clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Valentina hot wings from Hi/Fi Taco at the Roost
Valentina hot wings from Hi/Fi Taco at the Roost
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

D.C.’s Essential Bar Food, Mapped

30 options for rib-sticking foods that go down well with cold beer or cocktails

View as Map
Valentina hot wings from Hi/Fi Taco at the Roost
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

With D.C. officially lifting the majority of its service restrictions for all bars, nightclubs, and music venues on Friday, June, 11, the drinking public is expected to show out in full force. Ever since restaurants in the city returned to pre-pandemic norms in late May, people have been sitting shoulder-to-shoulder at bars and reacquainting themselves with the communal pleasures of bending an elbow next to a like-minded stranger. A return to last call after midnight means a comeback for bar food, too, the type of greasy, substantial stuff one craves while knocking back beer, wine, or cocktails.

Around the District, that means cheeseburgers, hot wings, and pizza, sure, but also chicken tikka sandwiches, chicharrón quesadillas, batata harra-spiced fries, French onion dip toasts, smoked fish boards, Venezuelan hot dogs, Japanese rice balls, Sichuan chili wontons, and Cantonese barbecue. This map covers 30 standout bars where customers can find pub grub that stands up to — or in some case outshines — the drinking selection. Mumbo wings from Chinese carryouts (like Yum’s in Logan Circle) and jumbo slice pizza are two iconic postgame foods in D.C., of course, but they’re not typically found inside the bar.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Stained Glass Pub (Multiple locations)

Copy Link

The scene: A dark brick sports bar in Montgomery County where rec softball teams meet postgame for pitchers and crispy squares of pan pizza

What to order: Pizza, deli sandwiches, crabby cheese pretzels

Jimmys Old Town Tavern

Copy Link

The scene: A neighborhood haunt with Western New York roots where locals are friendly and trivia gets competitive.

What to order: Roast beef on weck, classic Buffalo wings, poutine

Mezcalero Cocina Mexicana

Copy Link

The scene: An affordable taqueria with a huge menu of Mexican bar snacks, enchiladas, tortas, and huaraches that pari well with mezcal cocktails.

What to order: tacos dorados, tacos de canasta, queso fundido, gorditas, pambazo tortas, chicharrón quesadillas

El Sol tacos dorados
The Solis family’s recipe for chicken tacos dorados
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Brookland's Finest Bar and Kitchen

Copy Link

The scene: A brick-lined pub with neighborly prices where kids can order chicken tenders while adults drink D.C. beers on draft.

What to order: Cheddar bacon Colonel burgers, fried catfish, oatmeal cream pies

Roofers Union

Copy Link

The scene: A spacious, multi-level craft beer bar with prime views of Adams Morgan bustling below.

What to order: Brisket and sirloin cheeseburgers, homemade bratwurst, Brussels sprouts with pomegranate vinaigrette and smoked sour cream

Roofers Union Exterior Roofers Union [official]

The Game/Tiki On 18th

Copy Link

The scene: Twin bars across two levels that cater to sports fans and Tiki enthusiasts, respectively, with Filipino-style pub grub and frozen drinks served in colorful vessels.

What to order: “Michael Phelps” shrimp sandwich, lumpiang Shanghai, spicy pork sisig (or vegan tofu mushroom sisig), fried chicken and gravy

Franklin Hall DC

Copy Link

The scene: A cavernous American beer hall inside an industrial laundry building lined with rows of picnic tables, tons of TVs, and a full bar.

What to order: Jumbo soft pretzel, draft beers by the stein, any of the sausages, green tea shooters

The Green Zone

Copy Link

The scene: An Adams Morgan cocktail bar with a laidback vibe and tropical drinks full of Middle Eastern ingredients.

What to order: Frozen mint lemonade with Lebanese gin, meze standards, cheese boureg, batata harra-spiced fries, za’atar and sumac wings

American Ice Company

Copy Link

The scene: A rusty, old-school ice house vibe with a busy front patio and draft beers served in glass jars.

What to order: Pulled pork and queso “swachos,” pickles

Izakaya Seki

Copy Link

The scene: An unassuming, family-run izakaya with a hand-scribbled menu that boasts a strong following of Japanese expats and food enthusiasts.

What to order: Sashimi specials, fried smelts, onigiri (rice balls), kalbi-style short ribs, beef tongue with miso mustard

Tsukune (chicken meatballs) from Izakaya Seki
Tsukune (chicken meatballs) from Izakaya Seki
Joseph Victor Stefanchik/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Imperial

Copy Link

The scene: A clean, multilevel cocktail complex full of shiny metallic accents with food that swings from everyman nostalgia to Continental throwbacks.

What to order: Fried clams, seafood towers, beef Wellington, cobbler cocktails

The Imperial tower ($144) comes with 18 oysters, eight clams, six shrimp, smoked mussels, oysters rockefeller, whole lobster. and blue crab “Imperial”
The Imperial tower
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Service Bar DC

Copy Link

The scene: An unpretentious cocktail bar and local industry hangout that coaxes big fruity flavors out of homemade syrups — now with an impressive patio in the street.

