With more than 1,500 different types of scotch, bourbon, rye and other spirits, if you can name a whiskey, there's a good chance Jack Rose has it. So pair an obscure Islay single malt with upscale “saloon” dishes like ale-brined half-chicken with dumplings and a chicken-thyme jus, braised pork belly and bourbon-smoked wings. When not in the mood for a half-ounce taste of neat whiskey, opt for craft brews or cocktails. The expansive roof deck – heated in the cooler weather and protected from the elements – serves up an island-like vibe thanks to tiki drinks such as the lime-hinted Rye Tai.
2007 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
A formidable French bistro by day and early evening, Napoleon kicks into high gear as a dark and sexy nightclub in its basement-level lounge with DJs spinning into wee hours on the weekend. But the glitter is gone by brunch time, when the restaurant introduces indulgences like smoked salmon quiche and gluten-free waffles accompanied by French-pressed coffee. Make reservations, for this is a popular joint with street-side dining and a small space along one of the neighborhood's main arteries.
1847 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
The arched window with the design of the two B’s inside Perry’s highlights the remnants of the old Biltmore Ballroom, occasionally remembered as the Studio 54 of DC. While Perry’s has been around for some time, the party has never really seemed to end. Perry’s proves multi-dimensional, from its sushi rolls and bento boxes to its Sunday Drag Brunch and ever-charming rooftop with scene-stealing stringed lights. The Drag Brunch runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and guests are encouraged to arrive early.
1811 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Brimming with Southern charm, the Adams Morgan outpost of the family-friendly, Georgia-based chain brings a laid-back vibe and plentiful beer and pizza offerings. Displaced bearded mountain men take heed: the reason the pizza crust is so good is that it’s tossed with Appalachian spring water. Bespoke pies range from the pesto-lined Magical Mystery Tour with portobello mushrooms, feta and jalapenos to the Thai Dye with grilled curry chicken, lots of basil and tangy Thai chili sauce. Locals love it for the rooftop patio, free Wi-Fi, many taps and Tuesday trivia night.
2436 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Impeccably prepared New American cuisine, unmatched dining ambiance, one of the world’s best new restaurants according to Condé Nast Traveler in 2013 – there’s a reason Mintwood is one of the hottest reservations in town. Woodsy tones touch the interior from an arboreal bar to russet-hued booths and carpenter-worthy tables equipped with country-style dishcloth napkins. Munch on escargot hush puppies and chicken liver tartine as you consider seasonally inspired mains such as pork chop with bacon-chard spaetzle or the tightly bundled tagliatelle Bolognese.
1813 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
The staff at this tri-level restaurant will fight tooth and nail to give everyone under its roof the given rights to great beer, food and cocktails. The same goes on the top of the roof, where locals – drinks in hand – peer down on bustling 18th Street while enjoying a cross breeze. Blossoming nano brewers could learn a thing or two from the 20 types of ales here, which include local pours and others fermented in and served out of the cask. Eats run the gamut from an array of sausages (think: andouille, beer brats or veal heart sausage) to black bean-quinoa veggie burgers and beer-infused mussels.
2446 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Get your slurp on. The District’s ramen craze can’t be ignored in Adams Morgan thanks to Sakuramen’s signature dish, inspired by ramen houses from Tokyo to Seoul to New York and in between. Founded by a pair of brothers-in-law, the eatery offers seven varieties of ramen including a local take called the DC Miso, a nori-flecked brew with pork and cheese on top. Pan-Asian influences infiltrate the menu via bulgogi buns and steamed house-made pork dumplings.
2441 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Three words to live by: beer, barbecue and bourbon. The abiding staff at Smoke & Barrel have what they call a “Kentucky bias,” evident in its more than 100 whiskeys. The barbecue bias is also good news for those loving extra tender brisket and smoke-soaked pork. Vegans and vegetarians also can pick and choose from vegan chicken cultets and a sweet potato-and-oat burger to sides of smoked asparagus, jalapeno-cheddar grits and collards. On the weekends, add another “B” word to the mix: brunch (and Beer-Mosas for good measure).
2471 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009