D.C. Ward 3 Neighborhood Guides

American University Park

Developed in the 1920s as one of the city’s first neighborhoods built with cars in mind, American University Park straddles American University. Nestled among $1M homes is an art gallery, alley art, and D.C. history.

Eat:

Drink:

  • Almond butter latte from nearby Compass Coffee, a veteran-owned roastery with multiple locations.
  • Frose (during the summer) from nearby Millie’s, a New England-style restaurant with taco boxes and ice cream.
  • To‑go drinks from Wagshal’s Market.

Do:

  • Learn the area’s history by finding restored call boxes with local art and stories.
  • Read a book at Fort Bayard Park, a former Civil War defense that’s now a public park on a hill.
  • Take your kids to Turtle Park, a public park with a summer splash pad, playground and courts.

See:

  • Art made by plastic bottle caps in the alley between 44th and 45th Streets and Burlington Place and Chesapeake Street NW.
  • Cheeky sign warning people entering D.C. of loss of “basic civil rights” at 4501 Western Ave.
  • D.C. flag mural at Van Ness St NW and 42nd Street NW.
  • Kim Philby’s, a double agent that inspired a John Le Carré novel, house at 4100 Nebraska Ave NW.
  • Sculpture garden open 24/7 at Katzen Arts Center, a contemporary art gallery open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Berkley

Surrounded by parks on three sides, Berkley is a small neighborhood with mansions, a modern art museum, and schools.

Eat:

  • Cacio e pepe at nearby Lupo Verde Osteria, a small Italian restaurant with a large wine list.

Drink:

  • Boba at nearby Momo’s Cafe, a small Taiwanese restaurant in the Palisades.
  • Coffee from nearby Black Coffee, a local cafe and restaurant in the Palisades with a pink bathroom.

Do:

See:

  • MacArthur Theater, a 1946 1,000‑seat movie theater that was the site of the world premiere of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” in 1979. (In nearby The Palisades, the building is now a CVS.)
  • Modern art at The Kreeger Museum, a gallery in a mansion open Tuesday through Saturday with a sculpture garden and events like yoga and jazz.
  • Murals by Nia Keturah Calhoun in the windows at 2207 Foxhall Rd NW, an 1865 preserved farmhouse.

Cathedral Heights

In the shadows of the National Cathedral is a neighborhood that transformed from farmland to single‑family homes with yards and apartment, condo, and co‑op buildings with city views in the 1920s. Today, it’s a quiet residential neighborhood with several shops steeped in history.

Eat:

  • Brisket sandwich from Wagshal’s, a 1925 deli/market popular with several U.S. presidents.
  • Kabobs from Shemalis, a Mediterranean cafe and market.
  • Neapolitan pizza from 2 Amys, a beloved pizzeria for the last 20+ years.
  • Queso and chips at Cactus Cantina, a popular Tex‑Mex restaurant with $11 frozen margaritas.
  • Subs from Young’s Deli & Market, a top-rated deli inside an apartment building.

Drink:

Do:

  • Buy produce at Dodson’s Farm Market, a weekend produce stand in front of Embassy Church.
  • Explore the National Cathedral‘s Bishop’s Garden and Olmsted Woods, green spaces with paths and trails.
  • Find the historic call boxes painted blue with art and placards honoring the area’s history.
  • Play in the nearby public splash pad at City Ridge, a new campus with restaurants, bakeries, and luxury living.
  • Shop at nearby @Wegmans, D.C.’s first location of the popular grocery store.
  • Take your kids on the weekend to the Beauvoir Playground, a massive, fenced play area with a zip line.

See:

  • Garden fountain at The Westchester, a 1931 co‑op building that was originally meant to be the largest apartment building south of New York City.
  • Hike the Glover Archbold Trail, a respite from the city along a creek.
  • Mural by Aaron Scales honoring the neighborhood’s history on the side of Salon Macomb.

Chevy Chase

A neighborhood with an 1875 store, sacred Black land, and a historical society, Chevy Chase embodies old-school Washington, D.C.

Eat:

  • Cupcakes from Red Velvet Cupcakery, a small shop with ten different flavors, including two gluten-free options.
  • Fresh seafood at The Fishery Seafood Market, a local market with more affordable prices.
  • Ice cream and cookies from Broad Branch Market, a community-focused store that’s been around for 100+ years.
  • Italian sub from the deli inside Magruders, a store that’s been part of the community since 1875.
  • Pizza from Little Beast, a mural-filled bistro.

