City Guide

Washington D.C.



Washington, D.C- truly one of my favorite cities on Earth. The history, the architecture, the food scene, and the culture…I love it here. DC means a lot to us, because it was our meeting spot when Jered and I were dating and living on opposite sides of the country. It’s also where he told me he loved me (right in front of a magnolia tree at the Eisenhower building). I grew up spending time here as a kid too, except I usually loathed it because my mom would drag me from museum to museum in the middle of July. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to cherish and appreciate the place. We do some touristy things, but usually opt for things locals recommend like walks around the monuments at night, coffee in Georgetown, or a run along the Potomac. Anyways…all that to say, you’ll find both touristy and non-touristy things in this city guide :). Enjoy!

xx, Kait♡




Founding Farmers: There’s a reason this place is the most booked restaurant on Open Table and has the most Yelp reviews of a DC restaurant. We eat at Founding Farmers at least twice every single time we’re in D.C. It’s environmentally-friendly and sustainable and everything is from scratch. They have the BEST apple pie and milkshakes on the planet. Also the skillet corn bread with sea salted honey butter and the Glazed Cedar Plank Salmon is a must.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner.

The Red Hen: You couldn’t possibly have a bad experience here. You’ll feel like you’re in a cabin in the woods eating the coziest, yummiest Italian food around. Ingredients are phenomenal and the pasta melts in your mouth. One of my favorite date night spots in DC.
Open for Dinner.

Farmer’s Fishers Bakers: Sister restaurant to the famous Founding Farmers, so you already know it’ll be good. If you’re willing to spend the money, I highly recommend the weekend buffet brunch!
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner.

A Baked Joint: This cafe is Baked & Wired’s sister restaurant and it’s just as good if not better. They make their own breads using organic wheat and create everything from scratch. Their coffee selection includes Stumptown, Intelligentsia, PT’s and Elixr. Menu favorites? PB&J on sourdough, the pumpkin ginger bread, a cinnamon roll, and a homemade ice cream sandwich.
Open for Breakfast and Lunch daily. & Open for pizza night Thur-Sat.

Bareburger: This spot is all about organic and sustainable food. I love how custom their menu is, making it easy to tailor your order according to your diet. Their sweet potato fries are amazing, and they even have organic milkshakes if you’re craving something sweet. Their housemade sauces like the special sauce and tomato fig jam are delicious!
Open for lunch & dinner.

Shake Shack: Love the burgers here, but not a huge fan of the crinkle fries. I know, I know, sue me. For a fast-food chain, they do a pretty good job with ingredients. The milkshakes are good, but the concretes are even better.
Open for lunch & dinner.

Citizen Burger Bar: Another DC restaurant that teams up with nearby farms to make sure your food is REAL. That means no antibiotics, rather happy grass-fed cows and free-range chickens. They also have an amazing vegan burger made from quinoa, millet, & beets. Each location uses local buns, fresh produce, hand-cut fries, and Virginia natural cheeses made from pasture-raised cows.
Open for lunch and dinner.

Bluestone Lane: A popular NYC (& now DC!) spot for breakfast and brunch! It’s always busy. This Australian-inspired cafe knows a thing or two about avocado toast and their lattes are delicious. One of my favorite spots to grab hot chocolate or coffee in the city.
Open for breakfast & lunch.

Chaia: Seasonal, plant-based “farm to tacos” with sides and natural drinks in a cute brick storefront in Georgetown. The tacos were alright in my opinion, but I know a lot of peeps that really love this place.
Open for Lunch & Dinner.

&Pizza: This fast-casual pizza chain serves oval shaped pies, both savory and sweet, along with house sodas. They use fresh, seasonal produce sourced locally when possible and don’t use msg, high fructose corn syrup, or gmos. Even the dough is organic and you can choose between traditional, ancient grains, and gluten-free. They offer tons of vegan options too. The Lori Lane pizza with fresh berries, sweet cream, berry drizzle, and powdered sugar is heaven.
Open for lunch & dinner.

Graffiato: The menu is full of locally sourced ingredients, hand-rolled pastas, artisanal pizzas, small plates, and gelato. The owner, Chef Mike Isabella, grew up with an Italian-American grandmother and has been featured in Food & Wine Magezine, Top Chef, and as the runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars. Call ahead for gluten-free pasta options!
Open for lunch & dinner.

Ted’s Bulletin: A DC staple. It’s a fun experience, and they have a few gluten-free and vegetarian options. It’s all very photo-worthy.
Open for breakfast, lunch, & dinner.

Barcelona Wine Bar: Spanish & Mediterranean tapas using seasonal ingredients from local markets. I love the rustic-modern & romantic atmosphere of this place, and the food and presentation is flawless.
Open for dinner. Closed Sunday.

Busboys & Poets: Quirky, but nevertheless an excellent spot! The food is awesome, and the vegetarian options are really good. It’s basically a bookstore, a coffee shop, and a restaurant all-in-one. There’s wi-fi for you to study or hunker down on some work with a coffee and delicious breakfast to get you through.
Open for breakfast, lunch, & dinner.

