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Santa Fe is a food lover's paradise. Ask the locals to name their favorite Santa Fe restaurants and you'll end up with a lengthy list of worthy choices. Innovative Southwestern fare created by award-winning chefs and hearty New Mexico dishes such as breakfast burritos and green chile stew are reason enough for Santa Fe to have earned a prominent place on the world's culinary map. If you're hungry for creative contemporary cuisine or Asian, French, Italian, Indian or Middle Eastern cuisine, you'll find them all here as well.

When you come to Santa Fe and your server asks if you want "red or green? The restaurant features globally-inspired food, wine and beer, utilizing local and regional foods. Wine Spectator Award of Excellence His menu is deliberately small, featuring fresh and locally sourced produce and meats when possible. Osteria continues to be the locals, visitors, artists and celebrities restaurant destination.

Looking for the best hand-crafted dark chocolate in the world? Gourmet dark chocolate by The Chocolate Smith is made by hand using a bittersweet blend of dark chocolate and premium, fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Buy online for all occasions year 'round. Indulge in timeless chocolate classics or explore contemporary twists and regional flairs.

Whichever your preference, be ready for an over-the-top chocolate experience. Moday thru Friday from 7: Happy Hour 4 - 6 pm Mon.

Hailed by notable locals, frequent visitors to Santa Fe, and numerous celebrities, our chef, staff and management pride themselves on creating an atmosphere and dining experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Santa Fe, NM Located just off the Santa Fe Plaza and near the state capitol, Rio Chama is a "home away from home" for both locals and visitors alike. Beyond the unassuming entrance on Old Santa Fe Trail, you will find a relaxing atmosphere offering a mix of intimate dining rooms, inviting patios and one of Santa Fe's most popular bars.

Rio Chama is a Santa Fe tradition that features innovative, American cuisine with New Mexican influences, serving the best prime rib, burgers and fondue in town. We combine excellent food, wine and spirits with great hospitality and service, making Rio Chama perfect for any occasion!

Rio Chama offers a mix of intimate dining spaces, two beautiful patios and a bustling bar. Our private dining spaces can accommodate 15 to over guests. Rio Chama is the ideal location for weddings, rehearsal dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holiday parties, reunions, meetings and any special occasion. The Chocolate Maven is a wonderfully cozy award winning bakery cafe where customers enjoy the finest world class pastries, the best cappuccino, and an amazingly delicious lunch, brunch, breakfast, dinner or high tea in an atmosphere of cheer and charm.

The Maven is also a wholesale production bakery where the fine art of hand baking, from brownies to artisan bread, has been developed into top quality artisan production. Quality is never compromised at The Maven. Ingredients are never skimped on.

Everything is done with an eye to integrity and excellence. Our menus are deliciously varied because we're inspired by fresh, natural foods and international cuisines. We mill our organic flours on-site daily, prepare meals by hand, and source responsibly produced seasonal ingredients. Our many vegetarian, vegan, a. We also have a small Inn and the Engine House Theatre for events. We can handle large and small groups!

The Second Street brewery staff works hard to present a neighborhood brewpub that is welcoming to all local residents and visitors alike. Here you can enjoy a fine handcrafted ale or lager with the delightful company of others…. Come on in for some classic pub fare and what we think is the best beer in all of New Mexico. Santa Fe's premier Japanese restaurant and New Mexico's first sushi bar, serving delicious, innovative, and wholesome food since The menu was built with health in mind and abounds in organic and all-natural ingredients, including locally grown greens, fresh and wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and unpasteurized kosher miso.

Set in a year-old adobe downtown. The Patio at La Posada. The Patio is La Posada's dining establishment for breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring seasonal outdoor dining. Bask in the New Mexico sun or dine beneath the starlit sky by the light of authentic kiva fireplaces.

A great night out. Signature dishes from Andalucia, Catalonia, Madrid and the exotic regions of Spain. Live Flamenco, Blues, Tango and Jazz. Sangria, full bar and a fine wine bodega.

