I love exploring DC and discovering fun new spots. And let me tell you, Union Market is one of DC’s hidden gems. It’s a re-purposed warehouse turned into a foodie’s paradise. There’s so much delicious food to try and some truly charming shops to explore inside, and then outside there are plenty of picnic tables, music, and, of course, those famous murals you always see on Instagram (including the famous heart wall!).I took these photos from a trip to Union Market a few weeks ago. A mural from Yoko Ono is currently on display, as you can see above. It’s a collaboration with the Hirshhorn, one of the Smithsonian museums that focuses on modern and contemporary art, and it’s now also known for hosting Yayoi Kasuma’s wildly popular Infinity Mirrors exhibit earlier in the year.
I’m wearing a top and jeans from one of my favorite brands, Madewell. A perfect outfit for some Sunday market strolling! A few similar pieces are linked below.
In the warmer months of the year you can find tons of people sitting outside, enjoying their foodie finds and listening to music. Who would have thought that a little astroturf in a parking lot could be so cute!
This little metal RV is Suburbia, a summer pop-up bar that makes frozen cocktails.
Once you get inside Union Market, you will for sure be overwhelmed with gorgeous displays and delicious smells. But don’t worry– you really cannot go wrong with any of the stands inside!
Bidwell: This sit-down restaurant inside the market received a Michelin Bib Gourmand (basically Michelin’s award for cheap(er) eats). Their motto is “responsibly sourced,” and 60% of their organic produce comes from a cool garden on top of the roof of the Market! It doesn’t get much more local than that!
Sloppy Mama’s: I had this amazing Barbeque last time I was at the market. Oh, was it good. I had their pulled chicken and their dense, sweet cornbread, and it was basically heaven on a plate. Highly recommend.
Rappahannock Oyster Bar: This is the place to grab a drink in Union Market. With a large list of cocktails and plenty of wine and local beer, you can enjoy happy hour while nibbling (er, slurping) up oysters from the raw bar and enjoying their seafood offerings. One of the things that makes this place so great is that it was started by grandsons who wanted to follow in their grandfather’s footsteps and harvest Chesapeake Bay oysters. Way to bring the family business into the 21st century!
In addition to delicious food stalls, there are also some adorable local shops to browse.
Little Leaf: Who would have ever imagined that your local garden and plant store could be so effortlessly chic and just plain cool? Little Leaf is the little botanical sister of Salt and Sundry, and something about it makes me want to start growing my own urban jungle, stat. It was just named one of the prettiest plant shops in the world by Domino magazine, and if you don’t believe me, check out their instagram. #plantgoals
Salt and Sundry: Salt and Sundry is one of those stores that you walk into and just want literally EVERYTHING. It is filled with the cutest home decor and hostess gifts, and it even smells so nice from all the candles they sell! It will make you want to just move into the store and never leave, trust me.
(if you don’t have plans to stop by Union Market, you can also find both of these shops along 14th Street!)
Sooo many baked goods, so little time.
Desserts and Sugar:
B Doughnut: These are so popular that if you show up later in the day, they’ll probably be gone. Get there early if you want to grab one of their amazing creations!
Ice Cream: Trickling Springs Creamery sits along the far back wall of the market, and you can grab some ice cream to lick while you wander around the market. You can also find Little Baby’s Ice Cream popping-up at Trickling Springs’ stand on Sundays. Their pumpkin speculoos is basically pumpkin cookies and cream and it is perfect.
Now, in addition to the food, everyone knows about Union Market because they have incredible (instagrammable) murals. I love when businesses support local art and encourage creativity, and Union Market is definitely about that. You can find the heart wall along the back side of the market.
If you didn’t instagram in front of the heart wall at Union Market, did you even go there?
In addition to all the shops and food stalls in the market, there are some surrounding spots that you don’t want to miss.
Masseria is a new restaurant that is quite simply dominating the local food scene in DC. The Obamas have checked out this Michelin- starred restaurant, so you know it’s the real deal. If it’s good enough for Michelle, it’s good enough for me.
If you want to make it a date, and grab dinner and catch a movie, you should check out the Angelika Pop-Up. If you show your movie ticket, several food stalls will give you a discount!
Did I miss any of your favorite food stalls? Tell me what I need to eat next time I go back!
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