If doubts remained that Washington has become a serious food-shopping city, the September debut of Union Market (1309 Fifth St., NE) put them to rest. A dream team of vendors hawking everything from bespoke salts to stinky cheeses fills the stands in the airy 141-year-old building that has been brought back to life by the South Carolina development group Edens. The developer has also been picking out local food and drink projects for Merrifield’s Mosaic District (2910 District Ave., Fairfax), a Target-anchored retail village. Among them: meat monger Red Apron Butcher, seafood shop MediterraFish, MOM’s Organic Market, and an outpost of Dolcezza gelato.
This year also saw small-scale neighborhood stores pop up in places such as DC’s 14th Street corridor, where Smucker Farms of Lancaster County (2118 14th St., NW; 202-986-7332) sells meats, chutneys, pretzels, raw honey, baked goods, and produce from Pennsylvania’s Amish Country.
In Old Town, Society Fair (277 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-3247) stocks pricey but covetable home-bar supplies. It’s also the place to get naturally raised meats and eggs, fresh-baked breads, and luxurious layer cakes.
Read more from our Best in Food 2012 package.
This article appears in the December 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.