The East Coast’s Best Taco Spot Is in DC for Exactly One Day

And 9 more great things to do with your possibly shutdown-impacted weekend

September 29, 2023 6:42 am
Tacos being cooked on stovetop
Feast on Little Miner tacos and more this weekend in D.C.

You’re probably not going to get these tacos. We’re not rooting against you or anything — it’s just that demand outweighs the supply. If you’ve ever visited a certain taco joint in Philadelphia, you understand: South Philly Barbacoa, the tiny restaurant in (you guessed it) South Philly, has been popular since Bon Appétit named it one of the best new restaurants in America in 2016 (and even more popular following their 2018 episode of Chef’s Table on Netflix, and Cristina Martinez’s 2022 James Beard Award for best chef). Lucky for us, South Philly Barbacoa is setting up a one-day-only pop-up this Friday at Taqueria Xochi. If they’re out of pre-order by the time you read this, keep an eye on their Instagram for their next trip to DC. 

If your heart is set on tacos, we wholeheartedly recommend Little Miner Taco. With three locations, two food trucks and a presence on all the delivery aps, you will be able to get those tacos without pre-ordering family-style meals. Get the Fiesta Box if you’re eating with at least one other person. If you’re solo, get the birria tacos. You won’t wait in line, but if you did, they’d be worth it. 


Let’s Sing Taylor – A Live Band Experience Celebrating Taylor Swift at Fillmore Silver Spring

Taylor has gone everywhere on this tour. The one city she hasn’t played? DC. She has no plans to play DC. This version of Taylor is as good as you’re going to get within 100 miles. And the Chiefs don’t play the Commanders this year, so there’s absolutely no chance she comes to Landover. 

Friday and Saturday 

Art All Night 

A good opportunity to wander neighborhoods in all eight wards. New for 2023 is Dine All Night. Think of it like a giant First Friday, but instead of stopping in galleries to peruse art and drink cheap wine, you’ll stop at random stores and public buildings to peruse art and bring your own cheap wine. 

Friday and Saturday but probably not Sunday 

Panda Palooza: A Giant Farewell at Smithsonian National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo pandas are going back to China before the year ends. The zoo is doing a bunch of programming around the cuddly (not really but that’s the perception) animals. The problem is the zoo is a Smithsonian Institution, and all Smithsonian Institutions are part of the federal government. When there’s a shutdown, they’re shut down. 

This weekend is full of panda events, but don’t expect the zoo to be open Sunday (read: October 1). Looks like all Smithsonians are going to be closed for a while. 

Get your tickets — yes, the free zoo still requires tickets — while they’re still available. 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

World Culture Festival on The National Mall

With the worst name for a festival, this is a three-day celebration of…the world? Whatever, the weather is supposed to be great, most of the museums will most likely be closed on Sunday, and a few go-go acts are billed. Go-go on the Mall is always fun. 

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DC Coffee Festival at Union Market

This inaugural festival bills itself as “an immersive coffee experience” — which begs the question, what isn’t an immersive coffee experience? Not drinking coffee, right? 

Opera in the Outfield at Nationals Park

A good use of the ballpark, especially when the team has been out of contention since May. 

Saturday and Sunday

All Things Go Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion

One of the final chances to see a show at Merriweather in 2023. This year’s headliners are Maggie Rogers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Lana Del Rey and boygenius. Three of these acts sound better in cooler weather. Carly Rae Jepsen sounds great in all weather. 

The Pumpkin Festival at Butler’s Orchard

After last weekend’s rain out, the area’s most popular pumpkin patch will be packed with families attempting to squeeze in as many autumnal activities as possible. 


The Shining at Alamo Drafthouse

Start Scaretober with a classic. Consider heading back to the Alamo on Monday for a free screening of an equally scary Kubrick film, Eyes Wide Shut (yes, Eyes Wide Shut is just as scary, if not scarier than The Shining because you will never be trapped in a hotel for months with your wife and son, but you might be trapped in a loveless marriage).

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