10 Fun Food Events Around DC for Memorial Day Weekend

Pool parties, frozen cocktails, and so much rosé for your staycation.
Why, yes — those are alcoholic popsicles dunked into a glass of wine. Check it out yourself at Stable. Photograph courtesy of Stable.

Join the Willard’s bartender on Thursday for an event mixing drinks and history. You’ll snack on light bites and get a hands-on mixology tutorial, all while getting an (abbreviated) lesson on the long, complicated history between American presidents and the press. Tickets are $49.

The DC Arts Center hosts Cuisine des Artistes on Thursday, where creatives from the arts, food, and literary worlds get together for a pretty epic evening. Local artists work with chefs like John Manolatos of Pop’s Sea Bar and Jim Sole of Black Salt to create dishes that are more art than appetizers (yet just as delicious), accompanied by performances from poets, musicians, and more. Tickets are $200.

U Street wine bar Vinoteca launches its rosé garden on Friday with 20-plus blush wines, rosé cans and magnums, spritzes, sangria, rosé cider, cocktails, and more. Play bocce while you sip, and order grill fare to pad the stomach. 

Kick off the long weekend on Friday with a boozy treat. H Street Swiss restaurant Stable starts serving boozy, Schnapps-filled popsicles just in time for summer. Choose from apricot-plum, pear, and raspberry flavors ($8 a pop), or order them with a glass of sparkling wine and dunk ’em in ($12). If it’s really hot, you can get a bucket of six for $36—no judgment here.

It’s all about the asparagus at this German Embassy dinner. Photograph by Ali Eaves.

Join the German Wine Society on Friday as it hosts a dinner celebrating Spargelfest, a traditional German celebration of asparagus and spring. The multi-course dinner hosted at the German Embassy centers on the spring vegetable paired with a different wine for each course. Look out for dishes like white and green asparagus wrapped in cured ham, and an asparagus veloute topped with roasted Parmesan; to drink, German wines abound. Oh, there’s a dessert buffet as well. Tickets are $87 a person.

NOLA native chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery will host an authentic crawfish boil Saturday. For $35, you can get Louisiana crawfish, potatoes, corn on the cob, cornbread, and coleslaw, plus $6 Hurricanes and $5 drafts of Abita. Stick around for the live music, too.

Looking for a day trip over the long weekend? On Saturday or Sunday, head out to Sky Meadows State Park for the annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival. Stock up on as many locally-grown strawberries as you can, and stick around for live music, hayrides, a petting zoo, crafts, and a 5K trail run to work off those strawberry sundaes. There’s a fee of $25 per car.

Head to Cotton & Reed to try its newest batch of rum. Photograph by Evy Mages.

Homegrown rum distillery Cotton & Reed celebrates the release of its newest batch, Mellow Gold, on Sunday. The rum blends vanilla, molasses, and oak for a warm finish that’s ideal for summertime drinking. Stop by at noon to pick up the newly-released batches, and stick around for a release party with cocktail and shot specials, alcoholic slushies, and live music.

Cross your fingers for good weather on Sunday, because American Ice Co. is hosting its second annual Great American Pig Out. Tickets ($50) include all-you-can-eat pork from a whole roast pig, mac ‘n’ cheese, baked beans, cornbread, and slaw, not to mention all the Founders Brewing Co. beers and Maker’s Mark cocktails you’d like. A live bluegrass band supplies the tunes. 

Splash around on Sunday at the first of many DNV Rooftop Sunday pool parties, which launch this weekend. The public is invited to hit the open-air deck for swimming and sunning from noon to 5 PM—plus eats and drinks from the rooftop bar. Admission is $10 per person.  

Rosé + Memorial Day = yes way. Photo via iStock.

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And heading into the week…

No work on Monday means you can rosé all day. The Midlands hosts a day-long celebration of all things blush, with pink-hued wines, ciders, and beers on draft. If you’re an expert, cast your vote as Wölffer Estate Vineyard Dry Rosé Cider takes on Angry Orchard Rosé Cider to see which is the best.

Chef José Andrés is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his mainstay tapas spot Jaleo all year, and Tuesday is the official party. Come by an open house at the DC location for samples of the Spanish dishes the spot is known for, snacks by Rappahannock Oyster Co., and drinks by Spanish gin group Gin Mare. That evening, there will be a cava toast at all DMV Jaleo locations.


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Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and freelanced for PoPVille and DCist. She lives in Adams Morgan.