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Where Do DC's Journalists Hang Out After Work?

Academy Award-nominated "The Post" starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks has put D.C. journos and editors back in the spotlight. And, of course, every good journalist in D.C. not only has a reliable source, but, just as important, a reliable bar and restaurant in town for booze and a schmooze. And, so in a nod to "The Post," as well as this year’s upcoming White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 28, here are some of the sought-out spots where D.C.’s media moguls sip a spirit, throw back a brew, have a bite, and dish about the latest breaking news—or tweets—of the day (or hour).

Here’s a tweet: The Bird is a well-known journalist nest, especially at happy hour. The fowl-focused restaurant is unapologetically political—and we’re guessing maybe not especially popular with right wingers (pun intended). Why? Because each time another one of Trump’s administration figures is fired, the restaurant features $4 happy hour specials on beer, wine, and cocktails like the Moscow Mueller (turmeric-infused Belle Isle Moonshine, ginger beer, and lime), Amaro Margarita (Don Ciccio Amaro Donna Rosa, orange liqueur, sugar, and lime), and Cardinal Rule Old Fashioned (blended Scotch, red wine reduction, and orange bitters). “Needless to say, there have been several special happy hours,” says a restaurant spokeswoman. Located at 1337 11th Street NW; www.thebirddc.com.

Duck meatballs at The Bird

Washington Post editors and the staff from the Hungry Lobbyist regularly tune up at Radiator, a chef-driven cocktail bar in the 14th Street corridor (14th Street was once lined with auto shops in the ‘30s)—especially when the temps moderate and it’s patio and rooftop season. Lead bartender Sarah Rosner stirs creative craft cocktails—like the Ricotta Situation, a headline-making drink that’s poured with Mahia Fig Spirit, ricotta, lemon, honey, and vanilla. And executive chef Jonathan Dearden’s bar food menu puts the spin on classics like Lamb Belly Tacos (with curried chick peas, tzatziki, and feta) and Roasted Amish Chicken (with Kohlrabi au gratin, baby broccoli, and horseradish.) News flash: Chef Dearden won the East Coast battle of Best Chef on the Block on "The Chew" recently. Located in the Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel at 1430 Rhode Island Avenue, NW; www.radiatordc.com.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab is a favorite go-to dining spot for many journalists from networks including CNN, Fox, NBC, MSNBC, ESPN, and newspapers including the Washington Post.

Photo credit Christina Slaton

They come to this Miami outpost for the namesake Florida Stone Crab claws and USDA Prime steaks—and Jennie’s Mashed Potatoes. And although deadlines often loom, Joe’s celebrated Key Lime Pie is always worth sticking around for.

Photo credit Anjali Pinto

Another compelling reason for stressed journalists to visit Joe’s—cocktail hour officially begins at 2:30 p.m. and runs through 6:30 p.m. when half-price glasses of wine, draft beers, and oysters on the half-shell and other bar bites are served. Some days, though, (okay, every day) call for a stiffer drink—signature sips include the Clevelander (Bombay Gin, Aperol, lemon, orange bitters) and the Gold Rush (Maker’s 46 Bourbon, honey, and lemon juice). Located at 750 15th Street NW; http://joes.net/dc.

Unassuming El Sol Restaurante and Tequileria is a Mexican hotspot in the Shaw neighborhood that’s known for its authentic Mexican food like press-worthy gorditas, as well as more than 60 tequilas. The Washington Post’s $20 Diner columnist, Tim Carman, lauded the restaurant and owners Alfredo and Jessica Solis (as well as El Sol’s sister restaurant, Mezcalero). “Tim is a highly-respected food authority here, so the media followed suit in checking out these restaurants,” says a restaurant spokeswoman. Located at 1227 11th Street NW; http://www.elsol-dc.com.


The Jefferson Hotel’s glass bar and clandestine amber-hued cocktail lounge known as Quill is also a go-to spot for journos, editors, diplomats, and government types. The Citizen ale by DC Brau Brewing Company is a popular pour. Or, for a taste of history, the 296-year-old 1720 Borges Madeira is classy choice—Thomas Jefferson sipped it at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Located at 1200 16th Street NW; www.jeffersondc.com.

Dating to 1856, the historic and storied Old Ebbitt Grill was a frequented spot for past presidents, including President Grant and Theodore Roosevelt, thanks to its easy-to-get-to location just steps from the White House. It has also always been a popular sipping spot for DC journalists, thanks to its four bars, extensive whiskey list, and oyster shooters. Nice: Ebbitt Oyster Happy Hour happens seven days a week when all oysters are 50 percent off. Located at 675 15th Street NW; www.ebbitt.com.

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Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
El Sol Restaurante & Tequileria
Old Ebbitt Grill

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