A government shutdown (and what looks like a rainy forecast) won't stop Taste of D.C. this year. The annual event will take over Pennsylvania Ave NW between Ninth and 14th streets from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $10 general admission gets you access to more than 70 D.C. restaurants, along with live music, speed-eating competitions and food-making demonstrations.
Restaurant row: The full list of participating restaurants is here. You'll find just about every style of food, from Luke's Lobster to Etete. Each restaurant (or food truck) will prepare a few selections from its regular menu starting at $1-$3 each. Some restaurants will accept plastic, but it's best to have cash handy.
Beer, wine and more: Various beverage stations will quench your thirst, including a beer garden and "Wine Walk." Cash and beverage tickets will be accepted at all standard beverage stops, but only beverage tickets will work at the beer garden or Wine Walk. As with general admission tickets, you can buy beverage tickets in advance online or at either entrance on Saturday and Sunday. And don't worry, you can find water and soda, too.
Eating competitions: Last year, a man devoured two gallons of Ben's Chili Bowl chili in six minutes. (For anyone doing the math, that's about five small servings of chili per minute). Find out if that record can be broken at 2:30 p.m. Saturday during the third annual Ben's Chili Bowl World Chili Eating Championship. Members of the military can apply to take part in the eating competition for a total of $850 in prize money before the professional eaters begin chowing at 3 p.m.
Another gluttonous spectacle? BGR The Burger Joint will grill three nine-pound burgers for teams of four to (attempt to) finish in the restaurant's first Burger Eating Competition on Sunday. After the cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles are added, each burger will weigh about 15 pounds. It looks like this:
Entertainment: You'll find musicians on both Saturday and Sunday at the 11th Street Music Stage. Saturday features the Weathervanes, SalBomPle, Jeff From Accounting and Shade Parade. Sunday's lineup includes JohnStone, the Relics, the Fishermen Band, Stella Mira and Flo Anito.
Know before you go: Tickets for kids younger than 12 are $5, and anyone under age 5 gets in for free. You can purchase tickets in advance here. The festival's two entrances are located at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th and E streets, but advance ticket-holders need to enter at the 11th Street entrance. You can purchase day-of tickets at either entrance. The closest Metro stations are the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter and and Metro Center. Public transport is your best bet for this event.
Take note: There is a no re-entry and ATMs will be available on-site.