The Gems of Northwest
This is our last official guide for DC as well as my personal favorite part of the city! Northwest like every other part of DC has it's own feel and personality. Here you will find yourself most likely surrounded by huge beautiful trees and lot's of hills! Yes, a very large portion of NW DC sits up on a hill with a direct line of sight to the National Mall. If you drive up Massachusetts Avenue you will also have the pleasure of passing Embassy's on both your left and right, each displaying their Nations flag out front, it is quite a site for sure! You get the neighborhood feel mixed with a global influence all in one!
So here are a few of my favorite things.....
We actually found this place within the first few months of moving to DC and it quickly became one of our date spots and guest recommendations. It is a very cute and small French cafe located in Georgetown. They have both savory and sweet crepes along with lot's of other yummy things on the menu and they are all absolutely delicious! It is a very popular spot for brunch on the weekends and there is usually a long line of people waiting on the sidewalk for a table, but I think it is worth the wait.... or you can go early and beat the crowd!
This amazing little spot was one that I would visit every single time I went to Georgetown. I just had to get a Lady Grey macaron and a coffee to complete my visit! They have a very large selection of macarons to choose from as well as an every changing assortment of seasonal flavors. This is one of those stops that just feels right when you are walking around Georgetown!
Baked & Wired:
It wouldn't be a complete guide if I didn't give you the name of my coffee places of choice, and it just so happens that Georgetown has a lot of places I like to get coffee! This cafe is a neighborhood favorite and one the weekend the line will be around the block! However if you can manage to get inside they have amazing coffee, and their baked goods are no joke! If you don't believe me then go try it out for yourself, BUT I promise...YUM! Also if you like granola theirs is my favorite.. they call it Hippie Crack! (You can also order it online if you can't get to DC or just can't get in the door)
If you just want a beautiful view, you like to walk along the water, and maybe stop and grab a bite to eat in the midst of all that then you will love the waterfront in Georgetown. There are always boats going by, lot's of people hanging out and a beautiful view of the Potomac River.
Dean & DeLuca:
This is one of the larger Dean and DeLuca Markets I have had the pleasure of going to and it is great for getting a quick bite when you need a break from shopping or if you just want to grab something sweet. They have a covered outdoor patio as well as public restrooms which is a plus when wondering around Georgetown for the afternoon!
My love for outdoor shopping grew tremendously once I moved to DC. I love not having to go into a mall to find all the shops that I love and being able to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city as well as the fresh air. Georgetown is full of outdoor shopping and ranging from high end to more budget friendly shops and boutiques. You will find most of the shops located either on Wisconsin Avenue or M Street NW.
COFFEE SHOP ALERT!! I have another one for you! This one is both a coffee shop and great spot to eat. It is a very large coffee shop and it's decor is what made me like it even more. They have a mix of communal tables, personal tables, and couches and chairs set up into multiple "living areas" throughout the entire cafe. So whether you are needing to work on your computer for hours or you and your friends are just wanting to hangout then it works for both! Also every time I come here I HAVE to get the Sufyian and tomato soup! It is just to good to pass up!
So if I was in Adams Morgan there was a good chance I was making an afternoon of it and getting my nails done here followed by lunch & coffee at Tryst. I always loved coming to this nail salon because they understand how you want to feel pampered when you get your nails done! The staff has always been very nice and went above and beyond!
I loved how DC had an unlimited amount of options for coffee and brunch! I always enjoy trying new places and I am even more thrilled when they become one of my go to spots! Open City was one of those places, and they even have two locations to choose from! They have a great selection of food, baked goods and did I mention coffee?? When we had a large group we would tend to go to the one in Adams Morgan, but if Aila and I were just out for a stroll then we typically walked over to their location on the National Cathedral grounds.
The National Zoo is amazing! It is free, however the parking on site is somewhere around $24 so if you do not want to pay that then go on the weekends and get free street parking or pay at a meter during the week. Be prepared to walk a bunch when you go because it is quite the workout. You will see lot's of runners cutting through the zoo as a part of their daily run because it is so big and it is one big hill! My personal suggestion is to start your time at the zoo at the bottom of the hill and slowly make your way back up to the top while seeing all the animals otherwise it is a pretty good hike back to the top once you are done for the day! Also if you start at the bottom you will get to see the Tigers and Lions first thing!!
This is a magnificent building both inside and out! It sits a top a hill overlooking the entire National Mall and is a great alternative location for watching the fireworks on the 4th of July. The whole neighborhood comes, sits on the lawn and hangs out until the fireworks go off and then when it is over most are just walking back to their homes so it is a whole lot less traffic! When it is not the 4th though the grounds are a wonderful place to come and have a picnic, read, and hangout with friends. They have a beautiful garden you can walk through and enjoy as well.
Little Red Fox:
This cute little spot has both good food, little neighborhood market (housemade, & locally made items), and of course COFFEE. They have an outside patio as well as a communal table inside if you want to hang around for a bit. This spot has that great small business feel and it is amazing how everything they serve is either made in house or in support of another small local business.
Comets Pizza is right next door to Little Red Fox and is a fun little spot to visit! They have some very yummy personal pizza's as well as a really cool atmosphere. You can come and eat your fill of pizza followed by a game of pingpong or even try your hand at a game of foosball!
Pete's New Haven Pizza:
We were always on the lookout for good pizza places and we enjoyed Pete's! They have a good number of locations in the DC area so it isn't just a NW thing BUT I still thought it good enough to mention. They server New England-style pizza as well as some antipasti and pasta so there is more to choose from than just pizza. One of my personal favorite specialty pizzas was Elm City, but I really love me some white pizza! Oh and they also serve Boylan Soda from their fountain which was always a plus for us because we love their cream soda!
While this place makes some amazing pops they also offer food all day long! They are another spot that is a huge supporter of local business and supporting local farmers. Their food and pops menus change as the seasons change but one thing does not change and that is their quality! So go get some lunch followed by a pop and possibly accompanied by a coffee :)
Being as I am from North Carolina it was important to me to find a BBQ place that I really enjoyed. It took us some time but once we stumbled upon Rocklands my BBQ cravings were finally met! They have all sorts of BBQ to choose from, really really tasty sides (my favorites: baked beans and well done fried okra), as well as SOOO many different BBQ sauces to try.
Northwest is full of neighborhood parks and every one of them is different! I loved taking Aila to all the different parks while we lived up there. We could spend the afternoon playing on the playgrounds or cooling off at the splash pads. We also spent our fair share of time playing basketball or tennis at the various courts near our house. It was so nice to have all these options right there within walking distance! Another neat thing they also offer at most of these parks are community gardens. If you liked to garden you could rent a plot amongst many other plots and plant your flowers or vegetables.
DC is an amazing city and I really hope that these have inspired you to take a trip whether for a short weekend or a family trip sometime during the year! There really is so much to see and do in our Nations Capitol and you will not leave disappointed! Feel free to leave comments or questions below if you want more information about a specific location and I would love to help you out! #livelifesmitten