Monday, June 26, 2006

Where to Watch World Cup Football in San Francisco, Take 2: France?

Cafe Bastille, 22 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

**Update** July 08: Just so you know, there will be NO ALCOHOL served from Belden lane on Sunday for the World Cup Final, but there will be a huge 4x3 metre screen set up at the Bush Street end of the alley.

**UPDATE** July 06: Since France's win yesterday, I spoke to the owner of Cafe Bastille about his plans for the World Cup Final on Sunday. He will probably not serve food or have tables set up as usual. Expecting a larger crowd the TV screens will probably all be set out on Belden alley itself so as many people as possible can view the game. The weather is set to be *hot* on Sunday so it should be a good time to be outside celebrating, especially when France win! Allez les bleus.

**UPDATE** July 07:
Check out the Football Party in Dolores Park, too. I would be there if I wasn't already planning to go to Bastille to support the Frenchies. Allez les Bleus!

photograph picture couleur cafe san francisco world cup football 2006

Fred and I are very supportive of each others' teams in the World Cup. France have always done me good with soccer: In 1998, when I still lived in London, during the very earliest stages of the tournament, I randomly declared that France were going to win. Some guy I knew down the pub laughed in my face and bet me an ample sum of money that it simply wouldn't happen. I completely forgot about that conversation and didn't think the bet was serious, until the day after the final. With the red, white and bleus still celebrating on the other side of the channel, I arrived at work to find an envelope waiting for me at reception, filled with crisp pound notes. I like a bloke who honours his bets, and I like a country who wins them for me!

A couple of years later, still in London, I was freelancing at a company that was full of guys. Literally, I was the only female out of about 22 people. I was working there during the European Cup when they decided to run a sweepstake. Lucky me, huh? Guess who picked France out of the hat? Did they win? Yes. Did I get all the money? Yes. Yes! So you see, I like France.

Cafe Bastille is our regular Friday night jaunt. We know absolutely everyone there, from the boss to the busboys. For the World Cup, Bastille have set up TVs inside the restaurant, so where better to watch last Friday's crucial match against Togo? The French are a little different to the English. Although there was plenty of jeering and camraderie, it was still a civilized affair. Those of us lucky enough were seated, with menus and waitresses serving, apperitifs, steak frites sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, beer, coffees and teas. Even so, Bastille was packed with an audience passionate and excited enough to give the game a thrilling atmosphere. So, we'll be heading back to Bastille tomorrow to see how France fare against Spain and I'll be rooting for the French...

PS. Check out a sweet French Girl who really hates the World Cup.

Alternative: Watch France play at Couleur Cafe


Watch England play at Mad Dog in the Fog

Archive Alert! On this day in 2005: Homemade Egg Sandwiches and Crisps

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Where to Watch World Cup Football in San Francisco, Take 2: France?


  • At 26/6/06 14:15, Blogger Monkey Gland said…

    The young turks of the Spain team vs the old spluttering has beens of the French team? A por ellos!!!!

  • At 26/6/06 16:28, Blogger Del4yo said…

    thanks for the link !
    I wouldn't say I hate the world cup...I just find soccer boring.
    And these soccer balls are so difficult to draw!

    I'm glad the Frenchies made you won!

  • At 26/6/06 22:01, Blogger Passionate Eater said…

    What a wonderful suggestion! I love Cafe Bastille--I have to eat the Croque Madame everytime I go there. Vive le France et la Croque Madame!

  • At 27/6/06 06:20, Blogger Belinda said…

    Practically everyone in Australia is lamenting. There are a lot of comfort food posts!! :)

  • At 27/6/06 13:10, Anonymous risingsunofnihon said…

    What I smart idea to go to a European establishment to catch a World Cup game! Cafe Bastille will have to go on my itinerary the next time I am in town.