Just a short walk from the plaza, Casa Chimayo is a family owned and operated restaurant where Don Timoteo will welcome you and make you feel like family. Enjoy authentic New Mexican food, prepared using fresh local ingredients. Relax on the quaint patio, while sipping a hand-crafted agave margarita or one of their local beers on tap. Our Winemaker and Master Chef collaborated to create a special menu featuring appetizers, salads, and desserts paired with our award-winning D.

Lescombes New Mexico wines. A favorite of locals and tourists. The Roadhouse serves creative, down home food at affordable prices. Try the lemon ricotta pancakes at breakfast, a vegetarian Moroccan stew at lunch, and house smoked ribs at dinner.

Drink one of our classic Margaritas in the garden among the hollyhocks. But whatever meal you come for, save room for dessert! Terra, sourcing the freshest, local ingredients from the region, features contemporary American cuisine while incorporating New Mexican influences.

Working directly with local farmers and ranchers, Terra grows herbs and vegetables in the restaurants own garden, showcasing amazing culinary creations at the Chef's Table and Chef's Garden Table. Our philosophy is one of sharing and gathering around a table over food and drink. Many items are meant to be shared. Enjoy locally-sourced cuisine, inspired by the flavors of northern New Mexico. Settle in on Santa Fe's premier open-air patio or in the cozy dining room, and savor the eclectic menu famous for the chile relleno and goat's milk flan, and featuring locally sourced ingredients — such as the produce, meats, and chile grown in Chimayo, NM.

The Teahouse is an acclaimed restaurant, wine bar, beer garden, specialty tea store and wholesaler of more than teas from around the globe.

Try our famous jumbo scones with clotted cream and our delicious salads, soups, sandwiches and entrees. Guests enjoy a unique and relaxed dining experience amid more than galleries. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inspired by the traditional general store, Modern General offers a handpicked selection of the most essential everyday home items and foods while serving up delicious raw juices, fresh breakfast and pastries for guests in a fun, comfortable setting.

We are a specialty chocolate company located in the beautiful high desert town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our passion is authentic and historic drinking chocolate elixirs. Historic drinking chocolate includes traditional Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Mayan Aztec drinking chocolate; 's European drinking chocolate, Colonial American and Colonial Mexican drinking chocolates.

Kakawa Chocolate House chocolate elixirs are representative of these historic recipes and span the time period BC to the mid 's AD. Established in , Pizza Etc. We are family owned and locally known. This is why we adopted our mission statement of "We are Smaller, We are better, We care more". Our specialty is in the area of Organic pizza and both Vegan and Gluten-free choices. Our stores serve espresso, pour-over, and affordable brewed coffees along with thoughtfully sourced daily pastries, burritos, bulk teas, and a variety of chocolates.

We carry coffee and tea brewing equipment, gifts, and unique housewares. We artisanal roast over 30 coffees: We feature fresh baked bagels and bialys, a variety of house made cream cheeses, Nova sandwiches, Reubens, Hefty Heroes, fresh salads, egg creams and Dr. We have the largest breakfast menu in Santa Fe which includes Eggs Benedicts, fluffy omelettes, Belgian waffles, Chicken Fried Steak, French Toast, pancakes and all your breakfast favorites.

Palace Restaurant and Saloon. Inventive and affordable cuisine with character. Cited as a top stop for great cocktails in Santa Fe publications, visitors and locals alike know The Palace has a New American menu with a range of salads, seafoods, savory dishes and delectable desserts. Steak, lamb, duck and fish dishes are complemented by vegetarian offerings and a lunch and saloon menu that includes burgers, sliders, schnitzel, tacos and sandwiches.

In addition to the main dining room and the saloon, The Palace has two outdoor dining areas--vibrant, covered streetside seating in downtown Santa Fe and a hidden gem of a patio, enclosed on four sides. A private dining room is also available. What is certain is that she ran a very successful gambling establishment and, perhaps, offered more intimate diversions upstairs on or near the site of The Palace during the s and early s.

Great selection on tap! Coyote Cafe continues to be Santa Fe's most famous and celebrated restaurant, feted by critics and return visitors alike. We are celebrating our 25th year! Distefano brings along his signature dish, Peppery Elk Tenderloin, a definite favorite!

