The ABCs of H Street NE

Dana Gooley, special to

WASHINGTON – If you haven’t explored the H Street corridor yet, it’s about time you did.

The Northeast strip can be daunting — choosing from the many bars, restaurants and places to play. But this list of both hotspots and holes-in-the-wall should give you a place to start.

The Argonaut

After a devastating fire in 2010, the Argonaut reopened with a lot of help from the H Street neighborhood. The restaurant and bar is a local favorite, and with good reason — it’s been around since 2005.

There’s something for everyone on the Argonaut’s short menu, to please both the seafood fans and the steak snobs you’re out with.

Dangerously Delicious Pies

Seats go fast at this pie shop.

Handmade every step of the way, DDP’s pies are indeed dangerously tasty. With 15- 25 savory and sweet flavors available each day — from barbecue pork to Baltimore bomb — you’ll have some tough choices to make. Who’s to say you can’t get a slice for dinner and a slice for dessert?

Horace and Dickie’s Seafood Carryout

Horace and Dickie’s has been serving fresh fish sandwiches to loyal customers for over 20 years. The place is small and the wait can be long, but the stacked sandwiches they turn out are worth it. For serious Southern-style fried fish, check out this carryout.

H Street Country Club

A bar with a nine-hole D.C.-themed mini golf course, arcade games, skeeball and sangria? No, it’s not heaven, it’s H Street Country Club, a quirky bar that serves up Mexican food and over 25 types of tequila.

For those looking to switch up their usual bar-hopping routine, H Street Country Club is a good place to start — but you may not want to leave. It gets a little crowded on the weekends, so to avoid a tee-time wait, check it out during the week.

Inspire BBQ

The slogan of Inspire BBQ is spot on: “Fueling goodness in the D.C. community.” This barbecue joint offers delicious food and community activism all in one heaping spoonful.

The owners hire high school students from the area and teach them about the food service and hospitality industries. The kids also learn about money management and responsibility — skills that will help them realize their dream of going to college. And did we mention the food is delicious?

Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Hearts Club

Jimmy Valentine’s PBR Tallboys start at $1 every Friday, and this just might draw more of a crowd than the lengthy list of unusual brews.

Great for dancing, drinking and general misbehaving, Jimmy V’s is slightly off the beaten path, but worth the walk from H Street. Be sure to check out “Mr. Lethal,” an alcoholic slushie with a bite.

Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar

Khepra’s “mojo” is to give you the healthiest food for your “priceless body temple.” Raw food non-believers, don’t hate. Khepra’s offerings might surprise you.

Nut HempBurgers and BBQ NeatLoaf are some of the more adventurous entrees, best washed down by some of the raw bar’s super juices. Your body temple will thank you.

Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar

For those that like their Southern gothic with a touch of purple neon, Little Miss Whiskey’s has that and more.

A two-story bar and music venue with no phone number and an enormous drinks list, this place looks like True Blood mixed with Disney’s Haunted Mansion amusement ride. To add to the mystery, the bar only takes cash. Go once to say you went, and then keep going back because it’s a whole lot of fun.

Queen Vic

If the “Tuck Shop” full of U.K. pantry staples doesn’t charm your American pants off, the rest of this British pub should do the trick.

The Queen Vic proudly serves all types of English cuisine, from “bangers and mash” to a full English breakfast, for brunch or dinner. Wash it all down with one of their many European brews (Queen Victoria was considered the Queen of Europe, after all) and a sticky toffee pudding.

Sidamo Coffee and Tea

Sandwiches, soups and house-roasted coffee are all available at Sidamo Coffee and Tea, an Ethiopian coffeehouse on H Street.

On Sundays, the owners roast their own beans in a coffee ceremony and share with any customers in the shop. Be warned — this kind of coffee is a lot stronger than a Starbucks latte.

Taste of Jamaica

Vibrantly orange and inviting, Taste of Jamaica is a small place with a lot of flavor. Jerk chicken, oxtail, patties and even curried goat are on the menu. The establishment also has Jamaican sodas and ice cream. If you know what Soursop is, or even if you don’t, Taste of Jamaica is worth a try.

Granville Moore’s

Are you a fan of mussels? We have two words for you: Granville Moore’s. This dim H Street restaurant makes some of the best in the city, coupled with an impressive selection of Belgian beers. Oh, and the crispy fries aren’t so bad, either.

Toki Underground

Erik Bruner-Yang’s H Street noodle bar is a favorite among the D.C. food community. So what’s up next for this University of Mary Washington grad? Maketto, a food and fashion market he’s opening up on H Street soon.

Smith Commons

Smith Commons is the type of bar/restaurant that’s comfortable enough for the neighbors, yet nice enough for the president. Yes, he’s dined there.

The former carpet warehouse has everything from an innovative dinner menu, to bar food and tasty cocktails.

Taylor Charles Steak & Ice

One WTOP staffer will tell you that she went into Steak & Ice as a vegetarian “just to scope it out,” and came out with cheese whiz on her shirt.

The guys from Taylor Gourmet opened this H Street cheesesteak shop in December 2012, and have been feeding the hungry masses since. The menu offers a variety of the typical Philadelphia favorites, as well as some “specialty” cheesesteaks.

An interactive map to your guide of H Street NE:

View The ABCs of H Street in a larger map

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