Sweet Green: I know it’s a chain, but it’s great if you need a quick, healthy option. You can order off the menu or customize your own. The spicy cashew and caesar dressings are the bomb. Oddly enough, every time I eat at Sweet Green, I don’t even feel like I’m eating a salad.
Open for lunch & dinner.

Fruitive: A juice bar serving plant-based food like collard tacos, salads, wraps, supergrain bowls, toasts, smoothies, waffles, and sandwiches. You won’t be disappointed with anything on the menu…well except maybe the turmeric ginger wellness shot. But then again, no one is drinking that for taste!
Open for breakfast, lunch, & early dinner.

Le Diplomate: Another delicious restaurant on 14th Street. This French brasserie is taking you on a quick trip to Paris with it’s photogenic atmosphere and flavorful food.
Open for dinner & weekend brunch.

Cava: Customizable bowls with tons of options. My go-to bowl at Cava is a greens + grains bowl with spicy lamb meatballs or falafel, crazy feta, harissa, tzatziki, and diced cucumber. Cava teams up with local nonprofit organizations and utilize local suppliers for their ingredients.
Open for lunch & dinner.

Le Pain Quotidien: A bakery that uses tons of organic ingredients. They create organic bread from scratch and support organic, local agriculture. Try the organic blueberry muffin, a cup of soup, the avocado toast, or scrumptious apple tart.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Locations vary.




Baked & Wired: Baked & Wired is a hidden gem (or at least it used to be until everyone found out about it haha). They make some of the best cupcakes {cakecups} I’ve ever tasted. Everything is from scratch and they use organic wheat for their baked goods. When you walk in, you’ll order cupcakes on the left side and coffee on the right. The Hippie Crack granola is in fact addictive and the ice cream sandwich is a dream. I’ll take one of everything please. Gluten-free options available.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream: You’ll have to fight the impulse to try every single flavor. They use grass-fed dairy and works with farmers to bring you unique flavors like goat cheese with red cherries, sweet potato with torched marshmallows, and Riesling poached pear sorbet.

Pitango Gelato: This was the first place my husband tried gelato, and he was sold. They use organic milk from grass-fed cows and free-range eggs for their gelato. The gelato is free from chemicals, artificial ingredients, colors, and flavors. It’s made with real ingredients and mostly organic! Cinnamon, Chocolate Hazelnut, & Chocolate Sorbet are my go-to’s here!

Dolcezza: They make their gelato every single morning using ingredients from local artisans and grass-fed milk. They also make sorbets. From taste to texture, you can definitely tell their gelato is homemade. As the seasons change, so does their gelato.

Ice Cream Jubilee: They have such unique flavors that will have your taste buds coming back for more. From flavors like basil goat cheese to spicy strawberry ginger sorbet, they have something for every one. Each small batch is created with lots of love using cream and milk from a local creamery, just 50 miles from their scoop shop. You won’t find any artificial bright colored ice cream here! They use fresh mint leaves, spices, fruit, and herbs to bring each flavor to life.

District Donuts: Handcrafted doughnuts that are made fresh every single morning. Just grab a coffee and one of their signature flavors like brown butter or salted dulce de leche, and you’re good to go

Nice Cream: Liquid nitrogen ice cream that is so so tasty. They use local grass-fed cream and local ingredients from nearby farms. Flavor options are endless. I’ll take two scoops please.

Ladurée: A Parisian bakery and tea room known for its colorful variety of French macarons. Many locations serve breakfast and lunch with organic options like eggs, chicken, & salmon. If you’re feeling super fancy, they offer an afternoon tea featuring traditional French baked goods and finger sandwiches.



Coffee & Drinks:

Baked & Wired: Half bakery, half coffee shop. Hence the “wired” part. All of the lattes are super good and they have tea. Coffee options include Stumptown, Intelligentsia, PT’s and Elixr.

Grace Street Coffee: They care about ingredients. For instance, the seasonal pumpkin spice latte simply contains pumpkin, choice of milk, espresso, and sugar and many of the ingredients are organic. And here’s a menu hack…ask for a peppermint tea latte. It’s not on the menu, but basically it’s an earl grey latte made with peppermint tea and it’s marvelous. This is one of my all-time favorite coffee shops in DC.

Compass Coffee: Single-origin coffee from around the globe, plus tea, pastries, and sandwiches. The vibe here is industrial, the coffee is fantastic, and it’s owned by two former marines.

Slipstream: Fair-trade coffee, cocktails, and light bites to eat. Located in Logan Circle on 14th Street, this spot is always buzzing (no pun intended). We always like dropping in and grabbing a drink at the pretty wrap-around walnut bar.

Peregrine Espresso: Cute mini coffee chain with tea, lattes, and Counter Culture coffee. They also have croissants, scones, and other baked goods for a quick grab-n-go snack.

La Colombe Coffee Roasters: Coffee crafted from farm-direct, single origin beans. Smooth & creamy lattes. They have a variety of pastry options, but no other food or breakfast items.

Bluestone Lane: One of my favorite spots to grab hot chocolate or cocoa in the city.

