Beyond The Art: 7 Hidden Gems To Visit In DC
Photo courtesy of washington.org
With Superfine! DC just around the corner, we wanted to share a few of our local favorites––the places we look forward to visiting just as much (OK, almost as much) as the fair itself. Despite its reputation as a one-industry town, DC has a diverse array of local flavor, from authentic izakaya joints to a pond full of Barbies satirizing American politics. Yes, a Barbie pond. You just need to know where to look!
The Best Power Lunch
Zaytinya by chef Jose Andres is the Superfine! Team’s go-to for a power lunch in DC. The lunch menu is centered around mezze and other small plates, making it a great spot for a casual, convivial group lunch. Their version of htipiti, a roasted red pepper and feta spread, is a must, as are all of their seafood dishes.
701 9th Street NW
Where To Grab Post-Fair Drinks
Superfine! Co-founder Alex Mitow says, "Another hidden gem is the Round Robin Bar at The Willard InterContinental hotel on Pennsylvania Ave. Just a few doors from the White House, I like to disappear into this centuries-old relic of a bygone area to hang with a crowd primarily consisting of septuagenarian politicos with a smattering of diplomats and convention-goers. Warning to travelers: nary a light cocktail is served here - it's a dark spirits and martini crowd, almost exclusively."
Round Robin Bar
1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Sneak Into The White House
Ok, so you can’t actually sneak into the White House using this entrance, but it did in fact (and at times, still may, though that’s classified) provide a secret entrance to the White House for visiting dignitaries and other presidential guests. The entrance on H Street contains a winding route of tunnels that leads to the basement of the White House.
Secret White House Entrance
H Street NW, near Vermont Ave.
The Best Quirky Dinner
OKI Bowl DC is quite the opposite of some of the city’s stuffier establishments that cater to the political elite. And it’s all the better for it. The menu offers a solid selection of izakaya favorites, but the real draw is the quirky decor. Every surface is covered with some sort of whimsical touch, from miniature birdhouses to steampunk-style cogs and gears. Definitely a place to escape the hustle of the city!
OKI Bowl DC
1817 M St NW
Bring Your Hipster Friends Here
Brooklyn favorite St. Anselm has just opened up a new location in DC’s Union Market, right next to Superfine! DC. Top Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley offers a carnivore-forward menu and extensive wine list in an eclectic space decorated with vintage touches and taxidermy that doubles as beer drafts pulls. It’s all very Brooklyn, but in DC!
1250 5th St NE
Best Mobile Office
Yes, inevitably you’ll want to get some work done while in town. Luckily there are lots of DC bars and restaurants that can double as a remote office. Alex’s favorite is Bar Dupont: "It’s my mobile office when I'm in DC, where I host meetings and get work done on my laptop. I get to look out at the antics of Dupont Circle while enjoying a red wine (or a martini!) and elevated American bar food."
Bar Dupont at The Dupont Circle Hotel
1500 New Hampshire Ave NW
And Finally, Maybe The Weirdest Place in DC
DC isn’t exactly known for being Austin-level weird but if you look hard enough there are some really entertaining spots that merit a walk off the beaten path. Our favorite? The Barbie Pond on Avenue Q. It’s literally an ever-changing pond full of Barbie displays that reenact political scandals of the moment, spread seasonal cheer, and generally just wonder who the heck is behind all of this andy why! While their motto is “Lowering Logan Circle property values since 2014”, we beg to differ. We would definitely pay a premium to become neighbors with this creative display.
The Barbie Pond on Avenue Q
1454 1/2 Q St NW