Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A foodie's week-end in Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. certainly has a lot to offer when it comes to culinary experiences (thanks to all the politicians and lobbyists) and cultural sightseeing. Therefore, on a recent trip to DC, I decided to focus on culture, food and drinks. Here are the highlights.

Union Market
1309 5th Street NE, Washington DC, DC 20002 

We had lunch at Union Market andis truly a hidden gem of Washington. Everything around is anything but hip. The food stalls are great and mostly offering local products. Lots of sun coming in so although it's indoor, there is a lot of light and it's definitely nice in the Winter to enjoy Cafe by one of the garage door. 
Union Market, ideal stop for lunch and oysters
Union Market, Washington, D.C.

Cork Wine Bar
Cork Wine Bar on Urbanspoon 1720 14th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009 (Logan Circle/ Shaw)
Reservations recommended here as well! 1-202-265-2675

Located in the hip and happening Logan Circle, this wine bar offers a tapas style menu that offers vegetables options as well as hearty meat choices and fish. The wines flight offers are reasonably price and the waiters are very knowledgeable when it comes to pairing wine and food. You'll enjoy the intimacy of the place and the A-class service.

The Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern on Urbanspoon 24 & M Streets, Northwest, Washington DC, DC 20037 
Reservations recommended: 1-202-419-6755

We had Sunday Brunch at the Blue Duck and we were not disappointed. This is a very classy «tavern» and the menu is great. We had the crab omelet and the benedicts and both were delicious. Our waiter was kind enough to give us a complimentary cake and it was delicious as well. All in all, we would run back there anytime we are in Washington. It is also conviniently located between Dupont Circle and Georgetown. 

Other bar and restaurants at a glance: We stopped at Fiola for a cocktail and appetizer on a Friday night and we were a bit disappointed. After reading outstanding reviews about this place, it felt like everyone who wanted to be seen was there and the ambiance was therefore not so great. The food was good but not exceptional. We moved on to Central Michel Richard for dinner and the Crabcake was just the best I have ever tried. Later on the lava cake was just as good and the recommendation for drinks were good as well. We sat at the bar and Tracy and Pat chat with us all night and made sure we had a great time. As most places in this area, it closes fairly early for a Friday prime dinner spot.

On Saturday night, we visited a bar called El Centro in Logan Circle. The secret to this place is the second floor with the open rooftop. Everyone seems to know each other and is very friendly. Great music, great atmosphere, all in all, perfect place for a night out if you are around 30 years old.

View of the Capitol from Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington DC, DC 20001

This Museum is very complete if you are interested by the media field, propaganda and everything related to communications and news coverage mainly in America. It features the biggest part of the Berlin Wall outside of Germany and even offers studio recording of some politics shows. It is vast and a bit pricey ($25 per adult) and you will most likely have to settle for visiting part of this vast multi-storey museum, so visit your favourite parts first. Tickets are good for 2 days but as there is plenty to see in Washington, chances are, you won't be back!

The Lincoln Memorial at night
Lincoln Memorial
National Mall, Directly west of the Mall in Potomac Park, Washington DC, DC 20242 (National Mall) 

If you can only see one memorial while in Washington, this would have to be the one. It is truly GRAND and so moving. The Lincoln statue sitting in the middle of the room alone is a masterpiece in itself.  We visited at night as part of a monument and sightseeing tour that was over 3 hours and included the Capitol, World War II, Arlington Cemetery, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr and the White House. This was our favourite of the tour. Night tours are a great way to cover a lot of the history and learn about all those landmarks of the city (and surroundings).

At a glance: we also visited the National Portrait Gallery and the Science Museum. The first one being a Smithsonian Institution is massive, impressive and claims to be the only one in the world to have official portraits of all American Presidents. The Science Museum is on the contrary a very small yet interactive experience perfect for everyone who wants to learn about various topics ranging at the time of visit from nutrition (in line with Michelle Obama's campaign) to changes happening to the earth ecosystem.

Throughout the week-end, every Washingtonian we met was very friendly and helpful. We truly appreicated that aspect about the city. Everyone gave us suggestions on their local spot or printed us a list of places for brunch. We don't know if it's the smile or if it's just that everyone in that city is nice an relax but my last travel tip about this city would be to wear your best smile while visiting. You'll see, it might go a long way!


  1. Great food, great people, lots of fun, awesome memories!

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