NFT Washington DC Shopping

Washington DC / Shopping

Historically, the District's aesthetic has leaned conservative (even while its views haven't) so it often battles the perception that you can't find the latest clothes, home furnishings, or food items in the city. Not true! There are an ample number of hip and affordable shops, chic boutiques, high-end stores, and outdoor markets that can aid and abet any shopping addiction. From stiff suits and pearls to bow-tie seersuckers and miniskirts, DC is a city with lots of spending power. But you don't have to have a fat bank account to look good; there are diamonds in the rough, if you know where to look.

Georgetown has long been a shopping destination despite its lack of a metro station. There's something for everyone, from designer stores like Kate Spade (Map 8) to mainstream mainstay Banana Republic (Map 8) to trendy boutiques like Sherman Pickey (Map 8) -- if you can handle pushing your way through the mobs of flip-flop-wearing college students and Europeans preying on the weak dollar. For the best of the chains, try the palatial three-story Anthropologie (Map 8). For boutiques, try Sassanova (Map 8) for shoes and Wink (Map 8) for your next party dress.

The less-crowded and more centrally located Dupont Circle/Farragut North area also offers some great chains and boutiques. The Proper Topper (Map 9) has been a mainstay for finding unique pieces, say a Preakness hat or a watch that everyone will notice. Just down the street, Betsy Fisher (Map 9) is geared toward expensive shoes and fashions from labels you've never heard of -- if you can get past the buzzer that lets people into the shop. Dudes have lots of options here too, including Thomas Pink (Map 9) for dress shirts and Brooks Brothers (Map 9) for the quintessential DC uniform. For less-expensive tastes, there's always Gap (Map 9) and Ann Taylor (Map 9). If you've had a rough week, slip into Blue Mercury (Map 8, 9) and treat yourself to one of their luxurious beauty products.

Metro Center has become a mecca for big box inexpensive clothing stores in the last few years. At the center of it all is the two-story H&M (Map 1) that offers the the latest runway copycats at affordable prices. Not to be outdone, rival Forever 21 (Map 1) set up shop with three-stories of head-spinning fashions and accessories right above the metro station. There's also Zara (Map 1) for affordable European styles, and T.J. Maxx (Map 1) recently opened a surprisingly huge outfit in the heart of downtown. Macy's (Map 1) is always good for a lunch break, and nearby there's American Apparel (Map 1) if you can stand its misogynist ads. For expensive hippie chic, check out Anthropologie (Map 1), but try not to spend your whole paycheck.

For those in search of the fresh and funky, the U Street Corridor, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan are great place to shop and they are refreshingly chain-free. For truly sophisticated fashionistas, Muleh (Map 10) offers men's and women's über-hip designer clothing (by the likes of Rozae Nichols, Nicole Farhi, and 3.1 by Phillip Lim) as well as fabulously modern furniture, all in a NY-loft-style space. And if you're looking for something "different" (i.e. used), Treasury Vintage boutique (Map 10) offers some nifty vintage picks for the hopelessly trendy. U-Street boutiques Caramel (Map 9), Ginger Root (Map 10), Passport Fashion (Map 10), and Zina (Map 10) have great one-of-a-kind merchandise, and Violet Boutique (Map 16), tucked away in Adams Morgan, has lovely finds for the working girl.

For a taste of suburban shopping not far from the city, head to the continuously developing Friendship Heights. It has high-end shopping plus space to park. There's a selection of department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue (Map 29) and a smattering of other high-end and luxury designer shops lining Wisconsin Avenue and the corner of Wisconsin and Western, like Cartier (Map 29) that will set you back $1,000 by the bracelet. Friendship Heights keeps unveiling construction sites that then burst with new, expensive and fancy shops. If you've got label-whore tendencies, but no money to spare, there's always Loehmann's (Map 19) to get your fix.

Housewares and Furniture
The DC area has all the major furniture and houseware chains: Target (Map 15, 38, 43), Crate & Barrel (Map 30), Pottery Barn (Map 35). Georgetown has a Design Within Reach (Map 8) store (or more appropriately, "Design Just Out Of Reach"). For those don't think anything should cost that much, there's the Crate & Barrel Outlet (Map 44) in Alexandria. And there's always the blue and yellow standby Ikea out in College Park.

