I won’t be the first or last to say that I’m lucky to live in DC (also known as the capitol of the United States), for a better part of eight months out of the year. I still remember when I was accepted to my top choice college in the city, and how excited I was to start a new leg of my lifelong adventure. Now I’m almost halfway through my college career and I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by.
Regardless, during the time that I’ve been here, I’ve made it a priority to get out and explore. I want to see, breathe, and know every nook and cranny there is; and coming from a 5,000 person town definitely taught me not to take the time I have in DC for granted.
Seeing as this is my first ever See DC post, I wanted to show one of my favorite places in the city to escape to. Eastern Market has something for everyone, and while you’re here, you can definitely feel a strong sense of the city’s culture.
I know what you’re thinking– what makes Eastern Market so special? While I could rattle off a list of reasons, the first would probably be all of the cute shops and the quirky little items one can find just by wandering up and down the main street.
I know it sounds odd to say that a certain geographical area has a quirky personality, but after stepping foot into Eastern Market, you’d know what I mean. There’s something endearing about the slanted buildings and the people who frequent and live in the area.
From Capitol Hill Books, to the store pictured below that specializes in Persian antiques, you can’t really go wrong with whatever and wherever you stumble upon. Every shop will likely be delightful and probably contain something you’ve never seen before.
Just enjoy taking it all in!
Also if you happen to enjoy flea and farmers’ markets, every Sunday, local vendors, artists, farmers, and craftsman gather to sell their goods and showcase their work in a bustling marketplace that spans the entirety of the main street. It’s certainly a sight to behold and it’s so much fun looking through all of the goods for sale.
Check out the booth with the textiles, hats, scarves, and sweaters galore, below!
I also loved all the antique items and art up for sale too! Look below to see the bins of antique maps I stumbled upon and these gorgeous dishes and cups made by a local potter.
There was even a booth that had dozens of postcard-style posters up for sale for every state, region, and area in the United States (and even some European countries too). I’m from Maine and was pleasantly surprised to find Acadia depicted on a poster.
Usually people don’t even know Maine is a state, go figure.
Another thing that makes Eastern Market so special is the architecture. Every street looks like it was plucked straight out of a fairytale or looks like it was vaguely European inspired. Washington DC is known for being kept immaculately clean (though that comes at the cost of gentrification, unfortunately), but it’s a pleasure to stroll through the area and take in all the gorgeous townhouses, shop windows, and interiors.
( Above: Inside Eastern Marketplace)
… La de da, just strollin’ through the neighborhood.
Now I will disclaim that anyone who knows me (and who knows me well), knows that I am a serial restaurant-er, coffee addict, and overall food snob. It’s both a blessing and a curse (more of a curse on my wallet, really), but wherever I find myself, I make it a point to eat and drink my way through as much of it as I can. Eastern market was no exception.
Inside of the actual marketplace, you can find most anything you need, whether that be fresh seafood, meat, flowers, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, a sandwich, or some pancakes. A building made to speficially house local agriculturalists, the marketplace really does have it all.
Check out the snapshots I grabbed while at some of the stalls, below!
As far as restaurants go, here are some of my favorite places to pop into while I’m in the area!
- Peregrine Espresso
A place where the coffee is top notch and the baristas actually smile, there is nothing I love more than being served a delicious cup of joe by hipsters that aren’t pretentious for once (it’s a modern day miracle, honestly).
- Bourbon Coffee
A place that had rave reviews, I was slightly disappointed with the quality of customer service and coffee I received, but pleasantly surprised at how much seating there was and how peaceful it was to sit and work. A+ for vibe… C for service.
- Sanphan Thai
I’m a total thai food snob, and Sanphan didn’t disappoint. While it’s not the best thai I’ve ever had, it’s far superior to most thai that I’ve encountered in DC, where the food tastes terribly generic. Sanphan makes use of interesting flavor combinations and really offers a little something extra. The service is quick and the food is delicious. I have a fond place in my heart for this restaurant.
- Bullfrog Bagels
Yummy bagels, but the place closes early. Get here while you can and you won’t regret it! Enough said.
- Bayou Bakery
The holy grail of coffeeshops, they serve amazing coffee and have four entire rooms of seating PLUS outdoor seating for those of you who feel guilty for not taking advantage of DC’s amazing fall weather. Go check this place out and you may never leave. Seriously.
- Port City Java
Okay, if it isn’t obvious by now, I’m a serial java jumper. I love coffee, I love cafés, and I love sitting in cafés drinking my coffee. Port City Java is a really nice place to relax and I’d definitely recommend if you’re looking for a quiet corner to recline in.
( location of each photo: peregrine espresso, sanphan, sanphan, and eastern marketplace )
So that it’s for my crash-tour of Eastern Market!
Since this is my first See DC post, let me know whether you’d be interested in seeing more of my adventures as I meander through DC in the future! Would you like to see generalized area tours like this post or more focused restaurant reviews/suggestions?
Have you ever visited DC before? If so, what were your favorite areas and sights to see? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!