An Award Winning Wine List is complemented by a full bar which includes unique signature cocktails. Our new restaurant and lounge features some of our Old House favorites -including our dry-aged steaks - and exciting new dishes, a wide variety of tequilas, signature drinks and cocktails.

Innovative, locally sourced cuisine inspired by the Southwest's most famous spirit. Located at the resort, just two blocks east of the plaza. Ji Wang Noodle Shop. We promote healthy diets, embrace natural flavors of foods and care for the quality of our dishes!

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Enjoy special cocktails and Chef Jen's delicious specials in an elegant and relaxing atmosphere in downtown Santa Fe. Agoyo Lounge has fabulous patio dining seasonally. Alameda Santa Fe, NM We also feature an award-winning wine list and a spectacular patio. La Casa Sena has been on of Santa Fe's finest and most popular restaurant for over 30 years. Our bar La Cantina is open for lunch and dinner.

Let La Cantina's singing wait staff entertain you with the best of Broadway, Jazz and much more. La Casa Sena and La Cantina are open daily from La Cantina's singing wait staff performs nightly starting at 6: Our popular wine shop is adjacent to the restaurant features a large selection of fine wines and is open Monday-Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday noon-5pm. Daily menu available at thebeestro.

Open Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. Serving New Mexican food since Family owned and operated in old hacienda dating back to World renownded red and green chile specialties. Dining at Andiamo is a simple experience. We prepare the finest, local and seasonal ingredients a la minute with the utmost care and respect. Our menu is inspired by Italian cuisine, but as food is born of the region, we try to stay true to our relationships with local growers, melding indigenous foods whenever possible, with key Italian imports.

We crave these earthy, effortless flavors long after the meal has ended. Dining at Andiamo inspires conversation and evokes memories. That's why we see Andiamo as a collective experience for people who love food. Our staff is genuinely happy to work with our customers. At the end of the day, we want our guests to feel better for having eaten here. Home to Andiamo since , our 's historic building offers indoor and seasonal patio dining.

For some it's an everyday place, for others it marks special occasions. For everyone who comes, it's a gathering place that nourishes the body and soul. La Fiesta Lounge in La Fonda comes alive nightly with talented local musicians, hosting some of the best live music in Santa Fe.

Indulge in one of the lounge's margaritas or vast beer selections, while the band brings the crowd to its feet. Looking for a great lunch or light dinner spot? La Fiesta serves casual, regional cuisine with its cocktails from 11ampm. Bumble Bee's Baja Grill. Baja-style fresh food, including burritos, tacos, fresh salads, fresh desserts and a kids' menu. Also, an extensive Vegan and Vegetarian menu with many options. We're fast, fun, friendly, casual and BEE-licious!

Come taste what the buzz is about! Join Chef Mark Connell, one of Santa Fe's most notable chefs, for an extraordinary dining experience of Artisanal American Cuisine, locally-sourced, crafted with love. Our cuisine reflects a connection to our unique landscape, as well as the changing seasons, with warmth, authenticity, excitement, and imagination. Counter Culture Cafe is the hip, happening restaurant serving up innovative cuisine to the city's favorite artists, writers and food lovers.

Stop by for a breakfast burrito, gooey cinnamon buns and fresh, organic coffee. Paloma is a vibrant Mexican restaurant and bar offering fresh interpretations of traditional and modern Mexican food in a comfortable setting. Our corn tortillas are made in house with heirloom corn from Oaxaca. Wine and local draft beers, gourmet pizzas, lunch and dinner specials, weekend brunch. Catering, box lunches and take out menu. For more info go to www. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Iguana Cafe!

Delight in our Hilton buffet or a la carte breakfast options. Ohori's is the original specialty coffee source for micro-roast gourmet Arabica coffees. We serve espresso, pour-over, affordable brewed coffees, teas, and health drinks.

Snacks include daily pastries, gf, burritos,and chocolates. We also have thoughtful gifts, brewing equipment, tables inside and on patios and WiFi! Family owned and operated in Santa Fe since Stop by Whoo's Donuts for the best donuts in Santa Fe. Enjoy a Blue Corn Blueberry Lavender donut with our organic locally roasted house blend coffee made fresh every day.

