D.C. Ward 1 Neighborhood Guides

Adams Morgan

Named after formerly segregated elementary schools that merged, Adams Morgan is a vibrant neighborhood filled with history, art, and food from around the world.

Eat:

  • Bagel breakfast sandwich at So’s Your Mom, a family-owned bagel shop for over 45 years. 
  • Baklava at Sharbat, a family-owned Azerbaijani bakery. 
  • Dumplings from Lapis, an award-winning Afghan restaurant highlighted in Padma Lakshmi’s “Taste the Nation.” 
  • Honey cake from Yerevan Cafe, an Armenian cafe with cozy corners.
  • Udon carbonara at Perry’s Restaurant, home to the city’s longest-running drag brunch. 
  • Ramen at Sakuramen Ramen Bar, a popular basement ramen shop.

Drink:

  • Cocktails at The Green Zone, the city’s only Middle Eastern cocktail bar. 
  • Latte from Potter’s House, a 1960 non-profit cafe and bookstore that serves the community. 
  • Whiskey at Jack Rose Dining Saloon, a bar with the largest whiskey collection in the Western Hemisphere.

Do:

  • Buy fresh produce at the Adams Morgan Farmers Market Saturdays June-December from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Unity Park. 
  • Browse rare books at Lost City Books, a veteran-owned bookstore that hosts regular events. 
  • Picnic at Kalorama Park, a spacious green space with two playgrounds, a community garden, and Underground Railroad ties. 
  • Walk AdMo BID‘s mural tour with the map on their website.

See:

Columbia Heights

Once farmland, the neighborhood developed with the streetcar connecting it to the city. After the 1968 riots, immigrants from Central and South America settled here. Today, it’s an example of a multi-income and multi-racial neighborhood with local businesses from around the world.

Eat:

  • Changing menu at Rooster & Owl, a Michelin star restaurant with a five-course dinner menu for $95 per person.
  • Laab from Thip Kao, an award-winning Laotian restaurant.
  • Pho from Pho 14, one of the most popular pho restaurants in the city. Another popular Vietnamese restaurant in the neighborhood is Pho Viet Restaurant.
  • Pupusas from Gloria’s Restaurant, one of many pupuserias in the neighborhood.
  • Roasted chicken from Spicebird, an Asian savory spice-rubbed chicken takeout spot inside Malaysian restaurant Makan.
  • Street corn at El Chucho, a Mexican restaurant that’s been around since 2012.
  • Tibs at Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar, a top-rated Ethiopian restaurant.

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Howard University

Opened in 1867, Howard University is one of the most significant historically Black universities in the country.

(Disclaimer: Having not attended Howard University, these recommendations are crowdsourced from people who did.) 

Eat:

  • Campfire Smores ice cream from Here’s the Scoop, a Black woman-owned shop across from Howard University. 
  • Chicken tikka from Salt and Pepper Grill, a family-owned Indian restaurant. 
  • Wings and mambo sauce from Howard China, a small Chinese takeout restaurant.

Drink:

Do:

  • Enjoy art at the Gallery of Art, a small gallery on campus. 
  • Browse books at Sankofa Video Books & Cafe, a Black-owned cafe and bookstore with regular events. 
  • Read a book at The Yard, a central green space with public art from alumni and Howard’s Greek life.

See:

  • Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, a historic chapel built in 1894. 
  • Art Deco architecture at the Howard University Power Plant, one of the country’s first Public Works Administration projects coming out of the Great Depression. 
  • Georgian style architecture at the Founders Library, a 1939 library designed by Black architect Albert Irvin Cassell and the site of research that went into the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case.
  • -Shows at the Ira Aldridge Theater, Howard Theatre Arts’ theater with a neon sign.

Lanier Heights

Just north of Adams Morgan, Lanier Heights is a small neighborhood with a popular park, top dining, and murals.

