Washington D. C. City Guide

Washington D.C. is my favorite US city I have never lived in. They have delicious food, fantastic museums, so much history, and some of the best bookstores. Its a great city and I can’t wait to share some of my favorite haunts in an around the capital.


The National Museum of African American History and Culture


Near DC Comedy Loft
  • Paradiso Pizza is super close to the venue (they have other locations, too) and serve a fresh pizza and salad menu.
  • Hank’s Oysters Bar is the place to get a little seafood action. You obviously can’t go wrong with the oysters here.
  • Tatte Bakery & Cafe has you covered for your morning beverage and meal, including a sweet treat.
  • Founding Farmers is a trendy spot styled like an urban farmhouse and they serve up breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday, and do brunch on the weekends.
  • I know CAVA is a national chain now, but the first time I had it was in DC and so I think of it fondly as a DC spot. Its fast casual mediterraean food and it is really good.
  • Sura is a Thai street food basement restaurant. It’s tucked away and known for fast and fresh food.
  • Blue Duck Tavern is a Michelin recognized restaurant that has a seasonal American menu.
  • Anju has great contemporary Korean, but make sure to get your reservations in advance.
  • Rasika is delicious Indian food spot that I ate at year ago with my aunt, and still think about.
  • A bookstore and restaurant? Yes, please. Check out Busboys and Poets.
Bar Vibes
Agave Room
  • Binge Bar is DC’s only non-alcoholic bar, and they serve mocktails that rival the real thing.
  • Agave Room is a mezcal bar that also serves delicious eats.
  • The Stacks Pack tells me A League of Her Own is the best queer sports bar in DC, especially if there is a game on.
  • Krave is a soul food spot with a killer bar situation and near the venue, too!
  • The Golden Age boasts crafted cocktails and fine food in Dupont Circle.
  • For rooftop views and ambiance grab a drink at Lucha Rosa on the rooftop of the Moxy Hotel.
Other Food Spots
Ben’s Chili Bowl
  • Ben’s Chilli Bowl is (to me) the most famous restaurant in all of DC known for their hot dogs (the halfsmoke) and chili. Ben’s invented the Halfsmoke and the restaurant is a must visit, be warned though, there will very likely be a long line.
  • If you want to get a taste of DC check out Union Market, an indoor market with tons of options to sample the city, and they also have a rooftop.
  • Florida Avenue Grill is the best diner I’ve ever eaten at. I went there for breakfast after Obama’s inauguration and I’ll never forget it. They serve food all day long.
  • Great for big groups and a fun outdoor patio, Throw Social is for all you kids at heart with outdoor games and fun. Admittedly the food isn’t great, but you come here for the fun.
DCity Smokehouse
  • Cane is a bit out of the way, but I am told it is the best spot in all of DC. It’s also near Solid State Books, so you can make it check off a few boxes.
  • No frills BBQ can be found at DCity Smokehouse. I suggest coming with a group so you can taste even more off the menu.
  • Rose’s Luxury offers a “five course chose your own adventure” menu and honestly, I love that.
  • Glizzy season is all year long at HalfSmoke, get your all beef dogs and tater tots, and enjoy being young again.
  • The Dabney is a high end spot without all the frills and stuffiness that can come with fancier eats in D.C.
  • Spicy Water African Grill is giving you Ivorian food thats great for quick eats and casual bites.
  • La Cosecha is a contemporary Latin American Marketplace.


  • If you know me, you know Loyalty Bookstores is my favorite D.C. bookstore. They will be onsite at the show, and they have two locations in the D.C. area. You must give them a visit.
  • Sankofa Video & Books Cafe is a Black-owned shop that was founded in 1998 At Sankofa the focus is books and films that center the experiences of people of African descent.
  • Mahogany Books is a Black and family run bookstore that has been dedicated to the Washington D. C. community since 2007.
  • Politics and Prose is an institution in the indie bookstore scene. They have multiple locations in the D.C. area.
  • Kramer’s Books is a bookshop and cafe right by the Dupont Circle, I’ve only been once, and that was over a decade ago, but I think about it still to this day. They lean into nonfiction, and that speaks to my soul.
  • Lost City Books is owned by a veteran and longtime DC resident.
  • Capitol Hill Books is a three story used book store, obviously it is treasure trove for my backlist lovers out there.
  • Second Story Books is a used and rare bookshop you must visit and it is right near the venue!
  • Solid State Books is another Black-owned bookstore in D.C that features tons of books and events all year long.


The Watergate
  • Did you know you can still stay at The Watergate, yes that one, the Nixon one.
  • The Dupont Circle Hotel is right near the venue for all my convenience lovers.
  • Eaton Workshop is a cultural hub for all your swanky artists out there. The vibes are so so right.

Recommendations from The Stacks’ Community

These picks were sourced from The Stacks listeners, as their favorite spots in D.C.