Ford’s Theater has seen some action in its day. A formerly abandoned Baptist Church, the theater opened in 1861 and became a popular venue for musicals and dramatic performances. President Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, however, proved a bit of a show stopper, causing Ford’s Theater to close its doors and keep them closed for over 100 years. Reopened in 1968, the historic venue now operates both as an American landmark and functioning theater, hosting a vibrant performance schedule of welcomed favorites like the annual Christmas Carol as well as works that examine Lincoln’s legacy as with the Widow Lincoln, set to open in the New Year, about Mary Todd Lincoln in the aftermath of the President’s death.
Try these surrounding restaurants for a pre-show meal. In addition to our picks, members of the Ford’s Theatre receive discounts at supporting restaurants listed here.
With a James Beard Award Winner for Best New Restaurant (2008) under its belt, Michel Richard’s Central will make sure you loosen yours. Frenchified takes on American classics populate the menu, and theater-goers will appreciate the $35 set and tantalizing Pre-Theater option. Central’s bustling bistro character ensures the restaurant lives up to its location and name in the heart of down-town.
Open Diner Monday-Thursday 5:00 PM-10:30 PM; Friday 5:00 PM-11:00 PM; Saturday 5:00 PM-11:00 PM; Sunday 11:00 AM-2:30 PM
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004
Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill is a senior D.C. restaurant. Opened in 1856, it stands a few years older than the Ford’s Theater, and similar to Ford’s has had all manner of political personages, past and present, pass through its doors. The restaurant’s turn-of-century saloon atmosphere with antique clocks, marble staircase and mahogany bar fits the lore and historical mystique of the place. Old Ebbitt realizes, though, that a rich history won’t entirely satiate a hungry customer and asserts itself as a contemporary eatery with a hearty, nuanced menu made from local ingredients. Their renowned raw bar takes great pains to make sure seafood lovers can enjoy a quality, affordable meal at any hour of the day. Seven days a week, the raw bar menu is 50% off between 3PM-6PM & 11PM-1AM (2AM on Friday and Saturday), perfect for a dozen pre-performance oysters or a late night shrimp snack.
Open Monday-Thursday 7:30AM-12AM; Friday 7:30AM-2AM; Saturday 8:30AM-2AM; Sunday 8:30AM-12AM
675 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
District of Pi
In the age of the foodie, every staple food, pizza included, has received a gourmet makeover, sometimes obnoxiously so. But District of Pi gets the equation just right making good pizza and a judicious craft beer selection go together as easy as 3.14. Offering both deep dish and thin crust, District of Pi puts together a creative suite of ingredients for inventive and immensely satisfying ‘za. From the tap, beer aficionados can enjoy a snifter of something hoppy and hard-to-find from a vast rotating selection.
Open Monday-Thursday 11AM- 11PM; Friday-Saturday 11AM-12AM; Sunday 11AM-10PM
910 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Housed in the old Riggs Bank Building, Gordon Biersch serves up finely tuned craft beer and solid American eats. After a show, enjoy one of their German-styled droughts, available only at brew-pub locations. Though yes, gasp, Gordon Biersch is a chain, it is country-wide for a reason, and its good head for making good beer is certainly part of the mass appeal. The downtown location has an enormous space with a 450 person capacity, so make sure you are feeling in a social mood when stopping in for a drink.
Open Monday-Thursday 11AM-12AM; Friday-Saturday 11AM-1AM; Sunday 11AM-11PM
900 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
What are your favorite restaurants around Ford’s Theatre?