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10 Things to See & Do in Bloomingdale
This majestic neighborhood in Northwest DC offers a range of experiences, from award-winning restaurants and bars to public parks and so much more.
Bloomingdale is one of DC’s best kept secrets. This neighborhood near Shaw features elegant, picturesque rowhouses along with an impressive lineup of dive bars, music venues, acclaimed restaurants and family-friendly parks. Within just 12 blocks, Bloomingdale can provide a full day of entertainment. Here are some of our favorite things to see and do there.
If you’re looking to improve your musical skills or simply jam out, boy, does Bloomingdale have a spot for you. 7DrumCity features 15 teachers available for guitar, voice, drum and piano lessons. The music hub also offers nine soundproof practice rooms for bands or drummers. In addition to providing education and an outlet for musical creativity, 7DrumCity curates Flashband showcases, concerts that feature newly formed bands. Tip: 7DC hosts free open house potluck jams the first Sunday of every month from 6-10 p.m.
This Bloomingdale restaurant delights visitors with an in-view wood-burning stove, decor reminiscent of a rustic farmhouse and an Italian-influenced menu featuring delectable pastas, like the ricotta cavatelli with spicy lamb sausage. In true neighborhood fashion, the Red Hen accepts walk-ins, but we also recommend cozying up to the open bar and sipping from the exceptional wine list of this Bib Gourmand honoree.
ANXO is named after a Basque mythological creature that connects the natural world and humanity – pretty heavy stuff, for sure. The restaurant and bar, which also features an in-house cidery and tasting room, has incorporated cuisine from the Basque Country into its eclectic menu, fusing the flavors of its dishes with the delicious cider that ANXO produces in-house. Combine the signature house drink with plates like pan-roasted quail, saffron risotto and grilled lamb chops for a dinner of mythological proportions. See what we did there? Brought it full circle.
If you have a sense of smell and walk within a two-block radius of DCity Smokehouse, you know what we're about to say: barbecue perfection awaits. DCity's wood-smoked variation on the American specialty includes beloved pulled pork sandwiches and smoked chicken wings, as well as a vast array of sides and platters. Brisket, half-smokes, rib tips – whatever you order, you simply can't go wrong.
Located on Rhode Island Avenue, Showtime has built a reputation as one of the city’s best bar experiences. Funk and soul songs blast while you enjoy beer-and-shot combos and on Sunday night, live music comes courtesy of Granny & The Boys. The house band is led by the 86-year old Alice Donahue, an octogenarian and loving grandmother who plays keyboards and is supported by four middle-aged men on bass, drums, guitar and vocals from 7:30-10 p.m.
A staple of Bloomingdale, Big Bear Cafe is a fantastic place to grab a cup of coffee to start your day, chow down on a delicious breakfast or bring the family to for a feast. Its breakfast menu is served until 3 p.m. every day (French toast! Breakfast burritos! Quiche!), while the late-day menu (from 12 p.m. until close) features falafel wraps, carne asada burritos and fried chicken sandwiches, among other savory creations. Big Bear also frequently hosts special events, including movie nights, pop-ups and community discussions.
Go back in time as you stroll through this cozy, tree-lined neighborhood, distinct for being one of the first suburbs in Washington, DC. Brick sidewalks and ornate, historic homes provide an abundance of charm. Keep your eye out for the park there, too, which has a jungle gym for the little ones to run around on, and a fenced-in area for doggos.
Billed as a classic neighborhood pub, Boundary Stone is ideal for gathering friends and savoring the simple pleasures of beer, food, music and whiskey. Known for its selection of the latter, Boundary Stone also offers a dynamite happy hour from 4-7 p.m. ($5 DC Braus, $5 cocktails, $6 wine), brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. ($15 bottomless mimosas or bloody marys) and open mic and trivia nights.
Cut down an alley between U or V Streets NW, trot another 40 yards or so and you will arrive at Crispus Attucks Park. The Bloomingdale gem is tucked away, but it’s well worth finding. There’s plenty of shade for reading under trees, plenty of open field for playtime and plenty of benches for resting at the park, which measures just more than an acre. The secluded area is named after the heroic Crispus Attucks, a man of African and Native American descent who is considered the first American killed in the American Revolution.
Add a little sophistication to your Bloomingdale excursion with a visit to this wine bar and restaurant. The wood-fried oven leads to masterpieces like the deconstructed lamb kabob, coconut milk-braised quarter chicken and crispy pancetta flatbread, which accompany an extensive wine list. There’s also a stunning array of locally produced beers on draft. Combine all this with the relaxing atmosphere of Tyber Creek’s patio and you have one heck of a spring or summer afternoon.