News & Politics

Great Food in Washington: Where to Find It

A shopper’s guide to the area’s best butchers, bakeries, farmers markets, seafood counters, ethnic grocers, and more. takeout.

If you’re a farmers-market shopper, you may have hit the stalls at DC’s Dupont Circle or Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood. But some under-the-radar markets are worth seeking out as well. Here are our favorites.

Falls Church
At this year-round market, locals rave about Bonaparte Breads’ ham-and-cheese croissants (they sell out early), and there are lots of samples—among them a Bolognese sauce from Dragonfly Farms, dressings and dips from Wisteria Gardens, and cheese curds from Fields of Grace Farm. Saturdays 8 to noon. City Hall parking lot at 300 Park Ave., Falls Church.

Mount Pleasant
Besides the usual produce and meats, you’ll find jugglers, a table of knitters ready to answer questions, a free bike clinic, and—best of all—frozen-treats cart Pleasant Pops. If you run out of cash, you can use a debit card to buy wooden tokens at an “ATM table.” Saturdays 9 to 1, May through November. 17th and Lamont sts., NW.

See Also:

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Chef’s Secret Ingredients

In the mood for paella? You’ll find that and other unusual eats at this year-round market. Les Caprices de Joelle makes Belgian waffles; Harvest Market offers citrusy gravlax and a wonderful sunchoke soup; and Simply Delicious puts out a tasty cheesecake. Sundays 9 to 1. 48th Pl. and MacArthur Blvd., NW.

If the Virginia lamb and fresh mozzarella don’t entice you, the smell of freshly popped kettle corn just might. There are also three bakeries, an ice-cream vendor, and meats from Ole Pioneer’s Kitchen that include Mexican sausage, British bangers, and Italian meatballs. Saturdays 8 to noon, May through October. 1609 Washington Plaza N., Reston.

Riverdale Park
This market has much to offer beyond the handful of produce vendors. A picnic area is a good place to graze on crepes, doughnuts, and pickles,and shoppers of all ages can enjoy the model trains and the musicians. Gift seekers will find a jewelry vendor and a potter as well as a flower stall. Thursdays 3 to 7, mid-April through mid-November. Rhode Island Ave. and Queensbury Rd., Riverdale Park.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.