I kicked off my quest to visit every DC Metro station by heading over to the area around the Eastern Market Metro station. As someone who lives in North Arlington, even though Eastern Market sits on the same line as my home stop, I’ve only visited the area a handful of times. Here’s what I discovered:
For places to eat…
My friend and I started the day off for a quick and cheap lunch here. Located on 7th St. SE, this place is relatively affordable compared to the other brunch restaurants in the Eastern Market area along 8th St. SE. I had an omelette with potatoes and fruit. With tax and tip, breakfast came out to about $15 per person.
Hours of operation:
- Monday – Wednesday: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
- Thursday: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
- Friday: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
- Saturday: 9:30 am – 2:00 am
- Sunday: 9:30 am – 12:00 am
Other restaurants to check out:
My friend and I only made it to Boxcar, but the Eastern Market area, particularly along 8th St. SE., has a lot of restaurants to choose from. Here are my suggestions:
Medium Rare – Known for their steak frites. You’ll be surprised at what happens to your plate when you’ve finished: the waiters will give you another helping. The first time I went here, I had no idea they did this. Boom!
Belga Cafe – One of my favorite brunch spots in DC. It gets packed on weekends, so make sure to book a reservation ahead of time. They’re a little small, but regardless, I highly recommend ordering their Belgian waffles!
Ambar – This restaurant opened relatively recently, and offers excellent Balkan cuisine! Definitely a place I’d recommend checking out if you’re looking to broaden your palate!
A must-visit (at least once!)
After lunch, my friend and I headed over to Eastern Market. The Market is arranged like one big hallway, with vendors selling a wide selection of products: mostly pastas, meats, seafood and pastries. On Saturdays, the area around Eastern Market hosts a Flea Market, with vendors selling mostly arts and crafts.
If it’s your first time to the area, you should absolutely stop by Eastern Market, if only to briefly check the place out. Not coming to Eastern Market would be like visiting DC for the first time without walking around The Mall; it’s simply wrong! After living in the DC area for 5 years, Eastern Market at this point feels more touristy than local. For a true local market experience, I’d suggest visiting Union Market.
Hours of Operation:
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday – Friday: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Sunday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
For a delicious cup of coffee (or hot chocolate!)…
I’d heard a lot about Peregrine Espresso from friends, so decided to check out this neighborhood coffee shop. Although I’m a former Starbucks barista, I rarely drink coffee — hot chocolate and tea is my jam! However, my friend absolutely loved this place! This cafe gets really packed on weekends, so I’d suggest getting your drink to go.
Hours of operation:
- Monday – Saturday: 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
An interesting neighborhood gem…
Located in a converted row home, this bookstore, which sells used books, was without a doubt the most interesting find of the day. Unlike at your typical Barnes and Noble, books here are crammed literally into every corner imaginable. Walking around the bookstore, I wondered if the staff had any way of knowing which books they currently have in stock, or where to locate the book.
Hours of Operation
- Open daily, 11:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on weekdays,
- 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on weekends.
For some dessert…
After the bookstore, we walked over to District Doughnut. Located directly across from the Marine Barracks entrance (hence the nickname for this street, Barracks Row), this no-frills shop is known for its variety of donuts. I love apples, and after the lady behind the counter showed us the six donuts currently available, I unhesitatingly chose the one with the apples. I was so excited, but after taking my first bite had realized the donut was actually a type of cake shaped like a donut. I was bummed!! Next time you come here, make sure to ask if it’s a cake versus a donut!
Hours of Operation:
- Wednesday – Friday: 7:00 am – 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday – Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Other dessert places to check out:
Sweet Lobby – Take note: this place is only open on weekdays. However, if you can make it there, you’ll be rewarded with amazingly delicious macarons. In my opinion, they’re the best in DC!
You could well easily spend a whole day eating along Barracks Row, located directly south of the Eastern Market Metro station. To take a break from all the eating, head towards Eastern Market to check out what’s on sale, Capitol Hill Books for a new book, or Peregrine Espresso for a nice cup of coffee or tea.
Eastern Market Metro is located in Southeast DC, and is served by the Orange, Silver and Blue lines.
- Parking: None
- Bikes: 20 bike lockers are available
- Carsharing: several zip cars are available
- Buses: The following bus routes serve this station: