I haven’t been to DC in over 10 years. It’s one of my most favorite cities in the world, with a vibe like no other. Like important shit is getting done all the time. At least I hope it is.
I usually stay pretty close to the metro center, but since this was a work trip for my husband, we didn’t have control over where we stayed. We ended up with accommodations in the NoMa district (North of Massachusetts Avenue). After being somewhat disappointed, I realized that everything was accessible by DC’s Metro system (easily one of my favorite public transportation systems) and it was an opportunity to explore a new neighborhood.
NoMa is an emerging area that reminds me a lot of Portland; green, artsy and food & drink for days. Think colorful murals and former industrial lots transformed into Conex box beer gardens. It is incredibly walkable & feels safe with a friendly police presence in the evening hours.
You can take a metro train straight from Reagan Airport up to the NoMa neighborhood. The stop before NoMa is Union Station and worth the stop. Its gorgeous arches really need to be witnessed in the morning sunlight. There are a number of fun shops as well as a Laudree and a Magnolia Bakery, among other eateries, which makes it a nice place to stop for breakfast or lunch.
The gem of NoMa is clearly Union Market, the place to eat, shop and drink. This indoor/ outdoor hybrid served us well in rain and sunshine on more than one occasion we visited for avocado toast for breakfast, killer ramen & pork buns for lunch and cherry blossom donuts for a well-deserved sugary snack. There are also several nice places to grab a hearty bloody mary or a glass of wine to enjoy in the outdoor space.
We also grubbed hard at Stellina Pizzeria, an authentic Italian joint serving their version of street food that was perfection after a long day of sightseeing. The prosciutto & mushroom pizza with an Aperol Spritz couldn’t have been better. The Coconut Club is a little piece of Instagrammable Miami and had a lively outdoor nightlife. The Union District Oyster Bar & Lounge was another one of our favorites. This cheeky all black building (complete with gilded horse out front), had the most amazing oysters, appropriately named Sweet Jesus, and pretty damn good pizza and shrimp salads.
It was fun getting to know NoMa even though our walking mural tour was cancelled due to pouring rain. I imagine as the weather turns better, people from all around DC will be enjoying their rooftops & charming outdoor spaces all summer long. Catch up with NoMa Bid to get the latest info on events in the neighborhood.