Upscale pub food with 11 craft brew taps, select wines and artisanal ciders. Great BBQ and exuberant nightlife. Down home service and generous portions have made the Cowgirl a favorite with visitors and locals. Kid menu and play area. Nightly live entertainment with blues, Americana, singer-songwriters and touring bands adds up to the best small club for music this side of Austin.

Open daily for lunch and dinner 'til late. We are focused on offering you warm, genuine hospitality in our stylish and friendly atmosphere.

Like nothing you'll find in Santa Fe, our restaurant fuses modern design and comfort. Offering a full bar featuring a 10 tap draft system with local favorites and other popular hand crafted beers as well as a wine list focused on offering you the highest quality wine at an affordable price. We offer outdoor seating and an area for large groups, gatherings or private meetings. Celebrating the foods of America we focus on fresh innovative dishes using only the freshest seasonal and local ingredients.

Enjoy lunch in our comfortable, private booths, dinner in our lively bar or one of our signature burgers out on the patio. Frogurt Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt. We are a self-serve frozen yogurt shop that keeps 8 flavors of frozen yogurt on hand at anytime with over 60 plus toppings to choose from.

We sell by the ounce so it's up to you how much or how little you want each time. A very good restaurant with the best views in Santa Fe, serving lunch. Special summer hours, call or visit website for details. Best value in Santa Fe 'fine dining' is a local favorite for parties large and small. Chef Andy Barnes uses local products and organic meats in an 'eclectic continental' style.

Everything is house made, so that special diets are easily accommodated. The menu features premium, locally sourced ingredients that explore Latin history and local culture.

El Milagro New Mexican Restaurant. Locally owned and operated. Serving burgers and New Mexican cuisine made from generations of family recipes. Experience this tantalizing new tapas bar. Sip selected wines from Spain, Portugal and South America plus a wide array of mescals, tequilas and local craft beers. Weekend entertainment includes Spanish guitarist and songstress Nacha Mendez every Friday evening from 6: Local Coffee Roaster, Specialty Coffee Our dedication to buying direct trade coffee supports and their communities, ensuring our coffee is grown with love.

We then roast with enthusiastic detail to ensure the coffee you enjoy perfectly coveys the flavor that comes from varietal, soil conditions, altitudes and harvesting, ensuring you enjoy the best possible cup. Izanami is upscale izakaya dining with the best sake in the nation.

Typical Japanese izakaya serve small plates in a casual atmosphere. Food is designed for sharing, normally ordered slowly, and comes from the kitchen when ready. Shabu Shabu available for reservations only. Every Wednesday night is Fish night! Wed - Mon Everyday 5 - 10 pm. Serving authentic Tibetan cuisine.

Specialize in Tibetan dumplings and Tibetan sausage. Lunch buffet and cook to order dinner. Mediterranean Cuisine, specializing in Greek, Egyptian and Lebanese. Loyal Hound, a pub. Loyal Hound is a pub serving a modern twist on classic pub style food. We use as many local and organic ingredients as we can procure.

We also feature craft beers and an eclectic wine list. Field Goods is rocking out fresh New Mexican Fusion. A proud farm to table spot. Located in downtown Santa Fe, just one block from the Plaza, India Palace specializes in the dynamic, complex cuisine of northern India and uses ayurvedic science of longevity cooking principles. Homemade cheese, yoqurt, ghee and kulfi ice creams , and tandoor fired traditional breads compliment the extensive menu, which includes chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian dishes.

Enteees may be ordered mild, medium, or hot. No artificial flavors or MSG. Vegan and gluten-free meals also available. First as partner, and four years later as Executive Chef and Owner, Moskow was determined to offer native Santa Feans and savvy visitors a truly French experience in a city overflowing with Southwestern cuisine. He succeeded beyond all expectation.

Enjoy breakfast, lunch and amazing specialty coffee and tea inside or outside on our gorgeous ruinesque patio. The Blue Corn Brewery serves Northern New Mexican and pub fare, great margaritas and award-winning, hand-crafted microbrews. We feature local and sustainable ingredients whenever possible. Santa Fe casual Dining at its best! A refined, comfortable atmosphere includes Santa Fe's most beautiful patio. Vinaigrette is a salad bistro with locations in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

The majority of the organic produce served at Vinaigrette is grown on owner Erin Wade's acre farm located about 20 minutes north of Santa Fe. The seat dining room offers guests an intimate dining experience. The Anasazi Restaurant, Bar and Lounge showcases contemporary American cuisine, created with locally-sourced ingredients and traditional culinary techniques, as well as a dedicated tequila table that boasts a comprehensive collection of premium tequilas with unique food pairings.

