Washingtonians have a long history of tying one on. Bars for drinking have typically been associated with stale snack food. With DC’s bustling food scene, it was only a matter of time before the two worlds collided. For the hardcore foodies that are looking for libations and amazing food to soak it up with, fear not, we’ve got your answer in these top five bars for foodies.
2427 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
If you like draft beer, Black Squirrel is the place to go for three floors of the best drafts around with constantly changing taps in this popular Adams Morgan hangout. The atmosphere is cozy on the top floor, comfortable and friendly on the main floor and a party in the basement. Depending on your mood, there’s something for everyone and an envious draft list. Lean on your bartenders to guide you. Not only will they help you pick the perfect choice, but they’ll even give you a sample if you’re undecided. But don’t stop at the booze, check out Black Squirrel’s menu of sustainably sourced delights. The burgers are by far the most popular with their grass fed deliciousness. If you’re looking for something different, definitely try the reuben, which is made from house-cured kosher beef topped with homemade sauerkraut that is smothered by Swiss cheese on rye. Served with a side of the house fries and homemade pickles, the sweet dill really adds that tanginess to the meal. If you’re really hungry, try the bratwurst, which is made in house and then cooked in Hofbrau beer and served with a side of mash potatoes and sauerkraut.
1337 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
Craft beers abound in this quirky 14th street bar atop its sister restaurant Birch and Barley. A double-sided draft menu and bible of bottled beers awaits. This is a microbrew lover’s dream. The atmosphere is casual with a mixture of tables, comfy booths, vinyl bar stools and an intimate lounge area. The staff is extremely knowledgeable of the menu if the descriptions leave you still scratching your head on what to order. For food, try the disco fries, which are house-cut fries that are then smothered in cheddar cheese and sausage gravy. For a tasty sharable app, the fire-roasted shishito peppers with a spicy harissa peanut dipping sauce make for an explosion of taste that’s perfect after a few beers. The hot plates consist of elevated comfort foods like the grilled cheese scented with truffles and served with tomato soup or the burger made from bratwurst with a beer-braised sauerkraut and Emmentaler cheese. The flatbreads are portioned out making them great to share, but sized for an individual. There’s also a decent selection of cheese and charcuterie. The food is sourced as locally as possible with a seasonal, sustainable focus.
3628 Georgia Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
Offering the dangerously tempting buy one, get one happy hour from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, DC Reynolds is the go-to place to get your drink on in the Petworth area. With its newly opened patio, it is ready for summer, serving up two-for-one on any drink in the house and movies on the patio. But more than a great watering hole, DC Reynolds has delicious gourmet food to go with its drinks. The minor threat burger starts with a house-ground chuck beef that is mixed with bacon and caramelized onions topped with a queso fresco and minor sauce. There’s also the crispy fried pork belly sandwich that starts with the heritage hog. A Berkshire pork belly is fried and topped with an ancho chile aioli slaw with jalapenos. Get a table early as the place gets hopping as the night goes on.
Related: Best Craft Beer Bars In DC
3605 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
One of the newest establishments in the popular Columbia Heights neighborhood, Mad Momos offers both a full bar and beer deck on two floors. Its carefully selected draft and bottle beers list, red and white wine and a wickedly good cocktail list makes for a great place to tie one on in a comfortable, sustainable atmosphere. Most of the décor is reclaimed from local buildings or consignment shops so it’s eclectic, but trendy at the same time with a mixture of tables and lounge areas with comfy couches. The restaurant is named for the food. A momo is essentially a Himalayan dumpling with a savory or sweet filling. The menu offers several types of momos from sea to land to vegan all served with a choice of two sides like tater tots, salad, sweet potato fries and seasonal slaw. The dumplings can be steamed or pan seared, but searing is definitely recommended. For brunch, enjoy bottomless mad-momas or mad-marys for $15.
8081 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Craft cocktails are in and Sidebar is one of the best stops in Maryland. Offering up uniquely crafted cocktails with funny names like “Happy Ending” and “Tennis is less boring when you’re drunk,” this unique bar sits next to the renowned Jackie’s in Silver Spring. But don’t expect Jackie’s food in the Sidebar kitchen. It has its own kitchen with its own unique menu and dedicated chef. Serving up elevated bar food, be sure to try the popcorn or potato chips tossed in truffle oil. The Chicago dog is a delicious treat topped with onions, tomato, pickle and mustard. Happy hour is everyday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. where drinks are only $6.