NFT Washington DC Adams Morgan (North) / Mt Pleasant

Adams Morgan (North) / Mt Pleasant

Essentials
From the Salvadoran pupuserias to the glut of Ethiopian eats to the frat house scene along 18th Street, these two neighborhoods are a microcosm of the District. Adams Morgan has long been the nightlife destination for college students and Hill interns. Mount Pleasant has fewer offerings, but those there are laid-back sanctuaries.

Sundries/Entertainment
Start your day by jockeying for a seat at Tryst, where you can linger all day over one cup of joe. Save your appetite for the legendary food of Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant. Afterwards you'll be ready for the live music at Madam's Organ, where redheads always drink half price, before heading to one of the neighborhood pizza joints at bar time, for a requisite jumbo slice.See more.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Artsy Bar Crawl

By Graham Fortier
Cheap, normal bars in DC. That's what Graham Fortier is talking about.

Read More...

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

El Pollo Sabroso
People love to wax poetic about the sights and sounds of the city. Me, I notice the smells. And if there is a main drag that varies so much in scents as Mount Pleasant Street, I have not yet been there. There's the fresh bouquet of dryer sheets as you pass by the laundromats, alternated with the cheesy aroma of pupusas, and the less appetizing stench of drunken men sleeping on the sidewalk. Most of all though, it's the breeze of Peruvian roasted chicken that compels me. Dogs of Mount Pleasant are tortured by the many chicken bones that litter the street, and I am similarly tempted by the alluring scent that wafts from El Pollo Sabroso and into my nostrils. It's like Hansel and Gretel for adults that appreciate succulent and flavorful roasted chicken. And crisp, fried yucca. And Jarritos sodas. And low prices. Just follow your nose.



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

Tryst Coffeehouse
Tryst has gained fame as both a daytime and evening destination, but it's fast becoming the best alternative to hibernation during the winter months. The coffee house and bar are offering some of the best seasonal drinks in the city, and their comfy couches are the perfect places to snuggle up with something alcoholic when it's snowing outside. During the winter months, Tryst offers a special 'Tryst Warmers' menu. I tried their Stormy Apple cocktail, a blend of hot cider, Meyers Dark Rum, Canton Giner Liqueur and fresh lime juice and topped with a star of anise and a single cinnamon stick. Can we say delicious? The only downside: it's a bit dangerous, considering I wasn't halfway through enjoying the sweet beverage before I realized I was pleasantly buzzed. This drink really packs a punch. My companion enjoyed the Tryst Toddy, which is comprised of hot bourbon served with cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, honey and a pot of Earl Grey tea. She enjoyed it, but noted that it probably wasn't for the bourbon purists out there. Tryst offers monthly cocktail specials; they most recently unveiled a special holiday drink menu which looks pretty tantalizing. I'll certainly be stopping in soon.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

The Black Squirrel
It's easy to make fun of Adams Morgan and its stretch of bars on 18th Street. I'm fond of telling visitors that if they're looking for a fight or an ideal place to vomit, they should show up at 3am. But the truth is that there are lots of bars there that I'd embrace as my regular (were I a local resident), and really, isn't it nice to have a safe haven of no judgment--where shoving jumbo slices down your throat and falling over in heels are 100% acceptable? In any case, I have to say that of the wide selection of drinking holes on 18th Street, the Black Squirrel really does stand out. And not because it's cheap, plays my favorite songs, or has not been cleaned since the '80s--my usual criteria. It's outstanding simply because they serve great drinks and exceptional food. They have a dozen beers on tap, all of which are existing favorites or new ones I'd love to try, from Old Chub to the Black Squirrel Pumpkin Ale. And if you move to bottles, there are over 90 choices. In addition, the food menu, while not as extensive, has some nice choices--like duck confit spring rolls and addictive macaroni and cheese, both of which I would heartily recommend. And on a recent visit, a friend announced, "I don't like to eat, but this is the best burger I've ever had." Take that as you will. I'll take a pint of Bare Knuckle Stout and an order of Boardwalk fries, please.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Don Jaime
I think brunch is overrated. As much as I love Bloody Marys and Eggs Florentine, I resent the fact that it's overtaken Saturday and Sunday lunch. Why do my weekend daytime options consist of eggs eggs eggs? How many $12 omelets am I expected to eat in my life? Is it me, or is brunch just overpriced leftovers? Or am I just full of hate? (That's rhetorical. No answers, please.) Anyway, on to the love... Don Jaime makes me enjoy brunch for all its good qualities. A leisurely meal, an opportunity to eat coffee-friendly food in the afternoon, a time for fried pork and hot sauce. Don Jaime's breakfast/brunch menu is comprehensive, delicious, and fairly priced. And you know what makes the Huevos Rancheros taste even better? The single waiter who mans the tiny restaurant. He is attentive, laid-back, and easily the reason so many regulars are blushing ladies.



Posted By:  Rachel Tepper
Photo:  Rachel Tepper

The Reef
The Reef is an aquarium...no wait, it's a bar. Not that it isn't difficult to mistake it for the former--The Reef is outfitted with half a dozen large fish tanks set aglow in the evening hours. The effect is a bit tacky, but fairly mesmerizing once you have a few drinks in you. But though it's far from a hipster hang out, The Reef is hardly a dive. The beer selection is quite good and includes some not oft seen brews, such as Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat from Maryland and Green Flash West Coast IPA from California. Check out the rooftop before you head out, which offers a great view the busy Adams Morgan streets below.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Dos Gringos
Dos Gringos is wonderful. A neighborhood cafe in a converted 1900s rowhouse, its staff lovingly (and necessarily slowly) fix cilantro egg wraps for breakfast, portobello sandwiches and curried rice for lunch, and deliciously spiced chai at any hour of the day. Everything on offer is fresh and healthy, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. And if you want to stray from the tofu salad and mango tea smoothie path, their homemade cupcakes are the perfect size and an absolute treat. Please note that it will not be an immaculate $5 boutique cupcake. These are $2.50 hearty cupcakes with frosting slathered on, and the selection available is unpredictable. Your food and drink will be served in whatever plates and cups are clean, and none of it will match. You will be tempted to steal the vintage mug with sassy saying, but you won't--because that's not how you treat a community meeting place. Dos Gringos is not glamorous, but it is warm, welcoming, and totally unpretentious. And don't forget that their front porch and small outdoor patio is the perfect place to watch Mount Pleasant stroll by.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Shawarma King
I've been known to spend a lot of money on food. My appetite is healthy and demanding, and this combined with some bourgie tendencies means I sometimes blow a ton of cash eating out and pigging out. With all this dining experience (and a lot of Roy Rogers during my formative years), I can confidently say that a good fixins bar is simply the best. To me, this is Shawarma King's true strength. That and the fact that take-out dinners < $10 (not to mention after-midnight snacks) are often the stuff of heartburn and regrets. But I left this Adams Morgan cafe feeling satiated in a proud, healthful way...after inhaling my delicious deep-fried falafel decorated with tzatziki (cucumber-yogurt sauce), fried cauliflower, spiced onions, tahini, fresh tomatoes, pickled eggplants and peppers, and hot sauce. Basically, everything that would fit in my pita pocket. All for some pocket money. Zing!



Posted By:  Jade Floyd
Photo: 

Napoleon Bistro
This Sunday, Memorial Day weekend concludes and in return launches the summer fun fest with a LE FREAK champagne bash. DJ Will Eastman is on the turntables with house, techno, club, disco, and bass all night long. Metropolitan, housed in the basement of Adam's Morgan hotspot, Napoleon Lounge, is most noted for it's French flair and pshycadelic wallpaper that would make eve the most sober person high. The party begins at 8 pm with complimentary champagne until10 pm for those who wear white. So arrive early and breezy with your shades on as the fun is expected to wind down around 1 am.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Pho 14
Everyone knows that the place for top-notch Vietnamese food is Falls Church's Eden Center. But what if you live in the District and don’t have a car? Or what if you’re just not up for the field trip that treacherous parking lot or the complicated series of turns, merges, and lane changes upon exiting the shopping center? Well then you might want to try Pho 14, the much-anticipated, newest arrival to the Columbia Heights neighborhood. (I can count on my left hand the number of Vietnamese restaurants within city limits.) Just around the corner from "Columbia Hype," Pho 14 is not typically found in a mall (I'm looking at you, Panda Express, Pollo Campero, and Carvel/Cinnabon two-headed monster)--but rather located on the more down-to-earth Park Road. This small dining room serves a surprisingly large menu, and in addition to more than a dozen variants of fragrant beef + rice-noodle soup, there's also banh mi and lots of tempting frozen smoothies. So get to it and go nuts with the sriracha and bean sprouts!



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Courtesy of Toledo Lounge

Toledo Lounge
When I lived in London, on wet and gray days, the natural reaction of my coworkers at COB was, "Let's have a pint...or seven." And the UK is no stranger to rainy days. DC gets more precipitation than London, but the English rainfall is stretched out over weeks upon weeks upon weeks of relentless drizzle. Or that's how it felt anyway, from the inside of a warm pub. My point is, all this rainy-day drinking adds up. And the idea that someone would actually offer you an incentive to drink after work, let alone when it rains, was unheard of. I would have loved to take my British coworkers to the Toledo Lounge, where not only can you get a $2 draft beer and $3 rail drink every school night (Sun-Tue 6-9 pm, Wed-Thu 6-8 pm), but they actually pour $2 pints when it rains. Or better put, "When it rains, they pour." Add in onion rings, table service, and a solid jukebox, and everything's right as rain.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Haydee's
I don't buy books because I never plan to reread them. I don't watch movies for a second time and enjoy new thoughts. I constantly make lists and check things off. So then how can you explain that when given the opportunity to enjoy a meal out, and with so many spots on my restaurant to-do list, I so frequently return to Haydee's? How do you explain that I always order the taquitos or the chicken chimichanga? Or that I always drink a Fiesta margarita on the rocks? It's because once my thoughts wander to the sight and smell of moist, shredded chicken in a deep-fried tortilla, served with guacamole and sour cream, washed down with a salty, strong margarita in a cactus glass, it's hard to do anything else until I make the dream a reality, again.



Posted By:  Emily Groves
Photo:  Blythe Emigholz

Tono Sushi
I thought I'd tasted good sushi until I visited Tono Sushi. Soft-shell crabs, eel and avocado, shrimp heads: all delicious, fresh and exquisitely presented. Even the California rolls, the most basic of sushi rolls, were initially unrecognizable to most of my fellow diners because they were made with real crab meat instead of the pink fake stuff you find in most sushi. The restaurant is quite accurately named as well: it is so good and reasonably priced that you will be sure to eat a ton. I have to stop writing now to check on my spiced soy-marinated bean sprouts; I'm nervous they won't end up as scrumptious as the bean sprout salad I ate at Tono Sushi.



Posted By:  Hunter Gorinson
Photo:  Hunter Gorinson

Smash! Records
For all those wondering where the DC bootboys have gone, look no further. Smash has been peddling Johnny Thunders t-shirts, Manic Panic hair dye and Dischord LPs for nigh on 25 years now. After losing their old Georgetown storefront and lying low for a year or two, the owners have regrouped at new location in Adams Morgan--which, frankly, suits them much better than the latte-and-designer jeans atmosphere of M Street ever did. While they didn't lose too much space in the transfer, their new catalog places much more emphasis on the tunes than on fashion. And there ain't nothing wrong with that--Smash! currently stands as the District's go-to location for new and used slabs of punk, hardcore, metal, goth, ska, new wave and indie music... much like they did 20 years ago (wink).



Posted By:  Hunter Gorinson
Photo:  Hunter Gorinson

Millie & Al's
Lived in DC long enough or been to enough AA meetings in the tri-state area and it's pretty tough not to know that the dancing pirate means cheap shots. Apparently, Millie and Al's doesn't shy away from modifying Halloween store discount items for ambiance and special promotions. It's also got a few other things going for it besides such tasteful accoutrements: 1) a quasi-hidden back bar that's usually desolate when the usual Adams Morgan main drags are getting packed on a Saturday and 2) one of the smallest (read: coffin-sized) men's rooms in the city. It's a total fucking dive, but in Adams Morgan one could do much, much worse. And pitchers of beer and checkerboard floors aren't going out of style anytime soon.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Unlike its more popular competitor Chipotle, I wouldn’t exactly say Burrito Fast is the land of options. There’s a menu on the wall, but I don’t think it accords to reality. ‘Cause there’s only one thing they do: burritos. And there’s usually two choices of beverages in the fridge, though never the same two options. I believe I once saw a Sprite. There’s pinto or black beans, and chicken or beef… or the absence chicken or beef, but that’s about it. It’s also a stuffy space, with limited seating, and all of it subject to a blaring television that typically broadcasts a telenovela through a shield of static. But the burritos are $6.55, damn tasty and the size of a dinosaur egg. I would eat there every night if social norms didn’t dictate otherwise.



Posted By:  RP Wolosiuk
Photo:  RP Wolosiuk

Julia's Empanadas
Only a few steps away from the many late-night watering holes in DuPont circle, Julia’s Empanadas is a welcome respite from the typical burger or jumbo-slice late-night fare. To those new to Latin food, an empanada is an ingenious medley of a variety of seasonally available ingredients tucked into a doughy crust. They are highly portable and can easily fit into your non-dominant hand when you are stumbling your way home after a night on the town. My perennial fave is the Jamaican with the perfect combination of zing. During the typical drinking hours, this place can be curiously empty, quite unlike the many jumbo slice eateries in Adams Morgan. But to only treat this friendly place as a post-drinking snack attack headquarters is doing your palette a tremendous disservice. Unlike the other local nocturnal offerings, Julia’s is equally as tasty once the liquor has worn off and is in fact open in the am.



Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Tonic
I like beer. I like burgers. I like saving money. Do you? Tonic in Mount Pleasant is home to my new favorite happy hour: half-price beers and burgers, Monday to Friday, 5–7pm. There are eight burger options, ranging from the veggie burger (for when you’re feeling like eating a cow isn’t a responsible choice) to the chili burger (for when bacon, cheddar cheese, chili, and sour cream seem like a bright idea, and acid reflux is only a dream). The selection of drafts is pretty standard, but solid: Bud Light, Guinness, Magic Hat #9, Red Hook IPA, Sam Adams Seasonal, Stella Artois, and Yuengling. If you want to go up (bottle of Lambic Framboise) or down (can of Schlitz) from there, you can. But I’ve done the math, and the most you could possibly spend on a mouth-watering burger + pint of beer is $8.23 (plus tax & tip), and you can get away with as little as $5.48. If this all seems extraordinarily ordinary, then check out this trump card… The burgers are served with tater tots! Booyah!



Posted By:  Megan Parry
Photo:  Megan Parry

Napoleon Bistro
Champagne is one of those gifts from the gods that needs to be exulted and cherished; it is a rare and precious gem, like Jake Gyllenhaal or the latest season of The Hills. Anyway, so for someone like me who practices such a religion, Napoleon Bistro is sort of like a pseudo Mecca (France being the original, natch). This champagne bar serves up some of the tastiest concoctions of champagne, fruit juices and nectars that I’ve ever had. There’s the Rossini, with fresh strawberry pulp and the classic bellini with white peach nectar. And, if I were to pretend that I’m not a raving lush, I could also take this moment to exclaim the triumph of Napoleon over the classic French crepe. Savory crepes, sweet crepes—there’s a crapload of crepes to be had. All delicious, all much better with a glass of champagne in hand.



Posted By:  Miellyn Fitzwater
Photo:  Miellyn Fitzwater

M'Dawgs Haute Dogs
If you love hot dogs and you’re not afraid to admit it, M’Dawg Haute Dogs is sure to fulfill your bad-for-you food cravings. The décor is low-fi – a few stools and a counter – but the menu is super high-tech. You can get pretty much any kind of hot-dog-type-thing you want with a selection which includes Chicago dawgs, NJ Rippers (which sound more dangerous than they are), sausages, brats, Hebrew Nationals (for the purist), Andouille (I looked it up – it’s a kind of Cajun sausage and you don’t want to know what’s in it, but I bet it’s delish), veggie dawgs, corn dawgs AND if you’re big pimpin’ a Kobe beef dawg! The dawgs run about $5 a piece (except for the Kobe beef one which is a pricey $20). And of course they have crazy toppings. The “downtown” toppings menu includes what you normally expect and are free, but if you go “uptown” for an extra buck you get yummy options from wasabi mayo to bacon crumbles and baked beans. After your dawg, if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you can fill up on chili cheese fries and a float. Just make sure that you have extra money for cab fare, because you sure aren’t walking home after that kind of a stuffing!



Posted By:  Miellyn Fitzwater
Photo:  Miellyn Fitzwater

We, like a number of city-dwellers have three bicycles in our living room. Two belong to my husband (when the weather’s good he is a bicycle commuter) and one is mine (I am a little less than a Sunday rider). For us, along with many other green urbanites who are interested in the greenest of alternative forms of transportation, City Bikes is the bicycle shop of choice. This cozy, yet relatively large shop is the perfect friendly neighborhood bike store. Lots of couriers shop here, so it has the cred, but very casual riders might be better off shopping at Target. They do have a nice selection of bikes for the serious–from the couple hundred dollar beater to the several thousand dollar Italian racers. They also have great accessories and a knowledgeable staff who is willing to stop and give plenty of advice if the place isn’t too busy. Stop in on a weekend, their busiest time, and check out the range of cyclists DC has to offer. It’s probably a nice little meat market as well, if you’re looking to make nice with other fixed gear enthusiasts. They’re cool enough to provide plenty of free air, lend their tools, and they test rides, just be careful braving the mean streets of Adams Morgan.




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See Adams Morgan (North) / Mt Pleasant...
Restaurants (43)
Nightlife (21)
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