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Guide to Dupont Circle
Comments () | Published May 2, 2008

Brickskeller (1523 22nd St., NW; 202-293-1885). This legendary watering hole is a great destination for a laid-back night out with friends. The brick walls of this beer drinker’s paradise are lined with vintage beer cans, and there are more than a thousand bottled beers on the menu, hailing from all over the globe. The bar even boasts breaking the Guinness World Record for selling the largest variety of beers.

Buffalo Billiards (1330 19th St., NW; 202-331-7665). Just below street level, this pool hall has a bit of an underground atmosphere. With almost 30 pool tables (not to mention darts and shuffleboard), there’s no lack of amusement while you nibble on the slightly upscale sports-bar fare, sip on the selection of brews, and watch the big game. Leather couches provide a more relaxing option if billiards aren’t your bag.

Cafe Citron (1343 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-530-8844). As its name suggests, this Latin lounge specializes in citrus, from the lime-infused mojitos to the lemon-garlic red snapper. From the basement dance floor to its softly lit loft, you’ll find dancers swaying to the Latin beats. The menus declare, “Dancing on the bar is not only allowed, it’s encouraged,” and the club even offers salsa lessons on Thursdays and a live flamenco show on Mondays.

Dupont Circle Farmers Market (20th St., NW, between Q St. and Massachusetts Ave.). On Sundays until 1 PM, the north end of Dupont Circle is taken over with stands of impeccably fresh produce, fruit, cheeses, breads, and seafood. Held year-round, rain or shine, the market hosts more than 30 farmers during peak season in the spring through the fall. The market opens at 9 AM April through December, 10 AM January through March.

Eighteenth Street Lounge
(1212 18th St., NW; 202-466-3922). For a swankier scene, try this easily missed night spot above a mattress store near the corner of 18th Street and Connecticut Avenue. The multilevel lounge is filled with plush couches, long mahogany bars, and attractive young professionals.

Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., NW; 202-387-2152). The country’s first museum of modern art, the Phillips Collection counts Renoir, van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Picasso, Matisse, and Cézanne among the artists represented in its 2,500-piece permanent collection. In addition, the museum frequently hosts temporary exhibitions, which in 2008 include “Brett Weston: Out of the Shadow,” a retrospective featuring Weston’s photographs from the 1920s through ’80s.

Start your day with breakfast at Teaism (2009 R St., NW; 202-667-3827), a teahouse and cafe popular with locals. Sip a cup of tea and polish off a hearty bowl of Irish oatmeal with apricots and raisins, or a sourdough waffle with a side of smoked chicken and apple sausage.

Then it’s off to explore the neighborhood. On Sunday, make your first stop the Dupont Farmers Market, where you can stock up on fresh cheeses and produce and snag a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Next, wander north through the residential neighborhoods and take in some of the beautiful homes, gardens, and other architecture. If you head northwest on Massachusetts Avenue to Sheridan Circle, you’ll pass the embassies of Indonesia, India, Estonia, Luxembourg, Turkmenistan, Togo, Sudan, Bahamas, Greece, and Ireland. Snap some photos, then head back to Dupont and hit the shops along Connecticut Avenue.

To satisfy your musical craving, head to Melody Records (1623 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-232-4002) and peruse the more than 2,000 albums, from classical to jazz to pop and rock. Or pick up a bottle of wine from Best Cellars (1643 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-387-3146), where you can sample wines—organized by taste rather than region—before you buy. If the weather’s nice, grab a lunch to go from Julia’s Empanadas or Chop’t (1300 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-327-2247), a designer-salad spot, and eat outside around the fountain or on the grass in the circle.

After lunch, set out for an afternoon of art, hitting the Phillips Collection first, then heading down to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-347-3215), a beautiful building inside and out that draws inspiration from Roman and Byzantine architecture and dates to the late 1800s. End your day in Dupont with dinner at Komi—a well-deserved splurge at $84 a person for the prix-fixe menu—or one of the other dozens of great restaurants in the area. For ideas, check out’s Restaurant Finder.

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This article is part of Washingtonian's Visitors' Guide. For more articles like it, click here.


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 05/02/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles