Best Places To Eat Before The Show In Washington DC

September 25, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Zaytina

Washington DC is lucky to have a plethora of great concert venues, all of which feature a variety of talented musicians. The venues don’t always offer a great selection of food, however, so here is a list of great restaurants close to five of the most popular DC concert halls. Each one is within walking distance to one of venues, and also features delicious food and beverage options. Be sure to ask about specials and happy hour deals.

The Verizon Center
701 9th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 638-0800

Just a five-minute walk from the Verizon Center, Zaytinya has long since been a fine dining favorite in the DC area. The restaurant serves Greek and Turkish mezze, which are small plates of different kinds of foods. Perfect for sharing with your concert-going friends, the extensive menu has everything from hummus to falafel to grape leaves to mushroom couscous. Some of the highlights on the menu include delicious crispy Brussels sprouts that melt in your mouth, meaty halloumi cheese served with sweet dates and crunchy pistachios, crunchy bite-sized falafel balls that are perfect for dipping in Zaytinya’s creamy yogurt tzatziki sauce and tasty cheese and zucchini patties that come with a salty caper dipping sauce. For drinks, don’t miss its famous Pom Fii, a lovely concoction of vodka, wine and pomegranate concentrate. Zaytinya is the ideal place to enjoy a tasty, fun, family-style meal before you head to the Verizon Center.

Kao Thai Restaurant
The Fillmore Silver Spring
8650 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 495-1234

Relaxed and informal with delicious, mouth-watering Thai food is the best way to describe Kao Thai. It is conveniently located right next door to the new Fillmore Silver Spring music hall, and service is guaranteed to be quick if you are rushing to a show. Highlights on the menu include crispy spring rolls, rich and creamy yellow curry, pineapple fried rice and spicy drunken noodles. All of the dishes are flavorful and satisfying, ideal for keeping you full throughout any concert.

American Ice Co.
The 9:30 Club
917 V St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 758-3562

For a quick bite with a pitcher of beer to share before you walk over to the 9:30 Club for a show, check out American Ice Co. Casual and welcoming with picnic tables and a simple menu, this is a great spot to stop at if you want something uncomplicated. Enjoy nachos smothered in cheese, hearty chili, chili con queso and even a pickle sampler. There is indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a great beer selection that includes craft beers.

Dickson Wine Bar
The Black Cat
903 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-1779

Dickson Wine Bar is a cozy spot that focuses on an interesting and diverse wine list, as well as elegant small plates that highlight seasonal ingredients. The cheese list is diverse and delicious, so be sure to order a cheese plate to share. It comes with treats such as fresh fruit, onion marmalade and raisin walnut bread. Flatbreads are also excellent, the mushroom flatbread is a sinful concoction of rustic mushrooms, melted cheese and aromatic truffle oil. Desserts change daily so ask your server about what is available. If you are lucky, Dickson will be serving its waffle sundae, which features waffles, ice cream and chocolate sauce all made in house. Dickson is a great location to catch up with friends before or after a show at The Black Cat over good food and a glass of wine.

Related: Best Sommeliers In DC

Ristorante Tosca
The Warner Theater
1112 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 367-1990

Seeing a concert at the Warner Theater is quite an experience, and an epic meal should precede the event. For such a dinner, make a reservation at Ristorante Tosca, which is right around the corner from the Warner Theater. Hand-made stuffed pastas, rich, creamy sauces and decadent desserts can all be found at this elegant restaurant. It offers a special three-course pre-theater menu for concert goers, available for $38.

Related: Best Places for Spaghetti In Washington DC

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

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