11 Fun Food Events Around DC This Weekend

On the menu: Emporiyum food festival, Sherry Week, and a cocktail series honoring black bartenders.

The Emporiyum returns to the District this weekend. Photo by Dim Sum Media.

Alexandria’s Rock the Block event returns for the second year on Thursday from 6 to 9 PM. The culinary tour of Old Town features stops at 12 restaurants including Urbano 116 and Columbia Firehouse. General admission tickets are $125 and benefit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Stop by Leon’s new Washington location on I Street for a donation drive on Thursday from 11:30 AM to 2 PM. The sustainable fast food spot is offering a free breakfast or lunch item to patrons who make a $2 or $4 donation to Martha’s Table.

International Sherry Week is underway and there are plenty of tastings, special dinners, and specialty cocktails around town. Check out Jaleo’s lineup of events throughout the week at all three locations. Or head to American Son on Thursday, which kicks off Sherry Week with a four-course pairing dinner with Hidalgo La Gitana at 6:30 PM ($65 per person). Or you can stop by Big Bear Cafe for a sherry tasting dinner with Tradewinds Specialty Imports from 6 to 10 PM on Friday.

Image courtesy of Big Bear Cafe.

Emporiyum food festival back at Union Market this weekend. The marketplace features 90 different vendors from across the country alongside local spots like Ice Cream Jubilee and Spoken English. Expect ready-eat dishes alongside giftable pantry items, beer and wine, and much more. You can get a first look at the vendors during a Friday night preview party and cocktail battle at 6 PM. The festival will run from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday with general admission tickets starting at $25.

Allegory, the library-themed cocktail bar located in the Eaton DC hotel, is launching a new cocktail series on Sunday that will honor black bartenders, past and present. For the first, join Duane Sylvestre—a 20-year veteran of DC’s bartending industry—for a cocktail class from 5:30 to 7 PM that also serves as an introduction to the history of black bartenders (tickets are $50). The new cocktail series will run every week through December 15, with a different DC bartender teaching each class.

On Sunday at 11 AM, the Inn at Little Washington is hosting a lecture and book signing with former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier. Mesnier served as the chief pastry chef of  the White House from 1979 to 2004, serving five presidents in his time. The presentation will be followed by a five-course lunch with Mesnier in the main dining room. Tickets to the lunch are $175 per person and can be reserved at 540-675-3800.

Image courtesy of the Inn at Little Washington.

DC’s first modern rum distillery, Cotton & Reed, is celebrating its third anniversary on Sunday at 4 PM. Take a taste of some of the best cocktails to grace the menu over the years, like the Gin Rummy and Winterized Daiquiri. Patrons can also grab a bottle of the limited-release Sherried Cask Strength Rum.

The British are coming! Take a culinary trip to London at Prequel on Sunday when chefs John Javier (Pachamama London, Master Sydney) and Reece Moore (Four Legs @ The
Compton Arms, Cub) present a family-style dinner using British techniques and locally sourced ingredients. Seatings are at 6 PM and 7 PM, and tickets are $117 (inclusive of food, two drinks, tax, and gratuity).

Stellina Pizzeria. Photograph by Meaghan Webster.

And, heading into next week…

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Doron Petersan’s fall baking class at Sticky Fingers on Tuesday at 6 PM. You’ll learn how to make vegan almond macaroons plus rainbow and ombre cookies. In addition to the goodies there will also be welcome cocktails during the event. Tickets are $48.

On Wednesday at 4 PM, Stellina Pizzeria is hosting a happy hour celebrating Umbrian-style food and wine. Sip  wines from Montefalco alongside chef Matteo Venini’s crostini and paccheri alla Norcina. Tickets are $35.

Don’t forget to grab your tickets to Washingtonian’s Whiskey & Fine Spirits Festival on Thursday. The eighth annual festival starts at 6 PM for VIPs and 7 PM for general admission. Attendees can sample premium sips of whiskey, scotch, bourbon, vodka, gin, tequila, and more along with tasty bites and fun activities. Tickets start at $75 for general admission.

Editorial Fellow

Madeline Rundlett is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She previously covered All-Met sports for the Washington Post and was an editorial intern at The Hill. Madeline graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in Political Communication in 2019.