Eat:

  • Breakfast burrito from Pica Taco, a small shop off of Rabaut Park. 
  • Miso mushroom poutine from French-Canadian restaurant Le Mont Royal, a restaurant with a disco light and purple fluorescent lights.
  • Salt roasted sunchoke at Tail Up Goat, a Michelin-star restaurant that opened in 2016.

Drink:

  • Coffee from Soleluna, a small cafe with popular pastries. 
  • Wine from Reveler’s Hour, a pasta and wine restaurant from the owners of Tail Up Goat.

Do:

See:

  • Aniekan Udofia mural in the alley by 1747 Columbia Rd NW. 
  • “Family Circle” sculpture by Herbert House in the triangle park at Harvard Street NW & 18th Street NW. 
  • Mural of U.S. Presidents by Karlisima on the side of Mama Ayesha’s Restaurant, a family-owned, long-standing Middle Eastern restaurant. 
  • “Mural Un Pueblo Sin Murales,” the oldest mural in the area painted by Latino immigrant artists, first created in 1977 on the side of Kogibow Bakery. The mural was renovated by Juan Pineda.
  • Sculptures outside of Christ House, a 1985 non-profit working with men experiencing homelessness.

LeDroit Park

With Victorian mansions and alley murals, LeDroit Park is one of the most significant D.C. neighborhoods in Black history.

Eat:

  • Bagel sandwich at Cookie’s Corner, a beloved corner store with daily specials. 
  • Mac n’ cheese skillet at HalfSmoke, a Black-owned restaurant with a bottomless mimosa brunch. 
  • True blue Maryland crab burger at FishScale, small fish burger spot open Wednesday-Saturday.

Drink:

  • Coffee cocktails at The Royal, a family-owned all-day cafe and cocktail bar open every day. 
  • Drip coffee at LeDroit Market, a popular bodega that sells salads, sandwiches, wine, and more. 

Do:

  • Buy fresh produce every Wednesday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at Common Good City Farm‘s Farm Market at the Park at LeDroit
  • Get a tattoo at Electric Cat Scratch Tattoos, a tattoo shop inside an 1890 rowhouse. 
  • Honor civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell at her historic home at 326 T Street NW
  • Learn about the neighborhood’s history by reading the Cultural Tourism DC signs throughout the area. 
  • Smell herbs at the Tricia Lynn McCauley Public Herb Garden inside Common Good City Farm, a 2011 community garden at the Park at LeDroit
  • Take your kids to the playground at The Park at LeDroit, a 2011 park with a dog park, gardens, and a splash area that hosts community events. 
  • Visit the home of Black poet Paul Laurence Dunbar at 321 U Street NW.

See:

Mount Pleasant

Once a streetcar suburb with racial covenants is one of the city’s most diverse and inclusive neighborhoods with restaurants from around the world, alley murals, and Victorian homes.

Eat:

  • Breakfast tacos in homemade flour tortillas at La Tejana, a small taco shop open at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 
  • Chicken adobo at Purple Patch, a woman-owned Filipino restaurant. 
  • Fajitas from Haydee’s Restaurant, a 1990 restaurant with El Salvadoran owners. 
  • Guava turnover from Elle, an all-day cafe and restaurant inside the former building of a 1928 German bakery. 

Drink:

  • Beer for cheap at the Raven Grill, a 1935 cash-only bar that’s one of the last remaining dive bars in D.C. 
  • Craft cocktails at O.K.P.B., a top-rated cocktail bar above a dentist’s office with half price martinis, Manhattans, mules, and Fitzgerald’s from 5-7 p.m. weekdays. 
  • Draft beer at Marx Cafe, a revolutionary-themed restaurant and bar with live music.

Do:

  • Browse second hand clothing at Frugalista, a store that first opened in 2001. 
  • Buy a cookbook at Bold Fork Books, a bookstore devoted to books about food. 
  • Hike the trail behind Bancroft Elementary School
  • Learn the neighborhood’s history through the sculptures found inside restored call boxes throughout the area.
  • Pick up spices from BestWorld Supermarket, a local grocery store that neighbors fight to preserve. 
  • Search for alley murals using the map on local yoga studio Past Tense Studio‘s website. 
  • Shop local produce at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market (@MTPFM) Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Lamont Plaza.

