The Stanley Cup playoffs are here, and Capitals fans are hopeful that there will be many more trips to the Verizon Center over the next two months. If you're going to the game, here are some pre- and post-game options.
For something fast and casual, consider a quick meal at one of two home-grown fast-casual chains: Cava Grill (707 H St. NW) for Mediterranean pitas, salads and bowls, or ShopHouse (710 Seventh St. NW) for Southeast Asian bowls, noodles and salads. There's a Chipotle (601 F St. NW) inside Verizon Center, but be prepared for a long, snaking line.
Taylor Gourmet (624 E St. NW) is another local favorite, though its hoagies in concept and name are inspired by Philadelphia. Asian-accented cafe and teahouse Teaism (400 Eighth St. NW) is perfect for a caffeine or food pick-me-up. Nando's Peri-Peri (819 Seventh St. NW) offers chicken by way of South Africa. You can also find a bit of international flavor at District Taco (1309 F St. NW Washington). TaKorean serves up Asian-Latin fusion tacos in the food court at National Place (13th and F streets NW).
Five Guys Burgers and Fries (808 H St. NW) is a reliable crowd-pleaser. Burger lovers also can flock to Shake Shack (800 F St. NW). For pizza, go thick or thin: St. Louis-style deep dish at Pi (910 F. St. NW) or quick-cooked, customized pies at &pizza (1005 E St. NW).
There are so many happy hours around Penn Quarter and Chinatown that you have no reason not to arrive early. Happy hours last until 7 p.m. daily unless otherwise noted.
For the duration of the playoffs, City Tap House (901 Ninth St. NW) sells 3 Stars Brewing's Peppercorn Saison and Ghost White IPA for $5 during every Capitals game. Deals start at 5 p.m. and run until the end of the third period.
Texas-inspired Hill Country (410 Seventh St. NW) offers $3 PBR cans, $5 margaritas, and $20 pitchers of margaritas, or pitchers of any Shiner draft beer. District Chophouse (509 Seventh St. NW) discounts pints of its house-made ales to $3.50 Monday-Friday, with $5 wines and rail drinks, and $7 appetizer specials. R.F.D. Washington (810 Seventh St. NW) rotates its weekday happy hour specials regularly, but pre-game deals frequently include craft beers from Bell's, Deschutes or Goose Island for $4 to $5.
Sister bars Iron Horse Taproom (507 Seventh St. NW) and Jackpot (726 Seventh St. NW) take $2 off all happy hour beers until 8 p.m. every day. Jackpot has $5 rails during happy hour, while Iron Horse offers a $6 cocktail of the day.
The newest arrival to the scene, Bar Deco (716 Sixth St. NW), pours $5 local beers, house wines and rail drinks Monday-Friday until 9 p.m. at both its TV-filled bar and on the spacious rooftop deck.
For something fancier:
Proof (775 G St. NW) pours $5 happy hour house wines and $8 classic cocktails on weeknights. Flight Wine Bar (777 Sixth St. NW) offers discounted drinks at happy hour Tuesday-Saturday and all night Monday. Selected wines by the glass are $7 from 9:45 p.m. to close on Saturdays.
The basic cocktails at Denson Liquor Bar (600 F St. NW) are pricey at $14, but Monday-Friday happy hour prices drop to $9 for cocktails and $6 for wine.
Pre- or post-game dinner
José Andrés and Ashok Bajaj dominate the restaurant scene near Verizon Center.
Andres's portfolio includes Oyamel (401 Seventh St. NW) for Mexican, Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW) for Mediterranean mezze and Jaleo (480 Seventh St. NW) for Spanish tapas, as well as the newer China Chilcano (418 Seventh St. NW) for Chinese-Peruvian fusion.
Mike Isabella's Graffiato (707 Sixth St. NW) sits just across the street from the arena.
A few blocks from Verizon Center is CityCenterDC, the District's newest "it" development. At the top of the heap are Italian osteria Centrolina (974 Palmer Alley NW), chef Amy Brandwein's first solo venture and Daniel Boulud's DBGB (931 H St. NW), the French-American quasi-brasserie spun off the New York original.
There's no closer bar than the Greene Turtle (601 F St. NW), which has an entrance leading to and from the arena. The sports bar closed for renovations over the summer; improvements include new bars with outlets for charging phones and laptops.
Penn Commons (700 Sixth St. NW) sells its 30-plus draft beers for $5 from 4 p.m. until close every day (and all day Sunday), along with a selection of $5 cocktails.
On Friday and Saturday nights, City Tap House (901 Ninth St. NW) extends its usual happy hour ($5 selected craft beers, $6 house wine, $7 beer-and-a-shot combos) and runs it from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oyamel, too, has a late-night menu (10 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday where $4 gets you either a Mexican beer or a pair of tacos.
Don't overlook Daikaya's upstairs Izakaya (705 Sixth St. NW), which can be a loungey place to hit for cocktails, especially when DJs provide party tunes on Saturday nights.
This story has been updated; it was originally published Oct. 9, 2015.