Northside Social: This place is an Arlington neighborhood charm! They offer Counter Culture Coffee and Rishi tea. Northside Social also supports farms that embrace environmentally sound and sustainable agricultural practices by using farm-fresh produce and dairy products. All of their bread and pastries are baked fresh daily at either Northside Social or their sister restaurant, Lyon Hall. They are always packed, so be prepared to wait!

Blue Bottle Coffee: Espresso drinks, pour-overs, and cold brews in a wifi-free setting that’ll encourage you to chat with friends, read a book, or hey, maybe even write a book. They keep it simple, while still offering specialty drinks like lattes and macchiatos. BB opts for high quality ingredients ranging from single origin coffee to organic to organic cane sugar and pasture-raised dairy.

South Block: I stumbled upon South Block while strolling through Union Market. They offer whey and plant-based protein as add-ins and opt for organic ingredients. I love the PB&J acai bowl!

Juice Laundry: This place is always 100% organic. If they can’t find the organic ingredient they need, it gets taken off the menu for that day. They also have great breakfast options like oats soaked in cashew milk or an acai bowl.

Jrink: In addition to cold-pressed juices, Jrink has superfood bowls, smoothies, and lattes. The Ocean Blue bowl and The Blue majik latte are a few of my favorites. For all the turmeric or matcha fans, they make lattes featuring housemade almond milk, vanilla, coconut, dates and coconut whipped cream!

Hotel Hive’s Bar: Such a cute space to hang out with friends. No need to be a guest of the hotel, everyone is welcome. From morning coffee to late night cocktails, this is a lovely, bustling hangout spot.



Things to Do:

+ Monuments & Memorials: This includes lots of museums and memorials like the The White House, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Ford’s Theatre. Many are situated along the National Mall.

+ Tidal Basin: You’ll see this as you walk along the west side of Potomac Park. It’s near the Jefferson Memorial, MLK Memorial, and FDR Memorial and is the stunning focal point of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

National Cherry Blossom Festival: Held each Spring, this is a MUST if you’re in DC around this time. The trees and flowers are insanely gorgeous if you catch them in peak season, and the food and festivals are a ton of fun.

+ Museums: There are so many wonderful Museums in DC and many are free of charge. A few of my favorite are: The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, National Gallery of Art, United States Supreme Court Building, The U.S. Capitol, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust Museum is truly an emotional and unforgettable experience.

+ Libraries: DC is home to many libraries, one being the Library of Congress, which is currently the largest library in the world. It’s a beautiful sight to see! There’s also the Folger Shakespeare Library nearby, and it contains the world’s largest collection of printed works by William Shakespeare. The guided tours at both are free!

+ Gardens: There are so many breathtaking gardens around the DC area. To name a few, there’s the  U.S. Botanic Garden, the National Arboretum, Tudor Place Historic House & Garden, and Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens.

+ Smithsonian’s National Zoo: Free of charge and one of the oldest zoos in the US. I think you have to pay for parking though, but it’s worth it to see the cute pandas or the pretty zoo lights during the holiday season.

+ Washington National Cathedral: One of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve ever seen. It echoes many of the gothic-style cathedrals of Europe and is surrounded by gardens and bright green grass. It’s free on Sundays, but costs $10 for a tour Mon-Sat.

+ CityCenterDC: Great place for shopping, coffee, food, ice cream (hello Dolcezza), or a workout class. They always have it decorated according to the season. It’s extra pretty around the holidays or the Cherry Blossom Festival.

+ Union Market: A food hall, with really good food I might add, and local artisan shops. Definitely a cool spot to hang out in DC.

+ Eastern Market: Located on Capitol Hill, you’ll see lots of vendors selling flowers, cheese, handmade art, produce, and baked goods. They are open daily (except Monday) with live music on the weekends. Eastern Market has been open since 1873!

+ The Potomac River: You can pedal boat, kayak, run, walk, bike, see a few monuments, take a DC boat tour, or checkout all the restaurants and things to do at Washington Harbour.

+ Georgetown: Plenty of shopping, food, and gorgeous homes. You can also tour Tudor Place, enjoy cakecups from Baked & Wired, paddleboat on the Potomac, and walk along the Washington Harbour. Georgetown is hands down one of our favorite neighborhoods in DC. Jered & I even took our anniversary pictures here.

+ 14th Street: This street is an adventure of it’s own. You can spend a few hours here eating, shopping, and having a blast right in the heart of Logan Circle. It’s a younger, hip area and a foodie’s mecca. There are SOOO many amazing restaurants on this street like Ted’s Bulletin, Le Diplomate, Barcelona Wine Bar, and Busboys & Poets.




Hotel Hive: A micro-hotel with super cute small rooms and lots of space to get social. They have a gorgeous rooftop terrace overlooking the hustle and bustle of the city and a lively pizzeria and bar located on the main floor. It’s right across the street from George Washington University and a 5-15 minute walk to a few of my favorite spots like Founding FarmersJrinkSweetgreen, and the Lincoln Memorial. It’s also near shopping, the National Mall, public transit and Georgetown. It’s not necessarily a place to bring family or kids, unless you wanted to book a couple of rooms, but it’s a trendy place to stay for business, couples, or a girl’s weekend.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.