WASHINGTON — Falafels, gyros and handmade dumplings are just a few of the food offerings at Nationals Park. But this baseball season, the real food buzz is happening outside the ballpark.
Several new restaurants opened their doors in the past few years — serving everything from Spanish-inspired sandwiches to barbecue to spicy fried chicken — and they’re ready to feed D.C.’s hungry fans. So the next time you’re looking to grab a bite and a beer before the game — or after — here are some places worth checking out.
Scarlet Oak — The modern American restaurant and bar on New Jersey Avenue has something for everyone. Curry shrimp, salmon crudo and Peking duck share space on the menu with a classic burger and fries, meatball pizza and Caesar salad.
Due South — A new addition to Yards Park, Due South offers southern-inspired food and drinks from Chef Rusty Holman with a side of Southern hospitality. From pimento cheese crab dip to bacon braised collard greens, look to Due South for southern food with a local twist.
Bonchon — A new addition to the Navy Yard’s collection of eateries is Bonchon, a Korean fried-chicken chain that comes with a cult following — and for good reason. The wings are double fried, and all of the chicken is hand-brushed with a soy garlic sauce or a hot sauce. The restaurant’s wings made The Washington Post’s list of 40 dishes every Washingtonian must try.
Willie’s Brew & Que — Joining Bluejacket and Nando’s Peri-Peri on Tingey Street is Willie’s Brew & Que, a barbecue restaurant and sports bar. Expect to see pulled pork barbecue sliders, smoked wings, Memphis-style ribs, sliced brisket, barbecue platters and all the sides.
And while the menu is, no doubt, meat-centric, it does have some tasty options for vegetarians, including barbecue tofu, a vegetarian gumbo, flash-fried Brussels sprouts and salads. Willie’s happy hour offers specials on beer from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the cocktail menu includes apple cider bourbon, spiced sangria and charred lemon rye.
The Big Stick — If there’s one thing the Navy Yard lacked, it was a baseball- and ski-themed sports bar. Now, it has one. The Big Stick opened one block from the stadium at 20 M Street in December. The beer list is heavily craft-focused and features a number of local brews. The food menu offers a number of sausages, such as the sage chicken sausage with nutty Brie, apples and pecans; the Mexican chorizo with chimichurri and cotija cheese; and the duck and pork sausage with mango fig sauce and goat cheese. Sandwiches and salads also round out the menu, as well as a few dessert offerings.
100 Montaditos — This new Spanish-inspired sandwich shop is perfect for a quick bite, a meal on-the-go or a leisurely afternoon on the patio with a pitcher of sangria. True to its name, 100 Montaditos serves 100 different types of mini-sandwiches, all of which range from $1.50 to $3. The menu also lists a few salads and traditional Spanish tapas, such as fried crispy calamari, croquetas and tortilla Espanola.
Bluejacket — The brewery is a pre- and postgame staple for baseball fans and beer fans, alike. While the draft list frequently changes, the house-made tater tots and the warm and soft beer pretzels are a staple on the menu. The bar also serves plates of mussels, gnocchi and burgers, or you can sit down at the brewery’s restaurant, The Arsenal, for a more lavish experience.
Osteria Morini — There’s no better way to celebrate a big win than with a giant plate of pasta from New York-based Chef Michael White. Start with some seared pork belly, advance to the baked ricotta gnocchi with duck ragu, and top the whole meal off with salted caramel gelato.
Gordon Biersch — Gordon Biersch is the Navy Yard’s second restaurant and brewery. It serves German-style beers, wine and cocktails. The expansive food menu covers everything from small plates to starters, salads, pizzas, entrees, pasta, seafood, burgers and sandwiches.
Sweetgreen — If you’re looking for lighter fare, Sweetgreen is the answer. The D.C.-based fast-casual chain sources its produce and proteins from local farmers. You can choose from one of Sweetgreen’s signature salads, or make your own.
Takorean — Another option for something fast and delicious is TaKorean, a Korean taco concept. Try the slow-roasted pulled pork in a ssamjang barbecue sauce, or the caramelized hoisin tofu, topped with kimchi, a Napa-Romaine slaw, lime crema, sesame seeds and, of course, Sriracha.
Ice Cream Jubilee — It’s best to get your cone-fix before summer temperatures skyrocket and lines wrap around the corner. Owner Victoria Lai opened the Navy Yard shop last year after churning out cartons from a commercial kitchen space while balancing her law career. She makes all types of seasonal and exotic flavors, such as banana bourbon caramel; caramel popcorn; coconut lychee lime; gin and tonic; honey, lemon and lavender; and basil.