Washington, DC, our (if you live in the USA) Nation’s Capitol!! I think DC is often overlooked- perhaps you think it is too touristy or too straight-edge or not full of culture. If that is what you think of DC, you are absolutely mistaken. DC is one of the most diverse, international and culturally vibrant cities in the USA and is absolutely worth your next weekend trip.
Where to stay:
The Line Hotel: Located in Adam’s Morgan is one of DC’s newer hotels and is definitely worth checking out.
Mason & Rook Hotel: Located off the hustle and bustle of 14th Street Corridor, just a short walk from many amazing restaurants and bars.
The Carlyle Hotel: Located in the heart of DuPont Circle, close to the metro and walking distance from several neighborhoods.
Where to Eat:
Le Diplomate: (For dinner). Amazing french food in a beautiful setting that makes you feel like you have just been transported to the bistros of Paris! Don’t miss the foie gras mousse, roast chicken, warm shrimp salad, steak frite and the profiteroles.
Maydan: (For dinner). Maydan is pretty new to the DC restaurant seen but has not gone unnoticed. Enjoy small, shareable plates from all around the Middle East and North Africa. Don’t miss the fatoush salad, and variety of grilled veggies and meat. Maydan also has an “open fire” concept, where everything that is cooked in their restaurant is cooked on an open fire plancha vs. in the oven or stove top.
Duke’s Grocery: Arguably one of the best burgers in DC, Duke’s is a great fun place with amazing food. They also have a 12 PM- 7 PM happy hour and a delicious brunch. For brunch, don’t miss the full English brekkie and for any other meal, definitely get a burger! (And mac and cheese and corn…)
All Purpose Pizzeria: I love All Purpose for many reasons. One is because they have Lambrusco and amazing pizza and two because I love the atmosphere. I feel like I have stepped into a mom and pop pizza shop. While the menu/ pizza options are constantly changing, you must order the Buono Pizza (that seems to always be on there) because it will blow your mind- pepperoni and chili honey…
Rice: Rice is probably the best Thai food in DC- in my humble opinion. The atmosphere is nice and modern, the service is great and the food is even better. They also have a great happy hour and they deliver! Their Pad Thai is wrapped in a thin egg omelette and you must try the panang curry and the spicy duck.
Tiger Fork: Think Chinese food on a whole different level. I think Tiger Fork has some of the best fried rice in the business. Tiger Fork is located in (very) trendy Blagden Alley and has that “renovated warehouse” feel. They have super trendy decor but even better food and Asian beer. Don’t miss the fried rice, cheung fun and the smashed cucumber salad.
Lapis Bistro: This place is unique for many reasons. First of all its absolutely delicious and unique. I had never had Afghani food before coming here and now it is something I always crave. It seems like a mix of Eastern European (Russian), Indian and Middle Eastern Food; there are meat stuffed dumplings, like perogis, samosas, and curries that have similar textures to Indian curries but have the Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern flavors. Lapis is also such a lovely and cozy spot, with family photos all over the walls. It is amazing for brunch and dinner! Don’t miss the karayee for brunch and the mantoo shrimp or beef, mattar, or morgh korma. If it is your first time, try one of the chef’s tasting menus for $65 (for two people).
Commissary: I think Commissary has one of the best classic brunches in DC. They have a great selection of eggs, amazing pancakes, andddd great morning beverages (coffee, mimosas, bloody Mary’s). You really can’t go wrong! Don’t miss the blueberry pancakes, huevos racheros and the classic breakfast platter.
Where to drink:
Archipelago: Think, non-tacky tiki bar. Complete with slushie pina coladas, mai tais and more. Great for a small to medium size group, if you want to sit down or hear the people you are talking to. Also a great before-dinner-drink spot.
Capo: If you are looking for a late night spot with amazing drinks and great r&b and hip hop music look no further. Located in the back of an Italian deli (yes, you can actually get food in the front of the bar), Capo is a super fun and swanky speak easy.
Wet Dog Tavern: Wet Dog is my go to “chill” bar when the weather is nice. The bar area is indoors, however the standing room of the bar extends outside into the front and back patios, making it a great good-weather bar. They have all your classic cocktails, a great beer list and an awesome burger grill in the back area.
Calico: Calico is a great place for groups or if you are in the mood for something trendy (read: instagrammable, fire pits, adult juice boxes and mixed cocktails). I think it’s a fun place if you are looking for something different.
Snacks, Coffee & Desserts:
Baked & Wired: When most people think about cupcakes in DC, they often think about Georgetown Cupcakes, but I personally think the best cupcakes in DC are located at Baked & Wired. My favorites are the carrot cake, dirty chai and of course, the famous, uniporn and rainho flavor. Baked & Wired is the perfect snack/coffee shop while you wander around the Georgetown area.
Colada Shop: Colada Shop is a Cuban-inspired coffee shop/bakery/ cocktail bar located off 14th Street corridor. Stop by for a coffee and an empanada or a quick drink before or after dinner (great mojitos!).
Slipstream: Slip stream is perfect for a mid day coffee pick-me- up and pastry. It is also great for a light (and instagrammable) brunch!
Ice Cream Jubilee: I am an Ice Cream Jubilee frequenter, to say the least. I love all their flavors and think the texture of their ice creams are unreal. I love the Marion Berry, anything salted caramel (salted caramel or caramel popcorn) and their classics like, chocolate chocolate and cookies and cream cookie dough.
Where to shop:
Miss Pixies: Formally known as Miss Pixies Furnishings & Whatnot. What a fun place! They always have new items and treasures. They have everything from big furniture items to small trinkets and unique finds. I love to go hunting unique glassware and ceramics for succulents.
Urban Dwell: Urban Dwell is the perfect place to get a cute DC keepsake or funny political home item.
Kramerbooks: Kramerbooks is a DC classic. It is a great bookstore that is perfect for browsing.
Salt & Sundry: Salt & Sundry is a beautiful and aesthetically pleasing gift and home shop. I don’t often buy things from here but it is always fun to browse.
Shop Made in DC: This store is a great ode to local businesses and artists. Everything in this store is unique. It is a great place for trinkets and gifts.
The Outrage: This place is “so DC”. It is the perfect place to get a new protesting shirt or if you are into something a little more subtle, some ovary socks or an RBG pin!
What to do:
DuPont Farmers Market (Sunday Morning)
The Renwick Gallery
The Phillips Collection
Dumbarton Oaks (Museum & Gardens)
Hillwood Estates (Museum & Gardens)
United States Botanical Gardens
United States Botanical Gardens