What to order: Fried chicken plates, fried chicken sandwiches, Maryland crab dip, eggplant Parm

Lulu’s Wine Garden

Copy Link

The scene: An open barroom full of Southwestern hacienda vibes, communal tables with holes for ice buckets, and a fenced-in back patio with a softly burbling fountain.

What to order: White queso, pork belly pastrami sandwiches, French onion dip toasts, the red Baja Blend from Viñedos Malagon (Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico)

A smoked pork belly pastrami sandwich at Lulu’s Winegarden comes on Texas Toast with fermented red cabbage, pickles, lots of crispy shallots, and an aioli made from pork drippings
A smoked pork belly pastrami sandwich at Lulu’s Winegarden comes on Texas Toast with fermented red cabbage, pickles, lots of crispy shallots, and an aioli made from pork drippings
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Ivy City Tavern

Copy Link

The scene: A spacious second-story tavern covered in dark wood and attached to a commercial salmon-smoking facility.

What to order: Smokehouse fish board, bagels and lox, crab cakes, po’ boys, smoked and grilled wings

Dining Review - the Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse
Crab cakes from Ivy City Smokehouse
Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Commodore DC

Copy Link

The scene: A nautical-themed neighborhood favorite for economy drafts, wacky burgers, and barbecue, recently relocated to Dupont Circle.

What to order: Barbecue totchos with green chili, smoked wings, Squirrel Kicker burger (with gouda, onion jam, and bourbon mayo), Kenny Powers sandwich (fried chicken, cheddar, and beer-bq sauce)

Commodore’s signature Shlogan burger returns in its new Dupont Circle location.
Commodore’s signature Shlogan burger returns in its new Dupont Circle location.
Matt Crofcheck/Commodore

Glassey

Copy Link

The scene: A family-run hookah bar with fruity cocktails and a food menu full of playful Indian-American dishes with alcohol-absorbing properties.

What to order: Chicken tikka burger, fried potato tikki burger, crabby masala fries, Punjabi-spiced wings

A chicken tikka burger with masala fries from Glassey in Bloomingdale
A chicken tikka burger with masala fries from Glassey in Bloomingdale
Gabe Hiatt/Eater D.C.

Ivy and Coney

Copy Link

The scene: A Chicago- and Detroit-themed dive with a locker-lined bar, plenty of sports on TV, and a semi-enclosed back deck

What to order: Detroit-style pizzas, curly fries, and ballpark dogs to go with economy drafts and pours of Jeppson’s Malört

Astoria DC

Copy Link

The scene: A craft cocktail spot combined with a Sichuan restaurant, all inside a dark room full of royal blue booths and metalwork that makes you feel like you’re in a fancy train car.

What to order: Chili wontons, ribeye chimichurri, water-boiled beef, basil eggplant, pisco smash

two customers sit at a table at an improvised dining space on the pavement in front of Sichuan restaurant Astoria
The sidewalk setup at Astoria
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Stoney's

Copy Link

The scene: A neighborhood sports bar known for griddled sandwiches, a solid draft beer menu, and lots of afterwork hangs.

What to order: Super grilled cheese with bacon, tomato, and onion; steak and cheese, Parmesan-encrusted chicken tenders, personal pizzas

Stoney’s in Logan Circle is one stop on Saturday’s Irish whiskey crawl Susan Biddle/For the Washington Post via Getty Images

La Cosecha

Copy Link

The scene: A sleek, expansive Latin American market hall full of food, drinks, and home goods

What to order: La Casita pupusas, Venezuelan hotdogs and cheesesteaks from Mosaico, Peruvian chicken from Peruvian Bros, Pandebono from Serenata, guacamole with smoked tomatillo from Las Gemelas Cocina

Tiger Fork

Copy Link

The scene: A red-tinged cocktail bar and Hong Kong-style restaurant in Blagden Alley full of lanterns, vases, and other East Asian finery

What to order: Cantonese barbecue, crab rangoon nachos, Chinese sausage and prawn fried rice

Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

L'Annexe

Copy Link

The scene: A library-like lair that serves cocktails to Georgetown’s stylish set at a zinc-topped bar and shows off vats filled with colorful, glowing infusions.

What to order: Mushroom toast with Bear Hill cheese, pine nut jam, brown butter powder, and rustico bread; roasted beet hummus, beef tartare

The interior of L’Annexe includes lounge seating and bookshelves holding bottles of infused liquor.
The interior of L’Annexe includes lounge seating and bookshelves holding bottles of infused liquor.
Rey Lopez for L’Annexe

Duke's Grocery (Multiple locations)

Copy Link

The scene: An East London-style gastropub with hefty burgers and sandwiches full of international flavors

What to order: The Proper Burger, East Side brisket sandwich, beet-cured salmon tartine, pork wings

Duke’s Grocery Foggy Bottom Bar
Duke’s Grocery in Foggy Bottom
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Duffy's Irish Pub

Copy Link

The scene:  An Irish bar on H Street NE with regularly rotating specials that carries a special affinity for the Washington Nationals and Green Bay Packers

What to order: More than 20 flavors of wings, fried pickle spears, baskets of tots, $5 rail drinks at happy hour

Local Bar Hosts Viewing Party For Mueller Testimony Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Present Company Public House

Copy Link

The scene: A restored firehouse pub with a dark study vibe inside, a lively front patio on Massachusetts Avenue, a thorough craft beer list, and eclectic bar standards with lots of homemade ingredients.  

