Matchbox - Capitol Hill

Bar, Eatery

521 8th St SE
Washington, District of Columbia, 20003-2835
United States

(202) 548-0369 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 8 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Mantooth
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Fantastic artisinal pizzas and a wonderful beer selection. They had several Firestone Walker brews to pick from, which - for a Charlotte boy (can't get them in NC) - was wonderful. I had a fig pizza with ham, honey and arugula - the other half of the pie was named smoke and heat, with meatballs and a good bit of spice. Make no mistake, for better or worse, this isn't straight up NY style pizza, which I love, this is fancy pizza and it's pricey. I loved the experience though. The server was very knowledgeable about beer and the entire experience was good. Check em out, you'll be glad you did.

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Mantooth from North Carolina, May 27, 2013
Photo of slander
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Post SAVOR now what? Ed got out early to walk around town, and then called for the meet up. Brunch is stupid; I don’t eat breakfast and just want lunch. 20 minute wait, ha! I think not. Grabbed a pint at the bar and our pager paged shortly thereafter. Hard time on the strip on 8th SE, as things are...

Split room; bar & dining sides. Off to the right, a wood topped, rounded cornered ‘L’ bar, with a panel base, piping foot rail, and seating for 14 on backed chairs. Lengthy boxed wood unit on the barback; angled flatscreen on center, wine shelved below, and booze tiered on the counter below. Shelved tequilaings, a few mallards, and a 3L Chimay bottle atop. Criss cross angled boxed wine storage on their sides, and boxed alt sheleved wine, booze, & jarred fruity things. Angled framed mirrors atop to the rafters, flats on the ends angled in. Coolered wines and shelved glassware below the bar. A pair of cupboard wine rack pieces adjacent to the bar, and a prep kitchen down on the end to the rear with a pizza oven.

Alt colored slat wood pieced floorings. Cross rafters dropped below the wood ceiling, framed around the 2 skylights. Gray ductwork, track baby spots, cylinder lamps, and drop cone lamps tracing the bar. Brick walls to both sides, and up front, tall vertical windows around the doorway, with tri-paneled horizontal windows running above.

Seating pen out front with a half dozen tables, maybe more. A pair of hightops forward the bar, and another pair to the rear adjacent to the pizza oven. On the dining side, 2 tiered seating leads to the raised seating perch to the rear. A dozen tables up front; a single long table, some angled squares, shortys sharing benchings on the far wall, and a step up booth boxed in the center of the room. 5 booths on the wall to the rear, and some tables adjacent (Hey, views of lookin’ in on the kichen from there). Drop lamps over the booths, similar to the ones over the bar, but larger, and plantings in between.

To the rear, red railings & diamond plate stairs, and turn up to above. A raised perch, up the highwalls with seating for people not us. Slat wood floorings, vaulted ceiling of angled rafters, drop spots, ceiling fans, and the duct from the pizza oven to infinity. You know, the place gets some great light, all in all.

12 taps; 2/3 of them American craft, East, West & in between (Allagash Blonde & White, Otter Creek Copper Ale, Flying Dog Old Scratch Amber Lager, Avery IPA, 21st Amendment Bitter American, North Coast Old #38 Stout, Rogue Shakespeare Stout), and the other 1/3 imports (Chimay White, Palm, Weihenstephaner Hefe, Eggenberg Hopfenkonig Pils), + a few bottles of not worth talking about. Started with a 21st Amendment Bitter American, and then wanted an Allagash Blonde but it kicked out from under me, so I took in the Allagash White.

So this is lunch, then. Went with the sesame crusted tuna salad (rare ahi), fried carrots, roasted peanuts, sake marinated cucumbers, red cabbage, romaine lettuce, in a citrus vinaigrette. It was an excellent damn salad, and had some good heat. She says, “wasabi’ but it wasn’t over the top. Ed had the crabcake sandwich, which he deemed excellent, and Mike & Vida split a fire & smoke pizza, which Vida proclaimed “good!!” (She claims to never have had a bad pizza here). And the late arrival of Heather brings a chicken pesto pizza that I should have got in on.

