Food

Where to Find Government Shutdown Food and Drink Deals Around DC

Restaurants and bars are offering discounts and freebies to federal government employees
Photo via iStock.

Donald Trump and Congress still can’t seem to reach a deal. But at least DC-area bars and restaurants are offering their own deals to help those affected by the government shutdown. Just remember to show a federal government ID unless otherwise noted.

This post was updated on January 22. Send additional shutdown specials to jsidman@washingtonian.com

Across the Pond
1732 Connecticut Ave., NW
Federal employees get a 10-percent discount at this Dupont sports pub (not valid on specials).

Atlas Brew Works, DC Brau, 3 Stars Brewing Co., Shop Made in DC
Multiple locations
These three DC breweries and local shop are participating in the “Pay It Furloughed” campaign, which allows anyone to buy beers for furloughed feds and contractors. Donate or learn how to redeem a beer at payitfuloughed.com.

Balo Kitchen
4221 John Marr Drive, Annandale
Federal workers can grab Asian comfort food from this counter at the Block food hall for 20-percent off.

Bayou Bakery
1515 N. Courthouse Rd., Arlington
Southern chef David Guas is offering free soup of the day from a rotating menu featuring carrot ginger, roasted sweet potato, black bean, roasted cauliflower and broccoli cheddar.

Baked by Yael
3000 Connecticut Ave., NW
Federal employees and contractors get free coffee at this bakery across from the National Zoo while supplies last. Sign up online for one of Yael’s free cake-pop making classes offered throughout the week.

BBQ Bus Smokehouse
5830 Georgia Ave., NW
Federal employees and contractors affected by the shutdown get 25-percent off the entire menu through Jan. 27.

The Big Stick
20 M St., SE
Find happy hour prices, including $4 rail drinks, draft beers, and house wine, from 11:30 AM to 7 PM, and food is 18-percent off.

Cafe Citron
1343 Connecticut Ave., NW
This Latin-inspired bar, restaurant and nightclub-hybrid is offering 15-percent discounts on all food and drink.

Capitol Lounge
229 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Find $5 cocktails with names like “Nothing Really Mattis,” “Mexico Will Pay For This,” and “Stephen Miller’s Hair Affair.”

Carmine’s
425 7th St., NW
Whether you’re a government employee or not, take advantage of all-day happy hour specials, including a $6 bourbon and Campari “Hard times cocktails,” until the shutdown ends. From 2 to 4 PM, those with government ID get a free order of meatball sliders. On Sunday, Jan 27 only, furloughed employees and their families can enjoy a completely free “Sunday Supper” at 1 or 1:30 PM.

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Chaia
From Jan. 25-27, feds can get a veggie taco trio and a drink combo for $6 at both the Georgetown and the brand-new Mt. Vernon locations.

City Tap House
901 9th St. NW
The Penn Quarter restaurant and bar is offering an extended happy hour for furloughed employees daily from 4 to 10 PM. Deals include $5 draft beers, $6 house wines, and $7 beer-and-shot combos.

City Winery
1350 Okie St., NE
Enjoy a glass of wine at this Ivy City winery for just $1.

#ChefsForFeds Kitchen and Cafe
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen has set up a relief kitchen to offer hot meals to federal employees, contractors, and their families daily from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Colada Shop
1405 T St., NW
Feds can grab a free Cuban sandwich from Juan Coronado’s cocktail and coffee shop on Friday, Jan. 26.

DC Reynolds
3628 Georgia Ave., NW
The Park View watering hole has started a “buy one, give one” promotion, in which patrons who get a buy-one-get-one drink deal during happy hour can pass their free drink tickets to future furloughed guests.

District Doughnut
Multiple locations
Federal employees get a complimentary cup of Compass Coffee with any purchase throughout the shutdown.

District Winery
385 Water St., SE
Find half-price entrees, bottles, and flights. Offer good for one entree per person.

El Techo
606 Florida Ave., NW
The rooftop bar of this Mexican restaurant has transformed in Selva, a jungle-themed pop-up for winter. Government employees receive a free “#NachoWall” (basically just a heaping plate of nachos) with any purchase of $10 or more every Tuesday through Thursday while the shutdown lasts.

Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants
Multiple locations
Fiola, Fiola Mare, Del Mar, and Sflogina downtown and in Van Ness are offering all government workers a 20-percent discount on their “Maria” menus (normally $32). The healthy three-course lunch comes with a glass of kombucha from Craft Kombucha. Fiola Mare and Del Mar are both also offering the discounted menu for dinner.

Gaslight Tavern
2012 9th St., NW
Furloughed government employees can enjoy date night on Jan. 24 and 25 with two free drinks courtesy OkCupid.

GCDC
1730 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Four specialty cocktails are $5 all night starting at 4 PM—until further notice.

Good Stuff Eatery 
303 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Beginning Jan. 24, furloughed federal employees get a free burger, snack fry, and soda daily from from 11 AM to 2 PM.

Gregorys Coffee
All DC locations
Government employees get a free 12-ounce coffee, including lattes and cappuccinos, until the shutdown ends.

Hank’s Oyster Bar and Hank’s Pasta Bar
Multiple locations
All oyster bar locations (Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, The Wharf, Old Town Alexandria) are offering all-day oyster happy hour at the bar plus half-off a number of favorite snacks such as oyster shooters, lobster bisque, and the Hank’s Burger. Hank’s Pasta Bar is offering all-day happy hour at the bar and half-off select dishes such as the fettuccini bolognese, mafalde and salmon.

