for supporters of Canada. best player, Alphonso Davies, who also wears a shirt for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. “We meet there for all (his) games and now we’re doing the same kind of events for Canada,” said Cutrara, who received Travelers merchandise to give away through raffles during the three games of the Canada.

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Brazen Head Irish Pub on East Liberty St. in Toronto.
Brazen Head Irish Pub on East Liberty St. in Toronto. Photo taken by Brazen Head /Facebook

Brazen Head Irish Pub, 165 East Liberty St., Phone: (416) 535-8787 – TFC football fan headquarters, steps from BMO Field, offers an Alphonso Davies burger and a Bud combo ($28) , which gets you a chance to win a $500 viewing party for one of three games at Canada’s World Cup, says pub manager Michelle Lagunes. “We have seen an increase in bookings.”

The Rec Room Toronto Roundhouse on Bremner Blvd.  in Toronto.
The Rec Room Toronto Roundhouse on Bremner Blvd. in Toronto. Picture by handout /Toronto Rotunda Game Room

The Rec Room Toronto Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Blvd., 416-815-0086 – This 40,000 square foot space – half restaurant and half amusement games – seats 1,200 people with a 12-foot-tall movie screen, two 180 inch bar screens and numerous 60 inch TV screens. “The arcade is almost designed for the World Cup,” said Cineplex spokeswoman Judy Lung. “Imagine all the flags from all the different countries, souvenirs everywhere (to) really create that energy and excitement.” Commemorative cups and scarves are also up for grabs.

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