Somehow, the meal, the beer, the place, has now brought upon us some serious conversation regarding sensory depervation tanks (now, that’s a bachelor party!) Davida did not get groped by a pimp here today; apparently she was once before, but we shouldn’t hold that against the place. Or the pimp. Things pretty much got a whole lot better on this strip of 8th. Poor Jerry & Di, having to suffer at the hands of good food & drink.

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slander from New York, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Situated in the Eastern Market area. This place is in an impressive looking building with a very modern, urban feel applied to the typical stone and metal look of a wood-fired pizza joint. Through the front door and into a high-ceiling and is much bigger than the Chinatown location, but in little time I find a seat at the bar. Draft list includes Allagash White, a Rogue, Sierra Nevada and Bells seasonal, Chimay, Delirium Tremens and a few other US craft choices. Food wise it's everything from salad and sandwiches to the wood-fired pizza that everyone is so crazy about. I personally found the pizza mediocore at best. I'd recommend going with the burger sliders here! Service was great, the crowd was fun, but it definitely is not a beer geek only place. Most people were drinking Stella or Delirium, no doubt for the status, but I will recommend this place for people visiting the Eastern Market since this place is probably the only place I'll eat in this area! However, if you have the chance to visit Pizza Paradiso, skip Matchbox and go there instead, where the beer selection and quality of food is better.

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CuriousMonk from District of Columbia, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of derickson007
4/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Read the full review at

Meredith started with a 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon draft and I had a Flying Dog Indian Brown Ale (one was good, one terrible - guess which). Our drinks came pretty quickly and we started to relax and watch the DC United/AC Milan game. After M's disappointing first drink she switched it up to favorite, Allagash White ale.

Things were still pretty busy, but we had no problems ordering food or getting drinks when our glasses approached empty. I stayed with Dogfish Head even though the beer list is pretty decent (attached here) and we continued to bullshit and sit at the bar. Things started to thin out around 11, but people were still filtering in and out. We ended up leaving around 1 and were probably one of the last few people there. We had a good time and never had an empty glass.

I really like going to this bar, so I'm biased, but honestly I've never had a bad time. The bartenders are always nice and on top of the drink orders; even when the bar is busy they make an effort to serve everyone in the area. One interesting thing about drinking here - they serve each beer in its own special glass. Go ahead and check out the posts linked above; we snagged a few pictures of the glasses if you don't believe me.

This may be slightly off topic, but they also make great bloody mary. I am a sucker for a place that goes above and beyond the standard mix and adds a new twist - my favorites are the Fire and the 6 (ingredients here). So, if you haven't been I suggest you go and if you have.. go again.

Read the full review with pictures at

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derickson007 from District of Columbia, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of joedon
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Vibe: Lots of wood/exposed beams/urban loft style
Cool jazz on the sound system
Quality: Very clean. Everything properly served.
Service: Friendly, efficient and helpful. Offered samples from the various taps but bartenderess was not a real beer expert
Selection: Following beer on tap

Bells Two Hearted
Delerium Tremens
Stella Artois
Allagash White
Eggenberg Pils
Rogue Dead Guy
Founders Breakfast Stout
Brooklyn Brown
Bells Rye Stout on the "rotating tap"
Seems to be a nicely thought out selection.
They also serve wine and single malt scotch.

Food: Mainly wood-fired pizzas and salads. My pizza was excellent and served right from the oven.

Value: A bit pricey for my standards. Pints were $6 and single serving pizza averaged about $14.

Overall, a pretty decent place although beer is not the main focus of the Matchbox.

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joedon from Minnesota, Nov 10, 2009
Matchbox - Capitol Hill in Washington, DC
Place rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 8 ratings