Make tracks to DCity Smokehouse and Union Market for some of the best barbecue in D.C. (Photo: B Christopher / Alamy Stock Photo)
Is D.C. North or South? It’s a debate that rages in the nation’s capital and one that could be answered in its southern eats and neighborhood barbecue joints. Make your way from Cleveland Park to Penn Quarter and let your sauce-soaked fingers and taste buds be the judge.
Bloomingdale: Sample DCity Smokehouse
DCity Smokehouse started as an unassuming little stand near the corner of New York and Florida Avenues, offering up some of the most unique smokehouse barbecue flavors in the city. Run by Robert Sonderman, a renowned pit-master, their high-quality meats are smoked in a Texas barbecue-style and sold for reasonable prices. Don’t pass up their delicious sandwiches like the DCity Half Smoke and the Brisket Champ, complete with their famous house-made pickles. Now, you can get its succulent smoked meats alongside expertly crafted cocktails at its nearby sister tavern Wicked Bloom.
What to do after you grub: About 2 miles away at the Catholic University of America, you will find the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic Church in North America. Admire its Byzantine-Romanesque-style architecture and furnishings, as well as its robust collection of sacred art. If you’re feeling in the mood for confession, the church offers six masses and five hours of confession 365 days a year.
Columbia Heights: Hit Up Kangaroo Boxing Club
Look for a red door with a blue sign, and you’ll know you’ve come to the right place. Kangaroo Boxing Club was built from a drunken college tale of a man saying he could beat a kangaroo in a boxing match. Sadly, we will never know the truth of this outcome, but we do know that Kangaroo Boxing Club serves up delicious delicacies like caramelized bacon and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a patty made of pork, ham and bacon, and topped with fried egg, tomato and maple syrup. Come for brunch, happy hour or dinner—we promise Kangaroo Boxing Club won’t disappoint.
What to do after you grub: Go walk off those D.C. barbecue calories at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Admission is free, and you get to go see the zoo’s famous giant pandas up-close and in-person. The zoo is open 364 days a year, so odds are it will be open when you are in town. It’s about a 1.5-mile walk from the restaurant.
There’s plenty more barbecue for the tasting. Use our infographic to map your way to the best.