Drink:

  • Coffee at the cafe inside the original Politics & Prose Bookstore, a 1984 independent bookstore.
  • Local beer on tap from Comet Ping Pong, a restaurant that hosts shows and ping pong tables.
  • Margaritas from Muchas Gracias, a Mexican restaurant in the Chevy Chase/Forest Hills area that gives back to the immigrant community.
  • Wine at I’m Eddie Cano, a family-friendly Italian restaurant

Do:

See:

Cleveland Park


Once the summer retreat for President Grover Cleveland, Cleveland Park emerged as a neighborhood that balances old‑school charm with new restaurants and secret gardens.

Eat:

  • Charred eggplant at Sababa, an Israeli restaurant with bottomless $12 mimosas during Sunday brunch.
  • Egg sandwiches at Cracked Eggery, a restaurant that started out as a food truck.
  • Fresh produce at the Cleveland Park Farmers Market, a Saturday market along Connecticut Ave NW May through December.
  • Gyros from Byblos Deli, a Greek restaurant open every day for the last 10+ years.
  • Hand‑pulled noodles at Dolan Uyghur Restaurant, a family‑owned Uyghur restaurant that’s also a coffee shop.
  • Italian sub for under $10 at Vace, a 1976 no‑frills Italian deli and market.
  • Pistachio chocolate croissants from SakuSaku Flakerie, a French‑Japanese bakery.
  • Tofu salad from Siam House, an award-winning, family-owned Thai restaurant.

Drink:

  • Draft beer and chicken wings at Nanny O’Brien’s, a neighborhood Irish pub with ten different kinds of wings.
  • Indian‑inspired cocktails at Indique, a pioneering Indian restaurant since 2002.
  • Rotating draft beer from Atomic Billiards, a 1993 basement bar with pool tables, shuffleboards, darts, and board games.

Do:

See:

Colony Hill

Often mistaken for Foxhall Village is a tiny residential neighborhood of five streets. Grand Colonial Revival homes with well‑manicured yards sit on streets with basketball nets set up for local children. It feels like a suburban utopia set in the middle of the city.

Eat:

  • Specialty sandwiches from nearby Jetties, a local sandwich and salad shop that’s been around for 15+ years.

Drink:

Do:

See:

  • Castle nearby built in 1901 as a gatehouse for the Washington Aqueduct.
  • Modern art at nearby Kreeger Museum, small art museum inside a mansion with a sculpture garden.

Forest Hills

Ambassadors’ residences, the estate of a wealthy businesswoman turned museum/gardens, and several trails, Forest Hills is an oasis within the city of historical significance.

Eat:

Drink:

  • Thai iced tea at Thai Pad, a 2015 restaurant started by four families.
  • Vietnamese iced coffee from Pho 14, a woman‑owned family Vietnamese restaurant.

Do:

See:

Foxhall

To get a taste of England, visit Foxhall (also known as Foxhall Village) where most houses are in the Tudor style. This mainly residential neighborhood is home to small parks, the German embassy, and a recreation center that rivals any in the city.

Eat:

  • Bagel sandwiches from the Palisades Deli, a bodega with a deli inside.
  • Pizza from European Market Kitchen & Cafe, a European‑inspired cafe that sells 15 different kinds of pizza.
  • Specialty sandwiches like the “Nobadeer” with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayo on sourdough bread from Jetties.

Drink:

Do:

  • Hike the Glover Archbold Trail by finding the path down P Street NW.
  • Learn about the neighborhood’s history by finding the restored call boxes.
  • Play tennis on the courts at the Hardy Recreation Center, a recreational center with a playground, dog park, and more.
  • Swing on the rope swing at the park inside the traffic circle along Greenwich Pkwy NW.
  • Take your kids to the playground and splash pad (open in the summer) at Hardy Recreation Center.

See:

  • Cutting‑edge architecture at the German Embassy.
  • Historic fire station at Engine 29, a Colonial Revival station built in 1925.
  • Public art on the campus of The Lab School, a school for students with language‑based learning differences.
  • Washington Aqueduct Castle Gatehouse, a 1901 castle that’s a rare example of architecture based on a government logo (the “Corps Castle” insignia).
  • Wetland Learning Center, an entirely outdoor center about wetlands, on the campus of The Lab School.

Friendship Heights

Bordering Maryland, Friendship Heights is known for department stores and the first Cheesecake Factory in D.C. Behind the shops are historic homes, unique Little Free Libraries, and hidden art.

