Few neighborhoods have seen as much change in recent years as Chinatown (and neighboring Penn Quarter). Once a rather quiet part of Washington, this downtown area is now hopping every day and night of the week. This new energy is due in no small part to the Verizon Center
, where the Wizards and Capitals play their home games and high profile bands and singers perform regularly. Next door to the Verizon Center is a multiplex movie theater, as well as an upscale bowling alley (really). Many of DC's better restaurants are located here too - Rasika
is regarded by many to be one of the finest Indian restaurants in Washington, and there's always a crowd outside of Matchbox
, a pizzeria aptly named for its small size. Rosa Mexicano
is famous for its pomegranate margaritas and its guacamole, which is made at the table. TenPenh serves Asian fusion cuisine and strong specialty martinis. RFD (Regional Food and Drink) has a massive collection of bottled and draft beers from all over the world. And if you like to dance, Ultrabar is your best bet - DJs on this multi-floor nightclub spin everything from Hip Hop to Top 40 to Reggae and House music.
Coupled with the entertainment and food/drink options are the many cultural activities you can experience in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area. The neighborhood hosts many of DC's theatres, as well as the Spy Museum, Ford's Theater, the National Archives, and the National Portrait Gallery. Chinatown's central location makes it a prime place to stay - if you're feeling energetic you can walk down to the monuments from here, and avoid the sometimes tricky proposition of trying to find a parking spot.