Next Great Neighborhood: DC’s H Street

November 29, 2013 | By | Comments (6)
Photo by Scott Suchman

Photo by Scott Suchman

Nearly 50 Years After the 1968 D.C. riots all but destroyed H Street, the area is enjoying a fast return to its glory days as an entertainment hub thanks to the H Street Main Street revitalization efforts. By day, locals and visitors shop the boutiques and galleries, while a thriving bar and dining scene feeds the nightlife. In a testament to the area’s continued growth, the city chose H Street as the first line for the DC Streetcar, a citywide trolley system slated to debut at the end of 2013. Here’s our top seven spots along the bustling street.

1. Toki Underground
Open the subtly marked door next to The Pug bar and head upstairs into this ramen noodle emporium decorated with murals by local artist Kelly Towles. Here, chefs serve up creative updates on the Asian soup staple at a wallet-friendly $10. 1234 H Street NE; 202/388-3086

2. Atlas Arcade
The younger brother of upscale cocktail bar Church & State opened last year with classic arcade games such as Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, and Pac-Man accompanying the craft beer menu that includes regional favorites like DC Brau and Lost Rhino from Virginia. 1236 H Street NE; 202/399-2323

3. Hunted House
Fans of mid-century modern furniture love the shop‘s vignettes made up of sleek cocktail tables, 1950s bar carts, vintage luggage and picnic baskets, angular floor lamps, and pod-style love seats that owner Mark Johnson finds on daily trips to estate sales and auctions. 510 H Street NE; 202/549-7493

Photo by Scott Suchman

Photo by Scott Suchman

4. H Street Country Club
Think: Chuck E. Cheese’s minus the kids and with tequila—35 varieties in fact. The main attraction in this 8,800-square-foot space is a D.C.-themed mini golf course, which you can play while enjoying Mexican dishes developed by renowned chef Ann Cashion. We like the Steak Tampiqueño ($19)—grilled skirt steak with black beans and sliced poblano peppers. 1335 H Street NE; 202/399-4722

5. Redrocks Pizzeria
With two locations in Virginia and one in Columbia Heights, Redrocks Pizzeria expanded its pizza domain when it moved into H Street this year. The main draw: perfectly crispy wood-fire pizzas ($10 and up) with toppings like boar sausage, crimini mushrooms, and Manila clams. Don’t miss the bartenders’ ode to the ‘hood, the H Street Derby—a refreshing rye whiskey sipper with muddled grapefruit and rosemary-honey syrup ($9). 1348 H Street NE; 202/621-7300

6. Atlas Theater
The 1938 Art Deco theater was one of the few buildings that survived the riots, but the area’s deterioration caused the Atlas to shut its doors in 1974. Since reopening seven years ago, the theater has become a beacon for contemporary and experimental live arts in D.C. with its lineup of Capital City Symphony concerts, modern dance and theater performances, and jazz and world music shows. 1333 H Street NE; 202/399-7993

7. Boundary Road
This industrial-chic restaurant features an ever-changing menu of items such as the foie gras PB&J ($15) and braised bison short ribs ($26). Equally inventive are cocktails like the Industrial ($10) with Fernet, Becherovka liqueur, and lime. 414 H Street NE; 202/450-3265

Did we mention your favorite H Street spot? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Elizabeth Laseter

    love toki underground!!!! you are pretty spot on with the list!

    December 9, 2013 at 8:26 pm
  2. Mark

    To John, who says “too bad there is no metro access”, well actually there is. The Union Station (Red Line) subway has a rear entrance to H Street that exits at about 2nd St., NE. From there it is a quick walk to the lower end where Boundary Road and Hunted House are and a few blocks further to the other places mentioned. Also, several bus lines go from NW to the H Street area and soon there will be a trolley.

    December 7, 2013 at 8:35 am
  3. Marissa

    That has been a longstanding issue but our trolley is going to be complete soon, FINALLY, and will really help with transportation from Union Station. Capitol Bike Share is also a great option to zip from the metro to your favorite H Street spot in about 5-6 mins!

    December 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm
  4. john

    Too bad there is no metro access!

    December 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm
  5. Marissa M

    I live here and love it! As a former Gulf-Coaster, this part of town has a great warmth and feel, and lacks that pretentiousness that D.C. so often reeks of.

    December 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm
  6. Chris Bulbulia

    The “Atlas Theater” may be what the building was called in 1938, but it has been called the “Atlas Performing Arts Center” since it was purchased in 2001. I hope that this can be clarified especially since the Atlas was the primary catalyst for the economic revitalization that has and is occurring on H Street, NE. Thanks and all the best.

    December 1, 2013 at 8:44 pm

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