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Guidebook for Washington

Alex

Guidebook for Washington

Food Scene
The Brick is one hell of a breakfast sandwich. On weekends the blueberry buckwheat pancakes are a favorite.
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The Market Lunch
225 7th Street Southeast
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The Brick is one hell of a breakfast sandwich. On weekends the blueberry buckwheat pancakes are a favorite.
Good, cheap breakfast diner and a Capitol Hill institution. Underrated coffee.
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Jimmy T's Place
501 East Capitol Street Southeast
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Good, cheap breakfast diner and a Capitol Hill institution. Underrated coffee.
A local "fast-casual" chain that's the best Mexican in Washington. I'm not even kidding. (Because Mexican food here is mostly terrible.) The salsa bar is great and I can happily gorge myself on chips and queso. The breakfast burrito is really good, too.
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District Taco
656 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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A local "fast-casual" chain that's the best Mexican in Washington. I'm not even kidding. (Because Mexican food here is mostly terrible.) The salsa bar is great and I can happily gorge myself on chips and queso. The breakfast burrito is really good, too.
If you happen to be around between 7 am and 3 pm on a weekday, the G-Man is one of Washington's great sandwiches. Closed on weekends; also seems to close randomly for days at a time whenever the owners don't feel like working.
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Mangialardo & Sons Inc
1317 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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If you happen to be around between 7 am and 3 pm on a weekday, the G-Man is one of Washington's great sandwiches. Closed on weekends; also seems to close randomly for days at a time whenever the owners don't feel like working.
Some of the best sushi in Washington is served at this little six-table joint. You need a reservation but they aren't that hard to get as long as you call a week or two in advance. They also do takeout.
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Sushi Capitol
325 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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Some of the best sushi in Washington is served at this little six-table joint. You need a reservation but they aren't that hard to get as long as you call a week or two in advance. They also do takeout.
Former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendolsohn's flagship burger joint. 100% legit; the burgers, fries and milkshakes are all terrific. Closed on Sundays, sadly. Note that his pizza place next door is not nearly as good, in my opinion.
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Good Stuff Eatery
303 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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Former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendolsohn's flagship burger joint. 100% legit; the burgers, fries and milkshakes are all terrific. Closed on Sundays, sadly. Note that his pizza place next door is not nearly as good, in my opinion.
Dude who runs this place, Aaron Silverman, is going to be famous beyond DC real soon. One of the best restaurants in the city and it's just down the street from where you're staying, so why not? Well, the reservations are why not: there aren't any. To get a table you have to get in a line outside, starting at about 4 in the afternoon, and put your name on a waiting list. Total pain, but once you're on the list you can go back to the house, or to a bar or whatever, and they'll text you when your table is ready.
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Rose's Luxury
717 8th Street Southeast
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Dude who runs this place, Aaron Silverman, is going to be famous beyond DC real soon. One of the best restaurants in the city and it's just down the street from where you're staying, so why not? Well, the reservations are why not: there aren't any. To get a table you have to get in a line outside, starting at about 4 in the afternoon, and put your name on a waiting list. Total pain, but once you're on the list you can go back to the house, or to a bar or whatever, and they'll text you when your table is ready.
Crazy popular with the hipsters, I joke that Union Market is the place to go if you like paying the highest possible price for everything. Nonetheless, there's some very good food here, including an oyster bar and two different butchers.
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Union Market
1309 5th Street Northeast
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Crazy popular with the hipsters, I joke that Union Market is the place to go if you like paying the highest possible price for everything. Nonetheless, there's some very good food here, including an oyster bar and two different butchers.
Drinks & Nightlife
Iconic Capitol Hill dive bar. Lost some of its charm after it was rebuilt following a fire a few years back, but it's still great.
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Tune Inn
331 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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Iconic Capitol Hill dive bar. Lost some of its charm after it was rebuilt following a fire a few years back, but it's still great.
My local bar. It's a bit too pricey, for what it is, but the service is usually friendly, the atmosphere is good and there's sports. The wings and house chips are very good. Decent brunch spot too.
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Boxcar Tavern
224 7th Street Southeast
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My local bar. It's a bit too pricey, for what it is, but the service is usually friendly, the atmosphere is good and there's sports. The wings and house chips are very good. Decent brunch spot too.
A little out of the way but currently the best bar on the Hill, in my opinion.
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Trusty's
1420 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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A little out of the way but currently the best bar on the Hill, in my opinion.