If you want your living space to have a bit more character, don't lose hope, there are more options out there. Tabletop (Map 9) in Dupont Circle is packed with cool home décor and modern housewares. Millennium Decorative Arts (Map 9) will more than satisfy Danish Modern aesthetes and furnishers. Turn to Home Rule (Map 10) for kitschy fun. If you like a little adventure when you shop, don't miss Ruff & Ready (Map 10). From the outside it looks like a decrepit old house in a horror movie. Inside it's crammed with so much used furniture, junk, and antiques that you can barely squeeze through the aisles. If vintage floats your boat, check out the Hunted House (Map 10), which features more than a few quirky mid-century modern and art deco pieces and Miss Pixie's (Map 10) and Bentley's (Map 21) will meet all your picker tendencies.

Superstores like Best Buy (Map 15, 19, 33, 40, 43) and the requisite picked-on little sibling Radio Shack (Map 1, 2, 9, 16) can be found across the region. Die hard Mac-heads will love the high-tech Apple Stores (Map 8, 35, 40) in the Pentagon City mall in Arlington, in Georgetown and in Clarendon.

Some will quibble, but many DC residents just love Trader Joe's (Map 8, 29, 45) and will voluntarily wait on the very long check-out line that wraps around the store, twice, on weekends. The location in DC sells wine and beer, too. The food stores your parents would like are also plentiful. You can't swing an empty shopping basket without hitting a Safeway (Map 5, 6, 9, 10), Giant (Map 10, 11), or Harris Teeter (Map 11, 16, 33, 34, 40, 41).

If you live in Foggy Bottom, Dupont, or Logan Circle, likely you visit overpriced Whole Foods (Map 7, 10, 44) for free-ranging, organic and expensive apples and eggs. There's also Dean & DeLuca (Map 8) for gourmet prepared foods and coffee. If you love cheese -- and who doesn't? -- check out Cheesetique (Map 43) in Del Ray or Cowgirl Creamery (Map 1) in Metro Center. For less-expensive organic, local chain Yes! Organic Market (Map 16, 17) has several locations. Make sure you bring your own bags to stores selling food in DC, or you will be charged five cents a bag for trying to pollute the Anacostia River.

Last but certainly not least, the DC area is ripe with wonderful farmer's markets -- almost every neighborhood has one. The most famous can be found at Eastern Market (Map 5). Although the historic main building was gutted by fire in 2007, it has since been rebuilt, reopened, and is open for business.

Bookstores and Music Stores
After the demise of Borders, Barnes & Noble (Map 1, 35, 43) is the big bookstore in town, but smaller independent bookstores also abound. Kramerbooks & Afterwords (Map 9) is the local favorite, where people hang out checking out latest reads next to diners and after club revel-ring. There is a bar with a wine list where you can hang out 7:30 a.m. until well past midnight (all night Fridays and Saturday). Music nerds have a good chance of finding that hard-to-find album at Crooked Beat Records (Map 16), a small shop that specializes in rare and independent label music. For more specialized finds, drop into DC's oldest independent bookstore, Reiter's Books (Map 9). It's known for scientific, medical, and technical books, but also carries a host of games and puzzles for the less serious-minded.

Wine, Beer, Liquor
Laws regarding alcohol vary throughout the region, but as a general rule, only Virginia supermarkets and drug stores sell wine. Also, Maryland has a few grocery stores and a ton of liquor stores, especially in Silver Spring, that sell wine. In DC, you can buy alcohol at liquor stores and supermarkets. Check out Georgetown Wine and Spirits (Map 8), the iconic Barrel House (Map 10) in Logan Circle, Bell Wine and Spirits (Map 9) in Farragut, and Modern Liquors (Map 10) in Mount Vernon, where they all stock a wide variety of wine and employ knowledgeable staff. The bourgie demographic of the District ensures for plenty of gourmet alcoholic shops in most affluent neighborhoods. In Virginia, wine lovers frequent The Curious Grape (Map 39). Not only is the selection great, but the staff often hosts informative -- and free -- classes with wine experts from France, Chile, and beyond! There's also a tasting bar, open daily. For those who like their alcohol hoppy, here's a tip: Rustico (Map 45), an Alexandria restaurant with beer list of heavenly proportion (nearly 300), has a note on their menu encouraging patrons to ask about purchasing a six-pack to take home of any beer they happen to like.

