Your guide to the best restaurants in this historic and artsy neighborhood.
Anacostia is full of DC cultural history. Cedar Hill, the former home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, is a popular attraction, while the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum provides an in-depth look at the neighborhood’s past. The Anacostia Arts Center serves as a creative cultural hub, and it’s all surrounded by intriguing dining options.
Residing on Good Hope Road, the Anacostia Arts Center is one of the neighborhood’s wonders. The Center features a 1,000-square-foot Black Box Theater, five galleries/boutiques, a pop-up exhibition gallery, an 800-square-foot lounge area and the Art-drenaline 365 Café, which serves food with a mission. The employees are all residents of Anacostia’s Ward 8 and are taught to prepare natural and artistic foods to promote healthy eating habits in the area. The cafe serves an expansive selection of items from pastries in the morning to locally sourced entrees in the evening.
Anacostia visitors can also grab a bite at Cheers @ The Big Chair, which serves delicious and ample American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner (make sure to try the crab fries). The restaurant has a view of Anacostia’s Big Chair, a locally famous landmark that is, literally, a big chair. The piece was originally constructed in 1959 as an advertisement by a company called Bassett Furniture, but now serves as a neighborhood meeting place.
Dine & Unwind Near History
After visiting the historic Cedar Hill and experiencing the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, treat yourself to a meal at Uniontown Bar & Grill, named after the original title of the neighborhood. Classic American fare is accompanied by daily themes, including live music on Thursdays and karaoke on Tuesdays, as well a 4 – 8 p.m. happy hour, Monday – Friday.
If you’re exploring Anacostia with a crowd, head to Mama’s Pizza Kitchen, which serves pizza and wings by the 10- or 20-count. After a day of exploring, there’s nothing like pizza and wings to satisfy the appetite.
A Natural Menu
You can immerse yourself in nature in Anacostia, too. Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens features plenty of outdoor scenery for strolling, including its famous water lilies and lotuses. Post-park, head to Turning Natural, a health food café offering fresh juices and smoothies, as well as vegan cupcakes and cookies, a salad bar, waffles and black bean burgers.