Where to Get Cheap and Casual Eats in Logan Circle and Shaw

Photograph by Scott Suchman

1. The Bird

The team behind pork-centric the Pig has turned its attention to poultry with this new restaurant. The menu includes a dozen-plus preparations of poultry, from fried chicken to duck meatballs. More adventurous? Try the tartare of ostrich, a lean red meat that tastes like beef. A daily “early bird” happy hour features aperitifs with complimentary bites. 1337 11th St., NW; 202-518-3609.

2. District Distilling

DC’s first distillery pub produces whiskey, gin, rum, and vodka on the first floor, then mixes them into cocktails in the second-floor dining room and bar. The comfort-food menu includes fried-oyster buns among the bar snacks, plus entrées such as crisp-skinned suckling pig. Pick up a bottle in the shop on your way out, or come back for a distillery tour. 1414–1418 U St., NW; 202-629-3787.

3. Haikan

Photographs by Scott Suchman

The ramen masters responsible for Chinatown’s Daikaya and Bantam King opened their biggest noodle shop yet in the Atlantic Plumbing building. Sapporo-style soups are the focus of the 60-seat restaurant; we’re fans of the spicy miso and hearty vegetarian. In nice weather, a roomy patio is the place to perch for sochu cocktails and small plates such as Japanese deviled eggs topped with trout roe and crab rangoons. 805 V St., NW; 202-299-1000.

4. Kingfisher

The 14th Street strip lacks little in restaurant and cocktail bars. But no-frills spots for a cold brew? That’s a drier story. Hence the popularity of this subterranean bar, which specializes in cans of beer and wine (yes, that’s a thing), free baskets of popcorn, board games, and daily happy hour. Those looking for a little more jazz can try $10 classic cocktails and beer-and-a-shot combos—or just load up the jukebox. 1414 14th St., NW; 202-750-6600.

5. La Jambe

It took a homesick Parisian to bring Shaw this chic French wine bar. The list of about 40 bottles—half available by the glass—features tasting notes and a French geography lesson. French cheese and European charcuterie boards are already curated—just pick the size, or opt for a baguette sandwich. 1550 Seventh St., NW; 202-627-2988.

6. The Passenger

Tom Brown revived his beloved Shaw bar just blocks from the original, keeping the laid-back crowd, terrific cocktails, live-band karaoke nights, and hearty bar fare and brunch for soaking up the booze—trust us, the pork-cheek nachos work wonders. The new digs offer more space over two floors; a roof deck is planned for later this year. 1539 Seventh St., NW; 202-853-3588.

7. Service Bar

This eclectic cocktail spot has one of the more user-friendly menus around. Drinks are broken down by spirit, with little symbols indicating what’s blended, mostly alcohol, spicy, and more. The bar also pours “hyper-seasonal” cocktails and $7 classics, while the kitchen turns out fried chicken, including tenders in a waffle cone. 928 U St., NW; 202-462-7232.

8. Smoked & Stacked

Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s sandwich shop near the convention center is a must for pastrami fans—and sandwich lovers in general. The breakfast/lunch spot does a few things and does them exceptionally well: smoked-and-spiced brisket or chicken (plus portobellos for vegetarians); house-made milk-bread buns; and a variety of fresh slaws, krauts, and sauces for stacking. In the morning, put DC pride aside and grab a New Yorker with pastrami, a fried egg, melty Comté, and hot-pepper jelly. 1239 Ninth St., NW; 202-465-4822.

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.