Capitol City Brewing Company – New York Ave.

A brewpub with unique beers and a family-friendly menu.

The Food: Take one look at this brewpub’s expansive bar and eating might become an afterthought. But an eclectic menu and easy-on=the-wallet prices draw customers to the dining room whether they’re under the influence of the house beers or not. There are classic bar snacks–fried calamari, chicken fingers, and spinach-and-artichoke dip–but also jambalaya, Thai vegetable pasta and bratwurst sandwich. As you’d expect, booze shows up in the cooking too. Chili is spiked with stout, a skirt steak is marinated in porter ale, and even the meatloaf comes with ale-gravy. A separate kids’ menu includes corn dogs and mac and cheese. To drink? There are four signature brews, including a pale ale, a German-style golden ale, a porter and a California-style beer appropriately named “Amber Waves of Ale.”

The Scene: You can’t miss the large, oval-shaped copper bar, and rightly so, as this restaurant was created as the first brewpub in DC since prohibition. Catwalks circle the bar and lead to painted kegs stored above the door. Walls are painted with scenes of old DC and beer distribution, and black and white photos leading to the restrooms mark historical moments in brewing history. Since Cap City opened in 1992, they’ve expanded to Capitol Hill, Shirlington Village and Baltimore. Beers were once brewed on site, but they’re now made at the bigger Shirlington location.

What’s Nearby: The Downtown location is near both Metro Center, the shops and restaurants of Gallery Place, and the Verizon Center. An easy walk away are the National Theatre, Warner Theatre, and Ford’s Theatre, and the Landmark E Street movie theater.  

Insider Tips: Even if you’re not ordering a meal, warm soft pretzels with a mustard-horseradish dip are complimentary. Just ask the bartender.