D.C. Ward 2 Neighborhood Guides

Burleith

Developed as a middle-class neighborhood in the 1920s, Burleith is home to an almost‑100‑year‑old neighborhood association. Today, it’s an area with a gated community, the French Embassy, an arts school and urban hiking along local trails.

Eat:

  • Baguettes served in four different styles from nearby Fresh Baguette, a small French bakery open daily.
  • Simit (Turkish circular bread) at nearby Janti Cafe, a Turkish cafe with a market on its second floor.

Drink:

  • French wine at nearby Bistrot Lepic, a wine bar with over 30 glasses of wine at half price from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday‑Thursday and Sundays.
  • Turkish coffee at nearby Janti Cafe, a small Turkish cafe that treats customers like family.

Do:

  • Find modern sculptures, including a giant lawn chair on the grounds of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, the alma mater of comedian Dave Chappelle.
  • Hike the Glover Archbold Trail, a 5.7-mile trail through the city.
  • Shop vintage at nearby Georgetown Flea, open every Sunday since 1972 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Wisconsin Avenue and S Street N.W.

See:

Chinatown

Originally located where Federal Triangle stands today, Chinatown is a neighborhood trying to hold onto its roots despite development and high-rise buildings moving in. Among stores like Walgreens and the Capital One Arena are family‑owned restaurants and businesses around for decades. Shops that make handcrafted noodles sit next to trendy hummus stores. Home to one of the largest ceremonial arches outside of China, walk down alleys to find art and historic buildings.

Eat:

  • Dim sum from cash‑only China Boy, a no-frills popular Chinese restaurant.
  • Crab rangoons from Full Kee, a small restaurant that opened over 40 years.
  • Hand‑made dumplings from Chinatown Express, a family‑owned restaurant that opened over two decades ago.
  • Mushroom rice from nearby Cranes, a Michelin‑star restaurant combining Spanish and Japanese flavors.
  • Philly steak made from tofu and mushrooms at HipCityVeg, a 100% plant‑based fast‑casual restaurant.
  • Plant‑based tacos from Chais Tacos, a woman‑owned business.
  • Spicy miso ramen from nearby Daikaya, a small, no‑reservations ramen shop.

Drink:

  • Classic pearl black milk tea from ShareTea DC, a small boba shop.
  • Cocktails for $10 at Free State, a cocktail bar in a basement.

Do:

See:

  • Brutalist architecture at Wah Luck House, the only affordable living building in the neighborhood.
  • Friendship Archway, one of the largest ceremonial arches outside of China.
  • Secret garden down an alley along 7th Street NW in between I and K Streets NW.
  • View of the city from Crimson Whiskey Bar‘s rooftop.

Downtown

Downtown D.C. is a lesson in not judging a book by its cover. It’s so much more than office buildings and commuters onboarding and offloading buses from the suburbs. Home to the city’s Wall Street in the early 20th century, grand buildings decorate the area. Coffee shops, museums, speakeasies and public art color Downtown D.C.

Eat:

  • Almond croissant from Nino’s Bakery, a small-batch bakery named after the owner’s dachshund.
  • Bub’s Italian hoagie at Bub and Pop’s, a family-owned Philly sandwich shop consistently voted “best sandwich in the city.”
  • Chocolate croissant from ThreeFifty Bakery & Coffee Bar, a beloved cafe that moved to R Street NW after a long run blocks north.
  • Crispy chicken melt from The Best Sandwich Place, a popular lunch spot among office workers open Monday through Friday.
  • Hummus bowl at Little Sesame, an Israeli restaurant with hummus bowls and tahini soft serve ice cream.
  • Viet Vibes bowl from Immigrant Food, an immigrant-owned fast-casual restaurant that gives back to immigrants.

Drink:

  • Coffee from The Coffee Bar, a 2012 local coffee shop with a neon sign inside.
  • Latte with sweetened condensed milk from Dua Coffee, the city’s first Indonesian coffee shop.
  • Milk tea bubble tea from Gong Cha, a D.C.-area bubble tea chain.
  • Pisco sour from Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar, a top-rated Peruvian restaurant with a stunning interior.
  • Rotating cocktails at Allegory, a speakeasy behind a hotel library. 

