D.C.: Before the Parade Passes You By, Places to Hit Along the Route | Outtraveler

D.C.: Before the Parade Passes You By, Places to Hit Along the Route

D.C.: Before the Parade Passes You By, Places to Hit Along the Route

Capital Pride is like no other. This June 8, fly your flag high, march to the beat of your own drum, and most importantly, don't forget to eat (or drink). Take a look at our list, courtesy of Zagat and Here TV (owned by the same parent company as Out Traveler), of some of the best restaurants and bars along the parade. Get inspired and try something new. Or hit up an old favorite. All you need, right here! To get more great suggestions, sign up for the Zagat newsletter.


Phase 1
https://plus.google.com/116713524830280672260/aboutgl=us&hl=en
Atmosphere: 24
Decor: 14
Service: 22
"Ground zero for the lesbian community", this since-1970 Capitol Hill "dive" is "one of the oldest queer-lady bars in DC", keeping patrons "engaged and entertained" with a "variety" of music performances, "a drag king troupe" and Jell-O wrestling; sure, it "might not be the classiest joint" lookswise, but the "small", hopping dance floor and "cheap beer" help make it a "classic." 1415 22nd St. NW. ; 202-974-6832

 

Cobalt Nightclub/30 Degrees Lounge
https://plus.google.com/107090931268542486734/about
Atmosphere: 21
Decor: 19
Service: 19
It's "Pretty Boy Central" (read: "twink heaven") at this longtime Dupont Circle gay club/bar, where a "fabulous crowd" prowls the cavernous old-house setting featuring a mid-level lounge with "friendly bartenders" (30 Degrees) and a top-floor space to "dance the night away" (Cobalt); there's almost "always something going on", including karaoke, retro and "best package" nights – all of which makes it easier to "meet people . . . if you're not shy." 1639 R St. NW.; 202-462-6569

 

Townhouse Tavern
https://plus.google.com/106010461454813381235/about
PBR on tap, Big Buck Hunter arcade action, free pool Wednesdays and Journey on the jukebox keep this two-story dive popular with a mixed crowd of Dupont neighbors and spillovers from Cobalt, the gay dance club next door; if the tight digs inspire claustrophobia, escape to the patio for people peeping and cheap eats. 1637 R St. NW; 202-234-5747

 

DIK Bar (aka Windows)
https://plus.google.com/117783348636937060157/about
Best known for thrice-weekly karaoke parties, the upstairs bar (also known as Windows) at this 17th Street landmark Italian is a mainstay for older gents, but its worn barstools and comfy, mismatched sofas welcome wannabe rock stars of all ages and persuasions; downstairs, the dining room serves up reasonably priced and dependable red-sauce staples. 1637 17th St. NW; 202-328-3222

 

Annie's Paramount Steakhouse
https://plus.google.com/112271902224505214710/about
DC's self-proclaimed 'gayest neighborhood steakhouse' serves up the sizzle in Dupont with bistro seating on its see-and-be-seen glass-enclosed patio and two floors of banquette dining; though some guests have a beef with the prices, the more affordable oversized salads and brunch items - plus a lively late-night bar scene – help raise the stakes. 1609 17th St. NW; 202-232-0395

 

JR's Bar & Grill
https://plus.sandbox.google.com/114531348179502960635/about
Atmosphere: 24
Decor: 20
Service: 21
A "go-to for the gays", this "always-fun" Dupont Circle "classic" boasts "enough traffic to keep you entertained for at least a few rounds", whether you're "people-watching" from the upstairs mezzanine or looking to "meet new guys" in the exposed-brick and polished-wood main bar; the $15 all-you-can-drink Thursday happy hour is "one of DC's most popular", and with show tune sing-alongs, amateur drag nights and "great bartenders", it's often "standing room only." 1519 17th St. NW; 202-328 0090

 

Number Nine
https://plus.google.com/116676371912802597987/about
Marble-topped bars and chic leather booths lend a grown-up vibe as friendly bartenders sling two-for-one happy hour libations at this swanky gay lounge near Logan Circle. Thursday–Saturday, VJs set the tone at the packed video bar upstairs. 1435 P St. NW; 202-986-0999

