When I got off the plane in Washington, DC on Sunday, I texted my friend Rachel. I was supposed to meet up with her to go to a friend’s birthday picnic in Virginia. I walked through Reagan Airport (pictured above), snapped a picture of the giant American flag, and headed toward the metro.
“Every time I come here, it feels a little like coming home,” I texted her. It’s true. I only lived in D.C. for three years but it often feels like it was longer. I still have a lot of friends there and things that I like to do and see. Many of those things are food-related but I also enjoy going to museums and walking around. D.C. is such a beautiful city, architecturally and otherwise.
I went into a chocolate store Monday that I used to go to all the time when I was working downtown. I went to see the owner but she wasn’t there, so I briefly chatted with her husband. He remembered me and he seemed surprised that I was back in St. Louis.
“Do you miss it here?” he said, and I hesitated. A part of me will always miss D.C., even though it drove me crazy sometimes.
I’m happy in the Midwest but there’s an energy in D.C. that I miss. Sometimes that energy is galvinizing; other times, it’s flat out negative (see: the day after the 2016 election, which was also the day I moved). But overall, it’s a vibrant city with so much to do and see. It’s also filled with people I love, which makes me more apt to return. I’ve been visiting once a year since I moved and I’ll probably continue that tradition in the future.
Here are some restaurants and food destinations I discovered this last trip. I’ve also included a few old favorites. I think you’ll enjoy them as much as I did:
Kith and Kin
My friend Rachel and I celebrate our birthdays together at Kith and Kin on Sunday. Located on The Wharf, a new attraction by the waterfront in D.C., it’s known for its fresh, vibrant Caribbean food. I ordered the rouget escovitch, or a crispy fish with fried plantains, spicy peppers, red beans, and rice. It was the perfect summer dinner.
Dolcezza – The Wharf
After dinner, we walked over to one of my favorite D.C. spots, Dolcezza. It’s a gelato shop that has locations all over the city. The location on The Wharf has soft serve. I ordered the blueberry lavender with rainbow sprinkles. It cooled me down as we walked around the boardwalk.
Bread Furst is my favorite bakery in D.C. They specialize in bread and pastries. I always deliberate what to order for a few minutes because I want everything. This time I decided to get a pain au chocolat and a macchiato. You can never go wrong with a pain au chocolat.
When I heard that Bluestone Lane opened recently in D.C., I texted Rachel. I’ve been tracking them on Instagram for a while. It’s an Australian chain that specializes in healthy juices and breakfast/lunch fare. I ordered the avocado toast and it was delicious. The interiors are bright and whimsical. I sat there for a while, enjoying my lunch and reading.
I wish I could go to Sababa Uptown everyday but I can’t, so I’ll settle for the memory of it. Sababa is known for its fresh, inventive Israeli fare. I loved every dish (see the above slideshow) but my favorites were the hummus and the halloumi and dates (the first and second pictures in the show). You can check out more of my meal on my Instagram page.
Little Red Fox
I don’t always go to Little Red Fox when I’m in D.C. because I’m rarely in the neighborhood. But I stayed in Friendship Heights with my boyfriend so Tuesday morning, I walked over to the bakery for breakfast. I love their pastries but my favorite is the morning bun, which is sticky, sweet, caramelized on the outside but light and fluffy inside. I’d also recommend getting a coffee at Little Red Fox. The honey cinnamon latte (pictured above on ice) is one of my favorite drinks.
I can’t leave D.C. without stopping by Union Market. My boyfriend had never been so I took him before we left for the airport. We tried the bao from Bun’d Up (pictured above) and it was so good, I almost cried. We got the vegetarian bun, a spicy beef bun, and a pork bun with pineapple. I loved them all for different reasons. I’d recommend trying them all.
For dessert, I reunited with an old love, falooda from Toli Moli. The pistachio rosewater is one of my favorite combos. It comes with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and has chia seeds inside. It’s fragrant, sweet, and refreshing.
So yeah. Those are my recommendations for places to eat, drink, and be merry in D.C. (2018 edition). If you can’t get to them all, I’d at least go to Sababa. It’s one of the best meals I’ve had in a while, and one of the best I ever had in D.C.
Here’s a song that I heard at Union Market on Tuesday. I heard it while I was enjoying my falooda from Toli Moli. It took me back to the summer of 2002, a much different time in my life than the summer of 2018.