Eat:

Drink:

  • Beer from veteran‑owned Valor Brewpub‘s beer garden pop‑up along Wisconsin Avenue and 42nd Street NW open Wednesday‑Sunday.
  • Nutella lattes from Coffee Nature, a cafe decorated with local art.

Do:

See:

Glover Park

Just north of Georgetown, Glover Park is a tight-knit community named after a well-known Washingtonian Charles Carroll Glover. With a historic cemetery with skyline views, local restaurants, and a large playground, there’s a lot to explore in Glover Park.

Eat:

  • BBQ at Rocklands BBQ, a spot that first opened in 1991.
  • Chef’s tasting menu at Xiquet by Danny Lledó, a Michelin‑star Spanish restaurant.
  • Kebabs and laghman from Eerkins Uyghur Cuisine, a restaurant serving food from Central Asian Uyghurs.
  • Pho from Sprig and Sprout, a woman‑owned Vietnamese restaurant.
  • Wings 25+ different ways at Wingos, a restaurant with karaoke Tuesdays and live music Wednesdays.

Drink:

  • Beer from Old Europe, a German restaurant that opened three years after World War II.
  • Discounted drinks at all night Wednesday happy hour at Breadsoda, a 1970s-style basement billiard bar with weekly trivia.
  • Wine from family‑owned Pearson’s Wine & Spirits, a wine and liquor store that opened in 1933.

Do:

See:

  • City views from Holy Rood Cemetery, an 1832 cemetery with a well‑documented slave burial ground on one of the highest points in D.C.
  • Jarrett Ferrier’s mural honoring banker Charles Carroll Glover on the concrete stairs at W Place & U Street NW.
  • Old FBI Spy House at 2619 Wisconsin Avenue NW across from the Russian Embassy.

Kent

Often considered part of the Palisades, Kent’s history runs deep. Before Colonial homes were built in the 1930s and 1940s, a Civil War fort occupied the area. After the Civil War, those formerly enslaved settled here. When most D.C. neighborhoods had restrictive covenants, Kent did not. All were welcome. Today, it’s mainly residential with quick access to Battery Kemble Park.

Eat:

  • Bento box lunch for $14 at Bambu Asian Cuisine, a longtime neighborhood restaurant serving Thai, Japanese, and Chinese food.
  • Breakfast sandwiches at Mimi’s Convenience‘s deli.
  • French onion shop at nearby Et Voila, a Belgian/French bistro with a market inside.
  • Lamb chops at nearby Bistro Aracosia, an Afghan restaurant open daily with indoor and outdoor seating.
  • Sandwiches for under $10 at Mac Market‘s deli.

Drink:

Do:

See:

Massachusetts Heights

A tiny neighborhood with a few residential streets with grand homes and embassies. The majority of the area is the campus of the Washington National Cathedral, the country’s second-largest church.

Eat:

  • Neapolitan pizza from nearby 2 Amys, a long-standing, top-rated pizzeria.
  • Steak frites from nearby La Piquette, a French bistro by the former chef at the French Embassy.

Drink:

Do:

See:

McLean Gardens

A small neighborhood that’s named after the World War II housing complex that occupies most of the neighborhood. Now owned by its residents, McLean Gardens is a community.

Eat:

  • Neapolitan pizza from nearby 2 Amys, a beloved pizzeria.
  • Sushi from nearby Raku, a Pan-Asian restaurant that first opened in 1998.
  • Tacos from nearby Taco Bamba, a local chain with a popular burger in a taco.

Drink:

  • Black sesame latte from nearby SakuSaku Flakerie, a bakery that marries French technique with Japanese ingredients.
  • Martinis for $7 at the happy hour of Barcelona Wine Bar, a nearby tapas restaurant with a large wine list.

Do:

See:

  • Newark Street Community Garden, a 1975 community garden with a beehive.
  • Sculptures on the campus of McLean Gardens, a World War II housing complex that was part of the largest buy-out in DC history by a residents’ association.

North Cleveland Park

Although its history is similar with once being the land of President Grover Cleveland, North Cleveland Park is a distinct neighborhood from Cleveland Park. Mosaic steps, hidden trails, and unique Little Free Libraries, there’s much to see while wandering the area.

Eat:

  • Burgers from nearby Z Burger, a beloved fast-food chain with popular milkshakes.
  • Fresh produce from the UDC Farmers Market, a market open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May through November.
  • Pastries from nearby Bread Furst, an award-winning bakery started by a former Washington Post reporter.

Drink:

  • Margarita from nearby Surfside, a local Mexican chain with daily happy hour from 9-11 p.m.
  • Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk at nearby Viet Chopsticks, a popular restaurant that serves pho.