Do:

  • Eat lunch at FreshFarm’s White House location, a farmers market Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April through November.
  • Grab lunch from the food trucks along Farragut Square, a park with benches, tables and events.
  • Learn about DC Public School’s history at the Charles Sumner School, one of the oldest Black school buildings in the city.
  • Listen to live music in Franklin Park, a park with springs that once supplied the White House.
  • Start to understand Chinese-American history at the Chinese-American Museum, a museum inside a 1907 Beaux-Arts mansion open for free Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • Visit Planet Word, an interactive museum dedicated to language in a historic school.

See:

Dupont Circle

A neighborhood reminiscent of Europe, Dupont Circle is home to a famous circle, Embassy Row, art galleries and restaurants/bars.

Eat:

  • ‑Bagels from Bagels Etc., a no‑frills, cash‑only shop with 20+ kinds of bagels made fresh every early morning.
  • Dan dan noodles from Astoria DC, a well‑designed cocktail bar from the owners of popular Copycat.
  • Doughnuts from Tabard Inn, the city’s oldest continually operating hotel with a popular restaurant with a courtyard.
  • Fruit and vegetables at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market, a large, year‑round Sunday farmers market open 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Thai food at three of the city’s top restaurants‑ Regent Thai and Thai Chef Street Food.

Drink:

  • Golden milk latte from Emissary, a cafe that turns into a cocktail bar at night.
  • Local craft beer at 1921 Biergarten, an outdoor beer garden open Thursday‑Saturday on the ground of the Heurich House, a Gilded Age mansion once owned by a brewmaster.
  • Seasonal cocktails at Residents Cafe & Bar, an all‑day cafe and bar with a well‑designed patio.

Do:

  • Attend an event at the Dupont Underground, an old streetcar station underground now an art gallery/event space.
  • Browse the outside discount carts at Second Story Books, a 1973 bookstore that’s one of the largest used and rare bookstores in the world.
  • Eat lunch on the steps of the Scottish Rite House of the Temple, a grand 1915 neo‑classical Masonic temple.
  • Find over 70 secret doors in O Museum in the Mansion, a museum/hotel/event space in a row of historic mansions.
  • Take your kids to Stead Park, an urban park with a basketball court, a field and two playgrounds.
  • Walk Embassy Row, a series of embassies in historic mansions along Massachusetts Ave NW.

See:

  • Art at The Phillips Collection, the country’s first modern art museum.
  • Exhibits at Studio Gallery, the city’s oldest artist collective.
  • People playing chess in Dupont Circle, a park in a traffic circle with a fountain designed by the person behind the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Romanesque Revival architecture at The Cairo, an 1894 apartment building that sparked city regulations around the height of buildings.
  • Walt Witman’s quote etched into the Dupont Circle Metro Station at the corner of Q and 20th Streets NW.

Federal Center

Hidden among government buildings are delis, museums, art and an 1854 Catholic church.

Eat:

Drink:

  • Cocktails at Artechouse, an innovative art gallery with an augmented reality bar.

Do:

See:

Federal Triangle

It’s important to note that D.C.’s original Chinatown stood where Federal Triangle is now. In the 1930s, government buildings went up in the area. They remain today, but among the buildings is a children’s museum, art and architecture.

Eat:

Drink:

Do:

See:

Foggy Bottom

Known as one of D.C.’s oldest neighborhoods, Foggy Bottom also houses the campus of George Washington University. It’s an area with many statues, memorials, cafes and small urban parks.

Eat:

  • Honey butter fried chicken sandwich from Black-owned Roaming Rooster inside Western Market, a food hall with 14 vendors.
  • Indian street food from Bindass, the local restaurant’s second location.
  • Wagyu Burger at Duke’s Grocery, a local chain that often gets voted “best burger” in town.

Drink:

  • Bubble tea from SecreTea, a shop that also sells creative cookies.
  • Latte from Swing’s Coffee, the area’s oldest roastery.

Do:

See:

Georgetown

Before there was D.C., there was Georgetown. Before Georgetown, there was Tohoga, a Nacotchtank trade port. Through the years, Georgetown is a neighborhood of contrasts. While people were enslaved, a free Black community thrived. Today, it’s known for its shops and fancy houses, but noteworthy are its off‑the‑beaten‑path museums, parks and a Black cemetery once a Underground Railroad stop.

Eat:

  • Cupcakes from Baked & Wired, the locals’ best cupcake pick.
  • Falafel at Falafel Inc., a fast‑casual restaurant that helps feed refugees in need.
  • Pastrami sandwich that can feed two at Stachowski’s Market, a family‑owned butchery.
  • Sunchoke soup at Green Almond Market, a woman‑owned Mediterranean restaurant and market.
  • Vegetarian tacos at Chaia, a women-owned taco shop inside a quaint building.

