World Cup Brunch: England vs. Italy headlines a four-match Saturday

June 14, 2014

Welcome to World Cup Brunch. Every Saturday and Sunday, we'll dive into the schedule and tell you where to watch that day's must-see match -- and what to eat and drink in between cheers.

The first weekend of the World Cup kicks off with a Colombian-themed brunch at Cafe Citron, and wraps up with a 9 p.m. screening of Ivory Coast's match against Japan at the Embassy of the Ivory Coast. In between, though, is the much-anticipated 6 p.m. match featuring perennial quarter-finalists England and four-time champions Italy.

Where to watch: England is one of the most popular national teams in Washington, and supporters watch the Three Lions at numerous pubs, including Lucky Bar, Fado, Summers and Union Jack's. But our pick for the best viewing is at the Queen Vic, the top soccer bar on H Street NE, which has multiple flat-screens and projection screens over two floors, plus a strong selection of British draft beers. For fans of the Azzuri, both Vendetta and Vinoteca allow you to combine soccer, drinking and the traditional Italian game of bocce.

What to order: Get patriotic at the Queen Vic and order a pint of Bombardier, a traditional-style English bitter with the cross of St. George on its label, or a pint of cask ale pulled on the hand pump. At Vendetta, specials include $4 Peroni drafts and $2 sliders. Vinoteca offers $5 Peroni, $6 Italian wines by the glass, $8 caipirinhas. Get there early to secure a seat on the back patio, and maybe play a game of bocce on the outdoor court.

World Cup leftovers: The Queen Vic and Vendetta have a bet riding on Saturday's match. If England wins, Vendetta has to tap a keg of Newcastle Brown Ale. If Italy wins, the Queen Vic has to put Peroni on draft. In case of a draw, they both have to sell the other country's beer. ... The Netherlands thrashed Spain, 5-1, in a Group B match on Friday afternoon in Salvador. Yes, that's the Spain that won the World Cup in 2010. The orange-clad fans at Elephant and Castle seemed to enjoy the rout.

More on the World Cup: Where to find fans of your favorite team | The area's best soccer bars | World Cup happy hours | Tips for first-time fans | World Cup TV Schedule | All Washington Post World Cup coverage

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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