Although the blooms haven’t quite blossomed (thank you never-ending winter), Cherry Blossom season is upon us! I’ve gotten a few emails asking for recommendations on what to do in DC and I realized that in the five years I’ve lived here and penned (typed?) this blog, I’ve never put together a city guide. Well, what better place to start than my own neighborhood!
P.S Personally, whenever I’m planning a trip I always love stumbling on these types of posts not only for the author’s insights, but for the readers’ comments, so please feel free to add your suggestions!
Market Lunch- the blueberry pancakes (“blue-bucks”) at Market Lunch (located inside of Eastern Market) draw a crowd every weekend. It’s nothing fancy, but they are delicious. Bring cash and try to grab a seat at one of the counter tables if you can for some great people watching. Picnic tables are also available outside the Eastern Market building.
Ted’s Bulletin- Two words: homemade pop-tarts. They also make a mean milk-shake. Go for breakfast any time of day or night and take in the 1930s inspired decor–usually there’s a black and white film playing on the back wall.
Peregrine Espresso- I’m not a coffee drinker but I’ve been told this is where to go to get it.
Batter Bowl Bakery- One more option for the caffeine inclined.
Zest- a neighborhood bistro located at the end of Barrack’s Row, this is one of my favorite spots for a casual lunch. Expect a selection of interesting salads and sandwiches. My pick: Ginger Calamari.
7th Hill Pizza- Watching the pizziola’s throw the dough is so entertaining and the pizza is so, so good. Save room for the Nutella Calzone. It’s as sinfully delicious as it sounds.
Quick Bites: Good Stuff Eatery, We the Pizza (remember Spike from Top Chef? These are his restaurants), District Taco, H & Pizza, The Pretzel Bakery
Rose’s Luxury- by far my favorite restaurant in the area at the moment. Reservations aren’t accepted so expect a wait, but saddle up at the upstairs bar for the long haul because it’s so worth it. Look forward to inventive dishes and fresh takes on American classics. My pick: Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken.
Toki Underground- don’t let the diminutive size of this second floor restaurant fool you, it’s serving up some of the best ramen and dumplings this side of Taiwan. Again, no reservations so wait it out at the dive bar downstairs.
Aqua al 2- if you studied abroad in Florence you probably have fond memories of the blueberry steak from Aqua’s flagship location. If you’re craving Italian, this is the place to go. My pick: Cannelloni Mascarpone e Funghi.
Sona- one of the newest additions to the neighborhood and I have to say, I’m really impressed. This wine bar is also a creamery–yes, they actually make cheese in-house–so be sure to get a cheese plate with your vino.
Harry Black’s- you won’t find much available online about this speakeasy, but I’ll let you in on the secret: it’s located just above Acqua al 2. Great atmosphere for pre-dinner drinks. It’s small so you’ll need to call ahead to book a time slot.
Dolcezza Gelato Factory- Dolcezza has been well on its way to becoming a DC institution, but their recently opened factory (behind Union Market) is especially fantastic. You can check out photos from my visit here.
Dangerously Delicious Pies- This isn’t your grandma’s pie-shop, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed. My pick: Chocolate Peanut Butter or Baltimore Bomb.
Eastern Market- Visit the open air farmers and craft market on Saturdays & Sundays. If you’re in town on a Sunday don’t miss the Flea Market at Eastern Market for vintage jewelry, Malian mudcloth, and architectural salvage.
Botanic Gardens- In my humble opinion, the Botanic Gardens is one of the most beautiful places in DC. Check out photos from my last visit here. Bonus: it’s generally also slightly less crowded than some of the other Smithsonians.
National Portrait Gallery- One of my top five favorite museums in DC. When you get tired of browsing, grab a bite and relax in the gorgeous courtyard.
National Gallery of Art- They’ve taken away my beloved Matisse cut-outs, but the National Gallery still has an impressive collection.
The Peacock Room at The Freer Sackler Gallery- Whistler’s Peaock Room is one of those rare breathtaking sights that make you think “how did this ever exist?” See photos from my last visit here.
Union Market- Technically this isn’t on Capitol Hill, but I’m lumping it in because it’s close enough.Don’t let the gritty neighborhood scare you away, Union Market is bringing great things to the area. Located in a former warehouse, expect to find dozens of artisanal vendors and food stalls. Salt & Sundry is a great stop for homewares and this weekend, don’t miss the Thread pop-up shops.
Hill’s Kitchen- if you have any sort of culinary inclination you’ll love this shop.
Capitol Hill Books- the books in this no-frills shop are literally stacked floor to ceiling. If you’re claustrophobic or a stickler for fire codes (I kid) you’ve been warned. If you love losing yourself in the stacks of independently owned book stores stop by and stay awhile.
Foundry- I haven’t popped into Foundry’s new location on H St. just yet, but I’ve been to the former U St. location enough to know it’s not to be missed if you’re design obsessed. Expect to find a curated selection of one-of-a-kind finds that will make you wish you had a bigger suitcase.
Lincoln or Stanton Park- We originally moved to Capitol Hill for its charming neighborhood feel. Wandering around walking our dog and admiring the old row houses is one of my favorite weekend pursuits. Lincoln and Stanton park are good spots to watch the pups play and enjoy a cup of coffee.
The Capitol- This was probably already on your list so I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on this one!
Capitol Bike Share- DC has a fantastic bike share program with pick-up/drop-off locations all over the city. Swipe your card, grab a bike, and see where the day takes you!
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my neighborhood favorites. Fellow Washingtonians, what am I missing?