It’s almost Copa América time. Now, as you may recall, we just had one last year. (Poor Messi, but yay Chile!) This special centennial edition will bring South America’s continental soccer championship to North America for the very first time. The tournament is otherwise keeping to its normal, every-fourth-year scheduling— this will be an extra, one-off chance to win the trophy.
The first game is set for a Friday, 9:30 pm kickoff. We’re up first, being the host country and all, against Colombia. Philly is one of ten U.S. cities that will host games. For those who can’t make it down to the Linc, we’ve put together a list of places to watch Copa América Centenário matches, pairing cuisines to national sides.
Philly has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Latin restaurants and bars, but when looking more closely for food traditions that aren’t from Mexico or the Caribbean islands, it gets tougher. The only Bolivian restaurant we were able to find in the region, Buho’s Latin Fusion, is in Phoenixville. Similarly, the only Chilean spot we found is in Wilmington, Pochi’s Wine Bar, and it doesn’t have a television.
We asked the Comite Chileno del Delaware Valley (in English, they go by Chileans in Philly) where local Chileans might be gathering to watch their team, the returning champs, play. “Most of the Chileans get together in their houses, and only a few of them go to bars,” Member Quenita Diaz wrote in a Facebook message. She did drop this hint though: “Maybe they are going to get together at Fox and Hound, Spruce St. & 15th St.?.”
We’ll be updating this post as we discover more establishments. Know a sports bar or TV-equipped restaurant that corresponds to a country not represented here? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sazon is reportedly the only Venezuelan restaurant in the state. Owner Judith Suzarra-Campbell says they’re able to play to game if you ask. Don’t leave without getting a popsicle. BYOB.
Malbec Steakhouse, Society Hill
This restaurant, imported from New York last year, is a little bit more upscale than the rest of list. As the name suggests, they’re proud of their wine list.
Los Caballos Locos, South Philly
Ecuadorian-El Salvadoran fare in Whitman. While El Salvador isn’t in the tournament this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t order the pupusas. BYOB.
Inka Wall, Upper Darby. Most likely.
“We will try to show the game,” server Cody Loayza told Billy Penn, “but just to be sure, check our Facebook the day of.” Another thing to calls for planning ahead, the signature (and amazingly affordable) rotisserie chicken. Their website recommends calling two hours ahead for it.
Tierra Colombiana, Hunting Park
Okay, so Tierra Colombiana doesn’t just serve solely Colombian food. There’s plenty of it on on the menu, but the scope is more Pan-Latin. It’s a good spot to watch a Colombia game, or any Copa America game.
Los Taquitos de Puebla, Italian Market
It’s so hard to pick just one. What convinced us is the reputation this taqueria has as a place to watch sports.
Buho’s Latin Fusion, Phoenixville
There are two Buho’s. The one in Exton serves primarily Mexican. This Phoenixville sister spot serves more of a mix. Both offer Bolivian though— Buho’s is Bolivian-owned.
We weren’t able to confirm with Picanha Grill or Casa Brasil at press time, but both Northeast Philly steakhouses are pretty safe bets. Plus, they are more affordable options for scoring churrasco (Brazilian barbecue) than the downtown big shots.