While you were hibernating this Winter, some big things happened. Some of the best of Baltimore invaded DC, the city became even more meaty, and whiskey continued its utter and rightful drink domination. If you haven’t added these nine fresh spots to your repertoire, then the time is now! Well, soon -- right after you finish reading.

Laura Hayes

Heavy Seas Alehouse (click here for info and address)
Arlington, VA
This pirate-themed alehouse had the potential to get a little too Epcot, but it has just the right amount of nautical-ness. Beers from Baltimore brewer Heavy Seas are the focus, but don’t miss the Musket Ball cocktail with bourbon, rye, house-made Gold Ale syrup, lemon, and black walnut bitters. Finish a meal of Old Bay caramel corn and crab cakes with a Peg Leg Float. There’s nothing like vanilla ice cream bobbing like a buoy in a pint of Imperial Stout.

Laura Hayes

Roofers Union (click here for info and address)
Adams Morgan
From defunct and debaucherous to coolly industrial, Roofers Union has no resemblance to its former tenant, The Reef. Marvel at the makeover from your seat under the coverall wall or from the recently opened roof deck. Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, despite her XX chromosomes, knows how to throw a sausage party. Links are the stars of her menu -- like the Andouille corndog or beer brat. You’ll be drinking craft beer or a cocktail named after your bartender’s favorite song.

Laura Hayes

Red Apron Butcher (click here for info and address)
Penn Quarter
"Where can I get a @#$%& breakfast sandwich in this city!?" Calm down, disembodied voice -- all you need is the long-awaited Downtown location of one of DC’s favorite meat markets. Red Apron said "suck it nooks and crannies" by one-upping English muffins with Italian tigelles that brilliantly hold eggs, chorizo, and the like. Come lunchtime, the nap-inducing Sunday Supper sandwich is a must: juicy pot roast, horseradish mashed potatoes, and beet slaw squeezed into a shiny, egg-washed roll.

Laura Hayes

The Partisan (click here for info and address)
Penn Quarter
An inch away from Red Apron Butchery is another meatscapade from the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, as you may recall. Start dinner by making check marks on a meat menu divided by flavor profile. After the charcuterie course, up your protein ambition and tackle the entire pig’s head on a platter. The Partisan menu shows promise from start to finish, thanks to the beer encyclopedia that is Greg Engert and the pastry expertise of Tiffany MacIsaac. Except for the Malört, because that’s just gross.

Laura Hayes

Rí Rá Georgetown & Whiskey Room (click here for info and address)
Georgetown
Most of Rí Rá Georgetown is salvaged straight from Ireland, including the majority of servers and one of the most impressive Irish whiskey lists in the country. The expansive downstairs pub is bold and boisterous, while the upstairs Whiskey Room is sultry and welcoming to both novices and know-it-alls. Seek advice from their badass Scotch Sommelier (yea, that's a thing) or challenge a bud to a whiskey duel in a room lined with neon portraits of US presidents with an ounce of Irish in them.

Carolina Kitchen

Carolina Kitchen (click here for info and address)
Rhode Island Row NE
This sprawling comfort food spot has a gold-hued, knickknack-filled interior that feels a little Vegas. Fortunately, the food is way homier. We have Chef/owner Lance London’s grandmother to thank for items like grilled baby back ribs and golden fried snapper. If it comes from the sea, there’s a good chance Carolina Kitchen can fry it up for you Southern-style.

Laura Hayes

Den of Thieves (click here for info and address)
U Street
Say goodbye to Hanoi House and hello to a DJ-driven bar that does classic cocktails on the cheap -- just when you thought an $8 Negroni was a NW DC impossibility. In addition to $8 drinks, there are snacks like Korean fried chicken and hot dogs topped with Asian slaw. Keep an eye out for owner Eric Hilton -- he sometimes mans the DJ booth himself.

Laura Hayes

Dram & Grain (click here for info and address)
Adams Morgan
If you want to nab a coveted seat in this underground whiskey den, you’ll have to text the bartenders on a burner phone. The number? That’s a secret. Those in possession of the number can choose from 15 signature drinks including a cold-smoked cocktail and an elixir that morphs from a Sazerac into a Vieux Carre by way of a melting ice cube made of Benedictine, vermouth, and bitters. For now, they’re only open Saturday nights. Here are 12 reasons to visit.

