D.C. is constantly changing… And no neighborhood encompasses that more than H Street. From new restaurants to new shops to new apartments, it feels like there’s something different going on every day. In this guide you’ll find a mix of the new guard and the old. A combination of places we can’t imagine the city without and spots that are really starting to grow on us.
Before H Street had great cocktail bars and cute bookshops and an incredibly convenient Whole Foods, it had the Rock N’ Roll Hotel. The three story venue has been drawing people to the neighborhood with their killer lineups and popular dance parties since 2006, and it doesn’t feel like the party is going to end anytime soon. If you’re looking to catch a band before they sell out the 9:30 Club, this is your best bet, but if you just want to grab a tallboy on the roof and hang out with your friends, they can help you with that too. It also might be haunted!
If you want to inject some culture in your life, look no further. The Atlas Performing Arts Center is the heart of H Street. It’s a place where you can see silent movies scored by a live jazz ensemble, catch plays from the Mosaic Theater Company or swing by to see a casual symphony. They also have a solid amount of free events if you’re looking to save some cash. No matter what you’re into, Atlas has something you’re going to enjoy.
Located on the second floor of Dangerously Delicious Pies, The Pie Shop is your go to place to catch a local band and enjoy some craft beer while stuffing your face with pie. The stage area may be a little cramped, but their long bar and beautiful patio more than makeup for it. If you want to soak up some beautiful views of the neighborhood, look no further. This space is going to be packed when spring finally gets here.
Opened in 2017, Hendrix was met with a lot of energy. Developed by Ditto Residential, the building is designed like one of their high-end condos. Minimal and light-filled – it’s the perfect backdrop for your Instagram feed. Known for doing things a bit outside the box, the building offered Trips to Cuba with El Camino Travel, free Riide bike memberships, and a handful of other unique partnerships when they first opened. Another big perk is the size – Hendrix is smaller than your typical DC apartment building, creating stronger ties amongst the resident community and with activations focused on creating those connections. They’ve hosted Girl’s Night In book clubs, workshops with the Lemon Collective, concerts with Sofar Sounds, and rooftop movie screenings. To top it off, they have a vending machine from Guerilla Vending with locally made goods in the lobby. It’s definitely more than a place to rest your head. Check out this funky fresh community off of H Street.
H Street is lucky enough to be blessed with one of the largest independent bookstores in D.C. Solid State has a more than solid (sorry) selection books. Whether you’re looking for that new hot true crime novel or want to broaden your horizons, they’ve got you covered. Their book clubs and events also run the gamut. One night they’ll have some of the best translators in the world talking about the theory of translation and the next night you can catch their music graphic novel club. Even if you don’t need to pick up a new book (or join a new club), Solid State is a great place to grab a coffee and just chill.
Between the restaurant, the coffee shop and the streetwear store, what doesn’t Maketto do? They’re the perfect place to waste time (and we mean that in the best way). Browse their ever changing streetwear store while you’re waiting for the bus. Head upstairs to their coffee shop while you figure out your plans that day. Fill yourself with bao before heading home to catch up on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what your schedule is, Maketto finds a way to fit itself within your day. It’s one of those places you didn’t know you needed… until you step back and realize you’ve been there four times in one week.
Everything you need to know about this restaurant is in the name. Fancy Radish is stocked full of all the high end vegan food you could ever want. From a rutabaga based fondue to a BLT where the bacon has been replaced by umami packed crispy mushrooms, this is the perfect place to dip your toes into the vegan world. While their menu is jam packed with dishes you didn’t know you needed, their cocktail list is equally as exciting. Spicy, bitter and rich flavors reign supreme, but there’s a little something for everyone. If you’re looking to impress someone (or just have an impressive dinner) you’ve come to the right spot.
This pint sized restaurant has been drawing crowds to H Street for years. Its ramen is considered some of the best in D.C., so much so that people wait for hours to get into the tiny space. Luckily for us, the recent-ish spate of ramen restaurants in the city seems to have made it a little easer to nab a seat. Once you’re in, the Toki Classic is, surprise, a classic with its combination of braised pork and greens. If you’re looking to break away from ramen, the shiitake dan dan mien is packed with flavor (and texture). Theres crunchy roasted cashews, a spicy miso-chili paste and meaty pan fried shiitakes. Walking up the steps to Toki is like taking the express train to Flavortown.
For those times you don’t want to make reservations weeks in advance or wait 60 minutes for a seat at the bar, Farmbird has your back. If this casual spot was closer to our office, we’d be broke from getting lunch there every day. They’ve manage to do what most fast casual spots fail miserably at, make chicken that is actually delicious. Their Spicy Roasted Fresno plate, is a delightful combination of Fresno pepper sauce, crispy shallots and slivers of pickled red onion. It has a solid spice that doesn’t hold back. While you’re there, make sure to grab a side of their mac and cheese, it has the perfect cheese to noodle ratio and the sprinkling of bread crumbs certainly doesn’t hurt.
We promised we would never write about Copycat again (because it’s so good we want to save it all for ourselves) but here we are. Copycat is the platonic ideal of a cocktail bar. It’s cool without being cliquey, it’s quality without being extravagant and the menu can lean funky without being inaccessible. And speaking of the menu, it’s long and intricate and jam packed with more information about classic cocktails than you could find on Wikipedia, but don’t let that get you nervous. Copycat’s bartenders are experts who have no problem guiding you to the right drink even when the bar is three deep.
When you don’t know where to go, Hill Prince is exactly where you should be. It straddles the line between classic cocktail bar and a beer and a shot joint, so it’s more of a choose your own adventure experience. If you want to drink High Lifes and eat soft pretzels all night, you’re good. If you’re looking to grab a French 75 and snack on some blue cheese olives, you’re also good. It doesn’t hurt that their happy hour runs seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (or 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekend).
The Pug is the neighborhood bar every neighborhood needs. It knows exactly what it is (a place to drink a lot of booze for fairly reasonable prices) and it caters to that with precision. The sign on the window might claim that The Pug is a place for “mixed drinks” but you’re going to want to keep it simple. Stick with a beer or a glass of whiskey and you’ll be good to go. It’s also the go to place to hang out while you wait to get a seat at Toki.