Things to Do and Places to Eat
We've lived in the DC metro area for awhile now and there are lots of things we like about it that we're excited to share with you. Below are some of the things we like most, and "what should we do and where should we eat?" is Rich's favorite game. Looking over everything, it kinda feels a little out of date, but we were more "with it" before three years ago. Check out the Wikivoyage article for tourism stuff (https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.) and Eater DC (https://dc.eater.com/) for more food stuff.
Here are some places we like that fall under the heading "sightseeing:"
The most tourist-y:
- The Building Museum, wwww.nbm.org: The Building Museum is dedicated to architecture and urban design and is super interesting, more than that may sound. It is housed in what used to be the Social Security Administration building, and a very interesting structure. Here's a picture of the inside. Entrance is free, some exhibits may have a fee though.
- The Smithsonian, www.si.edu: Kind of obvious but that doesn't mean not worthwhile! DC is filled with free museums that are a part of the Smithsonian Institution.
Air and Space,
African American History,
Museum of the Native American,
- The National Mall, https://www.nps.gov/nama/index.htm: Needs no introduction, it's the Mall! All the monuments and landmarks are here.
- The fountain at the sculpture garden, https://hirshhorn.si.edu/exhibitions/sculpture-garden-plaza/: A sculpture garden on the mall with a big fountain in the middle of it, it's a nice place to sit and people watch. We used to bring Bananagrams and set up to play, and it's an ice rink in the winter. On Friday nights in the summer is the very popular Wine in the Garden.
- Roosevelt Island, https://www.nps.gov/this/index.htm: A nice place to walk or run, take in some nature and Potomac River views. Lots of trails crisscross the island, and there's a memorial area in the middle.
- Rock Creek Park, https://www.nps.gov/rocr/index.htm: Yet another great place to walk or run, it's a pretty big expanse of nature that starts just a little north of downtown and heads all the way to the Maryland border. When he's in shape, Rich is running on the Rock Creek trails nearly every day. Check out the grounds of Fort DeRussey, a Civil War fort in the middle of the park.
- George Washington Parkway, https://www.nps.gov/gwmp/index.htm: A very scenic drive between the western-span of the beltway and Mt. Vernon (George Washington's home). You get the best views of DC on this road.
- The Black Cat and The 930 Club: We've been to many good to great shows at these two places, and probably were at the same shows before we had met. Check the websites for show listings.
- DC9 and Quarry House: Two smaller show spaces and cool places to be in general, the food at the Quarry House is pretty good too. Check the websites for show listings.
- East and West Potomac Park: Adjacent to the Mall, a nice strip of land for a walk or a bike ride or a run, a nice view of National Airport on one side and Fort McNair on the other.
- Great Falls Park, https://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm: A nice area to hike and see some waterfalls/rapids, and pretty close to DC (25 minutes from the Watergate to Great Falls, without traffic). Sometimes you can see kayakers going down the chutes, it's pretty cool. Check it out.
- Kramer Books, https://www.kramers.com/: A big bookstore with a pretty good restaurant, in Dupont close to where we used to live (we'd walk by it heading to and from the Metro).
Oh man, we love food! Some of the very best and cheaper stuff is outside of the District, but not too far.
- El Pollo Rico, https://www.elpollorico.com/: Peruvian rotisserie chicken, and this is Rich's favorite restaurant. There seems to be a ring of Peruvian chicken joints surrounding the city starting at about two miles from the border. Any one of them is probably great, but El Pollo Rico is the best. They have three things on the menu: whole chicken, half chicken, quarter chicken. Original location in Arlington/Clarendon, also in Wheaton (near where we live now!). It was also featured in a pretty cool segment on No Reservations:
- Don Pollo, https://donpollogroup.com/: Also Peruvian chicken, used to be the clear #2 but has recently been challenging for the #1 spot. It's really good. Locations in Bethesda, Silver Spring, and other outer burbs.
- Dukem, https://dukemrestaurant.com/: DC has a big Ethiopian population and a lot of Ethiopian restaurants, Dukem is a long-standing favorite.
- Union Market, https://unionmarketdc.com/: In a rapidly gentrifying area of Northeast DC, kinda spearheaded the popularity of food halls in the area, many great options from which to choose.
- Le Diplomate, https://lediplomatedc.com/: Higher-end French on 14th NW, we once went here when we thought we had a reservation and were mistaken but were able to eat anyway, and then returned soon after on the date of the actual reservation and justified it by saying we'd only get the cheaper things on the menu. Rich ended up getting the Warm Shrimp Salad and he still thinks about it today.
- Anything from José Andrés / Think Food Group, including
Jaleo (Spanish, downtown on 7th),
Zatinya (Mediterranean, downtown on 9th),
China Chilcano (Chinese/Peruvian, downtown on 7th), and
Spanish Diner (Spanish again, Bethesda).
José Andrés is more of a humanitarian these days, feeding survivors and first responders in disaster areas, but all of his restaurants are all great. The former NY Times food critic says that Jaleo has the best paella in the United States. For an experience we haven't yet done ourselves but would love to some day, Andrés's Minibar is often credited with inventing molecular gastronomy.
- Bread Furst, https://breadfurst.com/: Just a really really good bakery for breads, pastries, and sandwiches up on Conn Ave. If you meet up with people and bring something from Bread Furst, when they find out they get excited because it's a special treat. It has a kind of confusing line situation, FYI.
Near the Block Hotels
Washington Marriot Georgetown
Here are some bars of note.
- The Raven, no website, but here's a map: Dive bar, relatively cheap, a good place to hang out, and definitely no tourists are here, and in Mt. Pleasant, a nice neighborhood to walk around. Come here after you go to Elle.
- Showtime Lounge, https://twitter.com/Showtime_DC/: Thrive bar, in the very hip Bloomingdale neighborhood, cool people go here. Come here after you go to The Red Hen.
- The Saloon, no website, but here's a map: A great place on U Street, no standing allowed (so it doesn't become like an annoying super packed bar sitution) and it closes every August so the owner can build schools in third world countries, no joke. Come here after you go to the aformentioned Dukem or Izakaya Seki.
Return to the homepage.