Look for the giant shipping containers along U Street to find El Rey, a nice place to grab some drinks and tacos. On the weekends, it’s full of recent graduates still testing the limits of their livers, but the spacious bar and patio, equipped with a retractable roof (who thought those were only for billion-dollar NFL stadiums?), are ideal spots for post-work hangs during the week. Grab a high-top table and order a margarita pitcher, as well as some guacamole and tacos. It’s good for a late night bite, too - the kitchen stays open until 2am.
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A guide to the best drinking establishments along U Street and 14th Street.
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Right off U Street, Takoda has a nice (but small) rooftop and some good bar food options. We like it for a day drinking session or even a casual date.
The food at Colada Shop is just okay, but the space and location make it a good place for a quick meal around U Street.
The Fainting Goat
Fainting Goat isn’t great, but you’ll end up here at some point. When the time comes, go heavy on the drinks and light on the food.
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Surfside Taco Stand
Surfside Taco is a 24-hour, hole-in-the-wall with tacos, burritos, and quesadillas in Dupont. You'll probably find yourself here at 2pm and 2am.
Espita Mezcaleria in Shaw has Mexican that’s a little more upscale than your local taqueria. And a lot of mezcal.
Suggested by our writers
All-Purpose is a neighborhood spot in Shaw with excellent Italian antipasti and some good pizza.
If you’re looking for a dance floor around U Street, try The Brixton. And head to the rooftop when you need a break.
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