Welcome to the neighborhood!!
DC is broken up into over 100 different neighborhoods and each one has lot's to offer as well as it's unique personality and charm. Obviously we cannot go into detail or even begin to cover that much ground here in this travel guide, BUT I can however pick a few to highlight! In this guide I am going to talk about 4 specific neighborhoods and next week I will cover a few more which will conclude our DC travel guide. We really do hope that these have been helpful and that you have enjoyed learning a little more about the personality of your Nations Capital!
H Street Corridor & Arboretum:
Everyday is a good day for pizza and at &Pizza you can get creative with your pizza or stick to what you know and go plain jane. My husband and I always got creative here and tried lot's of new combinations. This is where I found my love for balsamic glaze on pizza! Oh man my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
My husband and I always love trying new places so one date night we came across Sticky Rice and absolutely fell in love with it! We came originally for the sushi, because WE LOVE SUSHI, but ended up really enjoying the whole menu. I mean come on, anywhere that will serve you a bucket of tater tots has my vote! || Also has great vegan options if you are looking for that ||
Ben's Chili Bowl
This place is a city landmark! While this one is not the original location, Ben's Chili Bowl is a must eat if you are going to visit DC! The original is up off of U Street and it really is so great that they have started to make other locations because the wait was always long BUT you had to do it! Add this place to your list folks! It's a must!
Big Bear Cafe
As you might start to notice I like to find a coffee shop pretty much everywhere I go! I had one that I loved in every part of town so that no matter where I was that day I could get an amazing cup of coffee. Big Bear is my cafe of choice when in NE DC and it is one worth visiting! They know what they are doing when making coffee and the cafe itself is INCREDIBLY cute! It has seating both inside and out and they also serve food throughout the day. No matter the coffee shop I tend to get an Americano, but here sometimes I make an exception and get one of their iced beverages because they are very tasty and on a DC summer day a hot Americano can sometimes be a bad choice!
When I found this playground I was super excited because at the time Aila had just started walking and playgrounds were still a new concept for her. BUT this one is perfect for very young children as well as older children. It is set up to mimic the National Mall with the monuments and even some of the museums incorporated into it's design. It has lots of ramps so that children do not have to climb laters and lot's of sensory elements such as finger mazes and musical instruments. We spent many days at this playground and we would even picnic underneath it sometimes just for fun! || The places it features are: The White House, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Jr. Memorial, US Capitol, Hirshhorn Museum, Natural History, and The Air & Space Museum ||
Fresh Farm H Street NE Market
DC sure does love its outdoor famers markets!! Like Eastern Market, the H Street Corridor has it's own outdoor market where the neighborhood likes to hangout on Saturdays and buy all sorts of goodies. If you are in the area between 9am-12:30pm make sure to stroll on over and pick you up some fresh produce, coffee, or even some fresh pressed juice!
I wasn't kidding when I said DC liked it's markets! This one however is indoors with lot's of outdoor seating, and it runs year around! They have lot's of food stands as well as some shops inside and it is a great place to spend a leisure Sunday afternoon!
This place is what I consider a hidden gem in DC. It is off the beaten path a little bit but completely worth the time and effort to go over and take a look. It's considered a living museum for trees and plants so in the middle of a huge busy city like DC it almost feels out of place, but every time I have been there it has been such a great way to feel like you escaped the city without leaving. It is beautiful to visit year around because in the spring you have all the flowers blooming, the summer it is a great place to get outside, in the fall you have all the leaves changing and in the winter the ponds are frozen over. I highly recommend it!
See new neighborhood and I have successfully provided you with YET ANOTHER AMAZING coffee shop! What more is there to say about it other than YUM!
Depending on where you are from you may or may not of heard about this place, but either way I think in the end we will all agree its a great place to eat! When large groups of us would go out to eat this place was such a great choice because you do not have to worry about asking for separate checks because when you walk in the door you are given a card that allows you to go up to any station and ask the cook to make you something on their menu and then they charge it to your card. This is such a great concept for a restaurant and they have lots of things to choose from. Check it out! I linked the website for you in the name.
