About Megan Barnes
Megan Barnes is the Beverage Director and partner at Espita Mezcaleria in Washington, DC. She is one of 36 Master Mezcaliers in the world. She began her career at known establishments such as Bar Pilar, the award-winning Columbia Room, and McClellan’s Retreat. Her passion for mezcal has led her to work with the Tequila Interchange Project, which advocates the preservation of sustainable, traditional and quality practices in the tequila and mezcal industries.
Explore the Nation’s Capital with Megan’s guide for exploring, eating, drinking, and shopping in Washington, DC.
I love to tell a story over a beverage, which is something I picked up at my alma mater, the Columbia Room. With mezcal, it’s easy. We’re telling the story of families in Mexico who have been making mezcal for generations, the same way it was made 500 years ago.
Our house cocktail is called the Mayahuel, which is a mezcal-based margarita, named after the goddess of agave, and served up with a sal de gusano [agave worm salt] rim. I also recommend our house mezcales, bottled specifically for Espita Mezcaleria.
1250 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Jimmy T’s Place
This is a hidden gem, tucked away in sleepy Capitol Hill. It’s a no-frills, family-run establishment that most people would categorize as a greasy spoon. Order an omelet, or if you’re traditional like me, the waffle with bacon.
501 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
Dupont Circle Farmers Market
I always come here on Sundays to shop for locally-sourced produce.
1500 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
It is great for nostalgic items like neon color blocked track jackets or that borderline ‘grandma’ aesthetic made popular by Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink. If your heart never left the 80s, shop here.
2104 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Call Your Mother Deli
I love a bagel in the afternoon and this place has the best bagels in the city.
3301 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010
Sweets, Coffee, Tea
A Baked Joint
Even though bakeries seem to be popping up everywhere these days, this is still my favorite one. Grab a coffee or tea while you’re here and walk over to the Georgetown waterfront.
440 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
National Portrait Gallery
Take time to come here and see the Obamas’ portraits.
8th St NW & F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Parks & Recreation
The Botanical Gardens and the Arboretum are my favorite sites and I love the drum circle at Malcolm X Park on Sundays.
A Rake’s Progress
The cuisine focuses on locally-sourced ingredients, which is great, and while I really enjoy their pastas, everyone raves about their entrees. Also, ask about the off-menu wines because they always have some one-off special bottles tucked away.
1770 Euclid Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
DC was missing a tiki bar and Archipelago fills that niche. If you like Piña Coladas and dancing in the rain, you can get your fix here. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Socks, Sandals and Fanny Pack. The name may seem like it’s mocking DC tourists, but it’s all in jest.
1201 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
The Columbia Room offers a tasting menu of three cocktails and a three course (light) food pairing. It’s perfect for anniversaries or impressing a client. I recommend their version of the Rickey made with sherry.
24 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
Lost and Found
I love to come here for beer, they are always sourcing local.
1240 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Ramen, Dumplings, & Cocktails
DC is known for its Jumbo Slices and Half-Smokes, but get the late night ramen and dumplings at Chaplin’s in Shaw.
1501 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001