As the World Cup final fast approaches on July 15, many Houston hot spots will be opening their doors early  to frenzied football fans from every neighborhood. (Football = Soccer in most of the world.) 

World Cup Fans have a lot in common with the LGBTQ community. There aren’t as many of us and we are constantly misunderstood. We also like to congregate together to talk about our common experiences in an America that doesn’t always seem made for us. 

This list of five friendly places to watch the World Cup will help us all find our people.

Richmond Arms Pub

Buzzfeed vote the Richmond Arms the top bar in Texas to watch the World Cup. They will be open for every. Single. Game. Even the 5am matches. Their $5.95 breakfast menu makes is budget friendly as well as soccer friendly.

George Country Sports Bar

Admittedly there aren’t many LGBTQ venues that showcase sports, but everyone knows that if they want to enjoy the game in a gay-friendly environment then George Country Sports Bar in Montrose is going to be your best option. It’s nothing fancy, but it sure is a fun neighborhood spot to enjoy a beer and the boys (if you’re into that).

Pitch 25

This local beer park is only a block away from BBVA Compass Stadium, the home to our very own Houston Dash and Dynamo teams. It is also noted as Houston’s first soccer bar and restaurant. Twenty TV’s will broadcast the matches from around the world and enjoy one of the 100 taps in the beer garden and indoor soccer field.

The Maple Leaf Pub

Midtown is home to this hockey pub, but during the World Cup the bar trades it’s hockey pucks for soccer balls. The friendly atmosphere is a great place to stop in for fans of sports that aren’t quite as widely watched in the U.S.

Prospect Park

If you are in the Galleria area then Prospect Park is going to be your best bet for World Cup action. They will have a regular schedule of watch parties and it’ll be a good place to stop off for a quick drink whether it’s an early game or a happy hour game.

If you happen to be catching an early or daytime game when you’re supposed to be at work then don’t forget the cardinal rule of playing World Cup hooky; no social media and NO tagging. Keep the cameras down and the spirits high. And cross your fingers that Russia doesn’t win…again.