The Nation’s Capital, a place where monuments, history, and politics merge together to create one of the most unique cities in the world. Over the last five years Washington D.C. has changed drastically. With a taste for locally grown produce and skillfully crafted cocktails, the District wants to be recognized as food destination such as its big brother, New York City. As old neighborhoods merge into new ones, and the palate of Washingtonians continue to develop, here are three neighborhoods you must visit during your stay. A big thank you goes out to Expedia.com for partnering with us on this post and helping visitors experience DC like a local.
Located in the northwest quadrant, the Shaw area is one of the most sought after locations in the District. Legends such as Duke Ellington grew up here and with Howard University mere footsteps away, its cultural diversity brings a uniqueness that is embraced by its patrons and residents alike.
Serving self-described modern American cuisine, Executive Chef Ron Tanaka’s restaurant Thally is quietly tucked along 9th St. Choosing the tag line “simple, fresh, and flavorful,” Chef Tanaka showcases that through dishes like his carnitas sopes. Tender, braised pieces of pork sit atop a rounded corn tortilla, topped with plump, diced tomatoes, onions, crema, and cilantro. Squeeze the accompanying lime generously over both sopes for the acidity to enhance the flavors of the pork.
Tired of eating salads? Think again as five ingredients make Thally’s romaine salad worthwhile. Large pieces of crisp romaine are lightly tossed in a goat cheese dressing, surrounded by juicy wedges of grapefruit, pungent garlic croutons, and fried capers for a textural component.
Yet, his tempura battered pork belly should receive a standing ovation as its delicate coating is crispy and light. Served with black-eye peas and kale, this dish pays homage to Southern fare at its finest.
1316 9th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Whether you are familiar with Georgetown because of its great retail shops, prestigious university, or simply that its one of the oldest and unchanged neighborhoods in D.C., it is one not to be missed. Slightly off the Potomac River, Georgetown offers gorgeous water views as well as a beautiful vantage point for the Kennedy Center and Washington Monument. Unofficially known as the place that started the cupcake craze around the country, Georgetown has numerous selections to choose from; however, the Velaquez family owned and operated Baked and Wired is a must for an authentic experience. Freshly baked bread, sweets, and strong caffeinated drinks make this local hangout a favorite for students, professors, and those who have a serious sweet tooth.
Cupcakes as big as saucers are moist and extremely delicious with buttercream frosting swirled elegantly on the top of each one. The flavor profiles range from classic to kooky with choices like carrot cake and red velvet to Flapjack and Smurfette. More of a whole grain guy or gal? Then grab one of their seventeen freshly made loaves of bread.
Baked & Wired
1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW
Washington, DC 20007
Construction of a street car system, the development of a strong art scene, and a rebellious streak among the award winning restaurants (Toki Underground and Bullfrog Bagels to name a few), this historic area has embraced the 21st century like a champ. Yet we fall back to a classic that most everyone loves, pizza. &pizza is the brainchild of Michael Lastoria and Steve Salis. A place where you can have a personalized pizza made under three minutes. Yes, you read that right. With special conveyor belt ovens and a team of dedicated staff the business which opened up in 2012, has 13 locations to date including two inside Dulles International Airport as well as Reagan National Airport. Perfect, as you’ll want to take one home with you.
It’s hard to choose a favorite as their signature pizzas are packed with flavor, so we chose three. Say hello to Maverick, a meat lover’s dream with salami, 39 day aged pepperoni, and Italian sausage. Mmmm. Or Moonstruck, a clever meatless pizza topped with mushroom truffle, crumbled tangy goat cheese, sweet fig marsala, and a spicy red pepper chili oil. And finally Farmer’s Daughter, a pie that had our attention after fresh farm eggs are cracked and baked unto it although it doesn’t hurt that spinach, Parmesan Reggiano, and a spicy tomato sauce are also a part of its makeup.