DC Travel Guide  |  Food  |  Things to Do

DC Locals’ Favorite Places to Eat and Things to Do in Penn Quarter

Four regulars at the Verizon Center talk about the best places to eat and to enjoy the neighborhood.

Monique Currie likes to create her own dessert at FroZenYo. Photograph of Currie by Yassine El Mansouri

Monique Currie has played for the Washington Mystics since 2007. A DC native, she graduated from the Bullis School in Potomac.

Busboys and Poets

1025 Fifth St., NW; 202-789-2227
The place I enjoy the most is Busboys and Poets. The environment is relaxed, the food is good, and the ambience is cool. I like going to open-mike nights where people perform their own poetry or read some of their favorites. Usually there are a few people who are really good.

Best of Penn Quarter

Bar 7
1015½ Seventh St., NW; 202-347-4343
There’s a bar called Bar 7 that has really good happy hours ($4 Belvedere, $4 Hennessey, $3 Heineken most weekdays 5 to 7). The bartenders are so nice, and the bar has live bands on Thursdays.

Sushi Go Round & Tapas
705 Seventh St., NW; 202-393-2825
I really like sushi, so I go to Sushi Go Round & Tapas to get their Creamy Mussel roll. It’s got mussels and cream cheese with some crunchy stuff on top. I always try to get some before going on the road and eat it on the way to the airport.

Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe
650 F St., NW; 202-639-9727
Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe is right across the street from the Verizon Center. It’s a quick place to grab lunch. I always get the Camille’s Club, which has ham, turkey, and bacon. Their smoothies are really good.


1006 F St., NW; 202-347-1414
At FroZenYo, you can choose which flavor you want and put on all the toppings your heart desires. I get vanilla yogurt with cake, strawberry, and whipped-cream topping to make my own little strawberry shortcake.


Mike Knuble has been a right wing for the Washington Capitals since 2009.

555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 888-639-7386
I really like the Newseum. It’s very interesting and is only five blocks from Verizon. It’s great for the kids. They’ve also got a great balcony with a view of the Capitol. But the best thing about it is the cafeteria. It’s run by Wolfgang Puck of the Source restaurant, and most people don’t know that. It’s not like normal cafeteria food.

444 Seventh St., NW; 202-783-7007
We usually head to Sei before concerts. I really like the buzz around the place, and inside has an Asian-fusion feel—everything’s white and really clean-looking. My favorite dish is the lobster tempura roll.


Karl Alzner has been a defenseman for the Washington Capitals for four seasons.

Capital Grille
601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-737-6200
One of my favorite places is the Capital Grille. It’s just good people—they treat us all so well there. The bone-in filet is unbelievable. I think they only get a certain number of them in a month, so it’s by luck of the draw if they have it when I’m there.

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-626-0015
Another place I like is Central Michel Richard—great food, good prices.


Flip Saunders has been head coach of the Washington Wizards since 2009. He has also coached for the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jaleo (480 Seventh St., NW; 202-628-7949) and Minibar (405 Eighth St., NW; 202-393-0812)
I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of restaurants in the Verizon Center area—I’ve probably eaten at every one. I like José Andrés’s Jaleo for the atmosphere, a very lively tapas setting. But I’m still trying to get into his Minibar. It’s a tough reservation.

713 H St., NW; 202-289-4441
One place I really like is Matchbox. I like the mushroom pizza. If you go there, you just have to get their sliders with onion rings. Every time we take anyone, that’s on the table. Plus they have a variety of really good salads.

707 Seventh St., NW; 202-349-3700
I spend a lot of time over at Clyde’s. They have great service, great food, and great crab soup, which is kind of their specialty.

707 G St., NW; 202-347-1248
A new place I’ve been going to a lot is Redline. They have a younger chef who cooks gourmet food in a sports-bar setting. There’s a bunch of televisions for watching games and beer spigots right at the table so you can pour your own draft. It’s a nice place that’s picking up a lot of steam. They have a really good caprese salad with mozzarella and tomato.

This article appears in the December 2011 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.