Think D.C. is all Politics and power suits? Time to look past the bills and the laws and break out for the old landmark haunts and neighborhood newcomers that are helping define the District as a city on the rise.
Among the grand marble monuments, the presidential motorcades, and city events that harken back to the history books, there’s a new wave of cool spreading through the up-and-coming community of Shaw, along the 14th Street corridor that has become a culinary capital in its own right, and around historic Dupont Circle. Whether you’re strapped for cash or going for broke, we’ve culled together a guide to the Capital City to appease every type of spender.
Steal: Embassy Circle Guest House
Raymond and Laura Saba lovingly restored this former embassy in Dupont Circle into a gracious 11-room dwelling, complete with a hearty breakfast spread and afternoon tea (rooms from $200). dcinns.com
Intimate and stunning, this 49-room hotel welcomes the District’s elite to slumber among luxurious amenities—including a rooftop pool with a monumental view and The Rye Bar (rooms from $495). capellahotels.com
Executive chef Katsuya Fukushima uses noodles made and aged in Sapporo, Japan, as the base of his five massive ramen bowls (from $11.75). Drink it down with a Sapporo draft beer ($4.75). daikaya.com
Splurge: Iron Gate
Celebrated chef Anthony Chittum reinvigorated the Dupont Circle restaurant that has been a local gem since the twenties. Enjoy the six-course tasting menu ($75) and beverage pairing ($45) in an intimate dining room that was once a stable and now overlooks a wisteria-draped courtyard. irongaterestaurantdc.com
Steal: Dacha Beer Garden
Twenty-four taps pour primarily German and Belgian beers out of the side of a converted trailer, including Weihenstephan, widely considered to be the world’s oldest brewery (from $7). 1600 Seventh Street NW.
Splurge: Columbia Room
A tasting menu ($69) of classic cocktails and small plates earned this Derek Brown bar a spot as a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards’ Outstanding Bar Program for 2014. columbiaroomdc.com
In a city that has more than its fair share of black-tie events, sassy secondhand finds are all the more important. Sort through beautiful castoffs in clothing and accessories from such designers as Oscar de la Renta, Miu Miu, and Badgley Mischka. secondi.com
Owner Paige Speyer is a born-and-raised Washingtonian; her impossibly chic Georgetown boutique carries of-the-moment trends from designers like Alice + Olivia and Trina Turk. shopwinkdc.com
Walk in the steps of history through awe-inspiring sites like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Washington Monument, and 15 Smithsonian establishments—all for free. nps.gov; si.edu
Splurge: Washington Nationals
Dodge fly balls with tickets to the Home Plate Box ($200). These swanky seats offer optimal viewing for the die-hard Nats fan. nationals.com