Welcome to World Cup Lunch. Every morning, we'll preview where you can watch the noon match of the day. In the afternoon, we publish World Cup Happy Hour, with suggestions for watching the 6 p.m. match.
The first full day of the 2014 World Cup begins at noon, when Mexico takes on Cameroon in a Group A match.
Here's the thing: The biggest match on Friday's schedule – potentially one of the biggest games of the opening round – takes place at 3 p.m., when Spain faces the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2010 World Cup final. Both have legit World Cup aspirations this time around, but that 3 p.m. kickoff too late for World Cup Lunch and, unless you have an understanding boss, it's too early for World Cup Happy Hour. But you should make an effort to get out of the office for it, even if it means fasting and working straight through your usual lunch break.
Where to watch: For Mexico-Cameroon, we suggest Mexican fans head to Fuego or either branch of El Centro. A more lively crowd will be found at Mexico Lindo in Bladensburg, where a postgame party features live music. Cameroonians should make tracks to Roger Miller Restaurant in Silver Spring, a West African restaurant named after Cameroon's 1990 World Cup hero Roger Milla.
If you've decided to bag work to watch Spain and the Netherlands, the orange-clad Dutch fans will take over Elephant and Castle on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, while Spanish fans can consider Jaleo, 100 Montaditos or Taberna del Alabardero. Word is that Spain's most famous local fan, chef Jose Andres, will be at his Bethesda outpost of Jaleo.
What to order: El Centro and Fuego have $5 margaritas and beers, food specials and, importantly, house-made sodas for those who can't or don't want to imbibe in the middle of the day. Roger Miller's West African menu is filling: the $6.99 lunch specials include chicken with jollof rice, plantains or yucca, or mixed vegetables over couscous.
Jaleo has a menu with more than a dozen World Cup specials for Spain fans, including a sandwich of serrano ham and Manchego cheese with tomato and extra virgin olive oil, and fried blood sausage with piquillo pepper confit. Wash that down with caipirinhas or Spanish beers. Over at 100 Montaditos, you literally have 100 montaditos, or tiny sandwiches, to choose from on the menu. (Order 3 to 5 of them.) A selection of Spanish beer is available. Elephant and Castle has $5 Heineken for everyone, not just Dutch fans.
World Cup Leftovers: Here's a shot of happy Brazil fans from the Grill from Ipanema near the end of Brazil's 3-1 win over Croatia.
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