11 Fun Food Events Around DC This Weekend

On the menu: DC Beer Festival, free lunch at Quarter Market, and all-you-can-eat crawfish.

Hot Lola's spicy fried chicken sandwich with a chicken fat-griddled bun, homemade slaw, and pickles. Photograph courtesy of Hot Lola's

Play hooky on Thursday for a free lunch opportunity at Ballston Quarter’s Quarter Market in Arlington. From 11 AM to 2 PM, the first one hundred patrons to grab a lunch voucher can get a meal from any of the hall’s vendors including fried chicken sandwiches from Hot Lola’s, pizza from Turu’s by Timber Pizza and more. Miss free lunch? Catch the happy hour.

Ask those burning cocktail questions on Thursday at Mess Hall when Pratt Standard Cocktail Company founder Tory Pratt teaches the fundamentals of mixing and stirring. Learn three classic styles: fizzes, sours, and lowballs. Then, drink them! Tickets for the course, 6 to 8 PM, are $50.

[Note: This event has been moved to May 10 due to rain.] The Bullpen’s monthly food truck festival, Truckeroo, returns this Friday. More than a dozen vendors are participating, which means options vary from southern fare to slices and oysters. The event runs from 4 to 11 PM, which means you can try everything if you’re ambitious. Admission is free.

Photo courtesy of Wunder Garten.

Join Little Sesame’s leap from fast-casual hummus restaurant to full-on weekend getaway curators. “Wild Sesame,” a camping-adventure trip to Virginia’s Shenandoah Mountains, runs from Friday until Sunday. Rent a cabin with your pals and kayak between cocktail, foraging, cooking, and yoga classes—then dream of shakshuka in the wilderness. Tickets go for between $100 and $1000, depending on accommodations and programming.

Whether you’re Jewish, Christian, or just like commemorating holidays with good food, this weekend is a full one. Here’s where to celebrate Passover at local restaurants starting on Friday and Easter on Sunday.

Crawfish for Cancer is hosting its seventh annual boil at Noma’s Wunder Garten on Saturday. Entry buys you an all-inclusive experience of crawfish, sides, an expansive open bar, and good karma from noon to 5 PM. All proceeds are directed to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Tickets run $100 at the door, or $90 online. The event is 21+ only.

The former U Street reggae dancehall, Patty Boom Boom, lives on in pop-up form at Marvin’s rooftop space this Saturday from 3  to 9 PM. Products from Jamaican jerk spice company Nick’s Seasonings will be available for purchase. Try $6 rum and $5 beer specials to the sounds of DJ DC. Admission is free.

More than 80 breweries are participating in the big DC Beer Festival at Nationals Park on Saturday. The festival, which is held while the Nationals play in San Francisco, offers unlimited tastings and a convoy of food trucks. General admission is available for $45, and VIP tickets—which include dugout access, a tasting glass, and a hat—will run you $75. The festival is split into two sessions, from noon to 3 PM and 5 to 8 PM.

Best Restaurants Downtown DC
Centrolina. Photo by Scott Suchman

Head to Maryland on Saturday from 2 to 6 PM for the Frederick Spirits Festival, where dozens of spirits and cocktails will be available for sampling from 19 Maryland distillers. Buy a tasting pass or get cocktail-building instruction with a crafting pass.

Catch small Greek bites and wine tastings for free at Zaytinya’s annual Agora Patio Party on Saturday. Visitors can shop for Mediterranean fare and goods from vendors like District Clay and Mastiha Bakery. If you plan to stick around for a meal, check out the special Greek Lenten menu (offered through April 27).

Owen’s Ordinary in North Bethesda is celebrating the opening of its beer garden on Saturday with live music, Bavarian brats, a long Maryland-focused beer list (plus commemorative take-home mugs for holding that beer). Those too young to participate in the drinking portion of the festivities are welcome to sign up for the Easter egg hunt. The party lasts from 11 AM to 4 PM.

Ivy City Smokehouse. Photograph by Scott Suchman

And heading into next week…

Who says jelly beans don’t pair well with cabernet? City Winery is combining the best of both worlds with its Easter Candy & Wine Pairing on Monday. Hopefully that doesn’t make the eggs too difficult to find. Find tickets on the City Winery website for $35. The hunt lasts from 6:30 PM to 8 PM.

Juice bar Fruitive is celebrating Earth Day on Monday with free avocado toast at all of its locations from noon to 2 PM. Fruitive’s take on avo-toast includes basil pesto and oregano on flax and spelt bread. 

Ivy City Smokehouse hosts the annual Charity Off The Hook Fundraiser, which falls on Monday. The event lasts from 6 to 10 PM, which gives you plenty of time to visit all 11 tasting stations from area chefs like Scott Drewno (Chiko) and Anna Bran Leis (Taqueria del Barrio), hit the raw bar and beer garden, enjoy a couple rounds of poker, listen to live music, and indulge in cigars and a little street magic. Proceeds from tickets, $75 a pop, go to local charities.

More than two dozen Shaw bars and restaurants like the Dabney, Service Bar, San Lorenzo, and Zeppelin are assembling for Eat.Drink.Shaw., an all-inclusive food and drink fest at the Howard Theatre on Wednesday. This one-stop demo of the entire neighborhood goes from 7 to 9:30PM. Tickets are $80 (including complimentary valet) and support the non-profit Shaw Main Streets, a neighborhood revitalization organization.

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