Tropical cocktails, global flavors and mocktails highlight the hottest food and drink crazes across the city.
DC is the place to be if you crave unique foodie experiences. From Union Market to weekend farmers’ markets to mouthwatering dishes served by celebrity chefs, check out the food crazes that color the city's dining scene.
Whether a New Year’s resolution, Dry January challenge or an ongoing lifestyle, toast to high spirits with spirit-free libations. Binge Bar offers an exclusively alcohol-free bar experience complete with small bites, community events and zero-proof beverages. Enjoy fruity, bold and flavorful concoctions that feature Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits at Old Ebbitt Grill, Clyde’s, The Hamilton, 1789 Restaurant and Fiola. Sip on a variety of selections at The Red Hen and Wild Days. For more complex creations, try the Matcha Colada at Nama Ko with coconut cream, lime, pineapple, matcha and smoked salt or the Live From the Garden from Fight Club featuring rosemary and grapefruit with Seedlip spirit. Resident’s Café, Morris American Bar, Metrobar, Doyle, Ted’s Bulletin and Urban Roast also offer mocktails in addition to their extensive bar menus.
Savor the Season
Enjoy sweet sugar, cinnamon spice and everything nice to satisfy your seasonal flavor cravings in the District. Enhance your morning pick-me-up with a peppermint mocha and gingerbread cream cold brew from made-in-DC favorite, Compass Coffee. Indulge in hot cocoa and gingerbread doughnuts from District Doughnut and festive macarons from Olivia Macaron. For a savory experience, Stable offers authentic Swiss flavors and vibes with fondue variations, unlimited raclette and more. Discover holiday pop-ups and sip on hot cocktails throughout the city.
Mexican Street Corn
Typically involving sweet corn slathered with mayonnaise and complemented with spicy chili, savory cheese and a burst of lime juice, this traditional street food packs a punch of flavors and textures. Get your fix of elote (on the cob) and esquites (off the cob) throughout the District at Oyamel, Bartaco, El Rey and Pink Taco. Mi Vida and Surfside also offer the succulent side dish among their various locations.
The perfect pick-me-up for long days and longer nights, espresso martinis decorate drink menus across the District. The caffeinated craft cocktail features – you guessed it – espresso, typically accented by flavored vanilla and chocolate liqueurs and vodka. Fuel up in chic surroundings at Brasserie Liberté, Graham Rooftop, Café Riggs and Residents. Utilize the velvety-smooth energy boost with a round of mini golf at Swingers. Revive the night at Never Looked Better with neon, speakeasy lounge vibes or sip on sweet flavor variations with a flight from Urban Roast.
Relax and unwind on tiki time! Escape to the tropics and sip on fruity cocktails without leaving the DC area. Coupled with Thrasher’s Rum Distillery, Tiki TNT features a lengthy menu including authentic Mai Tais and Pain Killers, not-so-classic cocktails and flavorful bites like pork belly skewers, loco moco and tiki tots topped with ‘tiki de gallo’ and tnt sauce. Tiki on 18th and Tiny Tiki DC transport you to an Instagrammable island complete with funky glassware. For an immersive experience, you can enjoy games, cabana rentals and more among Throw Social’s vibrant venue, or bring the party to the river with Potomac Paddle Club’s tiki booze cruise.
Gone are the days of eating in the shopping mall cafeteria. Food halls have emerged as one-stop shops for consumers, where visitors can check out local vendors and pop-ups that reflect the area's trendiest flavors. Union Market is DC's pioneer in this realm, equipped with numerous food options (barbeque, arepas, seafood and more) and small retail shops. You can see outdoor movies there in the summer. Nearby, La Cosecha celebrates Latin American culture, cuisine and conversation. The Block Food Hall located in Downtown DC features minority-owned vendors serving cocktails, a twist on Filipino food and ube donuts that will have your mouth watering. Recent additions include The Roost, offering craft brews, specialty pizza pies and Italian classics in Capitol Hill, and Western Market which features a variety of global flavors and DC favorites in Foggy Bottom.
Birria is a traditional Mexican dish, originally made with goat meat, but can also made with other meats. This dish can be served as a stew or as taco filling and the taco version of this traditional dish has taken the social media world by storm. You can find Birria, Sopas or Boing at Taqueria Xochi on U Street from Chef Teresa Padilla who is a 16-year veteran of José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup restaurants. The next stop on the journey to find Birria is Little Miner Taco. Little Miner Taco has two mortar & stone locations and a food truck. Stay on top of where to find them by checking out their Instagram page. Get ready to order, dip and eat your taco!
The oat milk craze is here to stay. More and more coffee shops are offering dairy-free alternatives including cashew milk, almond milk and soy milk. Ellē, a BIPOC woman-owned coffee shop in Mt. Pleasant, is known for its oat-milk lattes with a baked good on the side. The Village DC is known for their locally sourced food and drinks from underserved, aspiring entrepreneurs, serving as a platform for those businesses to showcase their talents and connect with other communities, while also serving an amazing date latte with a splash of your favorite dairy-free alternative. La Colombe offers an oat milk latte on draft, resulting in a light and creamy pick-me-up.
Lunch at the Farmer's Market
Sure, we all know a trip to the local farmers’ market means loads of fresh produce. But what if you’re craving a little something more? Luckily, DC farmers’ markets have got you covered. Tuck into a personal pizza from the award-winning Timber Pizza at the FRESHFARM CityCenterDC market on Tuesdays, or a bagel breakfast sandwich from its sister restaurant Call Your Mother at Sunday’s Dupont FRESHFARM Market (get there early - these sell out fast). With more than 10 different markets running Tuesday through Sunday, you can explore flavors from all over the globe, including falafel sandwiches from Hilana Falafel, empanadas from DMV Empanadas and Taiwanese-style steamed buns from Bun'd Up.
Immigrants are taking their family recipes and sharing them with the world through their kitchen. Immigrant Food by Chef Enrique Limardo brings together a mash-up of foods from some of America's largest immigrant groups including Mumbai Mariachi, a mix of spice-rubbed steak, spinach, assorted vegetables, feta cheese and smokey Chipotle dressing, inspired by immigrants from Mexico and India. Besides food, Immigrant Food works to bring together volunteers to help with a wide array of duties with local NGOs to help immigrants in the community. Fava Pot delivers authentic, home-style Egyptian cuisine like Koshary, a bowl full of lentils, rice, pasta, spicy tomato sauce and topped with chickpeas and sweet caramelized onions.