The Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Columbia Heights has had a reputation as a social hub since its pre-Civil War roots. Now, the 11th Street area has become a home for some of the best current and up-and-coming restaurants, bars, art galleries, and more. Here are a few of the can’t-miss establishments you’ll want to check out the next time you find yourself exploring the area.
The Best Restaurants
Serving walk-ins only, and taking no reservations, Bad Saint boasts a tiny dining room that can only seat groups of four or fewer. The line can sometimes wrap around the door for its ever-changing menu. If you have the opportunity to join the line, the wait is worth it.
This Italian-influenced, wine-focused restaurant and bar is home to happy hour specials on the back patio, Saturday and Sunday brunches, and weekly specials. Its menu includes dinner, brunch fare, wine, and drinks, including bruschetta, pasta, Italian desserts, and full bar in a classy, rustic environment.
Offering everything from dinner and award-winning pizza to brunch, happy hour, and café items, RedRocks provides wood-fired calzones, paninis, breakfast pizzas and calzones, a full brunch menu, wine and drinks, and more.
Named “Best New Bar in the U.S.” by Food & Wine and nominated as a “Favorite Gathering Place” by RAMMY in 2014, “Best Beverage/Mixology Program” in 2013, and “Best Casual Dining Restaurant” and “Best Beverage/Mixology Program” in 2012, Room 11 serves both brunch and dinner. Its menu is subject to change, but it offers Paisley Fig Pastries at brunch and features multiple dinner courses.
The Best Bars
Located just a few minutes from the Columbia Heights Metro green line stop, El Chucho operates on a first-come, first-served basis. It provides a menu filled with small plates, bocadillos, huraches, tacos, Mexican classics, tortos, happy hour specials, and burritos, as well as a full bar.
Celebrating “the art of American craft beer,” Meridian Pint was founded on the premise of environmental sustainability. It focuses on local brews, thereby eliminating the “impact of transatlantic shipping as well as maintain a locally based revenue stream.” The bar hopes to be an environmental steward while also sharing American craft beer with its patrons.
Located in the heart of Columbia Heights, the Good Silver has been proudly serving some of the best locally produced smoked and cured meats in Washington, D.C. It also offers “all manner of classic cocktails, like Manhattans, Martinis and everyone’s favorite — the Moscow Mule,” and flagship cocktails Nana’s Vengeance and Orange Crush.
The Best Cafe
A member of the Tryst Trading Company, a local D.C. group of neighborhood restaurants, cafes, and more, The Coupe offers 11th Street a menu of quick bites, lunch items, brunch items, dinner selections, desserts, cocktails, beer, wine, specialty coffees, and excellent service. Its goal is to be a “community gathering place for all while building meaningful connections.”