The Fox & Hounds

Patio/Rooftop, Bar, Low-key
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Editorial Review

The neighborhood around 17th Street between P and T streets is one of the most diverse in Washington. You'll find an eclectic mix of blacks, whites and Hispanics, gays, straights and lesbians, students, professionals and activists all along this small and arty-but-commercial area of restaurants, bars and cafes.

At the heart of this strip is the Fox and Hounds lounge, one of the few non-gay bars in the vicinity. "The Fox" as it's more commonly known, has one of the larger outdoor patios on 17th Street. On any given night when the temperature is warm enough, the Fox's sidewalk cafe fills with locals who come to hang out, drink and people watch. Finding a table outside can be difficult, but the turnover time is quick enough to make the wait bearable. A friendly, unpretentious crowd is made even more jovial by what may be the strongest mixed drinks in Washington.

Inside, the Fox's bar looks like it's been there forever, and it has. Its lived-in feeling comes in part from the generic tables, vinyl booth seats and one of the better jukeboxes in the District, with a fine assortment of rock, alternative and occasional jazz. Celebrities like Woody Harrelson and Dave Grohl have been known to pop in for a beer and mix with the regulars.

Food prices range from $3.50 to $10.95 (for the crab cakes). The menu contains bar food and beyond, from grilled-cheese sandwiches to seafood, steaks, pasta, pizza and burgers. For more serious eating, the neighborhood provides many other options.

– Neal Becton