Tunnicliffs Tavern offers a cheap late-night menu on Thursdays.
329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. 202-543-3300
Settle in at the upstairs piano bar of the Banana Café during happy hour, and you’ll probably see platefuls of on-the-house nibbles emerging from the kitchen. Quesadillas, mozzarella sticks or zucchini sticks make great accompaniments to the drink specials ($3 margaritas, rail drinks and domestic beers are available from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.).
500 Eighth St. SE. 202-543-5906 bananacafedc.com
The vendors at Eastern Market might call those plates of tomato slices or peach wedges “samples,” but we sometimes call them “lunch.” Many of the farmers hawking their produce set out plates for tasting, and some even serve their veggies sprinkled with salt and pepper for your grazing enjoyment. We won’t judge if you come back for thirds.
225 Seventh St. SE. 202-698-5253 easternmarket-dc.org
From Gershwin melodies to Sousa marches, military bands crank out some of the finest (and free-est) music in the land. The U.S. Navy Concert Band plays patriotic and popular tunes at 8 p.m. on Monday nights on the West Front of the Capitol. The President’s Own also has weekly gigs around Capitol Hill: Catch the U.S. Marine Band on Wednesdays on the Capitol’s West Terrace and during their Friday parades at 8:45 p.m. at the Marine Barracks (both are free, but you’ll need reservations for the parade). Add a blanket and a few sandwiches, and you’ve got date night.
Forget the movie-industrial complex, which will rip you off with $14 tickets (and that’s without the “handling charge”) and $8 popcorn to go with those overly slick CGI effects. Funkier and cooler are the free movies at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The roomy H Street theater screens films Thursday through Sunday in four different series: Gay 101 (featuring flicks such as “Milk” and “Victor Victoria”), musicals (everything from “My Fair Lady” to “Dreamgirls”), family (classics such as “The Goonies” and “Shrek”) and the oeuvre of Spike Lee.
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