Friends and Family Plan: Where to Bring Straight Supporters

B Too
https://plus.google.com/117543555702546691753/about
Chef/restaurateur Bart Vandaele’s rustic-mod Belgian showcase brings contemporary cooking, craft beer and clever cocktails to a playful, bi-level venue on happening 14 Street NW; the cheeky decor mixes blond wood and cowhide, while a high-temperature charcoal oven is used to prepare the likes of lobster, steak and game. P.S. Look for late-night waffles and frites from a sidewalk bar. 1324 14th St. NW; 202-627-2800

 

Beacon Bar & Grill
https://plus.google.com/109587935181935404844/about
Atmosphere: 24
Decor: 22
Service: 23
With a "to-die-for" view from the rooftop lounge and a mod, colorful space downstairs, this "hip" Dupont Circle hotel bar "scores big" with "young professionals" grabbing a "happy-hour drink after a long work day"; the "fantastic service" and upbeat atmosphere help make the "expensive" tabs easier to bear. 1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW; 202-872-1126

Café Saint-Ex
https://plus.google.com/105562551353468718036/about
Food: 20
Decor: 17
Service: 18
Cost: $33
"Space is really tight" at this 14th Street "hangout", but an "interesting crowd" squeezes in for "comforting", midpriced Eclectic eats and "amazing" brews doled out by a sometimes-"cooler-than-thou" crew; on the ground floor a "clever aviation theme" flies below a pretty tin ceiling, downstairs "doubles as a club" with a DJ Tuesday–Saturday nights and sidewalk seating is "icing on the cake." 1847 14th St. NW; 202-265-7839

Hanks's Oyster Bar
https://plus.google.com/106205056997064321643/about
https://plus.google.com/114497573294854589034/about
Food: 24
Decor: 17
Service: 21
Cost: $38
"Oysters and clams and lobster rolls, oh my" trill fans of these "classic" raw bars in Dupont Circle, Old Town and Capitol Hill; "congeniality" and "fair value" inspires some happy shuckers to say they "could slurp oysters all day" in the "comfortable" New England (by way of Martha Stewart Living) digs. 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-733-1971; 1624 Q St. NW.; 202-462-4265

 

L'Enfant Cafe
https://plus.google.com/114870187581410635992/about
Sweet and savory crêpes savory and sweet (think Nutella!) are featured on the menu of this moderately priced Adams Morgan French cafe, with a cozy dining room and a more spacious Parisian-style patio; the casual bistro maintains a low-key vibe – except when it's time for the boozy 'Le Baum' Saturday brunch party and Sunday night's 'Speakeasy' drag queen cabaret. 2000 18th St. NW; 202-319-1800

 

Level One
https://plus.google.com/108840753756579361817/about
Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys keep the weekend 'Disco Brunch' packed at this popular if pricey Dupont American below Cobalt nightclub - so call ahead or expect a wait. If the high spirits (and high volume) of the dining room don't appeal, patio seating affords primo people watching while you dig into the likes of fried chicken and meatloaf. 1639 R St. NW.; 202-745-0025

Mr. Henry's Capitol Hill
https://plus.google.com/102073192203632198345/about
Atmosphere: 22
Decor: 18
Service: 23
Known for its "spectacular", "pageant-style" drag shows, this venerable Theater District bar features lots of "glitter and marabou feathers"; though the aging space "isn't polished", the staff is "friendly", the drinks "small but mighty" and the crowd a mix of LGBT and non-LGBT types. 601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-546-8412

Nellie's Sports Bar
https://plus.google.com/100519675880870048113/about

Atmosphere: 25
Decor: 21
Service: 24
Anyone who's "into sports" will "be comfortable" among the lively "mixed crowd" at this "never-boring" U Street gay bar where "strong drinks", a terrific staff and a hopping rooftop make it a "fun place to watch the game"; a calendar of "interesting" events, like "drag queen bingo", Texas hold 'em poker nights and a Sunday brunch that's "a blast", means there's "always something going on." 900 U St. NW; 202-332-6335

Perrys
https://plus.google.com/101723269920369671201/about
Food: 22
Decor: 22
Service: 22
Cost: $45
"A delightful trip" away from Adams Morgan beckons diners up the stairs at this pricey Eclectic–New American stronghold where "prompt" servers dish out "interesting" fare in a "warmly decorated" room; there's a "totally different feel" on the "fabulous" roof deck, with its "little lights" and cityscape views, while "Sunday brunch will literally pull you" up out of your seat (there's a boisterous drag show). 1811 Columbia Rd. NW; 202-234-6218

