Welcome back to my blog! 😘 Today I’m sharing with y’all my experience at a place that holds a special place in my heart. In summer 2014, I had the opportunity to intern at the one and only ASPCA (non-profit organization dedicated to prevent cruelty to animals) in their Government Relations department in D.C.! I remember wondering if I should pick up and make the move because at the time, I still lived at home with my parents and I had never ever moved out – not even for college. It would have been the first time I got my own apartment, paid my own rent, and experienced life in a different city. I mean, I’m talking real big girl things! And you know what, it was one of the greatest summers of my entire life. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love D.C. That experience, even just for 3 months, helped me grow as a person and I couldn’t have picked a better place to do so.
Now, there are a lot of things I love about D.C. – taking the metro stations, walking around everywhere (totally different from Texas), the beautiful monuments, etc. However, there’s one thing that till this day, I miss the most…ladies and gentlemen, it’s the food. Don’t get me wrong, I love Texas and it’s tex-mex lifestyle, but oh my goodness does D.C. have the most amazing restaurants EVER! I gained 7 lbs in 3 months while living in D.C. which has never happened to me in my life. Even with all that walking, I still gained weight lol. Anyway, I’m going to be sharing some of my all-time favorite restaurants in D.C. that you MUST go to if you’re ever there. I apologize in advance if my food list is extremely long 😁
ANYWAY, I’ve wanted to take my fiancé to D.C. for a while now to show him where I was for 3 months and all the things I did there. From my old apartment, to the secret hidden gems, to the amazing restaurants. I wanted to show him everything, and that I did! Keep on reading for deets of the trip + my favs!
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt which is a beautiful high-rise hotel just minutes from the White House! From the minute we stepped in, I was so incredibly impressed. The inside was beautifully decorated and everything was so clean. The hotel receptionist and concierge were both friendly and helpful and even gave us complimentary wine and snacks during our stay because they unfortunately didn’t have any massage times open. I mean, wow! Most places would just apologize for not having an openings but the staff at Grand Hyatt went out of their way to send us a package to our room with a little personalized note! Too sweet!! In addition to all that goodness, our bed was actually comfortable and the pillows were so fluffy! That’s a huge plus in my book. There’s a Starbucks just downstairs and what sold me completely was the fact that the main Metro Station was easily accessible from the hotel! We didn’t have to walk outside AT ALL to get in the metro station. This was so incredibly convenient, especially given how hot and humid it was in D.C. this time of the year! I highly recommend looking into the Grand Hyatt for your next stay in D.C.
A lot of people assume that D.C. is more of a touristy-only kind of place and although it’s true to an extent, there are still a lot of places you can go to have a great, not-so-touristy time! Dupont Circle is a trendy historic neighborhood and it’s definitely the place to be at night! It’s filled with art galleries, shops, pretty awesome night clubs and bars! My fiancé and I actually went to Eighteenth Street Lounge, which I’m pretty sure used to be an old townhouse turned into a bar! I absolutely loved the environment though. Super cozy and antique-y. It’s a great low-key spot with comfy couches and perfect dim lighting. They had a live band play fancy jazz music while we were there which was absolutely amazing! 🎶
Another very popular spot to visit is M Street located in downtown. You’ll get a wide variety of different kinds of restaurants, bars and high-end shops here! This is actually a pretty common spot for students that attend Georgetown University since it’s super close to campus. You’ll also see tons of shops and beautiful 18th-century styled colonial homes while walking down M Street. There’s also a couple famous cupcake shops in the area! I’ll list these areas in my food section below 😋
Washington Harbour is another good spot to be which i located the Georgetown Waterfront. You’ll get amazing views of the Potomac River and the Key Bridge 😍 You’ll find amazing restaurants here as well as a nice public boardwalk and a cute plaza to explore! I was told that the fountain area that is located in the center of the plaza is actually turned into an ice rink in the winter? I’ve never been in D.C. in the winter but hey, if this is true it might be super cool to check out then too!
If you’re looking for a great trail, I’d definitely recommend checking out C&O Canal that runs parallel to M Street. It’s an amazing trail with tons of different paths to explore! I’s great if you want to have a picnic, or go for a run or bike around. Such a wonderful spot if you’re looking for something outdoorsy!
I’m going to go ahead and list out some of famous touristy spots which I’m sure y’all have already heard of but I MUST TELL YOU ANYWAY!
(1) National Mall
(2) United States Capitol
(3) White House
(4) Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
(5) Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
(6) Washington Monument
(7) Thomas Jefferson Memorial
(8) International Spy Museum
(10) United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
(11) National World War II Museum
(12) Liberty of Congress
Ah, the best for last. TAKE THIS LIST SERIOUSLY. THESE ARE THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN DC. Enjoy! 😉
(1) Ted’s Bulletin:
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN THE FREAKING WORLD! I always order their Famous Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup and it’s the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. I’m so hungry now just writing about this, ahhh. Also, please do yourself a favor and get the the Peanut Butter, Chocolate & Banana milkshake, it’s too freaking good! Basically, anything on their menu is amazing – you just can’t go wrong. Okay, I promise I won’t write this much on my other options I just had to because this is my all time fav restaurant in D.C.
(2) Founding Farmers:
Definitely make a reservation early on and don’t miss their brunch! I always get their chicken and waffles (with a side of mac and cheese) and it’s too good!
(3) Busboys and Poets:
Basically a restaurant, bookstore and lounge combined! Great spot for vegans and vegetarians as well!
(4) Farmers Fishers Bakers:
Such a cute, delicious spot by the Harbour! So romantic ❤️
(5) Cava Mezze:
Tapas style greek food! Their gyros are YUM!!!
(6) Old Ebbitt Grill:
Best known for their oysters, Old Ebbitt is great for brunch or dinner!
(7) Nandos Peri-Peri:
Get their famous butterfly-cut, flame-grilled PERi-Peri chicken!
(8) Ben’s Chili Bowl:
You know how I feel about hotdogs, and I wouldn’t just list any random place. This is a landmark restaurant in D.C. with the best hotdogs! Don’t miss out 😋
(9) The Codmother:
THIS PLACE HAS FRIED OREOS.
(10) Thai X-ing:
Pricey, but worth it for an intimate, cozy experience. I’d definitely recommend making a reservation and come prepared for delicious thai food!
(11) Ethiopic Restaurant:
Interesting food if you’re looking to try something new!
(12) Sakuramen Ramen Bar:
The name says it all!
(13) Shake Shack
Delicious burgers and shakes!
(14) Georgetown Cupcakes:
Expect a long line and a lot of basic flavors but their red velvet cupcake is actually really really good. I’d come here at least once to basically say you’ve been here (if you’re into that kind of thing) lol. Read #15 for an even better cupcake place (in my opinion) in D.C.! Or you know, go to both. Because it’s cupcakes. Yolo.
(15) Baked & Wired:
Family owned bakery with GIANT DELICIOUS CUPCAKES! It’s only a couple of minutes away from Georgetown Cupcakes too!
Alright you guys, that’s a wrap! This may be the longest blog post I’ve ever written but it was necessary! Side note: I’d recommend coming here towards the end of March or early April to catch the famous Cherry Blossoms! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I hope this helps make planning your D.C. trip a little easier and of course, feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions! 💋
Until next time, xo.