Memorial Day 2015 Dining Guide: Crab and Oyster Feasts, Patio Parties, and Bottomless Brunches

No beach? No problem.

Get outside with a cold drink over the three day weekend during a crab feast, crawfish boil, or bottomless brunch. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and even if you’re not heading to the beach, there are plenty of opportunities in town to shuck crabs, grill corn, or hit a poolside bar. Many restaurants also offer bottomless brunches, so you can while away a day over mimosas (or in one case, unlimited beer). Just don’t forget to pause at 3pm on Monday, in honor of all those who made this weekend of feasting possible.


Delaplane Strawberry Festival

If you’re looking for a more low-key Memorial Day weekend, the 22nd annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival runs from Saturday to Sunday at Sky Meadows State Park, an hour west of DC in Delaplane, Virginia. Gates open at 10 and close at 5, and strawberries will be for sale in flats, pints, sundaes, and shortcakes. A petting zoo and hayride will be there for the kids, along with three-legged races, tug-of-war, and other games. Admission is $25 per car at the gate, or $20 in advance. Buy tickets here.

Graffiato bottomless beer brunch

707 6th St., NW

Mike Isabella’s downtown dining room is offering a three-course brunch menu ($35) on Saturday and Sunday, with new items like lemon ricotta pancakes and chicken and (cornbread) waffles. An extra $20 gets you bottomless pours of Victory’s Hop Devil IPA.

Marvin rooftop reggae party

2007 14th St., NW

U Street dancehall Patty Boom Boom closed its doors for good in February, but sister operation Marvin is bringing a reggae dance-party to the deck for one night on Saturday. DJs play from 4 to 10, while crowds can fuel up on rum punch and $5 patties (spicy beef and chicken).

Policy crab feast

1904 14th St., NW

Crabs, hot dogs, chicken wings, corn on the cob—it’s an all-American feast, which also translates to all-you-can-eat. A $50 ticket gets you inside the fifth annual crab festival and covers food; the event runs from noon to 5 on Sunday. Buy tickets in advance here, and don’t forget your beer money: drink specials on brews like Corona and Pacifico run all day.

Pearl Dive is one of the many spots serving Memorial Day Monday brunch. Photograph by Scott Suchman.


Cafe Saint-Ex crawfish boil

1847 14th St., NW

A crawfish boil takes over the patio starting at noon on Monday, with all-you-can-eat crawfish, corn, potatoes, red beans, and rice ($50 per person). If shellfish aren’t your thing, an à la carte grill menu will also be available, with buckets of beer for sale. No reservations are required, though crawfish should go fast.

City Tap House oyster Shuckfest

901 9th St., NW

It’s all about the oysters for the Memorial Day Shuckfest from 2 to 6, where you can dig into fried oysters po’ boys, Benedicts, grilled oysters Rockefeller, cucumber vodka-oyster shooters, and $1 oysters on the half shell. Entertainment includes a blue-grass band and corn hole. Admission is free; drinks and dishes sold separately.

EatWell DC Restaurants happy hours and brunches

Memorial Day specials abound at all four EatWell spots. Grillfish (1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW) will be serving brunch from 11 to 4, with $1 oysters until 7 and its usual happy hour menu from 4 to 7. A $49 brunch-for-two special gets you a dozen oysters, two brunch entrees, dessert, and a bottle of champagne. Commissary (1443 P St., NW) will have its own egg-heavy brunch from 9 to 4. For those who believe in the two B’s—bourbon and bacon—The Pig (1320 14th St., NW) will have brunch from 10:30 to 3, with an extended Bourbon Happy Hour running from 3 to 7. Logan Tavern (1423 P St., NW) also has brunch from 11 to 4, with happy hour following from 4 to 7.

The Gibson barbecue

2009 14th St., NW

The restaurant’s back patio hosts a boozy Memorial Day afternoon, with music by DJs Jazdux and John Jazz alongside barbecue and boozy popsicles. Tickets to the Gibson Family Reunion: Do the Right Thing Edition are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, one poptail included.

Local 16 bottomless brunch

1602 U St., NW

Local’s bottomless brunch starts at 10:30 on Monday morning for the early risers, and caters to the night owls until 4. Guarantee a table—rooftop seating goes quickly—by reserving in advance.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace brunch

1612 14th St., NW

Head over for Monday brunch at this Logan oyster-ia from 11 to 3. Mimosas go for $4, with a choice of orange or grapefruit juice and bubbly.

Richard Sandoval Restaurants do all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunches

Six of restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s eateries offer bottomless brunches on Monday: Ambar (523 8th St., SE) has its usual Balkan menu from 10 to 3:30, for $35; El Centro D.F. (1819 14th St., NW; 1218 Wisconsin Ave., NW) offers a Mexican brunch, with breakfast enchiladas alongside buttermilk pancakes, from 10 to 3, for $35; Masa 14 (1825 14th St., NW) serves a Latin-Asian brunch from 10 to 3 (last seating at 2), for $39; Zengo (781 7th St., NW) offers a mix of ceviche, sushi, and traditional brunch plates from 10 to 3 for $39; and Toro Toro (1300 I St., NW) has Mexican and Latin brunch plates from 11 to 3, for $39.

Unlimited bloodies and mimosas at Tico

1926 14th St., NW

Monday brunch runs from 11 to 3 at this buzzy 14th Street dining room, with bottomless bloody marys and mimosas for $19.

Harrison Smith

Harrison Smith (@harrisondsmith on Twitter) has contributed to the Washington Post and Chicago magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]