While in Washington, D.C. for the Fourth of July, we made some time to check out a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike in Capitol Hill. The Capitol Hill neighborhood is more than the business suits and government buildings you see when touring the city, it’s home not only to working men and women and families with children, but some of the best restaurants, bars and hangouts in the city. Nestled among townhouses, along the tree lined streets of this neighborhood lies the Eastern Market, a haven for artisans to share their craft and farmers to bring fresh produce to the heart of the city.
The market itself is housed in a 19th-century brick building that has stood the test of time and overcome fires and reinventions to earn its spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, vendors sell cheeses, meats, spices and fresh produce from permanent stalls. Neighbors pick up the week’s necessities, and leisurely shoppers try homemade pastas and breads, peering into each and every glass case looking for new favorite flavors. Visitors can even stop for lunch (or grab their blueberry pancakes for breakfast) at Market Lunch, just one of the Market’s 13 indoor vendors.
Outside, stroll through the over 100 artists who set up shop each weekend in the streets lining the Market to share handmade art, furniture, home decor items, antiques and jewelry with shoppers. We went on a Sunday morning, anticipating plenty of time to be spent leisurely wandering up and down the rows of tented vendors. Our eyes were caught by the bright blooms and fresh produce bursting from the stalls, a telltale sign of summer days spent at the Farmer’s Market.
For some DC locals, the Market is a daily or weekly errand, but has the potential to be part of a day-long outing. After you’ve worked up an appetite shopping, stay in the neighborhood for a bite to eat. The Market is lined on both sides by restaurants with inviting patios, perfect for a pre- or post-market brunch. You’re also not far from some of DC’s most popular tourist attractions, including the US Capitol Building, Library of Congress and Supreme Court building.
Have you found a favorite treasure at DC’s Eastern Market? Or have any tips for my next visit? Share them with me in the comments below.