best of dc

A friend was planning an upcoming trip to DC and wanted to know my list of “must do’s”. She was primarily looking for restaurants, and came to me since she knows food is my thing. However, I came up with an all-inclusive list that was pretty darn spot-on if I do say so myself, and I thought it was worth sharing here. And also since I’ve got a trip to DC coming up myself, it’s definitely helped me to remember all of my good ol’ faves. Truly cannot wait.


  • Lauriol Plaza – my favorite Mex spot! It gets crazy at peak times. An alternative closer to where he is would be their sister restaurant, Cactus Cantina, which is in Glover Park. Best margaritas & smoky salsa! I recommend the fiesta salad – it’s chicken fajitas without the tortillas. Perfect.
  • Sonoma – this is my favorite wine bar. I’d recommend reservations here. You’d love this place. Smaller and quaint spot located on Capitol Hill with fabulous food to boot. Yum!
  • Utopia – fabulous innovative cuisine over on the U Street Corridor. Local art is up all around the dining room and if you’re there later (think after 10?) on the weekend, they have live music. Fabulous!
  • Zatinya – Mediterranean tapas, yummy drinks, and chic modern decor in the Chinatown/Penn Quarter area.
  • Jaleo – Excellent tapas and sangria (red much better than white). They use manchego liberally (always a plus).



  • The Gibson – super cute cozy speakeasy spot. You’ll need reservations (and to take the address with you, since you have to be looking for it). You’d love it. It’s a new-er spot. Address is 2009 14th St NW.
  • Tabaq – cute spot. Excellent mojitos! There’s a rooftop area with an amazing view of the city once nice weather returns.
  • Lauriol Plaza / Cactus Cantina – Again, love these spots. They’ve got the best frozen margaritas. The swirl is a must.

Sunday Brunch:

  • Georgia Brown’s – nicer brunch option. Ridiculous amounts of yummy Southern food. Need a reservation though. May not be able to swing on short notice.
  • Kramerbooks – located in Dupont Circle. It’s a book store with a restaurant in back. Very unique. Fun spot just to peruse books too if you’re looking to kill some time (I always leave out of here with a random book I never originally intended buying). If you come at peak brunch hours though, expect to wait a bit. I’d recommend getting here before noon. They don’t take reservations.
  • Lunch Market @ Eastern Market – see below. Bluebucks!


  • My favorite coffeehouse is Busboys and Poets. LOVE IT! It’s on the U Street Corridor. They’ve got free wireless
    Bluebucks @ Lunch Market

    Bluebucks @ Lunch Market

    and tons of fabulous couches. Their peanut butter and honey sandwich is positively delicious, as is their coffee.

  • My favorite cupcakes are Red Velvet, located in Chinatown. The best selection is in the morning.
  • There’s a vegan bakery I soooo miss. They have the best oatmeal cookie sandwiches that are as close as it’s gonna get to guilt-free and (I think) puts Babycakes to shame. It’s called Sticky Fingers – and the cookie sandwiches are called cowvins. It’s probably not close to anything else you’ll be close to, but it’s worth it. It’s in the Columbia Heights area (green subway line).
  • Best bagels are at Bagels and Baguettes, up by Union Station. Might be sacrilegious for a resident of NYC to say, but I think their cranberry orange bagel with light cream cheese is on par if not better than H&H.
  • Eastern Market is NOT to be missed if you’re there 9-5pm on either Saturday or Sunday! It’s a local tradition (Eastern Market stop on the orange/blue line). My favorite thing there is the Market Lunch, which serves brunch on Saturday only (close on Sunday to give their employees a day off). I’d tell you to tell Tom I sent you (he used to know me), but he’s probably forgotten me. Tear. The bluebucks (blueberry buckwheat pancakes) are a must order. Oh. My.
  • For second hand clothing, I recommend Secondi in Dupont Circle. Hit or miss, like any consignment, but it’s always interesting!
  • My favorite must visits on the museums are the Museum of American History out of the Smithsonian Museums and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. I find the Holocaust Memorial Museum absolutely breathtaking. Something everyone should visit at least once in their life, in my opinion.

Love you, DC. See you soon!



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