Near Verizon Center, Penn Quarter Sports Tavern draws fans to its lively heated patio with multiple TVs tuned to the game. (©Brooke Sabin)
Washington may be a two-party town, but when it comes to pro sports, it’s a four-team fiesta. One of only a dozen cities with NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball franchises, D.C.’s got the gifted athletes and the good times.
At their state-of-the-art home field, the MLB Nationals are the cream of the crop in the National League East. The Redskins play at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and with recent success the team is thinking NFL playoffs each year. Verizon Center in buzzing Penn Quarter is home to the NBA Wizards, NHL Capitals and WNBA Mystics. Although the Wizards haven’t won a championship since 1978 (when they were known as the Bullets), they have promising young stars John Wall and Bradley Beal. The Caps are hoping former league MVP Alex Ovechkin can help them claim their first Stanley Cup title.
Win or lose, the teams draw legions of loyal fans who cheer them on in person or from one of these sports-crazy spots.
This Dupont Circle staple should be called Buffalo Billiards and Skee-Ball , shuffleboard, foosball, ping pong, pop-a-shot and Golden Tee. It’s a frenetic atmosphere that always makes for a good time.
TRY: The Drunken Dog, an Angus all-beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with Mexican adobo BBQ beer sauce.
GO: 1330 19th St. NW
Cleveland Park Bar & Grill
A distinct neighborhood vibe permeates throughout this pretention-free joint with an extensive beer list and a roof terrace just a block from the Metro.
TRY: The 4 Seasons pizza, with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, artichokes, mushrooms, imported Italian ham and black olives.
GO: 3421 Connecticut Ave. NW
Crystal City Sports Pub
This soaring space just outside D.C. is home to many local alumni groups that gather to watch their schools’ games.
TRY: The You Goatta Be Kidding Me, an eight-ounce burger topped with creamy goat cheese, spinach and balsamic caramelized red onions, plus the anytime breakfast.
GO: 529 23rd St. South, Arlington, Va.
Near downtown offices, this low-key hangout features billiard tables and plenty of what it advertises on the sign out front: sports, wings and beer.
TRY: Traditional or boneless wings with one of 21 sauces, including exotic offerings like Montreal chicken and Gator BBQ.
GO: 1520 K St. NW
Penn Quarter Sports Tavern
A huge space where fans gather before games at the Verizon Center, this mainstay has 35 TVs, three of which are on its enclosed, heated patio.
TRY: The Penn Quarter burger, made with a half-pound of certified Angus beef and served on a brioche roll with lettuce, tomato, onion, French fries and a pickle.
GO: 639 Indiana Ave. NW
Nothing about this Dupont Circle spot is understated. It boasts the largest HD projector in D.C., along with 31 TVs on the main floor, another 13 in the upstairs lounge and four on the rooftop deck.
TRY: Slow roasted and flash fried wings which are 50 cents each (10 per order) weekdays from 4-8 pm.
GO: 1214 B 18th St. NW
How do you find this Penn Quarter venue? Look for the rocket above the door and the robot in the vivid green entryway. In the funky basement space, you can play pool, shuffleboard and Skee-Ball while you watch a game.
TRY: One of 14 beers on tap, which include locally brewed Atlas Rowdy.
GO: 714 7th St. NW