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Apr 10, 2012 06:08 AM

Restaurant Crawl Area?

My husband and I are coming for vacation the week of Memorial Day. Whenever we go on vacation there's always so many restaurants we want to try that just going to dinner at a few doesn't seem right. So our last vacation we started doing a restaurant crawl one night. We picked an area that had a lot of good restaurants in about a mile long stretch, picked a starting and ending restaurant then stopped at any other one along the way that looked good. Our original intention was to do an appetizer and a glass of wine at each, but at a few of the restaurants nothing stuck our fancy on the menu so we just had a glass of wine and moved on.

We're looking to do the same thing in DC. We're thinking either Monday or Tuesday night, we weren't sure how many places would be open on Memorial Day so we're open to moving it to Tuesday night. If we do this on Monday we'd like to end up someplace that has a rooftop bar or dining room to watch the fireworks (are there fireworks on Memorial Day?) I've heard the National Mall area gets insane on Memorial Day, and of course we're staying at the Hyatt Capitol Hill so we're open to going to U St, Dupont Circle, somewhere away from the madness. There isn't a cuisine we won't try, we don't have any food allergies or restrictions, and since it's just wine (or beer) and appetizers we can hit some of the more upscale places without breaking the bank. So I'm looking for help narrowing down the area we should do this in. We'll be taking the subway and walking so within a reasonable distance of a metro stop is appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. Hi. I'm not from DC but I was just there this past weekend. I would say Cleveland Park or Logan Circle would be perfect for what you are looking for. Both have different types of cuisines just right next to each other. In Logan Circle, on 14th St, we went to Churchkey (Birch and Barley) and Estadio last Saturday night and both were fantastic.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpeezey12

      I wholeheartedly agree with this idea. 14th Street has some of the best restaurants in DC right now. Estadio, Cork, Churchkey, Bar Pilar, Saint Ex and Pearl Dive (perhaps start there, because it's the busiest of all of them) would make for one heck of a restaurant crawl.

      1. re: katecm

        I third the 14th St. idea. If you want to go to Pearl Dive, as katecm said, begin there as they don't take reservations and they fill up really quickly. Start with happy hour there:

        Monday-Friday, 4pm-7pm

        Drink Specials

        Sobieski Vodka Martinis $7

        Wines By the Glass $5
        Red, White, and Sparkling

        1/2 Price Draft Beers

        Food Specials

        2 for 1 Local Oysters
        Ask Your Server for Daily Selections

        Shrimp Po' Boy $8
        House pIckles, Cayenne Aioli, Ledenheimer Bread

        1 Pound Addie's Mussels $9
        Garlic, Shallot, Fumet, Butter, Lemon, Grilled Baguette

        Churchkey has the best beer selection in town. The other restaurants mentioned by katecm and jpeezey12 are all good; I'd add Masa 14 to the list as well. If you head north on 14th St., you could end up at The Gibson (14th and U) - an unmarked speakeasy that I love - great cocktails in a cool space.

        Tabaq Bistro on U St. near 14th has a very nice rooftop - it's nice to have a drink up there.

        14th and P St.-ish, where you'd be starting out, is walkable from either Dupont Circle or McPherson Square.

    2. I don't believe there are fireworks on Mem Day, but I could be wrong. What there IS, is Rolling Thunder, which is what makes the Mall crazy that whole weekend.

      Actually, between Union Station and downtown you could do some of this. Johnny's Half Shell, West to Central (or one of many other options), then North to Bobby Vans (for a drink at least), go North from there. That would map out a triangle in which there are a lot of choices.

      For lunch you could wind up at Franklin Park which is a hub for food trucks (check around 10am for a daily listing of what's where).

      I'd also say maybe start around DuPont (Hank's Oyster bar) and work your way North. It's a very walkable city.

      1. The Penn Quarter neighborhood begins 7th and D Sts, NW and goes up to H St. Right in that small stretch there is Rasika (Modern Indian) Hill Country (Texas BBQ), Oyamel (Authentic Mexican), Nando's Peri-Peri (Mozambiquan Grilled Chicken), Coco Sala (near 9th and F, for cacao-inspired cuisine), Proof at 8th and G for small plates and wines, up tp Zaytinya (9th and G) for Middle Eastern small plates. An amazing array of food from swank to counter service.

        1. Lots of good suggestions already.

          Since you will sort of be on Capitol Hill you could work in Barracks Row which is across the Capitol grounds where you are staying. (Cava, Matchbox, Ted's Bulletin, Zest, Senarts Oyster and Chop House, ect.)

          Also, around you hotel are some higher end options. (Charlie Palmers, Bistro Bis, Art and Soul, The Source, The Dubliner - for a Pint of Guinness, a shot of Jameson’s and some Irish tunes - not so much the food)

          No fireworks unless it is something they have started doing in the last couple of years and I've missed it. However, the National Memorial Day Concert is held on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Sunday night. It features the National Symphony Orchestra - a number of other singers - and is hosted by Gary Sinese and Joe Montegna (if recent past practice holds). it can be a zoo - however the rehearsal is usually the night before - and it can be fun to go over and watch them rehearse on Saturday night. The Sunday concert is broadcast on PBS.