News & Politics

To Market, To Market: Best of Eastern Market and Barracks Row

Just down Pennsylvania Avenue from the columns and marble of Capitol Hill lies a neighborhood teeming with delicious eats and shopping delights.

We, the Pizza. Photograph by Scott Suchman
  • 1 Cava

    Small plates fly around the tables at this brick-walled
    mezzeteria, which at night is as loud and boisterous as a big fat Greek
    wedding. You could make a meal out of the excellent dips—jalapeño-fueled
    “crazy” feta, cooling tzatzi-ki, and fluffy
    But don’t miss shares such as tender grilled octopus and
    miniature lamb sandwiches enlivened with fiery harissa spread. 527 Eighth
    St., SE; 202-543-9090.

    Read Our Full Review of Cava ››

  • Photograph By Andrew Propp.

    2 Eastern Market

    This historic food hall is a Capitol Hill landmark—and a
    welcome antidote to chain grocery stores. Inside you’ll find butchers,
    bakers, poultry, produce, and the famous Market Lunch, known for its
    terrific crabcakes. On weekends, the outdoor flea market is a favorite for
    handmade crafts, ethnic goods, and works by local artists. 225 Seventh
    St., SE; 202-698-5253.

  • 3 Forecast

    In business since 1978, this two-level boutique has all the
    essentials of the Washington professional woman’s wardrobe: Eileen Fisher,
    Lafayette 148, and Stuart Weitzman. Upstairs you’ll find an extensive
    selection from those three brands plus Gräf & Lantz and Hobo totes.
    Downstairs, gifts such as plush animals and twee stationery share space
    with French milled soaps and chic glassware. 218 Seventh St., SE;

  • 4 Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza

    Photograph by Scott Suchman.

    Former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn takes a
    boutique approach to fast food at his two popular hangouts. Good Stuff
    Eatery serves skinny beef patties with dollops of chili and sour cream or
    piles of bacon, onion marmalade, and tangy Roquefort—plus some of the
    richest milkshakes around.

    Read Our Full Review of Good Stuff Eatery ››

    We, the Pizza is the place for slices studded with spicy
    sausage and peppers or done up Buffalo-chicken-style with blue cheese and
    hot sauce. Soon Mendelsohn will add another restaurant to the block: a
    steak-frites bistro called Béarnaise. Good Stuff Eatery, 303
    Pennsylvania Ave., SE, 202-543-8222; We, the Pizza, 305 Pennsylvania Ave.,
    SE, 202-544-4008.

    Read Our Full Review of We, the Pizza ››

  • 5 Senart’s Oyster & Chop House

    With servers in Lacoste V-neck sweaters and wonk talk every way
    you eavesdrop, this boxcar-wide oyster bar feels quintessentially DC. The
    best time to hit it is between 5 and 6:30, when bivalves are $12 a
    dozen—half off regular prices—and you can score a whole poached lobster
    for $14 (normally $20). Throw in a copper-mugged Moscow mule and a bowl of
    extra-thick clam chowder and happy hour can translate to dinner. 520
    Eighth St., SE; 202-544-1168.

  • 6 Homebody

    Find items for stylish city living at this purveyor of slick
    home goods. Shelves are stocked with Umbra frames, Bodum coffee and tea
    supplies, and design-conscious milk carafes and spice containers. In back
    there’s a small selection of modern couches, tables, and chairs. 715
    Eighth St., SE; 202-544-8445.

  • 7 Monkey’s Uncle and Dawn Price Baby

    Why spend a fortune on your kids’ clothes when they’ll only
    outgrow them? At the consignment shop Monkey’s Uncle, the options are cute
    and clean. Sizes go from infant to preteen, and there are strollers,
    highchairs, and other baby gear upstairs.

    Photograph by Andrew Propp.

    If you’re searching for a baby gift, head a few doors down to
    Dawn Price Baby. This boutique stocks all the favorites—Trumpette socks,
    Sophie the Giraffe, Aden & Anais blankets—and the staff can help you
    find just the right thing. Monkey’s Uncle, 321 Seventh St., SE;
    202-543-6471; Dawn Price Baby, 325 Seventh St., SE;

  • 8 Montmartre and Seventh Hill

    Change is always a little scary when it comes to restaurants
    you love for their consistency, and Montmartre—with its jammed-together
    tables, din of laughter and conversation, and old-school French-bistro
    menu—is one of those places. But new chef Brian Wilson is proving his
    worth with such dishes as mushroom consommé with chestnuts and spiced
    Arctic char with sweet potatoes and anise-scented shrimp. One thing isn’t
    different: the lovely floating-island dessert.

    Next door, sister pizzeria Seventh Hill turns out
    Neapolitan-style pies and hefty sandwiches—we like the Italian crammed
    with salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone, and a good dose of hot
    peppers. Montmartre, 327 Seventh St., SE, 202-544-1244; Seventh Hill, same
    address, 202-544-1911.

    Read Our Full Review of Montmartre ››

  • Photograph courtesy of Federal Realty.

    9 Hill’s Kitchen

    From aprons and towels to DC-shaped cutting boards, this shop
    carries everything needed to prepare and serve a fabulous meal. Popular
    products include Staub cookware, Kuhn Rikon and Mac knives, and Rösle
    cooking tools. Cooking classes ($50 to $65 per person) are taught
    upstairs. 713 D St., SE; 202-543-1997.

  • 10 Sonoma

    With 35 Italian and American by-the-glass selections and an
    array of charcuterie and cheeses, this concrete-floored wine bar is a
    grazer’s paradise. Among more substantial plates, we’ve had the best luck
    with pizzas, which sport tender, blistered crusts. Go for a basil-strewn
    Margherita or an Autonno, a surprisingly appealing mix of butternut
    squash, goat cheese, prosciutto, and pickled onions. 223 Pennsylvania
    Ave., SE; 202-544-8088.

  • 11 Suna

    Komi alum Johnny Spero concocts four- and eight-course
    offerings for this tasting-menu-only spot tucked into a former apartment
    above the restaurant Acqua Al 2. A rustic, brick-walled decor contrasts
    with the modern-minimalist cuisine: Dishes such as dashi custard
    with kombu-cured scallops and guinea hen atop faro and sunchokes
    arrive on custom-designed plates from local ceramicist Amber Kendrick. 214
    Seventh St., SE; 202-450-4585.

  • 12 Ted’s Bulletin and Matchbox

    Photograph by Scott Suchman.

    Feeling nostalgic? Head for the faux diner Ted’s Bulletin,
    where buttery grilled cheese sandwiches taste like they came out of Mom’s
    skillet, milkshakes (some boozed up with rum or Baileys) are served in
    fluted glass-es, and vintage sitcoms play on the big screen.

    Nearby sibling Matchbox has a more modern, industrial feel but
    is just as crowd-pleasing. There it’s all about the sliders (we like them
    with Gouda), thin-crusted pizzas, and fruity but stiff cocktails. Ted’s
    Bulletin, 505 Eighth St., SE, 202-544-8337; Matchbox, 521 Eighth St., SE,

  • 13 The Tune Inn

    Few establishments have the staying power of this wood-paneled
    dive with more animal heads on the wall than a hunting lodge—it’s been
    slinging burgers and cheap beer for 65 years. You could camp out here for
    hours with friends and pitchers of Maryland’s Flying Dog amber ale. When
    hunger strikes, tackle a grilled sandwich loaded with roast beef, American
    cheese, and the tangy ketchup-and-mayo-based house sauce. 331 Pennsylvania
    Ave., SE; 202-543-2725.

This article appears in the January 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.

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.

Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.