Terrific cocktails, great bartenders and a cool space. The boozy punch, which changes daily, is almost always delicious. But the food is just OK (other than raw oysters, which are hard to mess up) and everything is expensive -- the opposite of "budget friendly."
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Hank's Oyster Bar
633 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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Terrific cocktails, great bartenders and a cool space. The boozy punch, which changes daily, is almost always delicious. But the food is just OK (other than raw oysters, which are hard to mess up) and everything is expensive -- the opposite of "budget friendly."
A live-music institution in Washington.
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9:30
815 V Street Northwest
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A live-music institution in Washington.
Cool venue for bands that aren't yet big enough for 930 and a great bar, too.
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Black Cat
1811 14th Street Northwest
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Cool venue for bands that aren't yet big enough for 930 and a great bar, too.
This fine bar distinguishes itself from its neighbor, Trusty's, by offering fancy cocktails and decent wine.
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Wisdom
1432 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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This fine bar distinguishes itself from its neighbor, Trusty's, by offering fancy cocktails and decent wine.
My favorite neighborhood liquor store. Bernie, the owner, and Marcus, who's usually working the counter, are great guys.
Chat's Liquors on Capitol Hill
503 8th Street Southeast
My favorite neighborhood liquor store. Bernie, the owner, and Marcus, who's usually working the counter, are great guys.
Closest liquor store to the house. Good selection of craft beers and wine.
Hayden's Liquor Store
700 North Carolina Avenue Southeast
Closest liquor store to the house. Good selection of craft beers and wine.
I hear it's the best of the farm breweries that have sprouted up across northern Virginia. Haven't been there myself yet.
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Dirt Farm Brewing
18701 Foggy Bottom Road
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I hear it's the best of the farm breweries that have sprouted up across northern Virginia. Haven't been there myself yet.
Arts & Culture
Not gonna bother with all of the obvious places you already know about. This free museum, part of the Smithsonian system, is off the beaten trail and terribly underrated. The exhibits are great, but the incredible courtyard is the reason to come. It's a beautiful, quiet, uncrowded oasis in the middle of downtown. Kids will love the fountains.
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National Portrait Gallery
8th Street Northwest
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Not gonna bother with all of the obvious places you already know about. This free museum, part of the Smithsonian system, is off the beaten trail and terribly underrated. The exhibits are great, but the incredible courtyard is the reason to come. It's a beautiful, quiet, uncrowded oasis in the middle of downtown. Kids will love the fountains.
Get cultured!
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Arena Stage
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Get cultured!
Parks & Nature
A little difficult to get to but worth the trip. There are open meadows, hills and forests, flower gardens, a bonsai collection and a koi pond with some of the hungriest fish you've ever seen. Free.
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Arboretum
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A little difficult to get to but worth the trip. There are open meadows, hills and forests, flower gardens, a bonsai collection and a koi pond with some of the hungriest fish you've ever seen. Free.
Airbnb is messing up the name of this place -- it's Yards Park. Anyway, it's a very cool waterfront park the city built in the last few years. There's a boardwalk along the Anacostia river and a large wading pool with a waterfall, as well as lots of places to sit and chill. Canal park, a couple blocks north, has a water feature that is great for very little kids and ice skating in the winter. Everything but the skating is free. There are a good number of restaurants, bars and a grocery store (Harris Teeter) nearby.
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The Yards Park
355 Water Street Southeast
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Airbnb is messing up the name of this place -- it's Yards Park. Anyway, it's a very cool waterfront park the city built in the last few years. There's a boardwalk along the Anacostia river and a large wading pool with a waterfall, as well as lots of places to sit and chill. Canal park, a couple blocks north, has a water feature that is great for very little kids and ice skating in the winter. Everything but the skating is free. There are a good number of restaurants, bars and a grocery store (Harris Teeter) nearby.
Could use some TLC, like a lot of the parks around Washington (factoid: almost all our local parks are owned and operated by the National Park Service, not the city). But it's a nice place to lounge in the grass, jog or take the kids to burn off energy. Free.
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Lincoln Park
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Could use some TLC, like a lot of the parks around Washington (factoid: almost all our local parks are owned and operated by the National Park Service, not the city). But it's a nice place to lounge in the grass, jog or take the kids to burn off energy. Free.
Shopping
Local vendors selling art, jewelry, soap, knickknacks, you name it. It pops up around Eastern Market on weekends. A lot of junk and weird stuff, in my opinion, but I suppose there are treasures to be found.