Our menu includes something for everyone: The Ranch House provides a warm and cozy atmosphere so whether it is date night or a family outing we are the perfect fit! Vanessie Santa Fe is one of the finest restaurants in Santa Fe. Or, try our green chile cheeseburger or kobe beef sliders served with sweet potato fries for the perfect casual meal in our piano lounge.

Influenced by his travels in Spain, Chef James cultivates synergies of authentic Spanish ingredients to create dishes both traditional and modern. Dishes such as smoky grilled eggplant topped with rich manchego, sweet saffron honey, and briny capers or thinly sliced tuna drizzled with blood orange aioli and topped with kalamata olives and smoked sea salt create a constellation of different flavors in every bite.

Maria's New Mexican Kitchen. Maria's features a full service bar, a great wine list heavy on the great California Cabs and almost every Mexican beer imported into the United States. Open Daily for Lunch and Dinner. What is Farm Inspired Cuisine? Because we are passionate about fresh food, and proud to support local farmers and ranchers, our menu changes with the seasons.

We hope our passion shows in our service as well as our cuisine. This watering hole has been a local favorite for generations. The kiva fireplace in the corner is the perfect place to warm up on a snowy evening with a bowl of the best green chile stew in Santa Fe. The Dragon Room boasts the best patio in the warmer months as well. Tia Sophia's Family Restaurant.

Tia Sophia's Family Restaurant, located in Santa Fe's historic downtown, has been serving up traditional Northern New Mexico style favorites since Locally owned and operated, Tia's prides itself on affordable prices and a kid-friendly atmosphere. The Thunderbird Bar and Grill. The Bistro at the Courtyard by Marriott. The menu also includes cocktails, wine, beer, and Starbucks coffee. The Bistro sports a lounge-like atmosphere, with chic couches and colorful throw pillows, curving countertops, communal tables with bright-colored chairs, wooden floors, oversized rugs, modern lamp lighting, and big-screen TVs.

During the year, the Chefs will prepare seasonal promotions available for a limited time in addition to the existing menu. So please join us for breakfast, dinner or happy hour! Come visit Madrid's original 's Soda Fountain! We feature a wide variety of delectable deserts including 20 flavors of Ice Cream, traditional Milkshakes, Malts, Sundaes, Floats, and Ice Cream Sodas made the old fashioned way. We also serve a variety of made to order espresso drinks. We are located in Jezebel Gallery on the boardwalk in the heart of Madrid.

Open 7 days a week from A little slice of Tuscany in Santa Fe. With a beautiful patio. Free WiFi and dog-friendly patio.

Tumbleroot Brewing and Distilling. Visit Tumbleroot's Auga Fria tasting room and enjoy one of our eight rotating draft beers that reflect and resonate with the changing character of the high desert through the four seasons.

We also have vodka, rums, whiskies, gins and agave spirits that are locally made from scratch with organic and wild harvested ingredients as well as herbs and botanicals from the Kirkman's garden. Rancho de Chimayo Restaurante. Chimayo, NM The Blue Corn Cafe serves Northern New Mexican and American cuisine, pub fare, great margaritas and award-winning handcrafted microbrews. Santa Fe casual dining at its best!

If there's one thing New Mexico's politicians can agree on, it's where to eat in Santa Fe. The Bull Ring is where they go when the Legislature is in session, and year-round its three-decade reputation as Santa Fe's finest steakhouse brings locals and visitors back to savor their tender and delicious steaks, chops, ribs, and fresh lobster tails. Their secret is no secret: Historic Roadhouse and Cantina with live music every weekend, outside music on deck.