Beef & Bread:
Honestly I wish we would of found this place sooner! We happened upon it one day after a trip to the Building Museum and from that day on we frequented this spot! It is a very very small place with no seating except for the very few stools in the window BUT absolutely delicious. They have a variety of sandwiches with freshly roasted meats and all sorts of fun and different toppings. This is a great spot to stop in for a quick bite to eat before heading on to see the sites!
Chinatown in every city is a fun place to go and usually filled with lots to do and see. DC is no exception and it is filled with shopping of all sorts! Between Gallery Place and all the shops on H street; Anthropologie, Zara, J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, and Nordstrom Rack to just name a few you have a full day of shopping ahead of you!
National Building Museum:
This place has something for people of all ages! BUT first you must know that this museum is not free! They do require you to purchase tickets to see the exhibits but it is quite extraordinary. My favorite however is every summer they design an exhibit in the middle of museum that is only there for the summer and they are always family friendly and really really cool. One year they turned the middle of the museum into a beach and filled the whole place with clear balls so as to give it the effect of water. The next year they did an iceberg exhibit and turned the whole place into a huge arctic land with slides and huge icebergs. These are fun for families as well as throughout the summer they host events for adults only in these exhibit. Another great thing about the National Building Museum is they have a room just for kids called the Building Zone. It is basically a large hands on play room filled with toys that have to do with building and creating things. This is free for kids but not for adults so while you can get your kid into the room to play for free they must be accompanied by you, but the ticket is only $3. I would bring Aila here weekly to play and I highly recommend it as a place to stop by while in DC.
Navy Yard Splash Pad
If you are coming to DC and it is not winter time then you are going to want to know where all the spots to cool down are! DC gets very hot but thats okay because it is full of amazing splash pads where you can let the kids play and cool down. The one at Navy Yard is my favorite for one because Aila was never a fan of the water that shoots from the ground and splashes in your face as well as this is one that I could enjoy with her. At Navy Yard they do in fact have the little fountain like areas but they also have a large wading pool that is less than a foot deep which makes it great for your littlest ones but still fun for your older kids as well. This was another one of our weekly spots, and let me tell you it can get very busy because it is a local favorite!
Ice Cream Jubilee
After playing all afternoon at the splash pad you should walk right down the street and get some ice cream from this place! It is all natural ice cream as well as sorbet and they have some really yummy flavors! I was always a fam of the Honey Lemon Lavender or the Thai Iced Tea!
I'm sure you are not surprised to see a coffee shop on this list, haha! This place is actually from San Francisco so not a native DC coffee shop, but I just love the premise so I decided to add it to this guide. This coffee shop is a complete pour over bar!! Pour over is my method of choice when I am at home so when I saw this I was excited. They have a very large variety of coffees to choose from and they make the pour over right when you order it.
If you aren't a baseball fan then shame on you, haha no but really the Nationals games are a great DC pastime! The people of DC love their Nationals and the games are a great way to experience DC as a city.
I promise this is my last coffee shop for this particular travel guide, but new neighborhood calls for a new coffee shop! The one thing you won't be looking for on your trip to DC is a coffee shop! This place is very serious about their coffee but with that comes the guarantee that it will taste spectacular!
I am a fan of greek food and this little spot is both in a great location, great atmosphere, very nice staff, and a good selection of greek food!
Black & Orange
You can never have to many burger places! This spot is known for its creative burgers and sauces! If you are a burger fan and hanging out in the Dupont Circle area this would be a good spot for you to stop by for a quick bite!
Another spot not native to DC but also not available all across the US. Nando's is one of our family favorites and you can find it all over the DC area. They are known for their Peri Peri marinades that is put on pretty much everything but especially their chicken. We went here pretty much any chance we got and it was defintely a place we took all our visiting guests!