7 Fun Food Events Around DC This Labor Day Weekend

On the menu: Barbecue pop-ups, funnel cake, and the Kentucky Derby.

Sip a julep during the Kentucky Derby this weekend. Photograph courtesy of Jack Rose

Mountain Song Barbecue, the newest addition to Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s roster of eateries, is popping up at Alexandria’s Columbia Firehouse (109 S. St. Asaph St., Alexandria) from Thursday, September 3 to Saturday, September 5. Expect hearty ribs and pulled pork with in-season tomato salad and spicy elote. The slow-smoked soiree starts at 4 PM on Thursday and Friday, and 12 PM on Saturday.

As we say farewell to late-summer produce, it’s almost time to welcome the warm flavors of fall (hello, pumpkin spice). Learn how to make three apple cider libations during Capitol Cider House‘s virtual cocktail course on Thursday, September 3 at 8:30 PM. Cocktail kits are available for pick up ($35) or DC delivery ($45), and a Zoom link will be sent out after registration.

Summer fairs may have been canceled, but you can still get your funnel cake fix at the Howard County Fair’s drive thru from Friday, September 4 to Monday, September 7. Roll up to the Howard County Fairgrounds (2210 Fairgrounds Rd., West Friendship) for fried carnival creations — think doughnut burgers and chocolate-dipped cheesecake.

Break out your big hat for Jack Rose‘s (2007 18th St., NW) annual Kentucky Derby watch party on Saturday, September 5. Starting at 5 PM, the whiskey destination is screening the horse race with free-flowing mint juleps ($89 per person). Staying at home? Sip from a $69 to-go mint julep kit and snack on pecan brittle (you can add-on a bottle of bourbon for extra).

Mark the end of summer with DC Brau and the Quarterdeck’s annual crab fest on Saturday, September 5. This year, the craft brewery and seafood shack are going fully carryout, offering half a dozen beer-steamed Blue Crabs and a 12-pack of DC Brau brews ($50). Pick-up is from DC Brau Brewing Company (3178-B Bladensburg Rd., NE).
Sunday smoked meats > Sunday scaries. Barbecue joint Smokemade Meats + Eats is popping up at Hellbender Brewing Company (5788 Second St., NE) on Sunday, September 6. The DC smokehouse is slinging brisket platters and pulled pork sandwiches from 3 PM to 7 PM.
Dupont Circle’s eccentric Mansion on O (2020 O St., NW) is hosting a barbecue with District Pit BBQ on Monday, September 7.  Plates of pork, beef, and chicken can be eaten in the garden or at home. Reserve a $50 ticket for a smoked meat platter and access to the mansion’s whimsical interior.


Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.