Mardi Gras is just around the corner! Even if you are not headed to the Big Easy, there are plenty of ways to make the most of the celebration right here in D.C.
Here’s your guide to Mardi Gras parades, parties, food specials, concerts, and more. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
This night of all-you-can-eat-and-drink revelry returns for the second year at Union Market’s Dock 5 on Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 6-10 p.m. The $65 ticket includes food and drink from 18 chefs and mixologists, a costume contest, Vodka Ice Luge, and live music all night. Blow it out, there’s even a 20 percent discount from Lyft departing the event.
The Wharf will be hosting a Mardi Gras parade along the waterfront, culminating in a dance party and fireworks on the pier. Pearl Street Warehouse will have a festive music themed float in the parade, and a "second line" will be led back to the venue, where The Grandsons will then play a free show! While you are there, stop by Requin’s waterfront patio where a pop-up bar will be open during the parade.
Barmini by José Andrés is hosting a special cocktail class on Fat Tuesday, continuing their series of of #barmini101 cocktail classes and focusing on New Orleans. From classics like the Sazerac and the Ramos Gin Fizz to events like Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans has had a big impact on drinking culture and this class is a great way to learn about that through building three cocktails of your own. Also included in the $145 ticket: a welcome cocktail, snacks throughout the evening, and a parting gift from the barmini team. Sounds like a great evening to me! Tickets available here.
On Fat Tuesday, chef Jeff Tunks' of Louisiana fish-house inspired restaurant, Acadiana will celebrate with a special $5 Mardi Gras Street Food Menu at the bar. Available all day, expect parade route staples like Alligator Fritters, Popcorn Shrimp, Crawfish Bread and Muffulettas.
Celebrate all weekend starting on Friday, Feb 9 through Tuesday, Feb 13 at Blackjack and Tilt Side bar. They will feature a Mardi Gras-themed cocktail menu and debut creole-inspired dishes to pair. There is also an all-you-can-eat Bayou Brunch on Sunday and a Fat Tuesday party on the 13.
Taqueria del Barrio will be offering New Orleans-themed empanadas in the restaurant on Mardi Gras, February 13. Chef & owner Anna Bran-Leis will be making a red beans & rice empanada, and a jambalaya empanada, each available for $3.85 from 4 p.m. to close. Sounds like a tasty mashup to me!
Both D.C. locations of City Tap will offer Abita drafts for $7 and $10 Hurricanes on Mardi Gras, as well as menu specials including jambalaya, and chicken & andouille sausage gumbo with Carolina gold rice.
Get ya' parade on from 5-8 p.m. at Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery before the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade kicks off just one block up. Roll on in for $5 NOLA-Style Specials with 5-buck N'awlins Cocktails, Abita Beer Drafts and Creole and Cajun dishes like Red Beans & Rice, and Jambalaya. Satisfy your sweet tooth with beignets and, of course, King Cake slices [$2] -- all made by chef David Guas, the only New Orleans born chef in the D.C. area!
Pastry chef Caitlin Dysart will be whipping up a classic NOLA-style sweet dough King Cake filled with cocoa-almond cream (with the hidden baby toy), and topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. Cakes are $36, serving 8-10 people, and are available beginning February 2 – make sure to place orders 48 hours in advance! If you are not a planner, a limited number of cakes will be available for sale in the mercato on Lundi Gras (Monday, February 12) and Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 13), in addition to carnival mask sugar cookies available ready-to-buy.
Sugar Shack Shaw, Arlington and Alexandria are celebrating Mardi Gras with a cinnamon custard filled donut with cinnamon glaze ($3.80 each), as well as 12” King Cakes made with braided, cinnamon-infused donut dough and adorned with sour patch “babies”. Intrigued?
These won't last long, so get your pre-order in asap for pick up at one of their pop ups at Hill Country BBQ or Reliable Tavern. If you are lucky, you might even find a baby in one of these, which can be redeemed for a free kolache through the end of the month.
For a really unique way to celebrate, check out this special Mardi Gras drag night event located in the speakeasy style cocktail bar inside Sugar Shack Alexandria. Tickets are steep at $170, but you guaranteed a great show in addition to a choice of two food items, and two cocktails. Of course, there will be donuts too.
No baby included in this, but the King Cake Doughnut will be available at all store locations via pre-order only on February 13. Get those orders in now!