The Most Overlooked Mediterranean Paradise in Europe
1. Roofers Union2446 18th St NW, Washington
2. Heavy Seas Alehouse Arlington1501 Wilson Blvd, Arlington
3. Red Apron Butcher709 D St NW, Washington
4. The Partisan709 D St NW, Washington
5. Rí Rá Georgetown / Whiskey Room3125 M St NW, Washington
6. Carolina Kitchen2350 Washington Pl NE, Washington
7. Den of Thieves2005 14th St NW, Washington
8. Dram & Grain2007 18th St NW, Washington
9. Bidwell1309 5th St NE, Washington
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
$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.
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.
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.