Washington D.C. is a power city filled to the brim with monuments and museums. Each neighborhood has its own distinct personality from Adams-Morgan’s popularity as a nightlife destination to Georgetown’s quaint, fashionable vibe. For all the history and political talent that fills the city, there is also an easy marriage between the stunning architecture, lush greenery, and bodies of water. Whether you tour the International Spy Museum, shop the Eastern Market, or stand in awe before the manifold monuments, Washington D.C. harbors an intellectual atmosphere that infects visitors and locals alike. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/joseph a)
Breakfast: Brunch is overrated. As much as we all love Bloody Marys and Eggs Florentine, it is frustrating to think that daytime dining options consist of eggs, eggs, and eggs every weekend. However, Don Jaime will make you enjoy brunch for all its good qualities — a leisurely meal, an opportunity to eat coffee-friendly food all day, and time for fried pork and hot sauce. Don Jaime’s breakfast and brunch menus are comprehensive, delicious, and affordable with huevos rancheros that are made even better by the laid back and attentive single waiter who mans the tiny restaurant.
Lunch: In only a couple of years, the demand for Casey Patten and David Mazza’s Philly-style hoagies has steadily grown, ultimately leading to three Taylor Gourmet locations and a population of ravenous diners foaming at the mouth for more spicy meatballs.
All three sandwich shops have quick-moving lines serving the masses what they most desire: bread shipped in daily from Italian American Sarcone's bakery, home-roasted pork, Boylan fountain soda, and decadent fried risotto balls — all in an industrial-chic space. It's divine satisfaction for $7...and they deliver! (Photo courtesy of Flickr/M.V. Jantzen)
Dinner: Housed in the flash CityVisa complex stuck between Mass Ave, New York Ave, and 395, Kushi is DC's first izakaya. As such, it's got a comprehensive drinks menu (hot and cold sake, plum wine, beer, and cocktails) with complementary kushiyaki (charcoal-grilled, skewered food) and kobachi (small plates). And in addition to the robata bar, where the sight of chefs nimbly grilling pork bellies is truly captivating, there's also a sushi bar and bar bar.
Kushi is being billed as a Japanese gastropub, but it couldn't be further in atmosphere from the cozy, dark watering holes of the UK. It's bright, chic, and loud — a little slice of Tokyo in an unlikely location. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/toyohara)
Drinks: How responsible is Mad Men for the old fashioned renaissance? Whatever the reasons, there is no doubt that Angostura bitters, maraschino cherries, and tumblers are back in. Plenty of cocktail-focused bars have cropped up in D.C., but one recent adition — the Sidebar — find itself on the Maryland side of the border, in downtown Silver Spring.
Attached to Jackie’s restaurant, Sidebar feels like a glamorous dive with dim lighting, red vinyl seating, a pool table, and a disproportionate number of chandeliers. It is hip, welcoming, and is the perfect spot to sip your high-class rye and nibble on curry potato chips.
Hidden Gem: An export from Baltimore’s Federal Hill, Dangerously Delicious is a pie shop offering savory and sweet slices, plus quiche. A relative newcomer to the Atlas District, the shop has a few tables for dine-in, a weekday delivery service, and crucial late-night hours — it’s open till midnight on weeknights, 3:30 a.m. on weekends, 10 p.m. on Sunday.
While it might seem like a culinary gimmick, there is nothing dishonest about crust this buttery, flaky, and moist, nor is there anything ephemeral about fillings as mouth-watering as SMOG (steak, mushroom, onion, and gruyere) and Baltimore Bomb (an adaptation of the Baltimore Berger cookie). Get yourself a slice of the pie! (Photo courtesy of Flickr/paul goyette)