  • At 27/6/06 17:23, Anonymous Brett said…

    Congratulations to Fred and his team! I watched today's game at the Goethe Institut further up on Bush Street from Cafe Bastille, where they are showing all the games on a huge movie screen (although it just isn't the same without beer, wine and snacks). The crowd of 200 or so was overwhelmingly for France. I felt their glare when I (and maybe 10 others) cheered for Spain's first and only goal. The veterans of France simply outplayed the young Spaniards. Wish Fred the best of luck against Brazil! And best of luck to your English team against Portugal! Dare I ask what will happen in your household if both teams win and end up facing each other?? :o

  • At 27/6/06 20:15, Blogger neil said…

    A lot of Aussies think that Fabio Grossi is in line for an Academy Award; soccer is such a cruel mistress.

    I heard after the Aust v Croatia game, a lot of Croatians switched their support to us, so in that spirit, Go Italy.

  • At 27/6/06 21:43, Blogger Joe said…

    Thanks for the links Sam - Fun to read!

  • At 27/6/06 23:48, Blogger David said…

    Go Fred!, I mean...Go France!

  • At 28/6/06 03:45, Anonymous LPC said…

    It was wild in my neighborhood last night! The party went on to 2am in the morning.

  • At 28/6/06 06:24, Blogger Sam said…

    Monkey Gland - allow me to eat your words?

    Del - it isn't easy to draw a perfect circle ;)

    Passionate eater - are you going to come and watch a game? I think Saturday might be a bit crowded

    belinda - I feel for you, I really do. The end of that match was a little bit shocking.

    rising sun - belden lane - is a fun place to go in san francisco, for sure. Very European.

    Brett. It was a good match. I am looking forward to france v england. If it happens I will be the sole English supporter at Cafe Bastille. But at least I will be amongst more friends than if I watch it at Mad DOg in the FOg.

    tankeduptaco - i really commiserate. PLease come back and commiserate with us at the point at which we need it!

    Joe - thank you - glad you enjoyed it.

    David - erhhmm, and England too!

    lpc - they deserved the party. we are a little more refined over here since the matches are earlier in the day.

  • At 28/6/06 22:50, Blogger Passionate Eater said…

    Thanks for the heads up about the busy nature Belden Place this weekend. I actually "was" going to go! Maybe I'll try to find a place that less crowded, but still has those croque madames!

  • At 29/6/06 22:22, Blogger The Hudin said…

    I've noticed on recent lunch outings that the whole of Belden Place seems to have a an easy to see TV somewhere to catch the game. Olivier (owner of Bastille, Plouf, and B44) will be glued to the set for the Brazil-France game, I'm sure.

  • At 30/6/06 00:41, Anonymous elodie said…

    France's team will need a lot of support versus Brasil.
    So everybody in blue, white, red saturday _ in front or not a "croque madame" !

    For a French, like me, living in France, it will be at 21 pm, so, it will be with a beer, some "rosé" and a barbecue !!!!!!!

    Petit message pour Fred : personne n'y croit en France, mais tout le monde sera en bleu, que veux tu, on ne change pas !

  • At 7/7/06 10:37, Anonymous Serge Lescouarnec said…

    Funny you mention the game on Sunday as people on a discussion list here in Montclair (New Jersey) were asking about fun places to see the game.

    On another world topic, after reading and writing about the world of flavors, I decided to offer a theme for other bloggers to contribute to this month: 'Food: the remix: What is your Soundtrack'
    Here is the link to original post for details

    Have a good day


  • At 10/7/06 14:17, Anonymous teacozy said…

    so...were you two there through the painful last minutes? Were you sitting on the left hand side of the restaurant by any in brown and Fred in blue? no, I'm not stalking! just wondered if that was indeed you in real life:)

  • At 10/7/06 16:14, Blogger Sam said…

    not us i don't think?
    we were actually inside the cornered off area directly in front of cafe bastille right underneath the speaker.

    fred wasnt wearing blue, i was wearing pink and my nose is now extremely sunburnt to the point of being laughable.

    we were there through all the good minutes and all the painfull minutes, we even stayed to watch the presentation and drink an orangina afterwards.

    do we have a pair of doppelgangers then????

  • At 11/7/06 17:31, Anonymous teacozy said…

    no, I just have bad eyesight;) I wanted to hang outside with the crowd, but was on crutches, so was lucky enough to get a seat inside.


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