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May 18, 2009 07:55 AM

Philly Hound Looking for Good Beer and Grub near Georgetown

Next month I’ll be traveling to DC alone for work and I’ll be staying at the Westin Grand near GWU and Georgetown (Washington Circle, Foggy Bottom). I will be dining in that area (mostly) and was hoping for recommendations on casual bars/restaurants with a great beer selection, within walking distance to my hotel, that would be comfortable for a single diner. Good food AND beer is a must! Being a beer geek I’m a little spoiled by the beer scene in Philly and was hoping for a taste of something similar in DC. Any suggestions?

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  1. Pizzeria Paradisio (located in both Dupont Circle and Georgetown) has great pizza (just saw it featured in one of the top food magazines, I think Gourmet or Food and Wine) and an interesting beer selection.

    Urbana, on P St. in Dupont Circle, has a nice bar to sit at and a pretty good beer selection. My bf was impressed that they had some Michigan beers on the menu (he is from there) when we checked out the bar during inauguration.

    Not exactly walking distance but a short cab ride will take you to Brasserie Beck, which in my opinion has the best beer selection in town. They also have delicious Belgium cuisine...their mussels and frites are out of this world.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      First of all, just so you know, there's no good brewpubs. So what you're on the lookout for is good beer list.

      I'll only give Pizzeria Paradiso (Georgetown location) a "decent" grade for food, but the beer selection in the downstairs room is *spectacular*. Hand pumps, some non-pasteurized choices, and always some rare or interesting choices.

      And I'll second the rec for Brasserie Beck. They have a beer sommelier! Best Belgian list I've seen anywhere. Excellent food, too, and, though the bar can get crowded and noisy, just fine for a solo diner. Beck is just 3 Metro stops from Foggy Bottom.

      1. re: DanielK

        I’ll definitely try Pizzeria Paradiso. While Brasserie Beck sounds great, it also sounds like it’s a little bit too much of a scene for me… I wrong? Plus Philly has a bunch of really amazing Belgian-oriented places, so as much as I like mussels, frites and a good tripel, I can get my fill back home. I guess what I would really like to find are those neighborhood gems; something comfortable, filled with locals and uniquely DC. Beer and food still a must! More ideas?

        And thanks so much for the recommendations thus far!

        1. re: G Goo

          beck borders on scene-y, although it's still an all-walks-of-life type place...i think the pizzeria would be more what your looking for.

          1. re: G Goo

            Not so much great grub in DC like in Philly. True, Beck is a swank place, plus boisterous and loud, maybe not your kind of thing. But one taste of the potato gratin with pork belly (filling enough for a meal at $11) and you'll know you've hit paydirt. Aside from the amazing bread, if you're still hungry the brussell sprouts or the liver parfait will hit this one out of the park.

            At Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown, order the Atomica. This is a great pizza, something you don't have a lot of in Philly.

            DC doesn't do what you're asking it to, exactly, so you're going to have to bend.

            1. re: Steve

              True enough about the lack of great pizza in Philly Steve, I'm looking forward to Pizzeria Paradiso. And I get what you are saying.....I don't know if I was looking for anything Philly-esque...then again maybe I was. Neighborhood-y, great beer, great food, lots of locals, really casual. That pretty much describes all of my favorite places here. Guilty as charged. So in light of that, I'll pack some nicer evening clothes and soak in the scene at Beck! That potato gratin w/ pork belly sounds amazing with a St Bernadus Triple or an Orval Trappist.

              Any other recs? Looks like I have 2 nights planned, but I'm here for 4.

              1. re: G Goo

                Welcome to DC - Philly is one of my all time favorite cities, so hope you will enjoy it here. I definitely second (third) Pizzeria Paradiso (downstairs at the bar is where it's at for a beer geek). Pizzas are pretty good, but I don't find myself in G-town much to begin with.

                If you're willing to hop in a cab, you absolutely must take a trip to Granville Moore's on H Street NE. The best Belgian selection (IMO) and ridiculously good food (mussels, frites and the best damn veggie burger I've ever had). Think Monk's with a more low-key neighborhood feel.

                Beck is good, definitely scene-y, but I'm really digging their cheese plate right now too (paired with a delicious Belgian beer of course.) Marcel's - the sister restaurant to Beck is considerably closer to G-town (walking distance on Penn), but I've never been, so would ask around first.

                Finally, one other thought - again you're either gonna have to cab it or hop on the metro up to Columbia Heights and hit up Commonwealth Gastropub. Decent beer selection, better than average pub food, fairly low key and local on weeknights, can get a bit busier during the weekend. There's also Wonderland in the area, but I haven't been yet, so maybe someone else can chime in on that.


                1. re: weathermasta

                  Granville Moore's? The owner of that was on an episode of Throwdown w/ Bobby Flay wasn't he? I remember he did a killer looking blue cheese mussel dish, with fries of course.....looked fantastic (if it is indeed the same guy....the name of the place and the cuisine rang a bell). Yeah, I'm certainly willing to hop in a cab.

                  I'll have to do a little research on Marcel's. Walking distance is a good thing, especially after a few Belgian ales. Less complicated.

                  This could end up for me being Belgian week in DC....sounds like a pretty good week to me. Thanks!

                  1. re: G Goo

                    Another vote for Granville Moore's!

                    1. re: G Goo

                      Same guy from Throwdown with Bobby Flay.

                      1. re: G Goo

                        Marcel's is fantastic, but very upscale. It's not jacket required, but I've always worn one there, but I've also never walked out without dropping $150pp. And, while the service is 4-star, I'm not sure it's a great place for a solo diner to sit at the bar.

                        1. re: G Goo

                          The Moules Fromage Bleu is indeed fantastic, great beer list and atmosphere too.

                          1. re: G Goo

                            As DanielK said, Marcel's is wonderful, but expensive. You'd definitely feel out of place there without a jacket.

                            1. re: Hal Laurent

                              Although I'll have jackets with me, the last thing I want is to have to wear them after hours. I'll skip Marcel's.

                            2. re: G Goo

                              If you are going to take a cab to H Street for Granville Moores, you should check out the Argonaut while you are there. I am from Philly and understand the need to find a Royal Tavern or Standard Tap in other cities. The Argonaut is the closest thing I can find, burger is very good and they have a decent beer selection, website is here

                              1. re: taoseno

                                We are sooo lucky in Philly on the pub front. Standard Tap is a 4-star bistro posing as a hipster dive bar. And I just made it to the Royal for the first time and had possibly the best burger I've ever had.....and I've had a lot of burgers. Gotta love those neighborhood joints. Sounds like there is a dearth of that in DC. Somebody stands to do pretty well to adopt the Philly "gastropub" culture and bring it to DC. Than again, maybe it's an organic thing.

                                Thanks for the recommendation for the Argonaut. Maybe I will check that out on my trip to Granville Moore's. Definitely looking forward to GM's.

                2. I am surprised no one has recommended the Brickskeller. While the food is nothing special and inevitably it will be out of your first two or three beer choices, the 'skeller has an impressive 10+ page beer list that would make any beer geek giggle. I prefer the atmosphere of their sister restaurant RFD in Chinatown - which actually has more taps - but RFD is a bus/metro/cab ride from your hotel, whereas you can walk to the Brickskeller.

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