DC neighborhoods, ranked by their food and drink
Ever wonder how your neighborhood stacks up when it comes to eating and drinking? Have you been too busy eating amazing things to even ponder such a question?
Either way, we've aimed to settle the score on which DC 'hood brings the most to the metaphorical and literal table when it comes to ingesting and imbibing. By all means, defend your neighborhood's honor in the comments.
There’s been very little new life breathed into this neck of the woods, besides Rí Rá Irish Pub and their accompanying Whiskey Room; beautiful but wallet-swallowing Fiola Mare; or Pinstripes, in case you want to bowl and play bocce while you booze. Many other bars and restaurants are toned down for tourists. Fortunately a few classics still dazzle like 1789, Bourbon Steak, and The Rye Bar inside of the Capella Hotel.
11. Columbia Heights
CoHi is home to some notable bars: Meridian Pint’s beer selection is remarkable, The Pinch offers duck-studded bar food, Lyman’s Tavern is rad in a Montana sort of way, The Wonderland Ballroom is full of stories, and Kangaroo Boxing Club never disappoints. Reasonably priced eats can be found at Room 11, The Coupe, The Heights, and Pho Viet. Then there’s El Chucho’s standout happy hour.
10. Navy Yard
Bluejacket, with its palatial beer-making accommodations in an old boilermaker factory, put the Navy Yard on the map as a dining and drinking destination. Others soon followed, including Italian gem Osteria Morini, taco-centric Agua 301, Buzz Bakery, and Ice Cream Jubilee. Coming attractions include TaKorean’s first full-service restaurant, Willie’s Brew and Que, and 100 Montaditos.
This small section of the city is inching up there when it comes to great eating. The Red Hen is certainly the star -- the rustic restaurant reeled in the accolades this year, and for good reason (like rigatoni). Then there’re hidden gems like Big Bear Café with a sweet patio swallowed by vines, Boundary Stone for laid-back eats and whiskey, Rustik for a solid brunch, and newcomer KoChix -- a Korean wing hut that will make you forget Bonchon exists.
8. U Street Corridor
There’s so much more to U Street than Ben’s Chili Bowl (but don’t tell tourists that). Oohh's & Aahh's delivers on the promise of true soul food, Dukem is a quick trip to Ethiopia, Vinoteca is a favorite outdoor hangout, and The Fainting Goat is a fun neighborhood gathering place. There are no shortage of bars deserving of your time and money, like Bar Pilar, Cafe Saint-Ex ,The Gibson, The Brixton, American Ice Co., and El Rey.
7. Dupont Circle
The buzz has dipped to a low din in Dupont, but standbys like Little Serow, Iron Gate, Sushi Taro, DGS Delicatessen, GBD, and Duke’s Grocery help the 'hood retain its status as a nightlife anchor. Glen’s Garden Market, with its beer club and yummy sandwiches, also ups the foodie quotient. Most of the bars still skew a little college with sticky floors and Long Island iced teas -- here’s hoping Spike Mendelsohn’s new speakeasy, The Sheppard, is one of many new cocktail options for those not looking to grind with strangers.
6. Metro Center/Chinatown/Penn Quarter
For starters, you have the José Andrés triple play -- Jaleo, Oyamel, and Zaytinya -- which are reliably a good time. Graffiato, Daikaya, and Hill Country Barbecue offer great pre- or post-Verizon Center meals and Rasika is home to the best Indian in the city. Additionally, there’s nothing happier than happy hour on Poste’s terrace and newcomer, The Partisan, impresses with its charcuterie and bar program.
5. H Street NE
Variety is king on H Street. For starters, there’s biblically themed bar Church & State, sweet and savory (stoner) pie emporium Dangerously Delicious Pies, cool neighborhood bars like Smith Commons and Boundary Road, mussels maven Granville Moore’s, the Rock & Roll Hotel, German beer hall Biergarten Haus, Ethiopic, and a sweet dive called The Pug. Then there’s Toki Underground, which continues to sling some of the best bowls of ramen in the city. Those living on H Street benefit from how difficult it is for the rest of us to get there.
4. Adams Morgan
If you like whiskey, you should probably move to AdMo because they do whiskey like a boss thanks to Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Dram & Grain, Bourbon, Rebellion, and Bar Charley. The neighborhood is also shaping up to be something more than where college kids go to wile out. Mintwood Place and Cashion’s Eat Place are putting out some seriously good food and quick-bite options like Donburi and Amsterdam Falafelshop never disappoint. Roofers Union has a top-notch roof offering great views of the city.
3. Capitol Hill
Barracks Row got a big boost when Rose’s Luxury opened their doors to awesomeness (literally, there’s an "awesome" sign). Cava Mezze and Ambar are other fun options on 8th St. On Pennsylvania Ave, Good Stuff Eatery, We, the Pizza, and Hank’s on the Hill are crowd pleasers, as are newcomers Barrel and Sona Creamery & Wine Bar -- the District’s first restaurant with an onsite creamery.
Not only is Shaw hot now, but it’s also the future. The center of all things cool is undeniably moving East. Shaw’s already home to the Derek Brown drinking-and-dining trifecta of Southern Efficiency, Eat The Rich, and Mockingbird Hill. Then there’s brewpub Right Proper, cozy corner bar All Souls, bumping beer garden Dacha, quirky dive bar Ivy & Coney, hipster coffee joint La Colombe, and new spots like Chaplin and A&D. Want a full meal? Try Rogue 24, Table, Thally, or Seasonal Pantry.
1. Logan Circle/14th Street
Let’s be honest about where you’ve been spending all your Friday nights. The 14th Street corridor, stretching from Logan Circle to U St and beyond, is officially in beast mode. It’s home to one of the best beer bars in the country (ChurchKey), the buzziest French bistro in town (Le Diplomate), an oyster powerhouse (Pearl Dive), top tapas spots (Estadio and Barcelona Wine Bar), a small but charming beer garden (Garden District), and an intimidating amount of new restaurants well worth trying -- that is if you can keep yourself from repeating the great spots you've already frequented.
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