Food

Where to Eat, Drink, Brunch, and Party for Capital Pride Weekend in DC

Your guide to food and drink specials, drag brunches, pool parties, and more.

DC Brau's Pride Pils features activist Marsha P. Johnson and 100% of sales go towards charity. Photograph courtesy of DC Brau

The Capital Pride Celebration returns to Washington this weekend, kicking off with a rooftop pool party on Friday, running through the Pride Parade on Saturday, and finishing with a sunset dance party on Sunday. There’s plenty of fun to be had, official and no, in between. Here’s where to celebrate all weekend long with food and drink specials, parties, brunches, and more.

Kick off the weekend
First things first: the pre-game. The Capital Pride Alliance is throwing a Rooftop Rally on Thursday, June 6 where guests can mingle, dance, and sip cocktails at Navy Yard’s Vida Penthouse Pool and Lounge (tickets start at $20). Also on Thursday, Dacha and The Washington Blade throw a party at the Shaw beer garden starting at 6 PM for the release of DC Brau’s Pride Pils, a pilsner featuring LGBTQ activist and Stonewall icon Marsha P. Johnson. All proceeds from beer sales at 100-plus local restaurants, bars, and retailers—as well as the party—benefit SMYAL and The Blade Foundation.

Heading into FridayRIOT! The Pride Opening Party at Echostage kicks things off with another Drag Race alum, Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, as well as performances by Ana Latour, DJ Dvonne, and others (tickets start at $30). EatWellDC, a LGBTQ-owned restaurant group, is also hosting a Friday shindig starting at 9 PM at Frenchy’s Naturel in Logan Circle. The theme: unicorns. Attendees are encouraged to wear unicorn-related regalia (tutus, horns) to indulge in rainbow waffles, cake pops, and “L’amour C’est L’amour” cocktails (vodka, grapefruit liqueur, Aperol, bubbles). A dollar from each purchase of the drink at all EatWell locations will go to the DC Area Transmasculine SocietyNellie’s Sports Bar on U Street is hosting events all weekend long, starting with a kick-off dance party on Friday through a DJ Drag brunch on Sunday.

A $1 from each sale of the L’amour C’est L’amour cocktail at EatWellDC restaurants goes to the DC Area Transmasculine Society.

Party (and brunch) by the parade 
If you’re looking for a choice seat for the Capital Pride Parade, check out Urbana‘s annual Pride + Shine Brunch on Saturday starting at noon. The $50 ticket includes unlimited drinks, rainbow Jell-O shots, and all-you-can-eat pizza while the procession passes by and long into the evening. Don’t forget to snag a photo with “Vice President” Mike Hot-Pence, who will be taking donations for The Trevor Project. Also on the parade route, Tico is hosting an all-day-and-night Pride party starting at 2 PM with ticketed food and alcohol options. Up the street, Marvin celebrates Pride with DJ Keenan Orr starting at 3 PM on the roof deck (a $1 donation from every Smirnoff cocktail sold with go to Casa Ruby, and  Smirnoff will match the total donation amount).

And keep going..
Before, during, and after the parade on Saturday, Capital Pride is throwing a Block Party in Dupont Circle between 4 PM and 10 PM. Attendees can snack from local food trucks, sip cocktails, watch the parade from a beverage garden, and dance on the street to excellent DJs. The party continues on Southwest Waterfront with the second annual Pride on the Pier at the Wharf, hosted by The Washington Blade and LURe DC. The festivities kick off at 2 PM with DJS, dancing, and drinks like the Pride Pils for the 21+ set, and end with fireworks at 9 PM (admission is free, though VIP tickets are available that include prime firework seating, alcohol, and food starting at $75).

Chill by the rooftop pool with summery drinks at DNV near Logan Circle. Photograph courtesy of DNV

Go out with a bang
The official Pride Festival, and  Concert and a Sunset Dance Party happens on Sunday starting at noon. The festival, presented by Live! Casino & Hotel, will host 300 exhibitors, food and beverage vendors, and three stages for national and local musicians. The concert is headlined by Marshmello, Zara Larsson, and Todrick Hall, and at 8 PM will turn into a giant party to close out the weekend with music, cocktails, and munchies from two food courts.

For (slightly) more low-key sustenance, head to Republic Restoratives in Ivy City for a Not the White House Pride Party hosted by LGBTQ44, the unofficial network of LGBTQ alumni from the Obama administration. The event will be held between noon and 4 PM with scrumptious eats provided by (gay-owned) BBQ Bus and cocktails. Meanwhile, DNV Rooftop hosts “Gaywatch” to wrap up Pride weekend. The beach-themed rooftop pool party and brunch features $15 cocktails served in beach buckets as DJ Alkimist blasts Madonna. Entry costs $10 at the door ($5 in advance) but if you still have your wristband from Urbana’s Pride + Shine you can get in for free. In Adams Morgan, Pitchers and A League of Her Own are hosting a Drag Picnic between 1 PM and 3 PM where visitors will be entertained by entertainers like Miss Brooklyn Heights.

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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.