Washington DC has great neighborhood shopping with unique stores and boutiques. Some of the stores are geared toward high-end consumers, but there are also many “finds” if you know where to look.
Traditional retail shopping can be found on Capitol Hill at Union Station (50 Massachusetts Ave. NE, 202/289-1908), which has more than 65 stores including national retailers such as Ann Taylor, Express, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, and Victoria’s Secret. A handful of specialty boutiques are also represented, such as Lost City Art (202/589-1870), which offers Indonesian statues, masks, murals, jewelry, and household items, and The World in Your Hands (786/399-5373), which offers sterling silver jewelry.
Eastern Market (225 7th St. SE, 202/544-5442) is a prime destination in DC for fresh food and handmade arts and crafts. For more than 135 years, the market has been a community hub on Capitol Hill that offers several shopping spaces. The South Hall Market (Tues.-Fri. 7am-7pm, Sat. 7am-6pm, Sun. 9am-5pm) is an indoor space featuring 13 merchants offering a large variety of food such as produce, baked goods, meat, and dairy products. The Weekend Farmers’ Line is an open-air space that is open on weekends and offers fresh local produce and snacks. Those searching for local crafts and antiques can find them at the Weekend Outdoor Market. Vendors in this area carry ethno-specific handcrafts, vintage goods, and arts and crafts.
The revitalized Penn Quarter area features more than just museums, the Verizon Center, and cool new restaurants. The neighborhood has plenty of shopping and features some of the best-known national retailers such as Pottery Barn and Urban Outfitters. A selection of trendy individual shops are also here, such as Fahrney’s Pens (1317 F St. NW, 202/347-3804) and Andrew’s Ties (1155 F St. NW, 202/347-1002).
Lively Dupont Circle features a highly eclectic choice of gift shops, clothing stores, bookstores, and art galleries. If you’re looking for a quirky gift, one-of-a-kind handcrafts, greeting cards, or chocolate, stop in The Chocolate Moose (1743 L St. NW, 202/463-0992). Serious antiques lovers will be intrigued by the offerings at Geoffrey Diner Gallery (1730 21st St. NW, 202/483-5005). They have items from the 19th and 20th centuries, contemporary fine art, European and American crafts, and Tiffany lamps.
Everyone from first ladies to celebrities have made their way down M Street looking for a special find. Georgetown offers great antiques, cool clothing, and one-of-a-kind local boutiques. Most of the stores can be found along M Street and Wisconsin Avenues. At the time of publication, the famous mall, The Shops at Georgetown Park (3222 M St., 202/342-8190, Mon.-Sat. 10am-8pm, Sun. noon-6pm) was closed for major renovations and the promise of a new lineup of desirable merchants to follow.
The best shopping in Upper Northwest is in the Friendship Heights neighborhood, along the Maryland state border. The Chevy Chase Pavilion (5335 Wisconsin Ave., 202/686-5335, Mon.-Sat. 7am-11pm, Sun. 7am-9pm) is an upscale shopping mall that underwent a $32 million renovation in 2012. It features national chains such as Talbots, World Market, and Hold Everything. It is across Wisconsin Avenue from another small, upscale mall, Mazza Gallerie (5300 Wisconsin Ave., 202/537-9551, Mon.-Fri. 10am-8pm, Sat. 10am-7pm, Sun. noon-6pm). Mazza Gallerie features stores such as Neiman Marcus, Oriental Décor, and TW Luggage and Leather. There is also a movie theater at the mall and a parking garage. The shopping district is accessible by Metrorail on the Red Line at the Friendship Heights stop.