Holy Chow!
1331 Lamberton Drive, Silver Spring
This Kosher Chinese takeout spot is offering 10-percent discounts to government employees.

Jinya Ramen Bar
Multiple locations
Half-priced happy hour lasts from 4 to 7 PM on weekdays with deals in buns, mini tacos, cocktails, beer, wine, and sake.

Lahinch Tavern and Grill
7747 Tuckerman Lane., Potomac
Potomac’s Irish pub is offering its happy hour menu—including $6 house cocktails $2 off beer and discounted entrées—to feds all day.

Local 16
1602 U St., NW
Government workers get free pizza, $3 Miller Lites, $4 DC Braus, and $4  rail cocktails as long as the shutdown lasts.

Lucky Buns
2000 18th St., NW
Federal workers can enjoy a free beer, side dish, or dessert at the Adams Morgan burger joint. 

The Meatball Shop
1720 14th St., NW
Everyone—not just government employees–can take advantage of half-off draft beer, Meatball Shop-branded wine, and well drinks as well as 50-cent mini buffalo chicken balls all day long until the shutdown ends. Federal workers can apply to open credit lines of $150 per week to use at the restaurant.

Milk Bar
Multiple locations
Furloughed visitors to this Instagram-famous sweet shop can grab a free coffee or cereal milk soft-serve.

Mirabelle
900 16th St., NW
On Mondays only, furloughed government employees receive a free “Tiger burger” with an aged ground beef patty, garlic aioli, caramelized bacon and onion jam, and smoked gruyere. Gluten-free guests can skip the bun.

MOD Pizza
Multiple locations
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, several Virginia and Maryland locations will offer a free “MOD-size” pizza or salad for furloughed feds and contractors. Walk-in orders only.

One Eight Distilling 
1135 Okie St., NE
Federal employees get 20-percent off bottles and bart tabs throughout the shutdown.

Ornery Beer Company 
3950 University Dr., Suite 209, Fairfax
Federal employees and a guest get 25-percent off their meal.

The Passenger
1539 7th St., NW 
The Shaw bar has been hosting weekly “Shutdown Saturday” parties with furloughed government employees as guest bartenders and special themed cocktail menus. Federal workers also get 20-percent off—excluding happy hour and specials.

Pennsylvania 6
1350 I St., NW
Happy hour is extended from 3 to 9 PM throughout the shutdown with $5 premium well drinks, rotating draft beer, and house wine.

Pizzeria Paradiso
All locations
All government employees and contractors (show a business card) can enjoy a meal for two for $30, The deal includes any two appetizers and a 12-inch pizza.

Player’s Club
1400 14th St., NW
On Friday, Jan. 25 from noon to 4 PM, this retro, boozed-up arcade is offering free games, food from Timber Pizza Co., and Stella Artois to the first 250 federal employees in line.

Punch Bowl Social
4238 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1180, Arlington
The Arlington venue is offering a 25-percent discount on all food and games (including brunch and specials). Show a government ID before ordering. The deal does not apply to private parties and merchandise.

Pupatella
5104 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
All federal employees can take advantage of a 40-percent discount on all food and non-alcoholic beverages until the shutdown ends. The deal does not apply to online orders.

The Queen Vic
1206 H St., NE
All federal employees get an 18-percent discount on their checks.

Quill
1200 16th St., NW
The Jefferson hotel’s cocktail bar is offering $2 fries for the duration of the shutdown—no IDs required.

Red Truck Rural Bakery
8368 W Main St., Marshall
Federal employees can grab a free coffee or tea and enjoy the shop’s staff discount on all baked goods.

Santa Rosa Taqueria
313 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Beginning Jan. 24, furloughed federal employees can get a free chicken taco, tortilla chips, and homemade salsa daily from 11 AM to 2 PM. Plus, buy one Sauza margarita, get one free.

Slash Run
201 Upshur St., NW
In addition to half-off drafts at happy hour, the rock-themed burger spot is offering a free beer to federal workers.

Subway
3504 12th St., NE
Score half-off footlong subs at this Brookland location only.

Sweetgreen
Multiple locations
All DC-area locations will offer free signature salads to government workers from 6 to 8 PM on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Taco Bamba
All locations
Furloughed workers get one complimentary traditional taco per day.

ThinkFoodGroup restaurants
Multiple locations
José Andrés’s DC-area restaurants—Jaleo, Oyamel, China Chilcano, America Eats Tavern—will offer free sandwiches from 2 to 5 PM at the bar. Get a complimentary Beefsteak burger at Andrés’s fast-casual spot during the same hours.

Thrive Market
The online grocer will donate a $50 grocery credit to any government employee who emails mission@thrivemarket.com.

Toki Underground
1234 H St., NE
Government employees can get a bowl of ramen for $5 from Tuesday through Thursday during lunch only while the shutdown lasts.

Urban Hot Pot
1800 Rockville Pike, H2, Rockville
Furloughed workers will receive 20-percent off casual, homestyle Chinese fare.

Valor Brewpub
723 8th St SE
The Barracks Row restaurant and brewery is offering happy hour-priced drinks and $7 food specials (such as Korean fried chicken and cauliflower fried rice) from 4 PM to close.

We, The Pizza
305 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Beginning Jan. 24, furloughed federal employees can get a free slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza plus a soda daily from 11 AM to 2 PM.

&pizza Broccoli Bar
1817 7th St., NW
The DC-grown pizza chain is joining forces with José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen to serve free hot meals to furloughed government employees, contractors, and their families from 11 AM to 6 PM daily.

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.