24 Hours in DC’s Eastern Market
Blame it on Veep, House of Cards, or just Congress in general, people are completely enamored with the Hill, along with its cast of dysfunctional characters including congressman, senators, reporters, and staffers alike. Capitol Hill is also home to two of the District’s most popular neighborhoods which are located mere blocks from one another: Eastern Market and Barracks Row.
Who can argue with streets lined with ample greenery, charming row houses, and trendy restaurants like Pineapple & Pearls? Whether you’re looking for a new resto, farmer’s market, or park, you’ll find it by Eastern Market. Here’s your weekend itinerary!
It’s been a long week and as you’re fighting off cars and bikes on your way home, you realize you don’t have any plans. Maybe that’s how you want your weekend to start – maybe it’s not. Either way, everyone knows the best decisions are made after a glass or two of wine so why not stop by DCanter for a bottle or three?
Begin your adventure after a long work week by grabbing dinner at one of these favorites.
Concerts begin in May 2016
Want to experience Paris, right in D.C.? Look no further than Montmartre, a French restaurant that is bustling with diners at all times of the day. With a quick survey of the menu, you’ll recognize a number of classics like escargot, hanger steak, and mussels. While you wait for the server to take your order, you can amuse yourself by trying to pronounce everything on the menu.
You’ve probably never dreamed big enough to imagine a Nutella calzone on a menu, but we’re here to say that your Nutella fantasy has come to life at 7th Hill Pizza. This joint serves up delicious thin crust pizzas named after D.C. neighborhoods.
If you’ve never experienced the Marine Barracks’ Evening Parade on a Friday, it’s worth the visit. The parade is actually more of a concert, and features a performances by the Marine Band, Marine Corps Color Guard, and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. For those of you who are broke, you’ll be happy to hear that this entertainment is 100% free!
After the parade, lead your friends to a great neighborhood watering hole for drinks like…
Go for upscale cocktails at this unassuming speakeasy, located two blocks from the Eastern Market metro. HB has been around for a few years now, and you can actually book your reservation on OpenTable, which might seem un-speakeasy’ish and perhaps unimpressive to Millennials. However, if you find yourself Harold Black, make sure to try a new cocktail and sample the tapas from the light-fare menu.
You’ll feel like part of the EAT-BAR family during your first visit – we guarantee it. The overall ambiance is trendy and complete with a free jukebox, a wall entirely covered in old cassette tapes, and the smell of crispy beef fat fries drifting through the air. A few menu items worth pointing out are the smoked chicken and waffles topped with maple butter and honey hot sauce, sausage-stuffed olives, and the double pimento cheeseburger with bacon and tomato jam.
You’ve woken up with a slight hangover, but you still want to beat the healthy people to Eastern Market so you have first pick of the fresh produce.
People who are bad with directions love this place, since it is impossible to miss. The market is located exactly one block from the metro and features live music, farm-fresh produce, and artisan vendors selling artwork, vintage clothes, and jewelry. This market first opened its doors in 1873 and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
While leaving the market, you notice a quaint bookstore on the corner. You decide to stop by.
First-time visitors can often be overwhelmed when they enter Capitol Hill Books. Waist-high stacks of books precariously lean against each other and the shelves are packed with rare, and first edition selections. People say D.C.’s best collection of mystery and detective fiction is housed on the store’s second floor.
It’s time for brunch, so you scout out a few hot spots on Barracks Row.
Stop by Belga for a guaranteed great brunch, with menu items ranging from Nutella crepes to seven variations of waffles. If you’ve never been to the Dutch embassy in D.C., and doubt you’ll ever receive an invite, take yourself to Belga to experience authentic surroundings and service.
Enter classic Americana! After taking two steps into Ted’s Bulletin, you’ll find that you’re still standing in line, but now surrounded by a retro bar and shelves upon shelves of homemade pop tarts, which the locals rave about. Brunch favorites include the Big Mark Breakfast, the Walk of Shame Breakfast Burrito, and the Mark on an Off Day. You may overdose on sugar by the end of the meal, but that’s to be expected.
Before you know it, it’s dinner time again. You’re feeling classy though, so you narrow your choices down to Rose’s Luxury and Banana Cafe & Piano Bar.
Rose’s Luxury was named the Best Restaurant in America by Bon Appetit in 2014, and Michelle [Obama] has been there twice, so you’re pretty much a guaranteed exceptional meal. Rose’s doesn’t take reservations, so you’ll always see a line 30-deep outside the door. But that’s part of the fun, right? Right?
Banana Cafe & Piano Bar is D.C. meets Cuba, in the most diplomatic way imaginable. The menu is on point and favorites include the Ropa Vieja, plantains, and empanadas. Head upstairs to the bar and listen to live music while you sip a martini.
If you don’t know where to go:
*This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.