Drink:

  • Belgian beer at The Sovereign, a bar down an alley.
  • Halva honey latte at YELLOW, a cafe and bakery that sells pastries marrying French technique with Middle Eastern flavors.
  • Juice‑pressed cocktails at Sandlot Georgetown, a Black‑owned event space that supports Black‑owned businesses.
  • Wine at Apero, a sommelier‑owned wine/champagne/cocktail bar that’s a coffee shop in the day.

Do:

See:

Logan Circle

Reminiscent of European cities, Logan Circle is home to Victorian houses, alley murals and top‑rated restaurants. Once the site of a Civil War barracks for people formerly enslaved, the neighborhood tells many stories about D.C.’s Black history.

Eat:

  • Butter chicken from Pappe, an Indian restaurant with a brunch menu.
  • Chicken red curry at Rice Market, an Asian market with a sushi counter and grab-n-go Thai food.
  • Dim sum at Da Hong Pao Restaurant & Bar, an immigrant‑owned Chinese restaurant.
  • Pizza from Etto, a local favorite restaurant with an outdoor patio across from Le Diplomate.
  • Tacos from El Sol, a Mexican restaurant run by sibling chefs.

Drink:

  • Craft cocktails at Jane Jane, a well‑designed, quaint bar along 14th Street NW.
  • Old Fashioned at The Crown & Crow, a Victorian‑era bar with speakeasy vibes.
  • Over 50 beers on tap at ChurchKey, a popular bar with almost 500 different bottles/cans of beer from around the world.
  • Tahitian vanilla latte from Slipstream, a coffee shop with an award‑winning coffee program.

Do:

See:

Mount Vernon Square

Included in the original city plan, Mount Vernon Square is the neighborhood where the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is located. Beyond the Convention Center are old furniture store buildings, Michelin‑star restaurants, public art and historic Black churches.

Eat:

  • Biscuit sammies at A Baked Joint, the sister cafe of beloved Baked & Wired.
  • Cashew labneh from Shouk, a Middle Eastern vegan restaurant.
  • Hand‑rolled bagels at Pearl’s Bagels, a husband‑wife‑run shop named after their French bulldog.
  • Modern American food at Kinship, a Michelin‑star restaurant inside a 1907 building.
  • Spicy Thai food from nearby Baan Siam, a restaurant with frozen lychee and mango cocktails.

Drink:

  • 11 German and Austrian beers on tap at Prost DC, a Bavarian restaurant and bar open daily.
  • Artisanal cocktails at Morris American Bar, a top‑rated bar inside the Convention Center.
  • Coffee at Chez Lily, a dog‑friendly cafe open every day, brewing local Vigilante Coffee.
  • “Sojutinis,” $8 soju martinis at Mandu, a 2006 family‑owned and run Korean restaurant.
  • Tamarind margarita at Rasa, a fast‑casual Indian restaurant with a giant pink door.

Do:

See:

Penn Quarter

Penn Quarter is a neighborhood where tourists and locals mingle. Deeply historic, Penn Quarter has top‑restaurants, hotels with history and off‑the‑beaten‑path memorials.

Eat:

  • Breakfast at Lincoln’s Waffle Shop, a family‑owned restaurant that opens every day at 6 a.m. near the Ford’s Theatre.
  • Hand‑made noodles at nearby Chinatown Express, a family‑owned restaurant around for decades.
  • Meatless Philly steak at HipCityVeg, a plant‑based fast‑casual restaurant.
  • Tapas at Cranes, a Michelin‑star Spanish‑Japanese fusion restaurant with an open kitchen.

Drink:

Do:

  • Create an echo at the nearby Canadian Embassy‘s rotunda.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt by asking any staff at the American Art Museum.
  • Learn about architecture and design at the National Building Museum, a museum inside the old 1887 Pension Building.
  • Snap a photo with the nearby 1983 “The Chess Players” sculpture at John Marshall Park, named after the Supreme Court Justice.
  • Take your kids to the MLK Memorial Library, a large public library with a cafe, a slide, exhibits, and a rooftop.
  • Watch independent movies at E Street Cinema, an eight‑screen theater with a bar and $7 tickets on Mondays and Tuesdays.