Late-night revelers should keep in mind that you can't buy anything alcoholic in DC stores after 10 p.m. Most liquor stores close at 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays, it's beer and wine only, so make sure to stock up early if you're having people over for the Redskins game.

On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Crumbs Bake Shop
Washington's famed cherry blossoms are so unpredictable. One downpour or gust of wind and the fragile flowers are all gone. However, in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival, you can enjoy a cherry blossom cupcake all month long at Union Station's recently opened Crumbs Bake Shop. The oversized confection is vanilla cake filled with cherry preserves, topped with vanilla cream cheese frosting mixed with cherries and a candied cherry. Whew! That's a lot of cherry! Sweet, but not overpowering, the cupcakes cost $3.75, with 15 percent of the proceeds going to benefit earthquake relief efforts in Japan. After all, everyone knows good deed calories don't really count.

Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Second Time Around
On bustling M Street in Georgetown, not far from the long line outside a certain cupcake shop, there is absolutely no wait to get in on great fashion deals. Second Time Around, a second-hand clothing shop, features hand-me-down outfits and accessories at affordable prices. Among the more conservative Banana Republic and GAP items are sequined tops, cashmere striped blazers, and retro denim skirts that allow customers to experiment with style. While the store is in a great location, the one downside is it doesn’t fully measure up to the expectations such an address carries. Not all items look new-to-you and some clearance items have had rips or irregularities. But if you're looking for fun consignment shopping, with the hopes of a one-of-a-kind find, Second Time Around is worth a try.

Posted By:  Kara Deniz
Photo:  Kara Deniz

Bell Wine & Spirits
Bell Wine & Spirits in Dupont Circle is not your average liquor store, hosting a number of weekly tastings and events for everyone from novices to connoisseurs and in between. A monthly grand tasting features a half dozen tables of wine pours from distributors featuring Chardonnay, Malbec, Pinot Gris and dozens more varieties--perfect for any palate. All this for only $5 makes this the premiere weeknight happy hour event in DC. Bottles are, of course, available for purchase and are generally on sale. The store also features mini wine tastings on most Fridays and Saturdays, while events at other venues throughout the city hosted by Bell feature educational presentations on everyone's favorite adult grape beverage. Salut!

Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

Dangerously Delicious Pies
An export from Baltimore's Federal Hill, Dangerously Delicious is a pie shop offering savory and sweet slices, plus quiche. A relative newcomer to the Atlas District, the shop has a few tables for dine-in, a weekday delivery service, and crucial late-night hours (midnight during the week, 3:30 am on weekends, and 10 pm on Sundays). And while it might seem like a culinary gimmick, there is nothing dishonest or ephemeral about crust this buttery, flaky, and moist--or about fillings as mouth-watering as SMOG (steak, mushroom, onion, gruyère), Baltimore Bomb (an adaptation of the Baltimore Berger cookie), or spinach and goat cheese quiche. Get yourself a slice of the pie!

Posted By:  Magda Nakassis
Photo:  Magda Nakassis

The Hour
Okay, so you started off with a collection of souvenir shot glasses. Then you graduated to stem glasses for wine. Maybe even a champagne flute or two. But how about martini glasses? Tumblers? A shaker? Snifter? Ice bucket? Punch bowl? Glass stirrer?! If you're sophisticated, boozy, and looking to bring some mid-century chic into your home, make a bee line for the Hour Shop. With an amazing collection of vintage barware (and helpful, good-looking staff, too!). this Old Town Alexandria shop is a cocktail lover's dream. Perfect for collectors, wedding gifts, and high-class drunks.

See all Washington DC / Shopping Radars...

NFT Top Picks:
Powered By Subgurim( Maps ASP.NET