Happy Hour Food: Health Kick

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘marciadc’

A few weeks ago, I put together a happy hour food guide for particularly yummy fried food in the DC area. This was easy. Almost too easy, if you will, because every bar in the world has fried happy hour food, most of it yummy because it’s fried. Duh.

So I decided to stretch my skillz, and put together a list of healthy happy hour food for those of us doing Operation Hot Summer Bod 2009, or just those of us who like to eat on the lighter, healthier side.  Cause there is still delicious food to be had at happy hour, just without the added saturated fat.

Veggie Burger Noms
So it is hard to do healthy happy hour food, without doing seafood, so my apologies if this list is a little seafood heavy, but seafood is scrumptious and healthy, so it’ll be okay.

Let’s start with PS 7′s Tuna Sliders in Chinatown. Served with a cucumber-sesame salad, these sliders come in quantities of 3/6/9, kind of like a healthier version of Matchbox’s infamous sliders.

The unofficial home of We Love DC, and site of our monthly meeting (and now you know where to come gawk at us, aren’t you lucky!), Science Club‘s entire menu is healthy happy hour food. Everyone on staff here knows my weakness for the veggie burger at Science Club, I get excited for it days before a meeting – a cross between falafal with black beans and served this delicious aioli spread, it is one of my must-have items in the city. The rest of the menu is healthy, too, tabbouleh, tofu skewers and all kinds of other vegetarian goodness abound.

Back to seafood, Dupont’s Urbana‘s new spring menu features Mussels four ways. To still indulge while staying healthy, try the chocolate stout and smoky blue cheese, with just a touch of each in the broth, you’ll still be able to run that marathon on Saturday morning. To be even more healthy, try the white wine, shallots, garlic and parsley version.

Photo courtesy of
‘mother’s day eve dinner’
courtesy of ‘StormySleep’

Taberna Del Alberdero does half off tapas at happy hour until 6:30 p.m., and the hit for the healthy crowd is Gambas al Ajillo, the Shrimp Casserole with Olive Oil, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper and Parsley. Also try the Pulpo Afeira con Sabayon de Albarino, Octopus Afeira with Albarino Sabayon.

Not in seafood-land, if you’re stuck out in Silver Spring, hit up Mrs. K’s Toll House for Stuffed Grape Leaves with Tzatziki Sauce. Very ‘ladies who lunch’, Mrs. K’s is perfect for a girlie happy hour that is off the beaten path. I love tzatziki sauce – yogurt, dill and cucumber make for the perfect healthy combination for a dipping sauce.

Back in the city, hit up Bourbon Steak for a little foray into red meat, except healthier. The beef tartare is served with traditional garnishes and grilled pita bread. My lovely nutritionist, Danielle Omar, tells me red meat is okay in moderation. Especially when it hasn’t been cooked in butter. (Oh, you really think I can be a food blogger and still look this good without any help? There are a few people behind this operation over here.)

The Reef, known for its rooftop bar, has a fresh, organic menu, featuring the vegan burger, a house made vegan patty made with walnuts, flax seed, black beans, hummus, veggies, and spices. They also feature fish tacos: pan-seared tilapia, black beans and rice served w/ home-made California slaw, guacamole and salsa on a flour tortilla. Perfection for the light happy hour.

Redwood bar scene

In Bethesda, the menu rotates seasonally and Redwood serves up a white bean-wild mushroom burger served with house made pickles. Healthy? I think yes.

Sushi is always a good, healthy option, and happy hour sashimi stars for only $1 at Arlington’s Cafe Asia. Also, try the summer garden rolls, wrapped with rice paper and stuffed with shrimp and veggies, they are another one of my favorite dishes in the city.

Lounge 201 in Capitol Hill features a White Bass Ceviche with cilantro, chile oil, garlic, lime and scallions, as well as a veggie flatbread with tomato sauce, peppers, wild mushrooms, shallots, and mozzarella.

Downtown, wine-focused Zola dishes out house cured salmon and blue crab purses with rye crisps. If you’re up for an adventure, you can follow-up your dinner with an evening activity at Spy at Night run by the International Spy Museum.

Know of a healthy happy hour food option I missed? Leave it in the comments.

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

3 thoughts on “Happy Hour Food: Health Kick

  1. This is a great collection! A few to add to the list: Thai Chef in Dupont has $3-4 sushi rolls, Ceiba (downtown) for any of its ceviches (which are all half price before 6 p.m.; $5), and the Caprese salad or hummus platter at Commissary (half price before 7). And if your happy hour doesn’t involve drinking, but grocery shopping at Whole Foods on 15th and P (and you’re starving), chow down on the ($6-7) tofu salad at Raku–it’s surprisingly filling, delicious, cheap, and very healthy.

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