Known for the Capitol and White House, among other famous landmarks, Washington DC is not always buttoned-up politics. This US territory is also home to phenomenal museums (many of which are free to visit), a whopping 23 Michelin-starred restaurants, award-winning cupcake shops, vibrant street art, and hotels that range from cool to whimsical to ultra-classic. Spend a short weekend or a packed 72 hours there? We’ve provided you with accommodations, activities, and all the fantastic food / drink your heart can use.
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Where to get your caffeine fix
There’s a lot of Latin influences in restaurants in DC and The royal is one of those places. In the heart of the historic LeDroit Park district, The Royal serves Counter Culture coffee, as well as cocktails, arepas, guava pastries, masa gnocchi and more, all day.
A Philadelphia-based coffee company La Colombe is still a treat in every city that is out there.
With five locations to choose from in DC, the Blagden Alley Shop is our favorite. Grab a take-away latte and croissant and check out the alley graffiti murals as you move on to your next destination.
Where shall we eat
By no means are these ALL the best restaurants in DC (there are so many!), But they are the ones we couldn’t get enough of on our last trip to the Capitol.
A Spanish-Japanese restaurant in the Penn Quarter, Cranes, totally blew us away. From the cocktails to the presentation of the food, the unique combination of flavors and impeccable service, no wonder this place has a Michelin star. Reserve a table before your visit and let yourself be delighted by dishes such as the mushroom rice, the grilled bok choy with manchego and the arroz de conejo. Don’t skimp on dessert; You can’t go wrong with the churros or the chocolate carajillo.
Venezuelan comfort food means all of the arepas that you can eat in Arepa zone. The best thing about this place (if you are staying at Hotel Zena) is that it is right next door. Grab a takeaway arepa or order a delivery and enjoy room service when you’re feeling lazy and / or chic.
Anyone who has traveled to DC before likely has a friend who recommends it Le Diplomate. It’s French and maybe a little touristy, but it’s still 100 percent worth it. Treat yourself to a glass of wine and a steak tartare or an onion soup and foie gras parfait from the lunch menu. Make yourself comfortable so that a few people are watching on the sidewalk. You can even be transported to the city of love if you want it tough enough.
Order in advance at this Jewish comfort eatery in Georgetown. In the old Greenworks florist area, Call your mother deli. at has all the delicious bagel sandwiches, Schmears and donuts to take away. President Biden was even spotted at this local hangout shortly after his inauguration earlier this year.
Where to sleep
Hotel Zena, a Viceroy hotel dedicated to empowering women – from cocktail menus to lobby art and more – allows you to walk through history during your stay. The hotel has 60 art installations, including a stunning Ruth Bader Ginsburg mural made entirely of hand-painted tampons (over 20,000 of them)! That’s not all; The hotel’s Figleaf Restaurant offers a female cocktail menu with drinks such as Empowermint, Earhart and Curie’s Elixir. During the warmer months, visit and take advantage of Hedy’s Rooftop, an open-air rooftop bar on the 15th floor that pays homage to Hedy Lamarr, the actress, inventor, and film producer whose patents for radio frequency hopping serve as a blueprint for the bluetooth Technology have been recognized. The cocktails up here are different from the ones in Figleaf, with names like Golden Ages and Lady of the Tropics, both of which are inspired by Lamarr’s legacy on screen.
For a truly hip hotel stay in the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, The LINE DC is the epitome of coolness and is located in a 110 year old church. Book a room with a desk so you can get your meetings done early. Have a bite to eat in the restaurant or cafÃ©, or opt for room service if you’re working on a deadline or just don’t feel like going out. Visit after July 16 and dine at the new No Goodbyes, a “restaurant-slash-house-hangout” concept that will be taking reservations soon. If you’re doing a little shopping in the area, you can’t go without browsing the multi-story 40 year old Lost city books, Here you will find new, used and rare (or out of print) books at low prices and in mint condition.
If you are looking for a really luxurious, romantic getaway this is it Willard InterContinental Washington DC is it. The iconic hotel is one of the oldest in DC. Opened in 1818 (yes, over 200 years old!), The Willard has welcomed US presidents, foreign dignitaries, and various celebrities over the years, making it popularly known as the “Presidential Residence”. This is likely due to its proximity to the White House, as well as the grandeur of the rooms, restaurants, and lobby decoration. Sip a glass of champagne at the outdoor cafÃ© du Parc or go all-out with reservations for afternoon tea ($ 68-75 per adult, $ 35 per child) on a Saturday or Sunday. A Mint Julep can (read: should) also be enjoyed in the historic Round Robin Bar, which Conde Nast Traveler called the “Oval Office of Bars”.
Things to do
Some must-sees when in town: Black Lives Matter Plaza (pictures never do it justice), Culture House, the Howard Theater, Union Station (do a bit of shopping and take in the architecture of this 100-plus-year-old Train station and transport hub) and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. A fun fact about Washington DC is that many of the museums (including Hirshorn, the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Natural History, and more) free visit.