As one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., Capitol Hill is well-known for its beautiful row houses, brick sidewalks and, of course, as the locale where Congress meets. But it’s swiftly earning a reputation as a place to play thanks to art galleries, unique shops, a historic food hall and some of the best restaurants in the city. Ready to explore the non-government side of this bustling corridor? With the Kimpton George Hotel as your home base, you’re just steps away from the action.
145 Years of Dining and Drinking
- Eastern Market is the heartbeat of Capitol Hill for both residents and visitors. Merchants fill this gorgeous 1873-built redbrick building and sell local produce, seafood, meat, cheeses, flowers and prepared foods. On weekends, locals line up for a plate of Crab Cake Benedict from The Market Lunch, a D.C. institution since 1978.
- Opened in 1947 and owned by the third generation of the same family, Tune Inn is a wood-paneled, taxidermy animal-covered bar and restaurant that starts serving cold beers at 8 a.m. Known for its beer-battered and deep-fried burger, Tune Inn is a favorite local spot for breakfast, sandwiches and bar snacks.
- For a true taste of D.C., head to Union Kitchen Grocery, where more than 200 D.C.-made products fill the shelves.
- Snag a quaint outdoor table along Barracks Row, five blocks of historic 8th street located near the Marine Barracks. Eclectic restaurants line the street, ranging from Balkan cuisine at Ambar to made-from-scratch doughnuts at District Donut. Dine at high-profile eateries like Rose’s Luxury (named best new restaurant in America by Bon Appétit) or the elegant Pineapple and Pearls, which serves a 12-course tasting menu.
- Beyond Barracks Row, down sake oyster shooters at Hank’s Oyster Bar, sip cucumber gin and tonics in the red-leather booths at Boxcar Tavern or enjoy the freshest quality burgers and fries at Good Stuff Eatery. Just outside of Capitol Hill, in nearby Navy Yard, visit Bluejacket microbrewery for a rotating selection of 20 craft beers.
Arts and Culture on Capitol Hill
- Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger Shakespeare Library showcases reimagined productions in the onsite Folger Theatre. Recent plays include Macbeth, King John and Love’s Labor’s Lost.
- Brush up on tap dancing or oil painting skills at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, which offers one-time workshops and events for both adults and children, in addition to eight-week sessions. Activities range from creative writing and darkroom photography to juggling events, live-action literature performances and more.
- Admire street art from emerging and established artists at The Fridge, an art gallery and performance space on Barracks Row. The space also hosts magicians, live music, dancers, slam poetry and public art workshops.
Unique Threads and Gifts
- Find both used and rare books at Capitol Hill Books or Riverby Books. Both stores are super cozy and encourage shoppers to connect with fellow bibliophiles. River by offers daily afternoon tea while Capitol Hill Books hosts a wine and cheese party on the second Saturday of the month.
- Stock your wardrobe with fashionable athleisure wear at Summit to Soul, a boutique featuring responsibly-sourced athletic apparel. For one-of-a-kind gowns and cocktail dresses, try Boutique on the Hill, and for gents, Lustre Formal Wear has outfitted the men of Washington in designer suits for more than 30 years.
- Visit Clothes Encounters consignment boutique for gently-used power suits and stylish outerwear a la Olivia Pope and Claire Underwood.
- Mom and Pop shop Labyrinth Games and Puzzles is the perfect place to disconnect from electronics with classic board games like Monopoly and Candyland, as well as chess, jigsaw puzzles and marble mazes.
– Shayla Martin