See:

Park View

Organized in 1908, the neighborhood’s name comes from nearby The Soldiers’ Home Grounds that served as the city’s Central Park until the 1960s. Today, Park View’s Georgia Avenue is home to bright murals, top-restaurants, and historic buildings.

Eat:

  • Crab cakes from NuVegan Cafe, a 100% vegan restaurant on a mission to provide the city with better-for-you food.
  • Ethiopian style breakfast at Heat Da Spot, a family-owned corner restaurant that People Magazine named “best breakfast in D.C.” 
  • Khachapuri (cheese pie) from Tabla, a popular mural-filled Georgian restaurant.
  • Peach cobbler from Fish in the Neighborhood, a long-standing, cash-only seafood spot with popular sides.
  • Pupusas from El Salvadoreño Restaurant, a small El Salvadoran restaurant with $2.50 pupusas.
  • Sandwiches from Aurora Market, a mural-decorated corner store with a deli inside.
  • “Sun City” bagel sandwich with pastrami and spicy honey from the original location of Call Your Mother Deli, a beloved bagel shop with 15 locations in the D.C. area and Denver.

Drink:

  • Beer from The Midlands Beer Garden, a spacious, dog-friendly beer garden that shows Michigan games, or Hook Hall, an event space with pop-ups and garden seating.
  • Coffee from Harrar Coffee & Roastery, a family-owned coffee shop brewing Ethiopian coffee.
  • Craft cocktails at Reliable Tavern, a bar with half off cocktails every day from 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Latte from Doubles, a cafe open every day at 8 a.m. with ping pong tables on its second floor.
  • Red sangria from Sangria Bar and Grill, a Black-owned bar with a friendly owner.
  • Wine from St. Vincent Wine, a wine bar with regular live music and half off cheese and chocolate fondue every Monday.

Do:

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Pleasant Plains

A neighborhood along Georgia Ave NW, most of the area is dominated by Howard University. 

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U Street

The epicenter of “Black Broadway” for decades starting in the 1920s, U Street NW was affected by the 1968 Riots. Today, the neighborhood is full of Victorian rowhouses, Black-owned businesses, murals, and an alley garden that hosts events.

Eat:

  • Charred cabbage from Maydan, a woman-owned, Michelin star restaurant with an open fire.
  • Half-smoke at the original Ben’s Chili Bowl, a Black woman-owned institution frequented by tourists and locals alike. Find the famous murals of Black heroes on the outside of its building.
  • Soul food from Black-owned Oohh’s & Aahh’s, a 2003 tiny restaurant once featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
  • “Tour of the World” brunch at Compass Rose, a woman-owned restaurant inspired by the world’s street food.
  • Trini-Chinese chicken at St. James, a Black-owned modern Caribbean restaurant.

Drink:

Do:

  • Browse books at Solid State Books, a large independent bookstore that hosts events.
  • Buy flowers from Lee’s Flower and Card Shop, a Black family-owned local business that first opened in 1945. Don’t miss Jay Coleman‘s colorful mural on the outside.
  • Hear stories of the Civil War’s U.S. Colored Troops at the African American Civil War Museum, a museum open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Don’t miss the African American Civil War Memorial outside.
  • Listen to music at Black Cat, a small music venue that hosts independent music concerts.
  • Shop at Hana Market, a small market that sells all types of Japanese food from shiitake mushrooms to pickled plums.
  • Show at the Lincoln Theatre, a restored 1921 Black theater that influenced Harlem’s renaissance.
  • Take your kids to nearby Westminster Park, a playground with a large mural in between two rowhouses.
  • Walk east down U Street NW starting at 15th Street toward 9th Street finding the old and new murals on buildings and down alleys. Use Mural DC’s U Street Corridor Walking Tour mural map.

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