Explore Washington D.C.

In the ’Hood: How to Explore D.C.’s Shaw

This northwest nabe isn’t just about hot restaurants.

Located near U Street in Northwest D.C., Shaw has undergone a transformation in recent years from a gritty urban outpost to one of the district’s hippest zones. Most notable here is an influx of popular and well-reviewed restaurants that draw the foodie crowd morning, noon and night. But that’s not the area’s only draw. Denizens also descend on cool cocktail lounges, top shops and a happening nightlife scene. Round out any visit to Shaw with these recommendations.

Where to Eat: Burger Joints and Michelin-Starred Restaurants

With so many top-notch restaurants here, it’s best to come with an empty stomach. Follow expats to Chercher for Ethiopian comfort fare (listed in Michelin’s Bibb Gourmand), or indulge in Tasty Burger’s “Big Tasty” paired with a spiked milkshake (we like the “Green Monster” with mint chocolate chips). At Asian-inspired Kyirisan and Michelin-starred Kinship, the dishes are just as Instagram-worthy as they are delicious.

Chercher 1334 9th St. NW, 202.299.9703

Kinship 1015 7th St. NW, 202.737.7700

Kyirisan 1924 8th St. NW, 202.525.2942

Tasty Burger 2108 8th St. NW, 202.768.9292

Tasty Burger's Big Tasty
Big Tasty burger at Tasty Burger (©Brian Samuels)

Shop: From Trends to Local Gems

From indulgent treats to arty kicks, cool duds and edgy art, some of the District’s raddest retail is located right here. Most of the newer shops are located inside The Shay, a retail/residential complex located on the corner of Florida and 8th St. NW. But a quick jog around the area yields plenty of other gems, too.

Buttercream Bakeshop 1250 9th St. NW, 202.735.0102

Bucketfeet 1924 8th St. NW, 202.847.3294

Frank & Oak 1924 8th St. NW, 202.499.1458

Long View Gallery 1234 9th St. NW, 202.232.4788

Oreo gems at Buttercream Bakeshop
Oreo gems at Buttercream Bakeshop (©Abby Jiu)

Drink: Award-Winning Favorites

When it comes to quaffs, Shaw pours some of
 the city’s best. At Espita, smoky mezcal is the spirit of choice, while at Right Proper, craft suds are on tap (and in tanks). Beard-nominated Columbia Room offers three areas for sipping, but only the handsome Tasting Room (below) requires a reservation.

Columbia Room 
124 Blagden Alley NW, 202.316.9396

Espita Mezcaleria 1250 9th St. NW, 202.621.9695

Right Proper Brewing 624 T St. NW, 202.607.2337

J.P. Fetherston at Columbia Room's Tasting Room
J.P. Fetherston at Columbia Room's Tasting Room (©Scott Suchman)

Play: Gettin’ Down and Chillin’ Out

There’s no question that Shaw is a whole lotta fun. With historic venues like The Howard, a Duke Ellington fave and a must for fans of D.C.’s very own Go-Go music, how could it not be? For big names and indie acts in an intimate setting, bop on over to 9:30 Club. In the mood to “Netflix and chill”? You can head to any movie theater, but the new Landmark cinema offers the latest flicks, plus a bar for expertly mixed drinks and over-sized leather seats for settling in.

9:30 Club 815 V St. NW, 202.265.0930

The Howard Theatre 620 T St. NW, 202.803.2899

Landmark Atlantic Plumbing Cinema 807 V St. NW, 202.534.1965

30 Club
30 Club (©John Shore)