Ekaterinburg’s nightlife may not be popping with sports bars, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Be assured that if you’re in town for the World Cup, most of this creative, young city will be swept up in the excitement. While there are a few proper sports bars around town, bars and pubs across the city will screen competition matches, so choose a venue that suits your style with these picks on where to catch a football game.
Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
What’s not to like about a bar that closes only after the last man standing leaves? Televizor is a no-fuss, easy going bar that caters well to sports fans. Decked out in sports memorabilia, there is a huge projector and five large screens, including one on the ceiling, so unless you’re distracted by the band, you’ll have a good view. The perfect companion to watching sport is beer, and Televizor has a slew of craft beers, IPAs, lagers and ales on tap and by the bottle.
Gastropub, Steakhouse, $$$
A 24-hour steakhouse that has bands, TV screens and foosball. Exposed red brick and timber décor make the interior as stylish as it is inviting. Aside from the steaks there are burgers and meat from the grill, and vegetarians can cobble together a meal from the sides and salad menu.
Bar, Fast Food
One of Ekaterinburg‘s proper sports bars, the aptly named Pit Stop screens matches across most sports. Despite the extensive selection of food and drinks (Pit Stop serves predominately Russian dishes with a pizza and pasta menu on the side), it is a fairly no-frills type of joint, that also does live music as well. It is part of a chain, and there are multiple venues around town.
Press House, Loft Bar-Gallery
Bar, Restaurant, European, Vegetarian, $$$
Not an everyday sports bar, but this restaurant-cum-bar-cum-gig venue-cum-gallery is not too arty to ignore the World Cup. Housed in one of Ekaterinburg’s most iconic Constructivist buildings, this venue gets some of the best local, national and international bands through its door, and if sports bars aren’t really your thing, Press House is probably your least sports bar-like choice to catch a match.
Bar, European, $$$
A little bit out of the city centre, Five Balls is a really relaxed, casual place with a cosy, laid-back feel. The menu offers an extensive array of Russian favourites like pancakes, soups and caviar and a big screen to catch the game. Opening in the afternoon and staying open until the early morning, while away the night playing pool or relax in one of the hookah rooms.
Pub, Pub Grub, Vegetarian, $$$
This Scottish-style pub, which is right near the Iset River Embankment, offers an extensive European and Russian menu, and DJs and bands ensure this place keeps going into the early morning. Dr Scotch is not usually a sports bar, but it is making an exception for the World Cup.
Gastropub, European, Vegetarian, $$$
The Ben Hall often screens important games, and with a large screen with a projector and seven TVs throughout the pub, you won’t miss a moment of the World Cup, or any other game you want to watch. An easy-going English-style pub, it serves up standard pub grub, and with a revolving door of DJs and bands, you can kick on until the early morning here.
The Rosy Jane
Pub, European, Russian, Vegetarian, $$$
Another centrally located pub, The Rosy Jane often screens big football and hockey games. Open almost around the clock, bands and DJs keep the place buzzing through the night, but somehow the pub pulls off being a late-night boozer without being too trashy. The Rosy Jane will definitely screen the World Cup and will more than happily continue to ply you with drinks long after the game has finished. It has a good kitchen that does breakfasts until midday and weekday lunches midday to 5pm, as well as dinner and bar snacks.