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Zoo Lights
Zoo Lights
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A Dozen Places to Eat and Drink Before or After Zoolights

The zoo will be hopping due to the annual Christmas lights display. Make it a night out and grab something to eat or drink in the process.

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Zoo Lights
| Official

ZooLights is one of D.C.'s festive holiday traditions. The zoo gets completely decked out with a huge lighting display, featuring light-up animals and Christmas-inspired designs (attendees can even duck into the petting zoo or small mammals building and visit some animals while they're seeing the lights).

The event runs through January 1 from 5-9 p.m. Here are some places to grab dinner or drinks before (or after) to make a night of it. All are less than a mile walk from the National Zoo. Go even further and there are even more options, from pizza at 2Amys to whiskey at Jack Rose. And if you're really into something quick, grab a slice at Vace, one of the city's best pizza joints (but there's nowhere to sit).

Have another favorite dining or drinking destination near the zoo? Share in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Marjorie Meek-Bradley's Cleveland Park restaurant specializes in seasonal fare and has a great wine list. Walking distance from zoo: 0.4 miles.

Medium Rare

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Enjoy a steak frites-only menu for an affordable price at this Cleveland Park destination. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

The Zoo Bar Cafe

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One of the city's true dive bars is located across the street from the Zoo. Walking distance from zoo: a whopping 92 feet.

New Heights Restaurant

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Head to the charming New Heights for dishes like charcuterie and mackerel, or have a gin and tonic at the adjacent Gin Joint bar. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

Fat Pete's Barbecue

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Fat Pete's is one of the more promising new barbecue joints to open this year, serving up dishes like ribs and brisket. Walking distance from zoo: 0.4 miles.

Open City

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No matter the hour of day, Open City is there to serve up casual diner fare. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

St. Arnold's of Cleveland Park

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If mussels and a Belgian beer sound like a plan, St. Arnold's is a solid bet. Walking distance from zoo: 0.4 miles.

Mintwood Place

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At almost a mile away, it's a bit of a hike, but it'll be worth it after the burger, escargot hush puppies and French-leaning entrees. Walking distance from zoo: 0.9 miles.

Pop's SeaBar

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Whether seeking pork roll, fried seafood or orange crush cocktails, Pop's SeaBar has it covered. Walking distance from zoo: 0.7 miles.

Donburi

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Donburi's the place to go for a quick, casual Japanese rice bowl. Walking distance from zoo: 0.7 miles.

Ardeo + Bardeo

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Ardeo +Bardeo offer New American dishes, a solid wine list and a classy atmosphere in Cleveland Park. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

Lebanese Taverna

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A D.C. classic, Lebanese Taverna offers Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and lamb.

Ripple

Marjorie Meek-Bradley's Cleveland Park restaurant specializes in seasonal fare and has a great wine list. Walking distance from zoo: 0.4 miles.

Medium Rare

Enjoy a steak frites-only menu for an affordable price at this Cleveland Park destination. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

The Zoo Bar Cafe

One of the city's true dive bars is located across the street from the Zoo. Walking distance from zoo: a whopping 92 feet.

New Heights Restaurant

Head to the charming New Heights for dishes like charcuterie and mackerel, or have a gin and tonic at the adjacent Gin Joint bar. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

Fat Pete's Barbecue

Fat Pete's is one of the more promising new barbecue joints to open this year, serving up dishes like ribs and brisket. Walking distance from zoo: 0.4 miles.

Open City

No matter the hour of day, Open City is there to serve up casual diner fare. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

St. Arnold's of Cleveland Park

If mussels and a Belgian beer sound like a plan, St. Arnold's is a solid bet. Walking distance from zoo: 0.4 miles.

Mintwood Place

At almost a mile away, it's a bit of a hike, but it'll be worth it after the burger, escargot hush puppies and French-leaning entrees. Walking distance from zoo: 0.9 miles.

Pop's SeaBar

Whether seeking pork roll, fried seafood or orange crush cocktails, Pop's SeaBar has it covered. Walking distance from zoo: 0.7 miles.

Donburi

Donburi's the place to go for a quick, casual Japanese rice bowl. Walking distance from zoo: 0.7 miles.

Ardeo + Bardeo

Ardeo +Bardeo offer New American dishes, a solid wine list and a classy atmosphere in Cleveland Park. Walking distance from zoo: 0.5 miles.

Lebanese Taverna

A D.C. classic, Lebanese Taverna offers Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and lamb.

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