Destination: The Library of Congress


This past weekend I continued my quest to visit every DC Metro Station with a trip to the Capitol Hill area. I’ll cover each place I visited in separate posts over the next few weeks.

The Library of Congress

This was the very first time ever that I’ve set foot in the Library of Congress. I sometimes forget that places such as this, the largest library in the world, is just a few Metro stops away. The LOC is free to visit, so if you haven’t gone, I encourage you to do so! Below are my top tips to get the most out of your visit.

Tips and Suggestions:

  1. Entering the Library of Congress is a lot like traveling through airport security. Keep these things in mind for your next visit:
    • You’ll need to remove outerwear such as winter jackets;
    • You might be asked to remove your shoes;
    • If you’re carrying a laptop, you’ll need to remove it from your case.
  2. For the best pictures, plan to visit the building during the afternoon. The majority of the natural light into the Library of Congress comes from the West side of the building.
  3. If you are interested in gaining access to browse the stacks and have access to the reading rooms, it is possible to request a Reader Identification Card. These are valid for two years.
  4. Tours happen throughout the day. Don’t feel like you need to stick with them throughout your visit.
  5. For more information, check out the visitors guide.

Photos of the Library of Congress

The facade of the Library of Congress. Front entrance of the Library of Congress

Statues in front of the Library of Congress.

Statues outside the Library of Congress 

The Giant Bible of Mainz.

 The Giant Bible of Mainz

The Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible 

Abel Buell’s Map of the United States. As a lover of maps, I spent a good 20 minutes in this exhibit reading all the different place names on these old maps!

 Abel Buell's Map of the United States

The view of the main reading room.

Library of Congress Reading Room

Shots of the stunning architecture and interior design of the Main Hall.

Statues in the Main Hall

LOC Architecture #3

LOC Architecture #1

LOC Architecture #2

 LOC Architecture #4

How much time to visit the Library of Congress?

Minimum 30-45 min., more if you’d like to stay for a guided tour, register for a Reader Identification Card, and browse the various exhibits.

Hours of Operation

  • Open: Monday – Saturday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Guided Tours:
    • Monday – Friday, every hour, from 10:30 am – 3:30 pm.
    • Saturdays, every hour, from 10:30 am – 2:30 pm.

How to Get There

The entrance to the Library of Congress is located on 1st. St. SE & Independence Ave SE., right across the U.S. Capitol Building. The Capitol South Metro Station is the closest station, located just two blocks away from the main entrance to the LOC.

Filipino Food in DC


When I first moved to the DC area, I never expected to be able to get Filipino cuisine here at all. Lately however, there’s been a lot of interest in Filipino cuisine, at least in the DC area. Most recently, a Filipino restaurant sold out in just hours for their most recent weekend pop-up. As someone who grew up on Filipino food and never considered it haute or refined, the thought of paying $60 for a five-course Filipino meal, like what the pop-up was offering, seems absolutely ridiculous!

Where to get Filipino Food in DC that’s metro-accessible?

If you’re looking for authentic Filipino food that’s metro accessible, I’d highly recommend checking out the following places when you get the chance:

Pampanguena Cafe

I stumbled upon this place a few months ago. Located about a 10 minute walk from the Shady Grove Metro, Pampanguena Cafe operates like most “turo-turo” (pronounced TWO-roh TWO-roh) places, that is, a bunch of dishes are laid out cafeteria style, and the diner points to which dish they’d like.

For those that aren’t familiar with Filipino food, it’s a mixed-type of cuisine that’s heavily influenced by Spanish, Malay and Chinese cuisines.  The cuisine is heavy on meat (specifically pork), and can be pretty fatty and greasy depending on what type of dish you get. As a side note, the Philippines is broken up into a several regions, and Pampanga is one of them.

The front entrance. Note the name change (this place used to be called Kapampangan Cuisine, but recently changed their name to Pampanguena Cafe).

Kapampangan Cuisine

My meal at Pampanguena Cafe: bistek, pork and rice. A pretty typical Filipino meal.

Pampanguena Cafe

Check out their yelp review here.

Hours of Operation

  • Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday: 11:00 am – 8:30 pm
  • Thursday: 11:00 am – 5:30pm

Getting Here

  • Take the red line to Shady Grove Metro
  • Exit the station, walking past the Carmax, which will be on your left.
  • Turn right onto Frederick Road and walk for about 5 min. Kapampangan Cuisine will be located on your right in a strip mall.


Bistro 7107
Whereas Kapampangan Cuisine is a totally no-frills experience, Bistro 7107 serves up an actual restaurant experience. Located less than a 5-minute walk from the Crystal City Metro, Bistro 7107 offers a more refined dining experience that’s located much closer to downtown DC. I’ve been here several times for both breakfast and dinner, and while the restaurant can be a little pricey, my guess is the restaurant will still be cheaper than some of the more newer Filipino restaurants that will be opening in DC over the coming months. Some dishes I’ve had at Bistro 7107:

Pinakbet – pork, bitter melon and other vegetables

Bistro 7107 - Pinakbet

Filipino vegetable fritters

Bistro 7107 - Fried Fritters

Sisig – chopped pork, onions and garlic

Bistro 7107 - Sisig

Crispy pata – fried pork

Bistro 7107 - Crispy Pata

Check out their Yelp Review here.

Hours of Operation

  • Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Friday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Getting Here

  • Take the Blue or Yellow Line to Crystal City station.
  • Walk south towards 23rd St.
  • Bistro 7107 is located near the corner of 23rd St. and South Eads St.