Laura Hayes

Bidwell (click here for info and address)
Union Market
If you want to see an actual waiter at Union Market, make a reservation at Bidwell -- the market’s only fullservice restaurant. They take sustainability seriously by utilizing the rooftop garden and sourcing local whenever possible. Ask your plaid-appointed server to source a patty melt straight to your table with vintage cheddar and Thousand Island dressing on rye. It’s an option for both brunch and dinner, and fortunately so is their lobster taco.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Roofers Union 2446 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

Roofers Union Restaurant marries German and American tastes in a beer-focused Adams Morgan gastropub. You can’t come without ordering a trio of sausages stuffed in-house: one beer-poached brat on sauerkraut, one veal heart wiener on caraway-purple cabbage slaw, one boudin blanc with red onion confit and cranberry. You can always go more American with a bacon burger or fried chicken sandwich, though. The three-storied building is diverse: the first floor plays hosts to an affiliated wine bar called Jug & Table, the second-floor dining room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and four-top seating, and a covered third floor rooftop is ideal for street-gazing and lapping punch bowls.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Heavy Seas Alehouse Arlington 1501 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209 (Rosslyn)

Heavy Seas in Rosslyn is a pirate-themed pub with 15 drafts, two casks, experimental cocktails, and American comfort pub fare that leans towards tasty seafood, expertly prepared using fresh and seasonal ingredients. The rustic-industrial, warehouse-like space is decked out with plank-lined walls, dark wood furniture, and buoyed string lights. It’s great for groups, especially themed parties.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Red Apron Butcher 709 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

Start with a quality butcher that's got all the meats and provisions you could ask for, add a delicious menu of specialty breakfast and lunch sandwiches, mix in some coffee from Ceremony, and you've got yourself Red Apron Butcher. Speaking of their breakfast sandwiches, all of them are served on tigelle -- a tasty Italian flatbread reminiscent of an English muffin -- and come in varieties that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in DC, like the Southern Comfort with tasso ham, egg, and spicy pimento cheese.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. The Partisan 709 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

With 30+ charcuterie options, medium plates like sausages and corned beef belly, and feasts like a whole roasted pig's head, The Partisan will cater to your meat cravings, no matter your appetite.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Rí Rá Georgetown / Whiskey Room 3125 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007 (Georgetown)

Ri Ra Georgetown has hearty Irish pub fare, 16 taps and up to 100 bottles of fine craft beers, and a whole floor dedicated to a special brown liquor oasis -- The Whiskey Room has 200+ whiskeys, simple but high-quality cocktails, and a ton of knowledge behind the bar to guide you on your boozy travels.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Carolina Kitchen 2350 Washington Pl NE, Washington, DC 20018

Carolina Kitchen has a down-home menu of comfort foods like grilled baby back ribs and golden fried snapper, with just the right amount of knickknackery on the walls to make you feel like you're at grandma's.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Den of Thieves 2005 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

$8 cocktails in NW DC and cool snacks like Korean fried chicken and Asian slaw-topped hot dogs make the DJ-driven Den of Thieves a unique -- and worthwhile -- stop on your nights out. Bonus points for their awesome owner Eric Hilton, who you may find on the ones and twos every now and again.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Dram & Grain 2007 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Adams Morgan)

Dram & Grain is a badass underground whiskey den run by Trevor Frye and Nick Lowe of Jack Rose Dining Saloon (which just so happens to be on top of said whiskey den). If you can get the secret phone number via secret business card, you can text these guys on their burner phone (!) and get yourself into one of three seatings on Saturdays only. Expect creative cocktails (red-hot pokers, smoke-filled concoctions), whiskey on tap, and only one vodka drink called the Training Wheels.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Bidwell 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002

The one full-service restaurant in Union Market, Bidwell features Chef John Mooney's Southern goodness, including a patty melt complete with vintage cheddar and Thousand Island dessing on rye. Also worth noting: they have a lobster taco.

Clickbait