The flagship of an empire built by sisters, Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne, this boutique was made popular by its cherry blossom, lavender Earl Grey Teacake, hummingbird, and other intriguing-flavored cupcakes with insanely fluffy (like air) signature frostings. If you're expecting drama at this corner cupcakery akin to their TLC series, “DC Cupcakes,” forget it. This operation, which sells up to 10,000 mini cakes a day, is smoother than buttercream, despite a lengthy line wrapped around the block. Insider tip: time-crunched visitors can order a batch online or by phone for pickup, and go directly to the cashier.
Hu's knows its clientele. Both boutiques, which are across from each other on Georgetown's main shopping artery, carry a high-end line of clothing, shoes and accessories that cater to the classics but avoid cliche. Find pieces from Fendi, Celine, Givency and Alexander McQueen, and other up-and-coming designers, which are hand-picked by owner Marlene Hu Aldaba. Hu's shoe and clothing collections are diverse and fashion-forward; you'll have to see for yourself what the newest knockout is, via Milan or Paris.
In a political town with a reputation for being serious, this shop has found a loyal following for fluff – the sweet, confectionary kind, that is. Each macaron – try the coconut, chocolate lavender or blood orange – is handmade in this cheery, yellow rowhouse by Culinary Institute of America grads. And since this French, meringue-based cookie is particularly difficult to perfect, savor it on a grassy hill in nearby Book Hill Park, overlooking the neighborhood.
Carefully curated collections at this upscale men's boutique seem anything but lost. In fact, hand-picked items from New York, Italy and Paris (brands like James Perse, Rag & Bone, Theory and Rogan, plus the occasional one-off treasures) find their home-sweet-homes in the closets of stylish clientele who live a stone's throw from bustling M Street. Out-of-town celebrities and politicians often visit so owner Kelly Muccio can dress them for high profile public appearances, but don't let its trendy reputation scare you. No appointment's necessary; just bring an open mind and wallet.
Relish is all about dressing women comfortably – and flattering their naturally curvy figures for work and play. Find unique and meticulously tailored coats, tops and pants. What's most attractive about this sophisticated two-level shop carrying top names and indie designers alike is your ability to easily refuel and refresh for more shopping: Relish shares a courtyard with Kafe Leopold, a cafe featuring European salads, parfaits and desserts.