What to Do
Back in the day, Mount Vernon and Woodlawn were hoity-toity. Cherry Hill, by contrast, is a well-preserved example of what middle-class farming looked like in the mid-19th century—unaided by slaves. Children, of course, had to work. These days, they’re welcome to test the butter churner in the kitchen of the Greek Revival farmhouse or shell corn in the barn. 312 Park Ave.; 703-248-5171.
While produce is still present, organic meats, pantry items, and baked goods are just as plentiful during the winter at Northern Virginia’s largest farmers market. Shoppers can also warm up to Sunnyside Farms’ bubbling soups, LoKL Gourmet’s breakfast tacos, and the busy griddle at Kate’s Crepes. 300 Park Ave.; 703-248-5077.
Golfers can take advantage of a mild winter day at the year-round nine-hole course here, though the adjacent Jefferson Falls miniature-golf course is open only April through October. The park’s eight tennis and two basketball courts—all of them lighted—are also open year-round, weather permitting. 7900 Lee Hwy.; 703-573-0444.
Owner Thomas Carter corrects those who think the State is just a tribute-band venue (though Gen-Xers flock to the Legwarmers’ monthly dance parties). Sure, the calendar includes the likes of Satisfaction, a Rolling Stones tribute, but three-quarters of the acts play original tunes, including bossa nova, pop, and jazz. Upcoming shows include bluesman Buddy Guy and country singer Corey Smith. 220 N. Washington St.; 703-237-0300.
Where to Shop
For two decades, Steven Lin has catered to followers of Japanese animation and cartoons. He attends up to three dozen conventions every year for first dibs on the latest DVDs, books, and card and video games. Occasionally, he’ll get posters of anime characters signed by the actors who voice them. 115 Hillwood Ave., Suite 10; 703-534-1544.
This local institution stocks so many instruments that the owners recently removed a dropped ceiling to extend the storage upward. Entire rooms are dedicated to sheet music, while studios are available for private instrument and voice lessons. It’s a go-to for parents renting their kids’ band instruments for school. 416 S. Washington St.; 703-533-7393.
Christina Novak makes it easy to shop her couture consignment—Donna Karan, Prada, Herve Leger, and the like are meticulously organized by clothing type and color. She also posts styling ideas on her website and hosts regular theme parties. Her next, on March 19, honors fashion maven Iris Apfel. 108 W. Broad St.; 703-533-1251.
While the gallery hosts four high-end sales each year of antique and 20th-century decorative furnishings, art, and jewelry (the next is March 5), Quinn’s is also popular for its weekly “treasure” sales of more modest decorative household items, held each Wednesday. 360 S. Washington St.; 703-532-5632.
With gifts, jewelry, home decor, and “reimagined” vintage furniture, Stylish Patina is home base for Kelly Thompson, who also offers interior-design services as well as classes in furniture-painting and photography. Thompson’s Rough Luxe warehouse is an extension of her shop, with monthly weekend sales of vintage and salvaged furniture. 410 S. Maple Ave., Suite 114; 703-663-8428. Warehouse: 138 W. Jefferson St.
This may be the only comic store in America where the owner is on hiatus managing a presidential campaign—Victory owner Jeff Weaver is heading up Bernie Sanders’s run. Fans love the huge collection of vintage and new comic books and graphic novels. A separate room is reserved for weekly gaming, from Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering card battles to traditional board games. 586 S. Washington St.; 703-241-9393.
Where to Eat
This shack has everything but the ocean, so take the cue and order the popular fish tacos and, inspired by the Florida State Fair, the addictive fried-Oreo sundae. Sibling owners David and Rebecca Tax will take the party outside April 16 with their inaugural parking-lot beach party. 130 N. Washington St.; 703-532-9283.
A 30-year-old favorite, Haandi recently made many of its weekend specials, such as the crispy-spinach palak chaat, standard on the menu. Chef Govind Gosain will also add more spicy, less creamy items: Look for achaari gosht—lamb in a pickle-based sauce with onions and cilantro, or “bullet naan” with jalapeño and cheese. 1222 W. Broad St.; 703-533-3501.
Ten house-brewed beers are always on tap at Mad Fox, including the oft-requested Orange Whip IPA and Slobberknocker, a “barleywine” beer with the same alcohol content as wine. They’ll pair well with the pork-belly bites over house-made kimchee or the soft pretzel with Bavarian mustard and beer-cheese fondue. 444 W. Broad St.; 703-942-6840.
This is no ordinary pizza joint—Bertrand Chemel also heads the kitchen at upscale 2941. He’s applied his classical training to Orso’s Neapolitan pies, earning a rare certification of authenticity from VPN Americas. He has also amped up the weekday specials with temptations such as lamb ragu and lobster gnocchi. 400 S. Maple Ave.; 703-226-3460.
As if the lines at this tiny takeout weren’t long enough, chef Victor Albisu is adding to his menu of $3 and $4 tacos, breakfast dishes, and “super torta” sandwiches. Newcomers include a brisket taco with horseradish and pickled chilies as well as posole verde, a soup with braised pork, hominy, and tomatillo. 2190 Pimmit Dr.; 703-639-0505.
Jennifer Sergent covers the region’s design scene at dcbydesignblog.com.
This article appears in the March 2016 issue of Washingtonian.