As the Federal Government Prepares to Shut-down, Washington, DC Area Foodies Clean Their Plates. Hungry for a Deal?

DC area restaurants and attractions will offer deals to workers.

In the event of a federal government shutdown, DC area restaurants are stepping up and offering special deals for workers. With Congress unable to agree on a budget, furloughed employees will now be watching their own budgets a little more carefully. Besides, local staffers and interns already live on a shoestring budget, so to help ease the pain, here’s a roundup of #Shutdowndeals to help them out:


This Saturday and Sunday, April 8th and 9th Zentan located in the Donovan House hotel (1155 14th Street, NW) will offer government workers 30% off their bar tabs with valid ID’s. April 9th is Sushi Sunday so you can double up on the yummy deals! Also, make sure you try the Singapore slaw! Follow on Twitter at @donovan_house.

Dino in Cleveland Park, one of my favorite DC restaurants, will offer to all our government worker friends and friends to be: a Burger & a Brew for $12 during the shutdown. Now that’s a deal. I wish I worked for the government. Err … maybe not.

At Z-burger, at their Tenleytown Location, (4321 Wisconsin Ave), starting Monday, federal workers will still be able to get their burger fix without putting a further dent in their wallets. Z-burger will offer workers a free burger. The offer even extends to employees and contractors. Just flash your badge and get a burger. They are offering free turkey burgers and veggie burgers in place of regular single burgers, for those who chose the more healthy option. For updates, follow them on Twitter @zburger.

It’s all the rage, didn’t you know? Penn Quarter’s new fast casual Indian concept, Merzi says, “We’ll sweeten this sour situation!” They will offer a FREE Mango Fantango with the purchase of a meal starting Monday with a Fed ID. Merzi is an ideal place for healthy, satisfying, and delicious food with friendly service and even friendlier price (under $10).

According to Justin Vogt, Pound Coffee (621 Pennsylvania Ave., SE) will be offering 25% off it’s food as a “Keep em Fed” special to all government employees. Follow them on Twitter at @poundcoffee.

The Helix Lounge. Photo courtesy of Kimpton.

Pacci’s Pizzeria in Silver Spring, MD will be offering 25% to all government workers during the shutdown! Twitter: @PaccisPizza

More pizza, but right here in DC. Radius Pizza, is offering a 10% discount to guests showing Fed/DC work ID. The offer begins Saturday & cannot be combined w/other offers. Follow Radius Pizza on Twitter @RadiusPizza.

At 12:01AM at H Street’s Taylor Gourmet, get 10% off your order w/govt ID & by saying “SHUT IT DOWN“.

Starting Monday April 11, Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339 H Street, NE) will be providing 1/2 price pies to all federal workers (with valid Fed ID) during the government shutdown. In Pie We Crust. Follow them on Twitter! @dangerouspies

Even more … Although there are no specific details, apparently, Jose Andres’ restaurants, including, Zaytinya, Jaleo and Oyamel will offer deals to diners if the government shuts down. In addition, Merzi, Masa 14, Agora, AGAINN, Hank’s Oyster Bar, 701, Legal Sea Foods and Redwood will all be offering discounts on both food and drink for everyone, not just those who might be deemed nonessential.


Kimpton hotel’s Helix Lounge (1430 Rhode Island Ave, NW) will offer a PBR & Po’ boys Shutdown Special for $9 and an extended Happy Hour from 5 – 9 p.m. The special includes a Southern Fried Chicken Po’ boy Sandwich with a side of Crispy Waffle Fries and Truffle Aioli dipping sauce, paired with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for $9. Helix Lounge will also extend its Helix 2-3-4-5 Wind Down Hour Happy Hour to run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the duration of the shutdown. The happy hour features $2 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, $3 bottles of Yuengling, $4 single spirit cocktails (vodka, gin, tequila, bourbon), and $5 wines and cosmopolitans. Follow Kimpton on Twitter @Kimpton.

Also on H Street, The Pug (1234 H St., NE) will give 10% off to federal employees carrying their IDs after 9 tonight shut down or no shut down. Congressional staff are, however, exempted from the deal regardless of whether or not their offices deem them excepted, essential, or send them home too. If you end up furloughed, you might find their recent listing of weekday lunch options on H Street useful.

Mad Fox Brewing Company (444 W Broad Street) in Falls Church, VA is offering specials for all Government employee or contractors all weekend 11 am – 9 pm and ask for their specials!!

Also, two of Capitol Hill’s most popular watering holes want to make sure that congressional staffers can still afford a cocktail. The Union Pub (201 Massachusetts Ave., NW) will offer patrons with government IDs house draft beers for one cent each on weekdays from 5-6 p.m., starting Monday. Also, at Lounge 201, government workers will be offered half-priced martinis on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, all night long. Lounge 201 opens at 4 p.m.

The Barking Dog (4723 Elm Street) in Bethesda, MD will have $6 BoehnerBombs, ‘Shutdownslammers’, and a $3 beer everyday that the feds are closed. Drink up!

Food Trucks:

It’s possible that some food trucks will also be offering some deals, such as @PorcMobile. The new DC Food Truck, PorcMobile, will offer free BBQ for Reid and Boehner. They said, “if they make a freaking deal and prevent gov’t shutdown. Get on it aides and interns!”


More than just restaurants, now local attractions and museums are jumping in, as well.

In Dupont Circle, The Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., NW) will be offering buy one get one half off admissions, discounted Arnold Palmers and discounts in the gift shop. Details here (pdf). Good for 4/9 and 4/10 only. Follow them on Twitter @PhillipsMuseum.

Also, enjoy free admission & snacks for federal workers with ID at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (500 17th St., NW). Follow them on Twitter for updates: (@CorcoranDC.)

Now at the Kreeger Museum (2401 Foxhall Road, NW), Federal Government employees w/ ID badge can get student/senior admission rate of $7 instead of normal $10. Twitter@KreegerMuseum),


Available at the Arena Stage, get 74% off tickets to production, “At Home at the Zoo”, offer available for government employees, if there is a shutdown. Tickets are just $20 with the promo Code: SHUTDOWN.

Fitness/Local Retailers/Businesses:

Red Bow DC, a chic and cozy boutique fitness studio steps from Union Station that offers barre, fuse pilates, willPower & grace, and zumba is offering a discount for their noon classes. Just $10 for federal government employees. Oh! You can get in shape while you can’t work. ;) Follow them on Twitter @RedBowDC

Located in the historic Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, DC, Past Tense yoga studio (3253 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, NW) will offer $10 classes and 10 percent off class packs for federal employees with ID.

Balance Gym with several DC locations will offer free gym passes for federal government employees with ID.

It’s estimated that 800,000 workers will be sent home without pay if Congress doesn’t make a deal by Friday night. Stay tuned and follow the trending topic #ShutdownDeals on or follow @DininginDC.

3 Responses to “As the Federal Government Prepares to Shut-down, Washington, DC Area Foodies Clean Their Plates. Hungry for a Deal?”

  1. L. Denise

    Apr 08. 2011

    Saw this coming…good stuff!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Eating Around DC

    Apr 08. 2011

    What a great post and a bright spot in all this madness. Thanks for some great ideas for the weekend.

    Reply to this comment
  3. The Barking Dog

    Apr 08. 2011

    The Barking Dog in Bethesda will be offering a $3 draft beer, and $6 Boehner Bombs and Shutdown Slammers everyday the shutdown is in effect. Announced on their twitter: BDogBethesda

    Reply to this comment

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