Do:

See:

Observatory Circle

Anchored by the U.S. Naval Observatory and the home of the U.S. Vice President, Near Glover Park, Observatory Circle is a neighborhood with embassies, trails, and grand homes.

Eat:

Drink:

  • Beer from the pub inside the British Embassy if you know someone who works inside.
  • Kebabs from nearby Eerkin’s Uyghur Restaurant, a restaurant serving food from the Uyghurs.
  • Schnitzel from nearby Old Europe, a longtime German restaurant with special menus for holidays.

Do:

See:

The Palisades

A historic neighborhood along the Potomac River with a year-round farmers market, a long-standing civic association, and a popular Fourth of July parade.

Eat:

  • $35 three-course meal Mondays from 5-10 p.m. at nearby Lupo Verde Osteria, an Italian restaurant with a market. 
  • French onion soup at Et Voila, a French-Belgian restaurant that opened in 2008.
  • Italian sun at the deli inside Mac Market, a beloved neighborhood market open daily. (Mimi’s Convenience also has a worthwhile deli.)
  • Lamb chops at Bistro Aracosia, an Afghan restaurant with a mainly-gluten-free menu.

Drink:

Do:

See:

Potomac Heights

Along the Potomac River in The Palisades is a small community developed in the 1920s. With views into Virginia, there’s much to find along the river like nearby Fletcher’s Cove.

Eat:

  • Breakfast bagel sandwich from Mimi’s Convenience, a popular bodega with a deli inside.
  • Kebabs from nearby Bistro Aracosia, an Afghan restaurant beloved in the neighborhood.
  • Onion soup from nearby Et Voila, a popular Belgian restaurant with a market inside.

Drink:

Do:

See:

Spring Valley

Grand mansion of D.C.’s elite, Spring Valley is one of the wealthiest parts of the city. Mainly residential, there are a few businesses like a local market, cafes, an art gallery, and several restaurants with outdoor patios.

Eat:

  • Brisket sandwich from Wagshal’s Market, a 1925 market popular among former U.S. Presidents with a deli, restaurant and BBQ spot.
  • “Dionis” (fried chicken sandwich) from Millie’s, a neighborhood institution with coast‑vibes, outdoor patio, ice cream, and a taco box to‑go.
  • Pizza from Pizzeria Paradiso, a local pizzeria restaurant that opens every day at noon.

Drink:

  • Almond butter latte from Compass Coffee, a veteran‑owned coffee shop with locations throughout the D.C. area.
  • Frosé from Millie’s during the summer.
  • Wine from Cork Market, wine market and bar with Saturday tastings from 2‑5 p.m.

Do:

  • Reflect on the bench at Tyler Rusch Park, one of many benches found in small parks in the area.
  • Walk a loop in Spring Valley Park, a small park with 75 different bird sightings.

See:

Tenleytown

The highest point of Washington, D.C. Tenleytown’s history tells a tale of a rural farming community to a Civil War fort to a Black community displaced to build a public park. Frequented by American University students, the neighborhood has grand homes, restaurants, and dance studios.

Eat:

  • Crispy shrimp tacos from Bandit Taco, an immigrant-owned Mexican restaurant with an outdoor patio.
  • Honey butter fried chicken sandwich from Roaming Rooster, a Black family-owned fried chicken shop with locations across the region.
  • Japanese souffle cheesecake from SakuSaku Flakerie, a French-Japanese bakery owned by a wife-husband team.
  • “Must O Mooser” (yogurt with shallots) from Maman Joon Kitchen, a Persian restaurant with several locations in the region.
  • Nigiris for $2 during happy hour every day from open to 7 p.m. at nearby Yosaku Japanese Restaurant, a restaurant open for over four decades.
  • Pancakes from nearby Steak ‘n Egg, a 1993 family-friendly diner beloved by neighbors.

Drink:

  • Margaritas from Surfside, a Tex-Mex spot with happy hour every night from 9-11 p.m.
  • Milkshakes at Z Burger, a D.C. institution beloved by locals and President Bill Clinton.
  • Pistachio latte from East West Cafe, a Mediterranean cafe open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Do:

See:

Wakefield

First developed in the 1930s, this neighborhood is named after the plantation where George Washington was born.

Eat:

  • Beet salad from Rosemary Bistro Cafe, a French restaurant with an outdoor patio and a kids menu with salmon pasta.
  • Pasta at I’m Eddie Cano, a family‑friendly Italian restaurant with $29 pasta and quartino di vino every Thursday evening.

