In a nation as futball crazy as Argentina, there is no escaping the World Cup (and who would want to). With banners flying everywhere, conversations dominated by pitch talk and the city turning to a ghost town when it is game time, as most locals share the experience in their homes with family and friends, visitors are seeking out the best places to find World Cup excitement.
If you find yourself in this position, the best thing to do is head over to one of the recommendations below, grab a bar stool, order a pint (or Fernet) and soak in the atmosphere. Here are the top four spots to watch the game:
Believe Irish Bar
Trust an Irish bar to be the best spot for sports and drinking. The original Irish bar in Mendoza has seating indoors that overspill to the outdoor patio where locals and expats all cram in to watch the game and celebrate or commiserate with lots of beer. This is the most popular spot for watching big matches and friendly rivalry is at the very heart of it. Av. Colon 241
The Black Sheep
The US expat brother and sister owners, Carlo & Cynthia Cabrera, opened this sports bar in the north of the city about 1.5 years ago. Providing a large screen for matches accompanied by good pub grub (wings and chili cheese fries are favorites) and a stocked bar, every match is being shown here and thus far has been crowded for Argentine, Colombian and US games. PS. Ladies get free screwdrivers on Saturday nights! Maipu 131 (between Salta and Rioja).
Cheesy Beatles memorabilia line the walls of this Liverpool themed bar in the city center. Attracting a bunch of locals for the English-pub style decor and the elevated TV screen, this is a busy bar on game days and has a convenient location right on San Martin street. The drinks list is not the most varied, so most people just stick with beer. San Martin 1002.
The Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room
If you're up for a bit more of a wine-drinking-while-you-watch experience, head over to The Vines of Mendoza's Tasting Room in the center of town. Many of the games they are showing are well-timed to take advantage of happy hour specials. This week they're airing: Tuesday, 24th - Japan vs Columbia, Wednesday, 25th - Ecuador vs France, Thursday, 26th, Korea v Belgium. Belgrano 1194. For information on which future games will be aired, see The Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room Facebook page.
Amanda Barnes is a British journalist living in Mendoza and once England is out (which shouldn't take long), she'll be cheering for whichever underdog sneaks through the the quarterfinals. www.amandabarnes.co.uk