Looking for something to do on a warm spring/summer day? Look no further than a stroll through Southeast’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, topped by a visit to DC’s Eastern Market.
Easily accessible by Metrobus or rail, this vibrant neighborhood is alive with neighborhood bars, restaurants and coffee shops. You can spend as much or as little time or money as you like. There’s an eatery/watering hole to match every wallet.
On my recent visit to the neighborhood with a friend new to DC, we started things off with a great lunch at Belga Café on 8th Street, SE. Belga is home to authentic Belgium food and beer. Although the fish and meat entrées looked inviting, we were in the mood for something a bit lighter. As luck would have it, we both decided to order LUIKSE WAFELS which are Liege waffles with caramelized apples and cinnamon. Liege waffles are chewy and rich while Brussels waffles are crunch and light. Whatever. They were delicious.
Fully fortified, we made our way up the street to Eastern Market, which is back in all its glory. Adjacent to the South Market Hall are flower, fruit and vegetable stands. Some of the packaged produce is exactly the same as what you’ll find at Giant and Safeway (Driscoll strawberries, for example). Stay away from those offerings and head for the fresh, unpackaged fruits and vegetables from the rural farms of nearby Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. You can literally smell the difference.
You may have a hard time pushing through the crowd to get inside the South Market Hall, but it’s well worth the effort. You’ll find fresh fish native to our area and a whole host of poultry, meat, pastas, pastries and cheese, just waiting to be served to your specifications. At the far end of the Hall is an area for chowing down your choice of charbroiled burgers, fish sandwiches, soft shell crabs, and oyster sandwiches. And if pancakes are your thing, make sure you get there in time to line up with your fellow citizens for the Market’s famous blueberry pancakes.
But Eastern Market doesn’t just offer food and flowers. You’ll find more than 100 exhibitors of handmade arts and crafts, jewelry and antiques. And the air will be filled with all kinds of music.
All in all, the Eastern Market is a treasured DC gem, as important to those of us who call DC home as the Washington Monument. Until you’ve paid a visit, you really can’t consider yourself a Washingtonian.
TUE-FRI 7 am – 7pm SAT 7am – 6pm SUN 9am – 5pm MON Closed
Eastern Market is located at 225 7th Street, SE.
(1.5 Blocks North of Eastern Market Metro on 7th Street)