Award winning burgers, hand shaken margarita's and full bar. Local microbrews on tap. One of the best live music venue's in New Mexico! Dining at Sunrise Springs is a unique experience for all of our guests—whether overnight or day guests. Our Executive Chef, Rocky Durham, embraces the idea that food is a potent elixir for the body and mind. We work closely with local farmers to source seasonally available herbs, fruits, and vegetables to create a selection of vibrant and flavorful modern-American We.

If its cocktails and a gorgeous sunset views you're after, then visit our outdoor 5th floor Bell Tower Bar open Spring to Fall from 3pm until sunset - weather permitting. In addition to the best sunsets in Santa Fe, the Bell Tower Bar also serves light fare and killer margaritas. Arrive early and stay for the sunset. We use traditional recipes and high-quality ingredients to make the best possible beers. We have great food! Our Ruben may very well become legendary.

We have live local music sometimes not so local. We search for fresh, superior grade coffee beans that are responsibly sourced from trusted growers at peak harvest, crafting stand-out flavor and the highest coffee experience. Also offering beignets, pastries, quiche, sandwiches, and so much more Open Daily from 7: Everything Edible Personal Chef Service. Personal chef service offering a customized culinary experience.

Special diets or special occasions, let us provide you with the perfect meal. Located in downtown, historic Santa Fe, Upper Crust Pizza has been serving the finest pizza in town since and offers free delivery. Hours are from 11am to 10pm Monday through Thursday, and from 11am to 11pm Friday and Saturday. Chef Mark Kiffin's contemporary seasonal american cuisine is paired with professional service in a timeless and elegant adobe building designed by famed architect Alexander Girard.

Extensive wine list; Full bar. Intimate garden patios, cocktail terrace, private dining rooms accommodating guests. All of our food is handcrafted on site, from our signature pizza dough to our roasted meats to our sub-breads to our sauces and dressings.

We also offer a delicious gluten-free pizza crust made from scratch we are NOT a certified gluten free facility. We showcase 10 local and national beers on tap—including a rotating selection of Santa Fe Brewing Company beers—as well as an outstanding selection of wine by the glass.

We have a rad crew of folks whom you will get to know and love. Back Road Pizza is always available as a community space and is committed to extending our generosity beyond the walls of our shops into the greater Santa Fe community.

La Choza is a family owned and operated restaurant delighting locals and visitors craving New Mexican tradition. Experience a variety of hand shaken margaritas or local beers on tap while enjoying our award winning red and green chile, guacamole, fish tacos, chile rellenos, queso and sopaipillas. Located by the Railyard Park, outdoor seating, child friendly, pets welcome, menu items for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and omnivores alike. Our staff is friendly, quick and always happy to see you.

We look forward to pleasing you time and again. Serving during breakfast and lunch hours seven days a week, Chef Cindy puts her own unique spin on such Santa Fe favorites as tamales, breakfast burritos and New Mexican Chile. And that's not all! Everything is freshly prepared to order, and the new menu includes delicious light fare such as panini's, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, fresh baked pastries and toasted bagels. And of course, Caffe Greco is the place for your favorite coffee drinks, espresso, a variety of teas and cold beverages and ice cream.

Everything on the menu is delicious, freshly prepared, and reasonably priced. Second Street Brewery at the Railyard. Both Iceland and Panama qualified for the first time, with the former becoming the smallest country in terms of population to reach the World Cup. Egypt, returning to the finals after their last appearance in ; Morocco, who last competed in ; Peru, returning after ; and Senegal, competing for the second time after reaching the quarter-finals in Notable countries that failed to qualify include four-time champions Italy for the first time since , three-time runners-up and third placed in the Netherlands for the first time since , and four reigning continental champions: The other notable qualifying streaks broken were for Ghana and Ivory Coast , who had both made the previous three tournaments.

The draw was held on 1 December at Pot 1 contained the hosts Russia who were automatically assigned to position A1 and the best seven teams, pot 2 contained the next best eight teams, and so on for pots 3 and 4.

However, teams from the same confederation still were not drawn against each other for the group stage, except that two UEFA teams could be in each group.

Initially, each team had to name a preliminary squad of 30 players but, in February , this was increased to Players in the final squad may be replaced for serious injury up to 24 hours prior to kickoff of the team's first match and such replacements do not need to have been named in the preliminary squad. For players named in the player preliminary squad, there was a mandatory rest period between 21 and 27 May , except for those involved in the UEFA Champions League Final played on 26 May.

