Food & Drink

An Editor's guide to drinking around town

Published On 04/11/2013 Published On 04/11/2013
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1. 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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2. 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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3. Poste Moderne Brasserie 555 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

Poste Moderne Brasserie is a quaint restaurant and bar located in the Hotel Monaco's courtyard patio. Herbs and vegetables from the restaurant's own garden add freshness to the French-inspired menu. Colorful plates like roasted baby beet salads and sauteed spring vegetables with truffled ricotta are some of the options on offer.

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4. The Huxley 1730 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036 (West End)

Located in South Dupont, The Huxley is divided into two rooms: the Ballroom, with its giant gold chandelier and dance floor, and the Library, a lounge for those who prefer to kick back and check things out. Library humor!

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5. Off the Record 800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006 (Downtown)

If you're across the street from the White House, head to Off the Record. Situated in the Italian Renaissance-style Hay-Adams hotel, this aptly named haunt looks like an over-the-top hideaway of the political elite. Don't be surprised if you noticed Frank Underwood sipping a Sazerac by the bar...

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6. Cantina Marina 600 Water St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Southwest DC’s Cantina Marina is the culinary embodiment of Margaritaville, from its nautical theme to its beach bites-style menu. The Cajun-meets-Tex-Mex joint is built to resemble a beach shack; with cerulean blue and lemon yellow wood paneling dotted with decorative plaster fish, Cantina Marina would be less conspicuous in sunny Key West than the District. Embrace your temporary vacation, though, and comb through the platter of “Super” nachos to rescue the shrimp, steak, and Andouille sausage that’s smothered by chili, pico de gallo, crema, avocado, and jalapeno. The salads, entrees, and sandwiches offer Creole options, like Jambalaya pasta and the Bayou burger. You’ll want to wash your savory plates down with an ice-cold beer, a margarita, or a sweet specialty cocktail, like the blueberry lemonade. With a location right on the water, it’s likely you’ll pour hours into this place; and you know, it’s your own damn fault.

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7. Heist 1802 Jefferson Pl, Washington, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)

True to its name, Heist's adorned in gold jail bars and memorabilia from some infamous robberies; cocktail servers wear purposefully tasseled bow ties and tuxedo garb.

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8. ChurchKey 1337 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Logan Circle)

With 55 draft lines and 500-plus bottles that all manage to deliver on quality, ChurchKey is a chic Logan Circle destination for DC's die-hard beer fans. In addition to the meticulously curated lineup of domestic brews and collabs one would expect from a top-flight beer bar, this stylish spot above sister restaurant Birch & Barley has its finger on the pulse of what’s happening craft-wise overseas, too, allowing you to one-up your friends by saying things like, “I’ve really been impressed by what’s happening in Estonia’s beer scene lately” with complete seriousness. The food menu is loaded with plenty of hearty bites like tater tots, burgers, and flatbreads to soak up all those suds.

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9. Biergarten Haus 1355 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 (Washington Dc)

The Haus is a 7,000sqft bastion of Bavarian revelry, with twin darkwood upstairs/downstairs bars backed by rows of ornamental steins and mounted deer heads, plus a gorgeously wood-fenced, massive outdoor space for you to enjoy in warmer weather.

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10. Port City Brewery 3950 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304 (Alexandria)

Port City Brewery is a brewery that is run by a fourth generation Alexandrian. Not only can you enjoy the brewery for the brews but on Saturdays you can tour the whole facility for 20-30 minutes to see the process in its entirety.

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11. 3 Stars Brewery 6400 Chillum Place NW, Washington, DC 20012 (Takoma Park)

3 Stars is a local DC brewery serving up creations like a Belgian-style farmhouse ale called the Peppercorn Saison.

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12. Napoleon Bistro 1847 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

The underground Imperial Champagne Bar at Napoleon's is raved-out with international DJs, endless champagne flutes, and private stall bathrooms.

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13. POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace 515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

POV offers an assortment of seasonal cocktails and a small plate food menu in a chic, top-floor sky-lounge outfitted with oversized, Alice in Wonderland-style black & red couches and glossy, darkly lacquered walls. Floor-to-ceiling windows peek out onto Downtown DC; a wrap-around terrace provides great views of the mall and the White House lawn.

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14. The Passenger 1539 7th St NW, Washington, 20001 (Mount Vernon Sq)

When the original Passenger closed at the end of 2014, it felt like losing a loved one. Thankfully, the endearing, unpretentious cocktail joint returned at a new location not too far up 7th Street, where it still encourages patrons to chat with bartenders about what flavors, spirits, or ingredients they’re in the mood to drink, and let the experts take it from there. But don't worry, there’s a chalkboard menu with four or five rotating cocktail options if you’re feeling anti-social. The space also retains its worn-in vibe with carryovers from the old Passenger (church pew booths, a Steve McQueen mural) and vestiges from other DC hotspots (Liv’s old disco ball, leopard-print chairs from the defunct Millie and Al's). It’s still the bar that sells tallboys of Schlitz and makes world-class cocktails -- only now it has Chartreuse on tap and a concert stage upstairs, too.