Finnish football fans are traveling in droves to their neighboring country Russia for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the World Cup according to YLE, not even minding that Finland didn’t qualify for the competition this year. But to those who aren’t able to make the trip, there are still plenty of bars in the Finnish capital of Helsinki to enjoy the World Cup and hang out with other football fans with a glass of good Finnish beer and quality pub grub. These are some of the best throughout the city.
Located on Lauttasaari Island to the west of downtown Helsinki, Bar Iso Majakka is a sports-oriented bar showing the latest games, including the World Cup, on seven widescreen televisions. These can be enjoyed with light bar snacks sold for a reasonable price. In addition, there are other pub games such as billiards and darts and karaoke on Friday and Saturday nights. While it has a cosy feeling during the daytime, at night the bar really comes alive and is open until 4pm on Saturday nights.
Elmo Sports Bistro claims “we do not limit happy to an hour”, which it accomplishes with its casual sports theming. Even the servers wear Team Suomi shirts. Several widescreens allow guests to enjoy the latest game while tucking into burgers and chips, pizza or the “legendary Elmo meatballs”. Elmo has only been open for a year but has already become a big player in the Helsinki sports scene.
Bruuveri Brewery Restaurant is a traditional English-style pub with a Nordic twist located in the Kamppi shopping centre in central Helsinki, only a few minutes away from the central train station and south harbour. Drinks from the Saimaa Beverages plant in Eastern Finland or the establishment’s own brewery plus bar snacks such as onion rings, chicken wings and burgers pair together well for enjoying the latest match.
One of Helsinki’s most popular sports bars due to its energetic atmosphere and some of the most keenly priced food in central Helsinki, which includes cheesy chips, Cajun shrimp and pepper steak. The World Cup and other sports games are broadcast on the wall-to-wall television screens on the second floor, while the ground floor has casino games.
A more classic, casual, local sports bar, Sportsbar Töölö is a popular meeting spot for hockey and football fans to enjoy the game or pre-game drinks before heading to the nearby Ice Hall. While the bar can be highly rowdy when games are playing, at other times it is quieter and a more ideal place for a drink and a chat while looking at the sports memorabilia on the walls.