D.C. Round-up

Nothing like some time away from your favorite city to launch a serious case of nostalgia. Here's a  quick, bulleted round-up of some of my favorite places in D.C. (adapted from this one.)

FOOD – FAST CASUAL
— Burger Tap and Shake
— Bobbie’s Burger Palace
— Bi Bi Bap
— Roti
— Daikaya: fantastic ramen and a chic sit down, small plates, pricy restaurant upstairs. For the Ramen, no reservations but expect a line.
— Takorean
— Surfside: probably the only 24 hour food spot. Breakfast is served from 11pm - 11am, get the Tonga
— Buredo: sushi burritos
— Cava
— Chaia: one of my favorites, farm-to-table vegetarian and vegan tacos in Georgetown. They change up the menu pretty often but the kale and potato is always on there, get one of those
— Stachowski’s: prepare to redefine your definition of a great sandwich! Take a friend and split the grinder. Disclaimer: crunchy bread might hurt. Worth the pain
— Bub and Pop’s: some will argue that this is better then Stachowski’s, they are wrong. Still excellent though
— District Taco
— Rolling Cow: if you see this food truck, get the Bulgogi wrap with a fried egg. Hangs out a lot on GW’s campus, Farragut and Franklin Square
— Poppabox
 

SIT DOWN — $$$
— The Dabney: Super tough to get a reservation but the tavern in the basement takes walk-ins
— Rose’s Luxury: one of the most well-known spots in the city, stupid expensive, doesn’t take reservations. Instead, show up at 3 and wait in line
— Little Serow: another spot that is no reservation/wait in line, unmarked basement that serves up a set menu of traditional Thai food and it rocks. Very very very spicy
— Bad Saint: no reservation/wait in line, more casual than the others though
— Rasika West End: this place takes Indian to the next level
— Zaytinya
— Blue Duck Tavern
— Le Diplomat: Paris sans flight

SIT DOWN — $$
— Oyamel: fantastic Mexican tapas and funny salt-foam margaritas. Can’t go wrong here
— China Chilcano: Peruvian Chinese fusion
— Barcelona (14th st): fantastic wine bar and a great place for a group. Warning: you won't get seated on time. Get a drink and chill out
— Hill Country Barbecue
— Lapis
— Mandu
 

SIT DOWN — $
— Bareburger
— Federalist Pig: amazing barbecue, small place ,very casual
— District of pi
— Luna Diner
— the DINER: super busy pretty much 24/7, but if you want a late night diner this is the spot
— Curry and Pie: Indian pizza!
— Zannchi: Korean

Brunch disclosure: many, many great places worth the bottomless. Unfortunately not included on this list
 

NEIGHBORHOODS WORTH A WALK: 
— Dupont: mix of stuff, bar scene is average but its a beautiful, well-established neighborhood. Circle is a great spot to hang out and people watch, but the fountain is utterly unimpressive. Hang out on the weekends for the farmer’s market. 
— Shaw: rapidly gentrifying, yo-proey, great bars and food
— Blagden Alley: teeny tiny alley in Shaw that is just full of gems
— Adam's Morgan: classic D.C. architecture that you may not notice while tripping out of Jumbo Slice at 2 a.m.
— 14th street: closest you can get to New York vibes
— Georgetown: stay off M Street and stay golden
— Penn Quarter (AKA city center): some decent food, but super touristy
 

GOING OUT GUIDE:
Winebars:
— Maxwell
— Chez Billy Sud: the bar next door to the restaurant is super cozy, especially in the winter. Snuggle up to someone you like here

 Speakeasies: 
— The Shepard
— Left door
— Chicken + Whiskey: walk-in freezer

Bars and dives:
— Chaplin’s: best happy hour in the city. You will die. 
— Dan’s Café: despite its appearance this is probably one of the coolest bars in the city. Don’t be afraid of the squeeze bottles full of hard alcohol. Cash only, Thursday/Friday/Saturday.
— Bar Charley: all-night happy hour on Mondays
— Recessions: King of the Dives, best worst karaoke you’ll ever see. Pretty much the real life version of “Cafe Disco” from the office.
— Ivy and Coney: low-key cheap beer
— Churchkey: best beer list in the city
— Jack Rose Dining Saloon: very cool whisky bar, great roof
— Shenanigans Irish Pub $10 all you can drink on Friday
— Tabard Inn: Live jazz Sunday/Monday
— Iron Gate
— Calico
— Dacha Beer Garden
— Board Room: board game bar
— The Line Hotel: swanky, $$$, one of the best cocktail bars in the country
— 18th Street Lounge
— Roofers Union: very VERY serious trivia game, great beer selection and live music
— Buffalo Billiards: arguably a bit pricy for what it is, but tons of pool tables, darts, and other bar games
— Right Proper Brewing

Coffee and bookstores: 
— Kramerbooks and Afterwords: best bookstore, open late, breakfast/brunch is delicious, bar in the back
— Canal Street Books
— Any of the Compass Coffee locations. Brand new one around the corner from the stand-up Italian-style café is the best for working
— Grace Street Coffee
— Blue Bottle
— La Colombe
— Emissary
— Baked and Wired: best cupcakes in DC, hands down. Coffee is also pretty great
— The Potters House: do-gooders unite
— Swings Coffee
— The Wydown
— Big Bear Café: beautiful day? This is your best bet. Snag a seat outdoors
— Dolcezza: real professionals come for the coffee, not the gelato. Both are great
— Lapop
— Tryst: it’s also a bar, which means you can post up all day. Win/win
— Capital Hill Books
— The Coffee Bar: great coffee, lovely if you can snag a seat outside

Museums and activities: 
— Thomas Sweet Ice cream
— Union Market: excellent indoor food market
— DC United just moved to the new Audi Stadium
— The Wharf: new waterfront market south of the mall. Like Shaw, rapidly gentrifying
— Meridian Hill Park: stroll, picnic, admire the fountain when it’s actually on (which is never. Looking at you, DC)
— The Portrait Gallery: museum & courtyard
— Eastern Market: weekend is most lively
— Fantom Comics
— Labyrinth Games & Puzzles: best for those into board or card gabes
— Rose Park
— Rock Creek Park
— The Georgetown Waterfront eventually turns into a trail and is a great spot for a bike ride
— The Zoo
— IMAX in Air & Space Museum

Music and Theatre Venues: 
— U St Music Hall
— The Anthem
— Howard Theatre
— 9:30 Club
— Echostage
— Kennedy Center: even if you don’t see a show, pop upstairs to the roof and enjoy the panoramic views of the city
— Woolly Mammoth: great spot for theatre

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