Welcome to our #BestLife neighborhood guides, where we take a neighbhorhood and tell you where to eat/drink/staycation in any given spot in D.C.! This edition is brought to you in partnership with Embassy Row Hotel (and it’s wonderful rooftop), and we invite you to join us next Friday, for a poolside happy hour to celebrate both this guide and kick off the weekend. RSVP HERE – the event is free.
Dupont Circle is one of the easiest neighborhoods in D.C. to spend the day. Or night. Or early morning. Or late night. Whether you’re looking for a farmers’ market, Obamas approved bookstore, rooftop bars or running clubs, Dupont is the easiest neighborhood to navigate.
The Rooftop at The Embassy Row Hotel
You can’t beat a rooftop bar. They have everything a regular bar has except a ceiling. Take advantage of the extra space! Look up! Look around! It’s gorgeous! We’ll be there Friday, June 28. Join us. It’s happy hour too!
The small cocktail bar is ideal for the person that wants a cocktail they can post on Instagram. Last Halloween they turned themselves into a Beetlejuice! bar. Last summer they served presidential inspired tiki cocktails out of presidents heads. You decide what’s spookier.
We’ve enjoyed more happy hours than we can count at Hank’s. Perfect for couples, great for work meetings, OK for groups. The bar fills up quickly and if you’re with more than four people, try to get there as close to opening as possible. On nice days their patio fills up fast.
The pizza landed Pizza Paradiso on our Best Pizza in DC roundup, under the Best Pizza for Beer Lovers title. We know good beer. Resident beer expert Phil Runco is D.C.’s authority on all things ale. “There are good restaurants with great beer, and there are great restaurants with good beer. This is the natural order of things. It is one or it is the other. If someone speaks of a great restaurant with great beer, they are likely in possession of questionable taste or spinning tall tales.
But if there is an exception to this rule, it is Pizzeria Paradiso – a living, breathing minotaur.”
Interested in cicchetti? You know, cicchetti. The small snacks or side dishes, typically served in traditional osterias in Italy. Urbana has some of the best pasta in D.C. Order some cicchetti, order some pasta, when you’re there, you’re not with family, you’re at a very nice Italian restaurant.
Since not every meal should be so indulgent or luxurious, we’re looking to American hero José Andrés’ vegan and vegetarian fast casual outpost Beefsteak. There’s no shortage of good lunch and quick dinner options in Dupont and Beefsteak is one of many one a single block. Regardless of your dietary restrictions, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for on the 1500 block of Connecticut Ave NW.
Feel like an art expert? Then you’re already familiar with the participating galleries and will do your part to support the D.C. art scene. Feel like you wish you were an art expert? Attempt to visit more than the dozen participating galleries and spaces on the first Friday of every month. From art in embassies (remember, you’re in D.C., this is normal so take advantage of it) to art in mansions (once again, this is normal so take advantage of it), use that all access pass and make your world a more artistic space.
Whether you’re going to purchase produce to use for your next meal or you’re going for your next meal (hello, Call Your Mother bagels), there’s a reason to head to the 20th St NW every Sunday, year round. We’ve bought everything from local yogurt to local beef, local cheese to local kimchi. Are you noticing a trend?
If you’re more of a Saturday morning farmers’ market person, we have a guide for you.
We’ve partnered with The Phillips Collection for years and their curation is second to none. In a city of Smithsonians and NGAs, it’s easy to overlook the smaller Phillips. Don’t. Their new exhibit, The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement, is unfortunately all too timely.
Brick and mortar bookstores will not go the way of the dinosaur, as long as they’re operated like Kramerbooks. The longstanding Dupont institution has been a must visit for our staff since we’ve had a staff. Same with the Obamas. They recently added an additional room of books, has been programming more author events and is just as popular as when Borders was a thing. Buy a book. Then read a book. There’s a reason Kramerbooks made it in our Staycation Guide.
D.C.’s most unique venue is, you guessed it, in Dupont and underground. The multipurpose space has been used for concerts, readings, performance art, dance, parties and more. Check their site for their upcoming calendar. Unlike most venues, no two events are exactly alike.
If you’re reading this in the summer, lounge around the actual circle. During most hours it’s packed with locals not doing much of anything. If you’re reading this in the summer, pray for snow. During most snow days its packed with 20 and 30 something locals assembling for a massive snowball fight. It may be the best part about snow in D.C.
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