Best eats near the Verizon Center

by Leticia Barr on April 6, 2010

The Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The Verizon Center is host to a myriad of events from sold out concerts featuring the biggest names in music, family programming, and sporting events where local fans love to cheer on their hockey and basketball teams. Often, the ticket in your pocket can influence your choice of food to get you in the mood before the event and there’s no shortage of restaurants around the Verizon Center/Penn Quarter/Chinatown area.

Attending a sporting event to cheer on the Caps, Washington Mystics, or NBA’s Wizards calls for a casual spot that serves great brew.  The sports bar atmosphere of The Greene Turtle easily lends itself to watching pre-game highlights and grabbing a bite before the big game and celebratory drinks when your team wins. If you are a lover of great beer, District Chophouse & Brewery handcrafts seven different brews that pair well with their wide selection of appetizers, classic cuts of meat, and burgers.

The coolest concerts require hip places for drinks and grub from somewhere like Jaleo, whose large selection of tapas are best ordered in a group since they just beg to be shared.

Adjacent to the Hotel Monaco, Poste Brasserie’s menu features dishes made of the freshest ingredients that often come from the restaurant’s on-site garden or the popular local farmers’ market in Penn Quarter. Poste also serves many local Virginia wines, organic beers, and handcrafted cocktails.

Across the street from the Verizon Center and inside the International Spy Museum, Zola serves American cuisine and the bar’s Tasty Bites menu allows you to grab eat as much or as little as you like as you sip a cocktail while gazing out the huge windows that face the National Portrait Gallery.

If you are going to a family event like Disney On Ice or Ringling Brothers’ Barnum & Bailey Circus and have hungry kids in tow, the inexpensive casual local burrito chain, California Tortilla, is a hit. They prepare tasty burritos, quesadillas, and tacos fast, and always with fresh crispy chips. The kids’ menu at “Cal Tort” (as it is called by the locals) is affordable and filling, with offerings such as quesadillas, mini burritos, and tacos. For more upscale family dining, try Clyde’s, whose menu has something for everyone. Crab cakes, burgers, salads are sure to please adults while the kids can order off the regular menu or from the kid menu. Clyde’s doesn’t skimp on the portions for their kids’ entrees. Instead, they are quite generous and perfectly adequate for younger children to share. Tell your server that your children are sharing an entrée and they will happily split the portion between two plates for no extra charge.

- Leticia Barr of Tech Savvy Mama

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