It’s a tiny district with a big impact. In D.C., there’s no such thing as a casual bystander to politics when American history is built into your daily landscape. In a place where your local news is often your national news, the Washingtonian sense of pride (or smarty-pants humor) can be found in the profusion of politically-themed restaurants and bars. Here are 7 of our red-white-and-blue favorites.
(Photo taken by @lincoln_wdc)
A penny-tiled floor leads you to your meal of American favorites. They claim that this is food “For the People, by the People” so expect to find perfectly-tuned classics like deviled eggs, crispy, gooey mac and cheese, and shrimp and grits. Their happy hour is one of the best in the city—make sure to celebrate Abe’s finest moment with the gin-and-citrus Proclamation 95 punch.
(Photo taken by @declarationwdc)
The Declaration of Independence had 56 signers; 8 of them are featured on the menus of these two slice shops in Shaw and near the Nats stadium. Try the “Francis Hopkinson (NJ)” for a soppressata and fresh mozzarella pie spiced up by Calabrian chili honey. Patriotic vegans can sign off on the “Samuel Chase (MD)” with ricotta, butternut squash, and truffle honey. “In Pizza We Crust,” indeed.
3. The Partisan
(Photo taken by @thepartisandc)
A casual to-go option by day and a moody, atmospheric date spot by night. The Partisan also comes with an attached butcher shop called the Red Apron. Together, they have an unflinching allegiance to the adventures of carnivorous eating, providing gloriously unexpected options like duck heart hash for brunch or crispy pork pata with salted chilis for dinner. If you, as the name suggests, find yourself needing to pick sides, get the aged-beef-fat fries.
4. Presidential Scoops
(Photo taken by @rungrybeth)
In an era marked by high political tension, one man dared to break the ice (cream) and open a scoop shop next to the White House to “Make America Sweet Again.” There’s a flavor for every president, from peanut-buttery Jimmy Carter to the JFK birthday-cake. Throw self-restraint out the window when you ask for yours to be Trumped-—a double scoop.
5. The Hamilton
(Photo taken by @thehamiltondc)
This local live-music venue serves up a unique dining experience alongside a packed schedule of talent. Their eclectic menu covers all assortments of late night cravings with alcoholic milkshakes and surprisingly good sushi. Their chicken wings celebrate the beloved D.C. tradition of “mumbo sauce,” a spicy, tangy ketchup with as many versions as there are takeout joints in the city.
6. Federalist Pig
(Photo taken by @federalistpig)
A surprising element of D.C. is how southern it is, living at the crossroads of north and south, the best elements of these cuisines can turn out shockingly good BBQ without allegiance to any particular tradition. Named “Best BBQ in D.C.,” you can’t go wrong with any of the slow-smoked meats, but the ribs might be your priority here.
7. Turning Natural
(Photo taken by @zoeeats)
Take a closer look at this juice bar’s menu and you’ll find the hidden gems featuring D.C.’s iconic legends, like the mayoral smoothie named Marion Berry. Their five locations around the district aim to bring healthy food options to underserved communities—uniting the district in delicious drinks.
Visiting the Los Angeles area soon? Check out this blog post to learn about the best takeout spots in Culver City, hitting every type of cuisine that your taste buds could be craving. Not in the Culver City area? Discover delicious eats near you.