Like the perfect little black dress, Brookland and Edgewood are the types of neighborhoods that move seamlessly from day to evening in the fun department. For those hoping to get to know this area of Northeast DC a bit better, head over there in the afternoon to allow for plenty of time to explore the area’s rich cultural offerings before settling on one (or two) of the many charming neighborhood gems for dinner and drinks.
This neck of the woods has turned into a shopping destination for those seeking funky, artsy clothes and accessories. The Museum is a great example of how art and fashion frequently overlap in Brookland, with its mission of serving both as an art gallery and a retail shop for apparel, footwear and collectibles. Embrace your inner bohemian at shops like Bartered Threads, which sells new and gently used clothing for men, women and children, and at Dragonfly Vintage, where new and vintage jewelry and clothing are found. Walk along the Monroe Street Market for galleries and shops like Stitch and Rivet, which sells handmade leather bags and accessories, and Rachel Pfeffer Designs for handmade jewelry and sculptural “hair ware.”
Arts & Culture
The obvious place to start exploring the arts in this area is Edgewood, which includes the Catholic University campus and the Monroe Street Market development, which houses an Arts Walk filled with work spaces for artisan potters, sculptors, photographers and painters, among other media. While you’re over there, check out the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the stunning blue-domed building that serves as the visual cornerstone of the campus. Free guided one-hour tours run daily, but you can also poke around the Byzantine-Romanesque structure on a self-guided tour of more than 70 chapels and oratories, taking in the ecclesiastical art collection. If dance is your jam, check the events schedule at Dance Place for performances, Cuban dance socials and even gardening workshops. Head further into Brookland to unearth galleries like Latela, which also sells gifts, ceramics, art books and prints.
Eating & Drinking
There’s no shortage of awesome places to end your night in Brookland. Menomale is considered to be one of the best Neapolitan pizza spots in town. Brookland’s Finest, Brookland Pint and Smith Public Trust are solid places to grab a beer and a bite, while The Dew Drop Inn — a bar technically in Edgewood but barely a block from Brookland’s border — offers DJs, trivia nights and live music, plus a roof deck. Nido, found on the eastern edge of the neighborhood, is a charming space serving seasonal Mediterranean small plates with a few larger options. Stop in at Zeke’s Coffee or Filter Coffeehouse for a caffeine fix between shopping and dinner; and if you need a snack or just share our obsession with Italian markets, hit Salumeria 2703 for meats, cheeses, pantry items and handmade pastas.
Sure, you could drive over there — but watch out for that speed trap on Michigan Avenue NE near the university! And anyway, if you plan to drink or it’s a super nice day, perhaps Metroing to the Brookland/CUA stop and picking up a Capital Bikeshare bike is the way to go. If you’re a cycling enthusiast and plan to BYOB (bring your own bike), stop in at The Bike Rack to geek out about gears and seats with fellow roadies.