Since San Diego is a city filled with transplants, it’s only fitting that it has a thriving soccer, or football culture. I started following the Premier League’s Arsenal football club after visiting London on a college trip in 2010. When I moved to San Diego in 2012 I was lucky to find an amazing group of fans that have become some of my best friends. This city never ceases to amaze me with how many people from all over the world have come to call San Diego home. Due to this diversity, fans of all teams can be found supporting their favorite team in good company at some of these local spots.
Bluefoot Bar – Arsenal (and Aston Villa)
Why not start with my personal favorite? Bluefoot Bar in North Park is home to my favorite club, Arsenal. Bluefoot has been home to the San Diego Gooners since 2012. Here, you’ll find bartender Dirk Dawson (a fan favorite) slinging a fantastic selection of local beers to the regulars and any gooners visiting America’s Finest City.
From a fantastic selection of local beer to a unwavering group of fans that show up at any hour to watch, Bluefoot is a nationally-known Arsenal hub. Bluefoot has also consistently played host to a few die-hard Aston Villa fans that give the Arsenal fans a run for their money with their passionate support.
Read More from Soccer Nation: Hanging at Bluefoot with the San Diego Gooners.
Shakespeare’s Pub – Man U, Man City, Chelsea
Perhaps the most well-known spot in San Diego to catch a football match at any hour is Mission Hills’ Shakespeare’s Pub & Grille. You’ll find fans of Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea in strong numbers here any given weekend. The best part about Shakespeare’s is that you will feel transported to the UK via their decor, staff, and menu. Make sure to order a Full English Breakfast to enjoy while you catch all the live action.
Princess Pub – Liverpool
Princess Pub & Grille in Little Italy is proudly home to fans of Liverpool. It also claims to be San Diego’s original British pub. They have a fairly UK-forward line up of beers with a few local brews mixed in, and their menu offers English classics like fish and chips, pork sausage roll, and cornish pastie.
The Harp – Tottenham
Ocean Beach’s The Harp is where the fans of Tottenham in San Diego gather to support their club. The Harp is in a line of dive bars, restaurants and shops along Newport Avenue, in the lively heart of OB. After catching a match here, take a short walk to the beach, but if you’re hungry be sure to grab a bite at the Harp before you leave—but don’t order any lasagna.
More soccer: An Arsenal Fan visits Emirates Stadium
Other notable spots
Another spot I’ve not visited, but have heard about is Carlsbad’s Stag and Lion Pub & Grille, home of Everton’s San Diego Toffees. Finally, O’Brien’s in Clairemont is home to San Diego’s USMNT fans and one of the most rowdy and amazing soccer experiences I’ve ever had. Shoulder to shoulder with the American Outlaws, I watched the USMNT beat Ghana with a last minute John Brook’s header in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, and the place was went absolutely bonkers!
I’m sure there are other spots where supporters gather that I have yet to discover, but one thing is for sure: the love for soccer is alive and well in San Diego. Regardless of what team you support, or even if you don’t have one, you can still have a great time taking in the atmosphere and enjoying some good food and beverages at one of these San Diego soccer pubs.
Guest post written by Doug Jackson. All photos by Doug and Staci Jackson for The Voyageer, unless noted.