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DC’s Northeast: A Hidden Gem, for Those In-the-Know

Jan 11

If you’re a DC resident, you’re likely aware that the capital’s Northeast quadrant is no longer Washington’s best-kept secret. And if you’re not … NE locals might prefer it that way. 

In a city known around the world for its politics, DC’s Northeast keeps a low-profile, offering the very best of residential living in an urban setting. Home to 35 neighborhoods, each harboring their own local flavor, NE is a secluded enclave in an otherwise fast-paced city, encompassing an eclectic mix of one-of-a-kind restaurants and retailers. Unlike the hustle-and-bustle of its adjacent Northwest quadrant, NE maintains a decidedly close-knit neighborhood feel, with picturesque tree-lined streets where people come seeking to put down roots. Join us on a short virtual tour as we hone in on a few of NE’s countless hidden gems … just don’t tell the locals it was us that sent you. 

Metropolitan Branch Trail

With 7 of its 8 miles within DC’s borders, the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) provides a protected, multi-use path from Union Station to Silver Spring, MD, where the trail ends. The MBT serves many of NE’s neighborhoods, offering residents an easy way to commute on foot or by bike, and  access to local shopping without needing a car. Plus,  it’s hard to miss the 900-foot stretch of DC-artist-commissioned murals that run along the trail between New York Avenue and R Street NE.

Other NE Recreational Favorites: National Arboretum, Langdon Park

Ebenezers Coffeehouse

If you prefer your coffee accompanied with chill vibes, outdoor seating and a side of live music in the evenings, Ebenezers is your go-to in NE. This quaint coffeehouse, located a short walk from both Union Station and the Capitol, serves up not only  delicious espresso, tea and light bites – but “coffee with a cause.” Owned and operated by National Community Church, all profits go towards local and international community outreach project– making it easier to  spend a few bucks on your daily coffee.

Other NE Coffee Favorites: Zeke’s Coffee, Sidamo Coffe & Tea


A bar and restaurant serving up Gallic bistro classics with selections from wine guru, and staple of the local hospitality scene, Sebastian Zutant. Primrose is the perfect Parisian-food and wine destination. If the promise of beef bourguignon, khachapuri and French wine are why you come, the electric ambiance will make you want to stay. Currently, locals can enjoy Primrose’s fancy fare with to-go service or by joining their monthly wine club. 

Other NE Foodie Favorites: Brookland’s Finest Bar and Kitchen, Red Hen

Wunder Garten

Our virtual tour wouldn’t be complete without a stop at NE’s very own German-inspired beer garden. Open year round in the North of Massachusetts (NoMa) neighborhood, Wunder Garten features multiple out-door tented pavilions and seasonal fire pits, providing a community gathering place for craft beer enthusiasts, even as the temperatures drop. Cornhole, board games, DJs and live entertainment keep things lively, while the venue’s annual signature festivals – Oktoberfest, Winterfest and Frühlingsfest – are among its most popular events; donning of lederhosen, optional.

Other NE Brewery Favorites: Right Proper Brewing Co., Atlas Brew Works, DC Brau

Bluebird Sky Yoga

A community-based yoga studio in the Brookland neighborhood of NE, Bluebird’s mission is to offer a diverse range of yoga classes led by experienced yoga teachers in the Brookland community that inspire students to grow on and off the mat, connect with their community, and live more mindfully. Located in a former craft store, the studio strives to remain true to its roots and honoring the creativity of the city through murals, art from local artists and art-focused events. 

Other NE Fitness Studio Favorites: BikramYogaWorks Ivy City, Barre3 Union Station