On 29 March , FIFA released the list of 36 referees and 63 assistant referees selected to oversee matches. VAR operations for all games are operating from a single headquarters in Moscow, which receives live video of the games and are in radio contact with the on-field referees.

VAR had a significant impact in several games. Russia proposed the following host cities: The bid evaluation report stated: Three of the 16 stadiums would be renovated, and 13 would be newly constructed.

In October , Russia decreased the number of stadiums from 16 to Construction of the proposed Podolsk stadium in the Moscow region was cancelled by the regional government, and also in the capital, Otkrytiye Arena was competing with Dynamo Stadium over which would be constructed first. The final choice of host cities was announced on 29 September The number of cities was further reduced to 11 and number of stadiums to 12 as Krasnodar and Yaroslavl were dropped from the final list.

Sepp Blatter stated in July that, given the concerns over the completion of venues in Russia, the number of venues for the tournament may be reduced from 12 to He also said, "We are not going to be in a situation, as is the case of one, two or even three stadiums in South Africa , where it is a problem of what you do with these stadiums". They were satisfied with the progress. Of the twelve venues used, the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow and the Saint Petersburg Stadium — the two largest stadiums in Russia — were used most, both hosting seven matches.

Sochi, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara all hosted six matches, including one quarter-final match each, while the Otkrytiye Stadium in Moscow and Rostov-on-Don hosted five matches, including one round-of match each.

Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Yekaterinburg and Saransk all hosted four matches, but did not host any knockout stage games. Base camps were used by the 32 national squads to stay and train before and during the World Cup tournament. Costs continued to balloon as preparations were underway. Platov International Airport in Rostov-on-Don was upgraded with automated air traffic control systems, modern surveillance, navigation, communication, control, and meteorological support systems.

Saransk Airport received a new navigation system; the city also got two new hotels, Mercure Saransk Centre Accor Hotels and Four Points by Sheraton Saransk Starwood Hotels as well as few other smaller accommodation facilities. The last facility commissioned was a waste treatment station in Volgograd. In Yekaterinburg, where four matches are hosted, hosting costs increased to over 7. Preference, especially in the key areas, was given to those with knowledge of foreign languages and volunteering experience, but not necessarily to Russian nationals.

Free public transport services were offered for ticketholders during the World Cup, including additional trains linking between host cities, as well as services such as bus service within them. The full schedule was announced by FIFA on 24 July without kick-off times, which were confirmed later. Russia was placed in position A1 in the group stage and played in the opening match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on 14 June against Saudi Arabia , the two lowest-ranked teams of the tournament at the time of the final draw.

The Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg hosted the first semi-final on 10 July and the third place play-off on 14 July. The opening ceremony took place on Thursday, 14 June , at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, preceding the opening match of the tournament between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia.

At the start of the ceremony, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a speech, welcoming the countries of the world to Russia and calling football a uniting force. Competing countries were divided into eight groups of four teams groups A to H. Teams in each group played one another in a round-robin basis, with the top two teams of each group advancing to the knockout stage. Ten European teams and four South American teams progressed to the knockout stage, together with Japan and Mexico.

For the first time since , Germany reigning champions did not advance past the first round. For the first time since , no African team progressed to the second round. For the first time, the fair play criteria came into use, when Japan qualified over Senegal due to having received fewer yellow cards. Only one match, France v Denmark, was goalless. Until then there were a record 36 straight games in which at least one goal was scored. All times listed below are local time.

The ranking of teams in the group stage was determined as follows: In the knockout stages, if a match is level at the end of normal playing time, extra time is played two periods of 15 minutes each and followed, if necessary, by a penalty shoot-out to determine the winners.

If a match went into extra time, each team was allowed to make a fourth substitution, the first time this had been allowed in a FIFA World Cup tournament. Twelve own goals were scored during the tournament, doubling the record of six set in In total, only four players were sent off in the entire tournament, the fewest since A player is automatically suspended for the next match for the following offences: The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament.

