Thursday is opening day for the Nationals, meaning throngs of baseball fans will once again make their way toward Navy Yard through September. The neighborhood has netted a few new hangout spots since last year, with more to come. Here’s a rundown of our current favorites for meeting up with friends for food and drinks before a game:
Scarlet Oak Restaurant & Bar
The team behind Adams Morgan’s Southern Hospitality offers a menu that ranges from pizza, to pasta, to short ribs, to rockfish, all capped with craft cocktails, beer and wine. The small plates section of the menu — filled with the likes of fish tacos, wings and pork-belly sliders — seems like the obvious way to pre-game.
909 New Jersey Ave. SE; 202-780-0140
North Carolina-bred chef Rusty Holman offers a taste of the South at this neo-rustic waterfront spot in the Lumber Shed building in The Yards. The big-windowed space has a huge communal table and patio. Vittles include smoked meats like spare ribs and pulled pork from the on-site smoker oven, plus fried chicken and shrimp and grits. Check Facebook for info on the opening day beer garden pop-up.
301 Water St. SE; 202-479-4616
The Big Stick
Recycled baseball bat art, plaid walls and a woodsy bar with brews on tap lure pre- and post-game fans to this Navy Yard bar near the Park. A small menu of sausages, half-smokes and cheese curds also keeps stools loaded.
20 M St. SE; 202-750-7724
Overlooking the Anacostia River near Nationals Park, this Mexican spot offers tacos, empanadas and the like, along with entrees like lomo saltado and short ribs with mole. Try the tacos al pastor, and choose from dozens of tequilas.
301 Water St. SE; 202-484-0301
The restaurant doubles as Bluejacket brewery, making it a popular stop for beer before and after games. If your timing is right, you might catch the grill going strong on the patio, turning out BBQ pork ribs, sausages, grilled oysters and falafel burgers, among other things.
300 Tingey St. SE; 202-524-4862