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Guide to Eastern Market and Barracks Row
Within these two small Capitol Hill neighborhoods in Southeast DC, you can buy fresh produce at a century-old market, taste-test hot sauces, find a pet, eat fresh sushi, and browse a boutique. By Elizabeth Farrell
Vendors set up shop every Saturday and Sunday at the open-air flea market on Seventh Street. All photographs by Elizabeth Farrell.
Comments () | Published March 19, 2008

Closest Metro: Eastern Market (Blue and Orange lines).

It’s no wonder Eastern Market is much-loved: It’s kid and pet-friendly, and its lively scene is nicely balanced by its cozy neighborhood feel. Named for the fresh-food market that opened in 1873 between North Carolina and Pennsylvania avenues, it offers a variety of ways to enjoy a lazy weekend day.

In 2007, a fire ripped through the south hall of the historic building that houses the stalls of the fresh-food vendors. Though renovations are underway, the market has relocated to a temporary structure across the street (306 Seventh St.), where the aroma of cheeses, meats, and baked goods drift through the air. On Saturdays and Sundays, when weather permits, vendors on the street and at an open-air flea market sell everything from sunglasses and hats to hand-carved tables and oriental rugs.

Uncle Brutha's sells a wide selection of hot and spicy sauces.

Capitol Hill Books (657 C St.; 202-544-1621). If you’re a bookstore junkie, this shop is not to be missed. Owner Jim Toole, a font of wisdom and dry humor, packs his shelves with books he’s picked up at auctions, estate sales, book sales, and such. You’ll even find volumes in the bathroom.

Quest Skinner’s Original Artwork (at the Flea Market in the Hine Junior School parking lot on Seventh Street; 202-415-6684). Find art made exclusively by Skinner, whose work could complement funky and more traditional styles. Or stop by for a chat—her colorful designs reflect her effervescent personality.

This View of Life (Flea Market; 202-484-4905). Enjoy Jean-Louis Monfraix’s stunning photography of DC, landscape, and nature. 

Tunis Arts (Flea Market; 703-913-7220). Under this tent are a colorful assortment of Mediterranean, handmade pottery and tile with the bright blues and yellows of the region. You’ll find Dutch ovens, dishes, bowls, and tile wall hangings.

Uncle Brutha’s Gourmet Foods and Hot Sauce Emporium (323 Seventh St.; 202-546-3473). Do you like it spicy or sweet? Visit the hot-sauce bar here and taste fiery concoctions, including Dave’s Insanity Sauce or Predator Hot Sauce. Or try the signature sauces such as our favorite, Fire Sauce No. 9, made with serrano chilies, ginger, and garlic. The shop also offers an array of other gourmet food items and condiments.


Crepes at the Market (7th St. and North Carolina Ave.). On Saturdays, watch as crepe-makers pour the batter and create a yummy sensation of your choosing from a sizable list of ingredients. Or pick from the menu of crepes, which includes egg, spinach, portabello mushroom, and asiago cheese ($7) or blueberries, banana, peaches, and honey ($6).

Montmartre (327 Seventh St.; 202-544-1244). A cozy little restaurant that offers French fare, including petite charcuterie, a homemade country pate, and duck rillette ($8.95) and roasted skate wing with braised tomato and lettuce ($17.95). Reservations recommended.

Tortilla Café (210 Seventh St.; 202-547-5700). This eatery offers a lot of bang for your buck, serving up large portions of Salvadoran and Mexican foods cafeteria-style. The papusas or quesadillas are worth a try.

Tunnicliff’s Tavern (222 Seventh St.; 202-544-5680). A friendly staff and huge menu draw crowds that pack the pub on weekends for lunch and brunch. For brunch, try the Eggs Chesapeake, poached eggs, lump crab meat, and hollandaise sauce for $11. At lunch, the sesame tuna-steak sandwich with wasabi cream sauce ($12.95) is a hit.


Street musicians often entertain passersby, and there are annual holiday events, such as a Halloween street party with candy and hayrides. Local crafters and artisans line the street on weekends to show and sell their wares.


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 03/19/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles