Where to Celebrate Mardi Gras Around DC

Sip New Orleans-style cocktails at Black Jack during their all-night Fat Tuesday happy hour/party. Photograph by Daniel Swartz

Mardi Gras means it’s time for New Orleans-style cocktails, Cajun and Creole eats, parades, and king cakes. Here’s where you can celebrate Fat Tuesday (February 28) around DC.

Dock5 at Union Market

1309 5th St., NE

New Orleans native and Bayou Bakery owner chef David Guas joins chef Spike Mendelsohn and mixtress Gina Chersevani on Tuesday for a Mardi Gras Extravaganza. The event benefits the New Orleans-based St. Bernard Project and DC Central Kitchen, and brings together top chefs, mixologists, brass bands, and more for a night of Fat Tuesday fun. Don’t miss the hurricane cocktail competition with guest judges Derek Brown, Todd Thrasher, and Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post. Tickets are $65, all-inclusive (plus fees).

When: Feb. 28, from 5 to 10 pm

Black Jack

1612 14th St., NW

A Fat Tuesday happy hour will run all night. Drinkers can also share $25 punches in the adjoining Tilt sidebar, and explore a cocktail menu of New Orleans classics like hurricanes and sloe gin fizzes. There’s also one ticket redeemable at entry for a chilled shot on a Mardi Gras ice luge.

When: Feb. 28


2519 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Bayou’s 7th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration will feature the Capitol Hillbillies on the patio, king cake, a $25 all-you-can-eat buffet full of New Orleans fare, live music from Magnolia Blue, door prizes, and giveaways.

When: Feb. 28, starting at 11 am


901 New York Ave., NW

Chef Jeff Tunks’s Louisiana restaurant will celebrate Mardi Gras with live jazz and a $39 three-course prix-fixe special menu, including crawfish jambalaya, charbroiled oysters, and king cake doughnuts. The restaurant also offers a special $5 Mardi Gras street food menu with parade staples like alligator fritters and muffulettas.

When: Feb. 28

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

1515 North Courthouse Rd., Arlington

Ahead of the Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade at 7 pm, chef David Guas’s cafe throws a pre-parade party with $5 New Orleans cocktails, $5 Abita draft beers, and $5 Creole and Cajun dishes such as jambalaya and crawfish Monica. And, of course, king cakes galore.

When: Feb. 28, from 4 to 7 pm


400 H St., NE

Enjoy a Mardi Gras costume contest—$50 prize for the winner—and drink specials on hurricanes, Sazeracs, and Pimm’s Cups.

When: Feb. 28, from 5 to 10 pm

Soapstone Market

4465 Connecticut Ave., NW

Celebrate Mardi Gras with a Cajun buffet at this Van Ness market. For $30 per person, enjoy entrees like vegetarian jambalaya, chicken andouille gumbo, and an assortment of po’ boys. Sides include cornbread and red beans and rice, and king cake for dessert.

When: Feb. 28, from 6 to 9 pm

Service Bar DC

928 U St., NW

On Mardi Gras day, SBDC rolls out its new Regional Cocktail menu inspired by the flavors of New Orleans. Drinkers will find classic cocktails like a Ramos gin fizz alongside dishes such as dirty rice, gumbo, and beignets. The special regional menu will run for two months with rotating drinks and dishes, after which the bar will focus on another area.

When: Starting Feb. 28


2275 L St., NW

Enjoy a Fat Tuesday happy hour with hurricanes, Sazeracs, gin fizzes, and more at his Foggy Bottom restaurant. Drinks are $10 all night.

When: Feb. 28, from 4-7 pm


1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

This French-American bistro presents a special Mardi Gras menu of  New Orleans classics, including less-common items like fish cakes and frogs legs. Try bananas foster for dessert.

When: Feb. 28

Former editorial fellow Kayla Randall is City Lights editor at Washington City Paper.