Pizzeria Paradiso
https://plus.google.com/117157292001789108898/aboutgl=US&hl=en-US
Food: 23
Decor: 17
Service: 19
Cost: $26
These midpriced "pizza nirvanas" in Dupont Circle, Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria are "delicious enough for serious foodies but still casual enough for an outing with family and friends"; service is generally "ok" in the "pleasant", "cosmopolitan" brick-walled settings, and if they tend to get "crowded" and "loud" at times, "beer geeks" recommend the "ameliorating" powers of the "impressive" brew list. 2003 P St. NW; 202-223-1245

P.O.V. Lounge
https://plus.google.com/117287257883224542720/about
Atmosphere: 27
Decor: 25
Service: 18
For a "peek inside" "POTUS' house", head Downtown to the W. Hotel's "amazing" rooftop lounge where "breathtaking" views of the White House and Mall draw a "see-and-be-seen" crowd for "delicious", "expensive" cocktails in a "swanky", mod setting – both inside (zebra prints, leather couches) and out (black wicker, plush red sofas); service veers between "great" and "snooty", but "for impressing a date", "it's "possibly the most worth-it place" in DC; P.S. "call ahead." 515 15th St.; 202-661-2400

Urbana
https://plus.google.com/101276815763321881806/about
Food: 21
Decor: 22
Service: 21
Cost: $44
Step down into a "sexy", "cool" enclave for "consistently good" French-Italian fare in Dupont Circle's Hotel Palomar, where a "young" crowd gives it a "local hangout" vibe; bar noshes and "friendly" bartenders keep happy hour "frenetic", but dinner can be great for an intimate "date", thanks in part to "perfectly selected" "wine pairings." 2121 P St. NW; 202-956-6650

Old-School Classics

DIK Bar (aka Windows)
https://plus.google.com/117783348636937060157/about
Best known for thrice-weekly karaoke parties, the upstairs bar (also known as Windows) at this 17th Street landmark Italian is a mainstay for older gents, but its worn barstools and comfy, mismatched sofas welcome wannabe rock stars of all ages and persuasions; downstairs, the dining room serves up reasonably priced and dependable red-sauce staples. 1637 17th St. NW; 202-328-3222

 

Duplex Diner
https://plus.google.com/107667423862218182687/about?hl=en

Affordable American comfort food gets a Southern accent at this kitschy Adams Morgan diner that attracts a diverse crowd — all ages, straight and gay — for the likes of corn fritters, shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes; the bar gets especially packed on Thursday nights drawing crowds from the 'gayborhood' for a long-standing see-and-be-seen scene. 2004 18th St. NW.; 202-265-7828

Happy Hour

DC Eagle
https://plus.google.com/105407469499892575801/about
Atmosphere: 21
Decor: 17
Service: 23
Expect a "very masculine vibe" at this longtime "leatherman's hangout" in Mt. Vernon where there's "always a good crowd", "everything's painted black" and "cheap beers are the main attraction" (other than the "hot men", that is); some squawk the two-level spot "takes itself way too seriously", but fans counter it's a "fun place" and "not nearly as intimidating as you might think." 639 New York Ave. NW; 202-347-6025

JR's Bar & Grill
https://plus.google.com/114531348179502960635/about

Atmosphere: 24
Decor: 20
Service: 21
A "go-to for the gays", this "always-fun" Dupont Circle "classic" boasts "enough traffic to keep you entertained for at least a few rounds", whether you're "people-watching" from the upstairs mezzanine or looking to "meet new guys" in the exposed-brick and polished-wood main bar; the $15 all-you-can-drink Thursday happy hour is "one of DC's most popular", and with show tune sing-alongs, amateur drag nights and "great bartenders", it's often "standing room only." 1519 17th St. NW; 202-328-0090

Nellie's Sports Bar
https://plus.google.com/100519675880870048113/about

Atmosphere: 25
Decor: 21
Service: 24
Anyone who's "into sports" will "be comfortable" among the lively "mixed crowd" at this "never-boring" U Street gay bar where "strong drinks", a terrific staff and a hopping rooftop make it a "fun place to watch the game"; a calendar of "interesting" events, like "drag queen bingo", Texas hold 'em poker nights and a Sunday brunch that's "a blast", means there's "always something going on." 900 U St. NW; 202-332-6355

