For urbanites, going out to dinner, grabbing a cup of coffee or meeting for a drink doesn’t have to be an underwhelming experience, especially in the D.C. metro area. Trendy restaurants, hipster coffeehouses, local breweries, charming bakeries and gastropubs (with live music!) offer discerning foodies endless opportunities to experience diverse eats and cuisine.
Whether you’re looking for a place to go for happy hour or on a dinner date, these options offer unique experiences that are anything but ordinary. Trust us, you won’t be able to resist the urge to post, share, tag and hashtag on your smartphone. And with a phone like the Galaxy S7 in tow, you can rely on Google Maps for the fastest route and leave a raving review on Yelp. Here’s the rundown.
D.C. — Progressive American Flair
Hazel, the newest restaurant from Neighborhood Restaurant Group in the Shaw neighborhood, features distinctive shared plates with global influences and personal reflection. Chef Rob Rubba’s creations, like spiced duck sausage, gnocchi bokki, and salt and pepper soft shell crab, are masterpieces on a plate. These dishes are sensory overload full of mouthwatering flavors and artistic details. Surrounded by thoughtful rustic aesthetics with modern appeal, Hazel is a true culinary experience.
Arlington — Jolt With Java, Unwind With Wine
Coffee and wine. Two favorite drinks for getting your buzz on (a caffeine or alcohol buzz that is). In the DMV area, Northside Social is where coffee connoisseurs and vinos flock. Need a strong espresso drink to fuel a few productive hours? Pair your work vibes with a cup of CounterCulture Coffee. The neighborhood coffeehouse also caters to crowds who want to relax with a glass (or bottle) of wine. Head to the second floor of this charming red house at 5 o’clock when the wine bar opens to sip some vino and nom on small artisan bites.
Alexandria — Brewing Only the Best
The port town of Alexandria is no newbie to breweries and beer, which was the preferred drink to quench thirst in the 18th century. To reclaim its status as a town with a rich beer history, the Port City Brewing Company arrived in 2011. This Old Town craft brewery thrives with its handmade, superior-quality and locally crafted beers. In fact, Port City Brewing was named Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year by earning three medals at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Beer gurus owe it to themselves to enjoy a frosty glass of award-winning Port City Porter, Monumental IPA and Optimal Wit.
Bethesda — For Rockers of All Types
Villain & Saint describes itself as a “Haight-Ashbury-inspired rock ‘n’ roll music hall” and “cultural gathering spot” with an “electric bohemian menu” and “distinctly underground vibe.” Needless to say, it isn’t your typical eatery. Robert Wiedmaier, a veteran D.C. chef, dreamed up Villain & Saint as a way to celebrate his passion for motorcycles and the freewheeling ways of rock ‘n’ roll. V&S primarily serves as a live talent stage for aspiring artists and up-and-coming rockstars who seek legendary status. Walk into this rock ‘n’ roll hangout and take a step back into the psychedelic ’60s era of San Francisco. From funky accents to a tin-pressed ceiling, the V&S interior reflects all things rock ‘n’ roll.
Georgetown — Any Time Is Pie Time
Pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving and it’s not just a dessert. Spoon University features Pie Sisters and its various “savory and sweet pies that will satisfy all your needs.” Three sisters with a family tradition of baking homemade pies run the Georgetown bakery where you can choose to stick your fork in mouthwatering pies like jumble berry, creamy apple crunch, classic pecan pie and s’mores pie. If you have a savory craving over a sweet tooth, sink your teeth into a classic chicken pot pie, delicious ham and cheese quiche or a pulled pork BBQ pie. For Pie Sisters and fans, “tradition starts here.”