Where to Eat Before or After the Theater in DC Guide

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By Old Ebbitt Grill

Dinner and a show is the epitome of a classy, fun night out, but sometimes Google, Open Table, and Yelp just make it difficult to decide where to nosh. We’ve compiled places recommended by theaters and DC natives to guarantee a tasty and entertaining evening.

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If you’re seeing a show at Signature Theatre… Venturing to Virginia for an exciting new play or classic musical? Make your trip complete with these delicious eats. Busboys and Poets This iconic institution boasts a relaxed coffee shop atmosphere and affordable entrees. Ali’s Bar Worried about arriving to the theater on time or just want to enjoy the gorgeous space at Signature? Located inside the theater, this restaurant offers delicious pre-theater meals, with service starting 90 minutes before curtain. Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub Enjoy live music and happy hour specials at this haunt. Bonus: It’s named after Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. Live Music. (Is this where he waited for Godot?) T.H.A.I. in Shirlington Virginia might not be the first place you think of when you think Thai food, but this restaurant rivals some of the best. If you’re looking to satisfy your spice cravings, come here. Cheesetique Did somebody say cheese? Get your brie (and feta and cheddar and goat…) on at this delightful cheese shop with an excellent selection of, you guessed it, wine and cheese. Pallette 22 Art gallery meets restaurant in this eclectic space. Come with a group of friends before the show to enjoy globally inspired shared plates and delicious cocktails.

If you’re seeing a show at Studio Theatre… Spend the day exploring DC’s 14th Street Corridor, filled with trendy restaurants and boutiques. Choose one of the popular cafes for dinner before your show at Studio Theatre. Birch and Barley With 555 hand-picked beer selections, you certainly won’t go thirsty here. Pull up a stool and stay a while in this exposed brick and booth-lined space, which also offers a tasting menu and a full menu. Bonus: You can get brunch on the weekend before a matinee. Churchkey Located just above Birch and Barley, taste all the craft beers here. Post-show drinks anyone? Shake Shack Running a little late for your show? This Danny Meyer burger staple with have you well-fed and on your way in no time. Lost City No matter the season, this trendy spot’s deck can be used all year, with heat lamps around. Or venture up to the rooftop during the summer months. Enjoy beautiful views of the city and drink specials.

If you’re seeing a show at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Ford’s Theatre, National Theatre, or Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company… Located in the downtown Penn Quarter, these four theaters are all near each other. Doing two shows in a day? It’s easy here. Or just keep coming back for more at these major companies. Rosa Mexicano This multi-city chain has some of the best tacos, guac and chips, and margaritas around. Watch the guac be prepared tableside, and visit the tequila bar for 100 agave spirits. Cedar City and country styles meet at this modern, down-home establishment. Enjoy an inventive take on Southern cooking and a special pre-theater dinner menu served Monday to Saturday. Flight Wine Bar Wine bars epitomize class, and Flight’s modern space and impressive wine list fit the bill. Enjoy a delicious full menu, and sit at their semi-circle bar and enjoy a glass (or two). Asia Nine This gorgeous jewel-tone restaurant serves up delicious Asian fusion cuisine. There’s a full service raw bar and an extensive sake menu. There’s a light-night menu and brunch options too. Succotash Korea meets the South in this inventive restaurant. (Think kimchi with your chicken and waffles.) There’s also an extensive cocktail lists so it’s the ideal place for before and after the show. Old Ebbitt Grill An old-world DC stalwart just blocks from the White House, this iconic tavern boasts delicious American-style meals in a Victorian-inspired space. Farmers and Distillers Eat local at this innovative restaurant, where the food is sourced from nearby farms. From the grain in the bread to the barley and the booze, every element has been considered (and is delicious). Shake Shack See above — you really can’t go wrong here. Pro tip: Always get a shake.

If you're seeing a show at Arena Stage... Located further downtown near the water, you’ll never want to leave Arena’s gorgeous lobby and location. Luckily there are some delightful places to grab a meal or a drink. Station 4 This modern American restaurant is a staple pre and post theater haunt by Arena. This classy, reliable standard will satisfy any dining need you crave. Hank’s Oyster Bar In the summer (or frankly any time), sit along the waterfront and enjoy delicious New England oysters. Stop by for happy hour or enjoy the late-night menu.

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