Travel Guides for Un-tourists


A Skip and a Dash Around Dupont Circle

by Fernanda DeSouza

posted on December 19, 2018

Dupont Circle is best known for its famous traffic circle and the gushing fountain at the center. But there’s more than meets the eye in this historic district in northwest D.C. After you emerge from the subterranean metro station (it’s a long escalator ride up), frolic from iconic eateries to historical sights and museums, and do a little shopping in between.

Itinerary Details

10 Places
1 Hour

Photo Courtesy: theriggsby

Breakfast is going to be a little noisy this morning, but once you sample the incredible menu at this crimson-walled mainstay inside the Carlyle Hotel, you’ll understand why we sent you. Sure, the crowd is a little on the older side, and it’s a great spot to eat a classic lunch or dinner, but the waffles and eggs here are no joke. Cover your ears, tuck in, and enjoy some nostalgic American fare.

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Deviled eggs, Roasted chicken, Potato purée, Ice-cream sundae.

Walking Distance

0.47 Miles

Photo Courtesy: pootie_ting

Take a nice walk cross Dupont Circle to get to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, your first shopping destination. Part-cafe, part-indie bookstore landmark, locals flock to this 40-year-old spot for its cheery patio and stacks of novels piled high. Splurge on more books than you can read at a given time or grab a coffee to go before walking over to the next location.

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Are You There God It's Me Margarita, smoked pork cubano, goober pie

Walking Distance

0.15 Miles

Photo Courtesy: wanderingwashingtonians

This neat little home goods/gift/kitchen store provides its loyal clients with everything they never knew they'd need. Besides all the whimsical offerings like animal-shaped everything, there's also plenty of really useful - and pretty - stuff to buy. Make it your go-to spot for gift hunting during the holidays.

Walking Distance

0.24 Miles

Photo Courtesy: sunhee_evans

The headquarters of the Society of Cincinnati (whose notable members have included Alexander Hamilton and John Paul Jones) is now mainly used as a backdrop for extravagant weddings. If you’re not getting hitched anytime soon, swing by during museum hours and sift through countless Revolutionary-era books, maps, and manuscripts inside the Beaux-Arts mansion. Just because you’re not getting married here doesn’t mean you can’t snag a picture inside the jaw-dropping halls—so go ahead!

Walking Distance

0.25 Miles

Photo Courtesy: tallulahalexandra

All that history and photo-taking is sure to build up an appetite. Let’s get you fixed up with some of the best pizza pies in the neighborhood. You’ll get the real deal pizza experience here, as the staff at Pizzeria Paradiso puts their wood-fired oven in the heart of the restaurant for everyone to see. There’s an extensive menu of international beers if you’re in the mood to start drinking early, but you’ll leave happy regardless with pies like the Atomica, Bosco, and Mozzarella e prosciutto. It’s a carb lover’s paradise after all.

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Atomica, Bosco, Mozzerella e Prosciutto, craft beer

Walking Distance

0.23 Miles

Photo Courtesy: phillipscollection

Ate a little too much? No problem, because you’re about to walk off all those slices inside America’s first modern art museum. Since opening in 1921, millions of visitors have come to admire the Pollocks, Klees, and Renoirs hanging on the walls of the Phillips Collection. The museum’s crown jewel, Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, lives inside the permanent collection. Stare at this masterpiece until you’ve had enough before meandering through the rest of the galleries and special exhibits.

Walking Distance

0.56 Miles

Photo Courtesy: jennibick

Wannabe-writers are going to get a kick out of Jenni Bick Custom Journals, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. You’ll probably walk out of this specialty shop with more notebooks than you know what to do with. This minimalist shop is packed full of notebooks, pens, pencils, paper goods and best of all custom-made journals. Grab a notebook, a luxury pencil set, and get cracking on that novel you’ve been putting off all these years.

Walking Distance

0.49 Miles

Photo Courtesy: washingtonpostmag

Things are about to get a little fancy tonight. Critics have raved about the Mediterranean flavors that make up chef Johnny Monis’s heavily Greek menus. Komi might be a simple space—a spare, yellow dining room with tables are only covered in linens—but the food’s so good here we’ll go as far as saying it’s one of the best fine dining experiences in DC. Match plates with an incredible wine pairing to taste combinations of flavors fit for the gods.

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Foie gras with Concord grape, Greek dumplings with crab, Japanese cheesecake

Walking Distance

0.02 Miles

Photo Courtesy: hassanoz

Save room for dessert and head next door to this quirky fro-yo spot opened by a group of rocket scientists. You won’t find the crowds from Komi lounging here post-dinner, but you will discover a classic sweet treat with a wacky twist. At Mr. Yogato you can answer trivia questions, recite monologues, or join a sing-along to earn a discount off your frozen yogurt with inventive toppings. Don’t forget to take a stab at old Nintendo games—yes, they’re cartridges, so if they’re not working, blow on them like you did when you were ten.

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Original Tangy, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Original Soft

Walking Distance

0.55 Miles

Photo Courtesy: zacharycutler

If your feet aren’t hurting too much from all the walking, then dress to the nines, heels and all, and head to this chic club on Connecticut Avenue. After two decades of hosting politicians and celebrities, Eighteenth Street Lounge is a living nightlife legend in the District. Grab an antique sofa with some friends, or dance under chandeliers and disco balls while toasting your great day. You earned it!

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