After a month of competition, the World Cup comes to an end on Sunday. Germany, looking for its fourth title, takes on Argentina, which is seeking its third. The two teams met in consecutive World Cup finals a few decades ago: Diego Maradona's Argentina defeated West Germany in 1986, while Jurgen Klinsmann and company were victorious over a nine-man Argentina in 1990.
Honestly, I hate to see the festival of soccer end. I've watched games at more than a dozen bars and embassies over the last month, and whether the crowd was cheering for United States, the Netherlands, Colombia or the Ivory Coast, there have been packed houses and plenty of atmosphere.
Be warned: Some popular World Cup viewing spots are going to be closed for private parties on Sunday, including Redline, Penn Social and Del Campo. The Goethe-Institut, which has hosted gatherings for German speakers throughout the Cup, has a conflict with the Capital Fringe Festival. (An alternative is a German language meetup at the Crystal City Sports Pub.)
As we've stressed over the last month, popular bars will be at capacity well before kickoff, especially because the Final takes place on a Sunday. If you don't want to be left out, show up early, especially at German and Argentinian viewing spots, such as Biergarten Haus and El Patio, or popular soccer bars, such as Lucky Bar, Fado and Ireland's Four Courts.
Here are some viewing options for Sunday.
The official party
The embassies of Germany and Argentina are co-hosting a party in the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum. The match will be shown on a 21-foot screen, and the Courtyard Cafe will serve snacks, beer and wine. Family-friendly, free, covered and air conditioned: What more could you want?
If you've watched the World Cup, you've seen footage of the fan fests around the globe: huge public viewing parties with giant screens. The City of Fairfax is hosting its own version Sunday, closing North Street in Old Town Fairfax from noon until 9 p.m. to make room for live music, a beer garden, food vendors, carnival games for kids and, of course, the World Cup. More than 3,000 people came to a similar party in 2010, says Jo Ormesher, the Cultural Arts and Marketing Director for the city, and they're expecting this time to be even bigger.
National Harbor has attracted thousands of fans for broadcasts on its 32-foot LCD movie screen. Bring your own picnic to the family-friendly terrace, or grab a seat at one of the restaurant patios with views of the screen, including Redstone and Bond 45. The Mosaic District will also show the final on a big screen in Strawberry Park; get takeout from Cava Meze Grill or Red Apron.
If you're worried about rain, the Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse will show the match on its movie screen for free.
Biergarten Haus has had lines for most Germany matches, and is expecting another full house. No reservations are available, so show up early – doors open at 11 – or risk being shut out. Doner Bistro in Leesburg and Adams Morgan show matches with $4 Warsteiner drafts and $5 bratwurst specials. (While they're not on special, we love the doner sandwiches.) Dacha Beer Garden has strong lineup of German beers, plus it serves brats during World Cup matches. There are only three TVs, though, so it gets crowded.
The German-American Heritage Museum in Chinatown is opening its doors to show the game on a projection screen. Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for students, which includes food and drinks. You must RSVP by 5 p.m. today.
For Argentina fans
El Patio in Rockville has had wall-to-wall crowds for Argentina matches during the World Cup, and this time should be no different. Restaurant managers expect most people to show up between noon and 1 p.m., so arrive early if you want to get a seat.
Cafe Citron had been a hotspot for Brazil and Colombia supporters earlier in the tournament, but Argentina fans should dominate this weekend. Citron opens its doors at 2 p.m., and specials include $4 beers and $5 cachaca and tequila shots, plus Argentine favorites like Fernet con Coca-Cola.
First, make sure you check out our list of World Cup specials around the area for the best deals, including beers for $3 or less and $1 hot dogs.
A couple of deals just for the final:
Piazza Beer Garden in Bethesda offers free caipirinha shots to anyone wearing soccer jerseys or T-shirts, regardless of team, while showing the game on an outdoor projection screen. If the match goes to penalties, every table receives a free pizza.
Spain may have crashed out of the World Cup early, but Jaleo is celebrating all weekend. Saturday features foosball tournaments at its D.C. and Bethesda locations, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Sunday brings a World Cup paella menu, with unlimited food for $20 per person at Crystal City and Bethesda. (This is in addition to the restaurant's usual tapas and drink specials.)
The Brixton has created a special "Balls to the Wall" World Cup menu filled with ball-shaped snacks: lamb meatballs, risotto balls, prosciutto-wrapped melon balls, pimento cheese croquettes, hush puppies and, yes, even fried veal testicles. Each plate is $4.
The Bottom Line isn't usually a soccer bar, but they'll have $3 shots, $10 pitchers of Miller Lite and $3.50 baskets of wings for the game.
More on the World Cup: Where to find fans of your favorite team | The area's best soccer bars | World Cup happy hours | Where to watch matches outdoors | Tips for first-time fans | World Cup TV Schedule | All Washington Post World Cup coverage