Food & Drink

The 10 best cocktails to drink along 14th St

Published On 08/07/2013 Published On 08/07/2013
14 St Cocktails Main
Greg Powers
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1. Kapnos 2201 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

Chef Mike Isabella's 14th Street Corridor restaurant is a go-to for upscale but reasonably priced Greek food. Open for dinner nightly and brunch on the weekends, Kapnos serves a small-plates menu of spreads, mezze, phyllo pies, and whole roasted meats like lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and suckling pig. There's plenty of seafood as well, given that wood-fire grilled octopus is the house signature. The wine list is stacked with red and whites from Greece and kegged lemonades.

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2. Bar Pilar 1833 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

A pioneer of the 14th Street restaurant boom, this comfortable, nautical-themed spot is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s boat, Pilar, and divided between a downstairs bar that fills up quickly on the weekends, and a low-key restaurant upstairs, where outstanding small plates take center stage (from honey-roasted beet salad to lamb belly bolognese). The 20 or so beers are well-curated but a tad overpriced, so you’re better off opting for a craft cocktail, many of which are mixed with house-made sodas and even include adult slushies, such as the "Violet, You’re Turning Violet," which swirls jalapeño tequila, wild blueberry, pineapple, allspice dram, and ginger into a spicy and sweet concoction.

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3. El Centro D.F. 1819 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

Seeking a new adventure, the masters behind Masa 14 opened Centro to challenge themselves to capture the energy of Mexico City. That energy, apparently, comes straight from superb tacos and tequila. With three floors of raw concrete, walls adorned with Aztec masks, and tables glossed with vintage Mexican newspapers, Centro is undoubtedly a success -- and that's before we even talk about the menu, which features great fish tacos, chicken tamales, and a host of tequila tasting menus. Mexico City rules.

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4. Black Jack 1612 14th St, Washington, DC 20009 (Logan Circle)

A sexy bar serving up American grub -- like quality pizzas and sandwiches -- and both fancy 'tails and craft beers.

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5. Ghibellina 1610 14th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20009 (Logan Circle)

At Ghibellina, each hand-crafted Neapolitan pizza is served with a set of sheers. While in most cases, diners are not held responsible for cutting their own pies, the team behind the doughy Italian delicacy at this Logan Circle eatery is changing the pizza rules in more ways than one. For starters, chef Johnathan Copeland believes that cutting a pie too early changes the texture of the crust (no one likes a droopy crust). The spot's (fully-stocked) white marble bar is flanked by piles of cut wood, ready to be tossed into the open kitchen, where each pizza, prepared with a high-gluten Italian-imported flour, is cooked in the wood-oven for precisely three-and-a-half minutes. With a little less crunch and a little more char, the perfectly blistered pizzas come with your choice of toppings like sweet Italian sausage, gorgonzola, and confit tomato -- every bit as picturesque as the rustic white-brick dining room.

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6. Le Diplomate 1610 14th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20009 (Logan Circle)

Le Diplomate is a Logan Circle brasserie from acclaimed restaurateur Stephen Starr, meaning you can count on its traditional French dishes to be consistently excellent. From hors d'oeuvres like fresh oysters and steak tartare with quail egg to entrees including moules frites and beef bourguignon, the menu is brimming with classic, perfectly executed plates. There's even a killer cheeseburger on a house-baked brioche bun. Be sure to secure a sidewalk seat for that extra Parisian feel.

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7. Etto 1541 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

From the folks behind 2 Amys and Standard, this pizza place is old-fashioned in more than just its name -- Etto is using old-school tools, including a giant, wooden flour mill, to churn out delicious pizzas, breads, and pies. Freshly ground flour really has the effect of making an insanely good crust, slightly sweet and slightly charred. There are usually around 10 pizzas on the menu, but don’t even bother looking at it. They're great, but the pro move here is to go straight for the Daily Special pizza, whatever it is. Designed to highlight local, seasonal produce, the pies feature the freshest ingredients in amazing flavor combinations.

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8. Estadio 1520 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (U Street)

If you don't order a slushito at Estadio, you're doing it wrong. These frozen boozie slushies are the star of this vibrant spot, and come in two variations: cranberry, ginger, brandy, and cava, or pistachio, manzanilla, sherry, and gin. Be sure to dig into their scrumptious and colorful Spanish tapas and bocadillos (sandwiches), too, like the sautéed chorizo picante.

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9. Black Whiskey 1410 14th St NW, Washington, DC, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

Black Whiskey's here to change 14th street, injecting it with two levels of weathered, rough 'n raw barrage that include savage cocktails, a huge whiskey selection, and a meat carving station.

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10. DNV Rooftop Pool Bar 1155 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

On hot days, this sexy rooftop bar at Thomas Circle is the perfect oasis away from the humid city streets. Cool off poolside with Asian-inspired bites and summer-themed cocktails, sake, and chilled wine.

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