Drink:

  • Cappuccino from the Italian Bar, a small Italian cafe that also serves gelato.

Do:

  • Buy local produce at the farmers market outside of nearby Sheridan School Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m. during the summer.
  • Eat lunch at the picnic table on the grounds of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, an 1843 congregation that’s the city’s first English‑speaking Lutheran church.
  • Hike along the nearby Soapstone Valley Trail, which leads to Rock Creek Park.
  • Learn history at the Peter Muhlenberg Memorial, a 1980 statue honoring the Revolutionary War soldier, minister, and politician.
  • Listen to local musicians at the annual summer concert series at nearby Fort Reno.
  • Take your kids to the playground at Ben W. Murch Elementary School, a 1930 building within the D.C. Public School system.

See:

Wesley Heights

A small 1890 neighborhood almost entirely surrounded by parks with grand homes and a historic church.

Eat:

  • Kabob platter from nearby Shemalis, a Middle Eastern cafe and market.
  • Sandwiches from nearby Wagshal’s, a 1925 deli frequented by former U.S. Presidents.

Drink:

Do:

  • Hike the Wesley Heights Trail, which leads to Glover Park.
  • Picnic at Battery Kemble Park, a former site of a Civil War battery.
  • Run the track at Horace Mann Elementary School, a school with a playground open to the public when school isn’t in session.
  • Stroll through the sculpture garden at the nearby Kreeger Museum, a contemporary art museum inside a mansion.
  • Walk the neighborhood to see grand homes in all types of architectural styles.

See:

Woodland Normanstone

A hilltop neighborhood with rare curvy streets in D.C., the area is home to embassies in historic mansions, ambassadors’ homes, wooded areas, and trails. It also has statues honoring Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill and the Kahlil Gibran Memorial.

Eat:

Drink:

  • Beer at the pub inside the British Embassy. It’s a D.C. bucket list item, but you have to know someone who works inside the embassy to get in.
  • German beer at nearby Old Europe, a 1948 restaurant with old world design and German food.

Do:

See:

Woodley Park

Once home to country estates used by the city’s elite for respite from the summer humidity, Woodley Park was developed in the late 19th century. With a historic district, the neighborhood has all kinds of architecture, top restaurants, and famous murals.

Eat:

  • Burger from Duke’s Counter, a local restaurant chain with a popular hamburger.
  • Dim sum from Han Palace, a small modern Chinese restaurant open daily.
  • Drunken noodles from Donsak Thai Restaurant, an immigrant woman-owned Thai restaurant. Another top-rated Thai restaurant is Thai and Time Again around the corner.
  • Tofu dosa from Veganesha, an Indian-inspired vegan restaurant.
  • Vegetarian sambusa from Elsa’s Ethiopian Kitchen, a Black-woman owned Ethiopian restaurant with many vegetarian options.

Drink:

  • Ube latte from Rose Ave Bakery, a woman-owned Asian-American bakery with passion fruit and black sesame donuts.
  • Wine from nearby Little Blackbird, a wine bar with brunch.

Do:

See:

Woodmont

Often considered part of Chevy Chase, Woodmont formed as their own community in 2016. With Rock Creek Park to its east, it’s home to a popular park and one of the oldest private Catholic schools in the country.

Eat:

  • Cacio e pepe from nearby I’m Eddie Cano, an Italian restaurant open seven days a week.
  • Pastries from nearby Broad Branch Market, a 1919 local market with an ice cream shop and cafe inside.

Drink:

  • Cappuccino from nearby Italian Bar, an Italian cafe that also serves gelato.
  • Margaritas from nearby Muchas Gracias, a Mexican restaurant that gives back to the Latin American immigrant community.

Do:

  • Hike the Western Ridge Trail, an almost-nine-mile trail through Rock Creek Park, the country’s third oldest national park.
  • Learn about nature and the planet at nearby Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium, a center that hosts shows about the stars.
  • Sign up to horse ride at nearby Rock Creek Park Horse Center, the only stable that offers lessons in the city.
  • Take your kids to the long slide at nearby Lafayette-Pointer Park and Recreation Center, a spacious park that was once the land of a historic Black community that was sadly displaced to build the park.
  • Volunteer at the Rock Creek Park Community Garden, a large garden on the edge of Rock Creek Park.
  • Walk the trails within Little Forest Park, 3 acres of green space willed to the city in 1939 by Edith McAllister Newlands, the wife of the founder of the Chevy Chase Land Company. (It’s worth noting that he fought for women’s suffrage, but also was a white supremist.)

See:

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