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Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.
  • The Capital One Arena sits atop the Gallery Place Metro Station in Washington, D.C.  Uber and Lyft are also efficient ways to get there; driving and parking are not.
  • The Arena prohibits any bag larger than a wristlet (except some medical and parenting bags, which may be bigger).
  • The Arena is cashless; you must use a credit or debit card or a mobile app.
  • You must use an e-ticket on your mobile device; there are no paper tickets.
  • There are scores of restaurants and dozens of hotels within walking distance of the Arena.


The Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., is a block-sized behemoth about a mile from the U.S. Capitol building.

The venue hosts around 200 music and sports events annually and has transformed its formerly dull and downtrodden neighborhood to a hopping hotspot for locals and tourists alike.

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It is the home stadium of the Washington Capitals hockey team and the Washington Wizards and Georgetown Hoyas basketball teams.  It also hosts big-ticket musical performers ranging from The Who to Andrea Bocelli.

The privately owned Arena began life in 1997 as the MCI Center; it became the Verizon Center in 2006 when the latter communications company acquired the former.  In 2017, Virginia-based Capital One bank purchased the naming rights.

Over the years, I’ve attended several events there, but my real soft spot for the place comes from the fact that I used to work in its neighborhood, and so I benefitted from the explosion of restaurants that it ignited.

The purpose of this post is to help you know what to expect at the ultra-modern facility and its surrounding area.

How to Get to the Capital One Arena


You have three main options:


The Capital One Arena sits directly on top of the Gallery Place Metro station on the Red, Yellow, and Green lines.  It is about a 10-minute walk from Metro Center on the Red, Blue, Orange, and Silver lines.  Metro is by far the most cost-efficient way to reach the Arena.


There are five Uber/Lyft pick-up/drop-off points surrounding the Arena at 6th & F, 6th & G, 6th & H, 7th & F, and 7th & H Streets NW.  It’s convenient, though you will likely pay surge pricing after events.

Drive and Park

There are several parking lots near the Arena, at which you can expect to pay around $30-40 during an event.  Driving can be difficult in the area, especially after events.  I don’t recommend this option.

What to Bring to the Capital One Arena

But first, what not to bring:  a bag.  Bags are banned at the Arena except for wallet-sized clutches no larger than 5×7″ and necessary medical and parenting bags no larger than 14x14x6″.  If you do bring a banned bag, you may it store in a locker for $13.88.  So find another means to juggle:

Your Phone

Capital One Arena does not accept paper tickets.  You must use a mobile device for admission.  You can either pull up a pre-purchased digital ticket via the Ticketmaster app, or you can purchase a digital ticket in person at the Arena box office, to be delivered electronically to your device.

Credit Cards

Capital One Arena is a cashless venue.  Credit cards, debit cards, and mobile apps are the only methods of payment accepted.  There are reverse ATMs on the 100 and 400 levels where you can exchange cash for a debit card usable within the stadium.  

Capital One rewards its own cardholders with benefits including a dedicated entrance on 6th Street and discounts of 10 percent on concessions and 20 percent on merchandize.

Capital One offers a range of rewards cards:

Your Caesars Rewards Card

There’s a Caesars sports book on site where you can place bets, if you wish.


The music can be vibratingly loud even at sporting events.

A Water Bottle

There are lots of food and drink venues at the Arena, but unfortunately they are very over-priced, e.g. $10 for a soda, $16 for a cocktail.  You may bring in one empty water bottle to fill up inside.

Where to Eat near the Capital One Arena

Fortunately, the area boasts a range of great bars and restaurants where you can fuel up before or after (or both) events.  My top choices include:

855 E Street NW
Chefs prepare your meal while you watch at this Michelin two-star restaurant.  Adjacent is barmini, which offers classic drinks, custom creations, and cocktail flights.

724 9th Street NW
This Michelin one-star restaurant offers Spanish-Japanese fusion cuisine.

Café Riggs
901 F Street NW
This contemporary French Michelin restaurant is located inside the Riggs Hotel.

633 D Street NW
This Michelin restaurant serves rich Indian cuisine.

707 6th Street NW
This Michelin Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant has an outdoor patio styled like an old-school red-sauce joint.

701 9th Street NW
This Michelin Mediterranean restaurant has an outdoor patio with a view of the Smithsonian‘s American Art Museum.

China Chilcano
418 7th Street NW
This Michelin “Bib Gourmand” restaurant serves (no, not Chinese) South American cuisine.

480 7th Street NW
This Michelin “Bib Gourmand” Spanish tapas restaurant has an outdoor patio.

401 7th Street NW
This popular Michelin “Bib Gourmand” Mexican restaurant has an outdoor patio and an agave shop where you can purchase tequila and mezcal to go.

Capital One Café
732 7th Street NW
Customers using Capital One cards receive a 50 percent discount on hand-crafted beverages at this Café, which also serves sandwiches and other light bites.

District Chop House
509 7th Street NW
This midscale steakhouse is where I used to take my office’s support staff when they deserved a treat, and we never had a bad bite.

Clyde’s Gallery Place
707 7th Street NW
This midscale chain restaurant offers one of the best happy hours in the area, including $2 oysters.

Dirty Habit
555 8th Street NW 
This restaurant inside the Hotel Monaco has a broad menu and an outdoor courtyard with a fire pit.

Hill Country
410 7th Street NW
This casual place boasts a large bar area, live music, and the best Texas barbecue in Washington.  I used to go here for lunch when I could afford the carbs.

804 7th Street NW
This fast-casual spot offers good burgers and sides.

Taffer’s Tavern
700 6th Street NW
This pub-style place features American fare and craft cocktails.

Wok & Roll
604 H Street NW
This Chinese restaurant and karaoke bar will interest history buffs; it’s located in the building that served as alleged Lincoln-assassination conspirator Mary Surratt‘s boarding house.

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