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The Flea Market At Eastern Market
7th Street Southeast
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Local vendors selling art, jewelry, soap, knickknacks, you name it. It pops up around Eastern Market on weekends. A lot of junk and weird stuff, in my opinion, but I suppose there are treasures to be found.
Cool little shop that hosts role-playing and board games, if you're into that kind of thing.
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Labyrinth Games & Puzzles
645 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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Cool little shop that hosts role-playing and board games, if you're into that kind of thing.
Essentials
One of two grocery stores within a short drive or medium walk from the house. Once known as the Unsafeway, it's been renovated and is a perfectly fine grocery store. We do most of our shopping here.
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Safeway
1601 14th Street Southeast
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One of two grocery stores within a short drive or medium walk from the house. Once known as the Unsafeway, it's been renovated and is a perfectly fine grocery store. We do most of our shopping here.
Some of our favorite food vendors here are the rotisserie chicken place all the way at the south end of the hall, the little vegetable market directly across from them (their kimchi is terrific), the cheese place, and both butchers. The chicken place, the fish monger across from Market Lunch and the fancier-looking vegetable stand are all pretty overpriced. The Italian farm bread at the bakery is good but a lot of their other stuff isn't that great.
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Eastern Market
225 7th Street Southeast
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Some of our favorite food vendors here are the rotisserie chicken place all the way at the south end of the hall, the little vegetable market directly across from them (their kimchi is terrific), the cheese place, and both butchers. The chicken place, the fish monger across from Market Lunch and the fancier-looking vegetable stand are all pretty overpriced. The Italian farm bread at the bakery is good but a lot of their other stuff isn't that great.
The other grocery store on the Hill. More expensive than Safeway but considerably nicer.
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Harris Teeter
1350 Potomac Ave
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The other grocery store on the Hill. More expensive than Safeway but considerably nicer.
If you need dry cleaning or clothes repaired, this place does a fine job.
Capitol Hill Cleaners & Laundry
661 C St SE
If you need dry cleaning or clothes repaired, this place does a fine job.
An urgent care center across from Eastern Market. They are quite familiar with our kidsr. The doctors are very nice and the wait usually isn't too bad.
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MedStar PromptCare at Capitol Hill
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An urgent care center across from Eastern Market. They are quite familiar with our kidsr. The doctors are very nice and the wait usually isn't too bad.
Closest pharmacy to the house.
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CVS
661 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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Closest pharmacy to the house.
A local chain of small grocery stores. It's overpriced compared to Safeway or Harris Teeter but if you don't feel like driving or a long walk it's the closest grocery to the house.
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Yes! Organic Market Capitol Hill
410 8th Street Southeast
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A local chain of small grocery stores. It's overpriced compared to Safeway or Harris Teeter but if you don't feel like driving or a long walk it's the closest grocery to the house.
The closest corner market to the house. The beer's a little cheaper than at Hayden's and they've got a small but well curated wine section.
Congress Market
421 5th Street Southeast
The closest corner market to the house. The beer's a little cheaper than at Hayden's and they've got a small but well curated wine section.
Closest actual grocery store.
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Trader Joe's
750 Pennsylvania Ave SE
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Closest actual grocery store.
Getting Around
The closest Metro station. Services Orange, Blue and Silver lines, any of which will take you to the National Mall (monuments, museums) or to downtown without changing trains. The Blue line can take you to National Airport in Alexandria and the Silver line will end at Dulles airport, someday. (For now, you can catch a bus from the end of the line to get to the airport.)
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Eastern Market Station
701 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
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The closest Metro station. Services Orange, Blue and Silver lines, any of which will take you to the National Mall (monuments, museums) or to downtown without changing trains. The Blue line can take you to National Airport in Alexandria and the Silver line will end at Dulles airport, someday. (For now, you can catch a bus from the end of the line to get to the airport.)
Stick a credit card into the kiosk at any of these stations and rent a bike. Thanks to Metro's current problems, it's just two bucks for a 30 minute ride right now, which should be enough time to get to the National Mall or downtown. The closest kiosk is at Eastern Market, basically right across the street from our house. https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/pricing
Capital Bikeshare
400 East Capitol St NE
Stick a credit card into the kiosk at any of these stations and rent a bike. Thanks to Metro's current problems, it's just two bucks for a 30 minute ride right now, which should be enough time to get to the National Mall or downtown. The closest kiosk is at Eastern Market, basically right across the street from our house. https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/pricing