See:

Shaw

Shaw’s history is Black history. It developed as people once enslaved settled there, calling it Uptown. Over the years, it became the epicenter of Black culture. As new restaurants move in, many iconic landmarks remain honoring its history.

Eat:

  • Awaze tibs from Habesha Market & Carry Out, a beloved Ethiopian restaurant that’s a nod to an area once known as “Little Ethiopia.”
  • Fried chicken and whiting at Saints Paradise Cafeteria, a hidden cafe inside a church.
  • Pupusas from Benitos Place, a top‑rated Honduran restaurant owned by a husband‑wife team.
  • Ramen at Chaplin’s Restaurant, a ramen spot/cocktail bar with a daily happy hour from 4‑7 p.m.
  • Tasting menu at The Dabney, a Michelin-star Mid-Atlantic restaurant within Blagden Alley.
  • Waffle egg rolls at 1914 by Kolben, a Vietnamese street food spot.

Drink:

  • Beer at Dacha Beer Garden, a beer garden with weekly programming.
  • Craft beer at All Souls Bar, a corner bar that allows you to bring in your own food.
  • Mimosas at Nina May, a family‑style restaurant with a weekend brunch menu.
  • Pisco flight at Causa Amazonia, a Peruvian restaurant in the Michelin guide inside an 1873 building in Blagden Alley.
  • Shaw latte (made with nutmeg) at The Roasted Boon Co., a spacious cafe with Wi-Fi open every day.

Do:

See:

Sheridan Kalorama

Often referred to as Kalorama, Sheridan‑Kalorama is the west end of the neighborhood. Historic mansions in all styles line Sheridan‑Kalorama. It’s no surprise that the area was home to six presidents, including President Obama. Among the mansions are embassies and parks.

Eat:

  • Cheese from Open Door Market, one of the only corner stores in the neighborhood.
  • Upscale sushi at Sushi Ogawa owned by a second‑generation Japanese sushi chef.

Drink:

Do:

  • Harvest herbs at Mitchell Park, a park with a playground, courts, picnic tables and a community herb garden.
  • Honor Irish Independence by finding the Robert Emmet statue in a small park bearing his name.
  • Read a book at the gardens open during the day at Friends Meeting of Washington.
  • Respect Ukraine by stopping by the Ukraine House, a historic mansion preserving Ukrainian culture at 2134 Kalorama Rd NW.
  • Stroll up Massachusetts Ave. N.W. looking at all the foreign embassies inside mansions.
  • Take a self‑guided tour for $15 at the Woodrow Wilson House, the former home of President Wilson that’s now a museum/event space.
  • Walk D.C.’s own Spanish Steps, built in 1911 to connect to streets.

See:

  • Call boxes throughout the neighborhood that tell the area’s history.
  • Korean art at the Korean Cultural Center, which often hosts exhibitions, performances and other events.
  • Little Free Library at the Embassy of Latvia filled with Latvian books in English.
  • Miniature Statue of Liberty in front of the French ambassador’s residence at 2221 Kalorama Rd NW.
  • Oldest house in D.C. at 2401 Kalorama Rd NW built in 1754.
  • Sheridan Circle Park, a small park in a circle with a statue honoring a Union Army general.
  • View of the Taft Bridge from Belmont Road Park, a hidden park with handcrafted benches, a Little Free Library and play areas for dogs.

West End

The westernmost part of the original plan of D.C., West End historically was a Black community. Today, public art, parks and neighborhood restaurants blend in with luxury hotels, condo buildings and fine dining.

Eat:

  • Brunch at Blue Duck Tavern, a fine‑dining restaurant with a weekend brunch with more affordable prices.
  • Sandwiches at Aroma Cafe, a little shop with more affordable prices.
  • Seafood lasagna at Ristorante La Perla of Washington, an Italian fine dining restaurant with a garden patio April through October.
  • Tandoori chicken tikka at Rasika, the popular Indian restaurant’s second location.

Drink:

Do:

See:

  • Aniekan Udofia‘s mural of Duke Ellington on the site of his birthplace at 2121 Ward Place NW.
  • 1833 lime kilns along Rock Creek Parkway.
  • Birthplace of Duke Ellington, Marion Barry, Al Gore, Katherine Heigl at The Columbia, an Italian Renaissance‑style condo building that used to be the Columbia Hospital for Women.
  • Ceramic statue designed by the man behind the Iwo Jima Memorial at St Stephen‑Martyr Church, an 1866 parish.

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