The award was sponsored by Hyundai. FIFA also published an alternate team of the tournament based on player performances evaluated through statistical data. Prize money amounts were announced in October The tournament logo was unveiled on 28 October by cosmonauts at the International Space Station and then projected onto Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre during an evening television programme.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the logo was inspired by "Russia's rich artistic tradition and its history of bold achievement and innovation", and FIFA President Sepp Blatter stated that it reflected the "heart and soul" of the country.

The official mascot for the tournament was unveiled 21 October , and selected through a design competition among university students. A public vote was used to select from three finalists—a cat, a tiger, and a wolf.

The first phase of ticket sales started on 14 September , The general visa policy of Russia did not apply to participants and spectators, who were able to visit Russia without a visa right before and during the competition regardless of their citizenship.

A Fan-ID was required to enter the country visa-free, while a ticket, Fan-ID and a valid passport were required to enter stadiums for matches. Fan-IDs also granted World Cup attendees free access to public transport services, including buses, and train service between host cities. Fan-ID was administered by the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media , who could revoke these accreditations at any time to "ensure the defence capability or security of the state or public order".

The official match ball of the World Cup group stage was " Telstar 18 ", based on the name and design of the first Adidas World Cup ball from It was introduced on 9 November After the group stage, "Telstar Mechta" was used for the knockout stage. The word mechta Russian: The difference between Telstar 18 and Mechta is the red details on the design.

Its music video was released on 8 June Thirty-three footballers who are alleged to be part of the steroid program are listed in the McLaren Report. The choice of Russia as host has been challenged. Controversial issues have included the level of racism in Russian football, [] [] [] and discrimination against LGBT people in wider Russian society.

Allegations of corruption in the bidding processes for the and World Cups caused threats from England's FA to boycott the tournament. Garcia , a US attorney, to investigate and produce a report on the corruption allegations.

Eckert's summary cleared Russia and Qatar of any wrongdoing, but was denounced by critics as a whitewash. On 3 June , the FBI confirmed that the federal authorities were investigating the bidding and awarding processes for the and World Cups. In response to the March poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal , British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that no British ministers or members of the royal family would attend the World Cup, and issued a warning to any travelling England fans.

The British Foreign Office and MPs had repeatedly warned English football fans and "people of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent" travelling to Russia of "racist or homophobic intimidation, hooligan violence and anti-British hostility". At the close of the World Cup Russia was widely praised for its success in hosting the tournament, with Steve Rosenberg of the BBC deeming it "a resounding public relations success" for Putin, adding, "The stunning new stadiums, free train travel to venues and the absence of crowd violence has impressed visiting supporters.

Russia has come across as friendly and hospitable: All the foreign fans I have spoken to are pleasantly surprised. FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated, "Everyone discovered a beautiful country, a welcoming country, that is keen to show the world that everything that has been said before might not be true.

A lot of preconceived ideas have been changed because people have seen the true nature of Russia. In February , Ukrainian rightsholder UA: PBC stated that it would not broadcast the World Cup.

This came in the wake of growing boycotts of the tournament among the Football Federation of Ukraine and sports minister Ihor Zhdanov.

Broadcast rights to the tournament in the Middle East were hampered by an ongoing diplomatic crisis in Qatar over alleged support of extremist groups.

Qatar is the home country of the region's rightsholder, beIN Sports. On 2 June , beIN pulled its channels from Du and Etisalat , but with service to the latter restored later that day.

Etisalat subsequently announced that it would air the World Cup in the UAE, and continue to offer beIN normally and without interruptions.

On 12 July , FIFA stated that it "has engaged counsel to take legal action in Saudi Arabia and is working alongside other sports rights owners that have also been affected to protect its interests. The elimination of the United States in qualifying led to concerns that US interest and viewership of this World Cup would be reduced especially among "casual" viewers interested in the US team , especially noting how much Fox paid for the rights, and that US games at the World Cup peaked at During a launch event prior to the elimination, Fox stated that it had planned to place a secondary focus on the Mexican team in its coverage to take advantage of their popularity among US viewers factoring Hispanic and Latino Americans.

Fox stated that it was still committed to broadcasting a significant amount of coverage for the tournament.

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