Mixed Crowd

Café Saint-Ex
https://plus.google.com/105562551353468718036/about
Food :20
Decor: 17
Service: 18
Cost: $33
"Space is really tight" at this 14th Street "hangout", but an "interesting crowd" squeezes in for "comforting", midpriced Eclectic eats and "amazing" brews doled out by a sometimes-"cooler-than-thou" crew; on the ground floor a "clever aviation theme" flies below a pretty tin ceiling, downstairs "doubles as a club" with a DJ Tuesday–Saturday nights and sidewalk seating is "icing on the cake." 1847 14th St. NW; 202-265-7839

Mr. Henry's Capitol Hill
https://plus.google.com/102073192203632198345/about
Atmosphere: 22
Decor: 18
Service: 23
Known for its "spectacular", "pageant-style" drag shows, this venerable Theater District bar features lots of "glitter and marabou feathers"; though the aging space "isn't polished", the staff is "friendly", the drinks "small but mighty" and the crowd a mix of LGBT and non-LGBT types. 601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-546-8412

Lauriol Plaza
https://plus.google.com/115400916098418023484/about

Food: 21
Decor: 19
Service: 20
Cost: $28
“Sip a margarita and socialize” because it often “takes awhile to get a table” at this “sprawling”, light-filled multilevel Dupont Circle East Mexican – after all, you’re competing with “an army of twentysomethings” who down “overflowing pitchers” and some of the “best bang-for-the-peso” chow of its class, all “served with smiles”; purists call it a “factory”, but with its “gorgeous roof deck” and ample “people-watching”, “no wonder it’s mobbed constantly.” 1835 18th St. NW; 202-387-0035

LIfe’s a Drag

Perrys
https://plus.google.com/101723269920369671201/about

Food: 22
Decor: 22
Service: 22
Cost: $45
"A delightful trip" away from Adams Morgan beckons diners up the stairs at this pricey Eclectic–New American stronghold where "prompt" servers dish out "interesting" fare in a "warmly decorated" room; there's a "totally different feel" on the "fabulous" roof deck, with its "little lights" and cityscape views, while "Sunday brunch will literally pull you" up out of your seat (there's a boisterous drag show). 1811 Columbia Rd. NW; 202-234-6218 

Town Danceboutique
https://plus.google.com/106216541620031118652/about
Atmosphere: 26
Decor: 23
Service: 21
"Dance to Gaga with half-naked gay boys" or "catch a drag show" at this landmark" U Street gay bar with an "eclectic personality" and cavernous space that includes multiple dance floors, a plush mod lounge and video-art installations; the "friendly" bartenders and "attractive" go-go guys draw a "mostly young" crowd – and it's a "hot spot for bachelorette parties" too. 2009 Eighth St. NW; 202-234-8696

Twerkin’ It: Dance Parties

 

Cobalt Nightclub/30 Degrees Lounge
https://plus.google.com/107090931268542486734/about
Atmosphere: 21
Decor: 19
Service: 19

It's "Pretty Boy Central" (read: "twink heaven") at this longtime Dupont Circle gay club/bar, where a "fabulous crowd" prowls the cavernous old-house setting featuring a mid-level lounge with "friendly bartenders" (30 Degrees) and a top-floor space to "dance the night away" (Cobalt); there's almost "always something going on", including karaoke, retro and "best package" nights – all of which makes it easier to "meet people . . . if you're not shy." 1639 R St. NW.; 202-462-6569

 

Town Danceboutique
https://plus.google.com/106216541620031118652/about

Atmosphere: 26
Decor: 23
Service: 21

"Dance to Gaga with half-naked gay boys" or "catch a drag show" at this landmark" U Street gay bar with an "eclectic personality" and cavernous space that includes multiple dance floors, a plush mod lounge and video-art installations; the "friendly" bartenders and "attractive" go-go guys draw a "mostly young" crowd – and it's a "hot spot for bachelorette parties" too. 2009 Eighth St. NW; 202-234-8696

 

Tags: pride
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