What to order: Four-onion dip, pimento tater tots, sourdough English muffins, Nashville hot chicken wings and sandwiches, vegetarian Reubens with mushroom salami

The main bar at Present Company
The main bar at Present Company
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Spacebar

Copy Link

The scene:  A dark, kitschy Falls Church go-to with craft beer and cider on tap and umpteen permutations of a grilled cheese sandwich.

What to order: Granny Smith sandwich with smoked Gouda and Havarti, meatloaf sandwich, tots, totchos

Tune Inn

Copy Link

The scene: A classic Capitol Hill dive where pols and bikers have bonded over burgers for more over 70 years.

What to order: Cheeseburgers, hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, Joe’s West Virginia (roast beef)

Fundraiser for firefighter, Terrence Boston - Washington, DC Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty Images

The scene: A beloved whiskey bar that has Southern food, reclaimed bourbon barrel tables, and and rustic flair.

What to order: Ham and honey butter biscuits, homemade andouille sausage, fried chicken and waffles for brunch

Barrel [official]

Fight Club

Copy Link

The scene: A former American bistro in a saloon-style setting that’s doubling down on a pop-up for punches, over-the-top-sandwiches, and ice cream.

What to order: The Fight Club (club steak, roasted tomato, brown butter mayo), half-smoke mini corn dogs, crab imperial with soft pretzel bites

A fried salami and slaw sandwich from Fight Club
A fried salami and slaw sandwich from Fight Club
Fight Club [official]

Shelter

Copy Link

The scene: An indoor-outdoor beer garden with a long list of low-ABV drafts and QR code ordering connected to a food hall that boasts burgers, New York-style pizza, tacos, sushi, Peking duck buns, and more.

What to order: Cheese slice from Slice Joint, orange soda braised carnitas from Hi/Fi Taco, tomato and sesame rice noodles from Yoko and Kota, Donkey Kong roll from Ako (eel, fried plantain, cream cheese, cucumber)

Tomato and sesame rice noodles from Yoko and Kota at the Roost
Tomato and sesame rice noodles from Yoko and Kota at the Roost
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Stained Glass Pub (Multiple locations)

The scene: A dark brick sports bar in Montgomery County where rec softball teams meet postgame for pitchers and crispy squares of pan pizza

What to order: Pizza, deli sandwiches, crabby cheese pretzels

Jimmys Old Town Tavern

The scene: A neighborhood haunt with Western New York roots where locals are friendly and trivia gets competitive.

What to order: Roast beef on weck, classic Buffalo wings, poutine

Mezcalero Cocina Mexicana

The scene: An affordable taqueria with a huge menu of Mexican bar snacks, enchiladas, tortas, and huaraches that pari well with mezcal cocktails.

What to order: tacos dorados, tacos de canasta, queso fundido, gorditas, pambazo tortas, chicharrón quesadillas

El Sol tacos dorados
The Solis family’s recipe for chicken tacos dorados
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Brookland's Finest Bar and Kitchen

The scene: A brick-lined pub with neighborly prices where kids can order chicken tenders while adults drink D.C. beers on draft.

What to order: Cheddar bacon Colonel burgers, fried catfish, oatmeal cream pies

Roofers Union

The scene: A spacious, multi-level craft beer bar with prime views of Adams Morgan bustling below.

What to order: Brisket and sirloin cheeseburgers, homemade bratwurst, Brussels sprouts with pomegranate vinaigrette and smoked sour cream

Roofers Union Exterior Roofers Union [official]

The Game/Tiki On 18th

The scene: Twin bars across two levels that cater to sports fans and Tiki enthusiasts, respectively, with Filipino-style pub grub and frozen drinks served in colorful vessels.

What to order: “Michael Phelps” shrimp sandwich, lumpiang Shanghai, spicy pork sisig (or vegan tofu mushroom sisig), fried chicken and gravy

Franklin Hall DC

The scene: A cavernous American beer hall inside an industrial laundry building lined with rows of picnic tables, tons of TVs, and a full bar.

What to order: Jumbo soft pretzel, draft beers by the stein, any of the sausages, green tea shooters

The Green Zone

The scene: An Adams Morgan cocktail bar with a laidback vibe and tropical drinks full of Middle Eastern ingredients.

What to order: Frozen mint lemonade with Lebanese gin, meze standards, cheese boureg, batata harra-spiced fries, za’atar and sumac wings

American Ice Company

The scene: A rusty, old-school ice house vibe with a busy front patio and draft beers served in glass jars.

What to order: Pulled pork and queso “swachos,” pickles

Izakaya Seki

The scene: An unassuming, family-run izakaya with a hand-scribbled menu that boasts a strong following of Japanese expats and food enthusiasts.

What to order: Sashimi specials, fried smelts, onigiri (rice balls), kalbi-style short ribs, beef tongue with miso mustard