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Union Market’s 5 best spots to soak up the sun, have great food & sip on a good cocktail

Union Market’s 5 best spots
PJ Goupil
Published in
Where to eat in DC
.
May 16, 2024
Union Market’s 5 best spots

1. The Rooftop at Union Market : Also known as the HI LAWN

The Rooftop at Union Market is the place tobe—literally. Perched above one of the city’s most popular destinations, thisrooftop offers more than just stunning panoramic views of the D.C. skyline,though those alone are worth the trip. 

What sets The Rooftop apart is its vibrantenergy and the eclectic array of events it hosts. Imagine doing yoga with aview of the Capitol in the background, or catching an open-air movie while thestars twinkle overhead. It’s the kind of place that keeps you coming backbecause no two visits are ever the same.

Let's not forget the food and drinks! Thisisn't just another rooftop bar; it’s an extension of the bustling market below.You can grab a craft cocktail from a pop-up bar or carry up some artisanalbites from the market’s diverse vendors. It’s the perfect setup for a casualhangout with friends, a romantic date night, or even a solo outing where youcan enjoy some peace amidst the urban buzz.

Whether you’re there to enjoy the scenery,partake in an event, or just chill with some good food and drinks, it promisesan experience that’s as dynamic and spirited as the city itself.

Address:​​ Union Market District 1309 5th Street NE Washington, DC 20002
Website:
https://unionmarketdc.com/tenants/hi-lawn

2. Masseria : A Michelin-Star - Warm & Welcoming

In the heart of NoMa, just a few minutes fromUnion Market, there's a hidden gem that absolutely deserves a spot on yourmust-visit list—Masseria. A nod to the rustic farmhouses of Puglia, Italy,Masseria brings a slice of Southern Italian charm right to Washington D.C.’sdoorstep.

Walking into Masseria feels like stepping intoanother world. The industrial exterior belies the warm, inviting atmosphere youfind inside. The restaurant is centered around a beautiful courtyard, wherestring lights twinkle above and soft music fills the air, setting the stage foran unforgettable dining experience.

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli whips up dishes thatare both innovative and deeply rooted in Italian culinary traditions. Imaginestarting your meal with a delicate burrata that melts in your mouth, followedby a perfectly cooked risotto that sings with the flavors of the sea, andfinishing with a delectable tiramisu that’s just the right mix of coffee andsweetness.

But Masseria isn’t just about the food—it’sabout the entire experience. The service here is impeccable. Whether you’re anovice or a connoisseur, the sommelier is ready to guide you to the perfectglass to complement your meal.

If you’re a foodie like us, make sure toreserve a table at Masseria for a taste of Italy crafted with love and servedwith flair.

Address: 1340 4th Street, NE,Washington, DC 20002
Website:
https://www.masseria-dc.com

3. Cotton & Read Distillerie: A Cool Rum Distillery

If you’re in the mood for a unique twist onyour typical bar outing, you might want to drop by Cotton & Reed. Thisisn’t just any bar—it’s a rum distillery that takes its craft seriously, butnot too seriously, because fun is definitely on the menu!

 Stepping into Cotton & Reed, you'llinstantly notice the vibe is different from your average bar. The space has araw, industrial chic feel with a touch of whimsy—think exposed brick walls andpipes, paired with bright, botanical wallpaper and wooden accents. It’s thekind of place that's perfect for chilling with friends on a casual night out orkicking off a weekend adventure.

 The real star here, of course, is the rum. Thebartenders, who are more like mixologists, are happy to share their knowledgeand might even whip up a custom concoction just for you.

But what’s great rum without great cocktails?The menu features an imaginative array of drinks that highlight the versatilityof rum.

 So whether you're a rum enthusiast or justlooking for a cool new spot to hang out, Cotton & Reed offers an experiencethat’s as delightful as it is delicious. Next time you’re near Union Market,swing by for a drink or two. Who knows? You might find your new favorite rum orcocktail in this spirited little distillery.

 Address: 1330 5th Street NE, Washington, DC20002
Website:
https://www.cottonandreed.com

4. O-Ku Sushi : Southern Style Sushi

O-Ku Sushi offers sophisticated flavors ofJapan with a Southern twist. It’s a spot that blends traditional withcontemporary, delivering a dining experience that’s as exciting as it isdelicious.

The sushi at O-Ku is an absolute showstopper,featuring both traditional favorites and innovative creations that willintrigue even the most seasoned sushi lovers. The fish is fresh, sourced fromthe finest markets worldwide, and prepared with an attention to detail that youcan taste in every bite.

 But O-Ku isn’t just about sushi. The menu alsooffers a variety of hot and cold dishes that are influenced by both Japanesetechnique and the robust flavors of the American South. From the smoky grilledrobata dishes to the delicate flavors of tempura and katsu, there’s somethingto satisfy every palate.

 The beverage selection at O-Ku is just asthoughtfully curated, featuring sake options that range from sweet and mild torich and robust, perfectly paired to enhance your meal. The cocktail menuoffers inventive drinks that incorporate Japanese ingredients and flavors,providing a refreshing complement to the savory dishes.

 So the next time you're craving sushi, makesure to reserve a spot at O-Ku—you won’t regret it. 

Address: 12745th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Website:
https://www.o-kusushi.com

5. Buffalo & Bergen - The perfect blend of nostalgia and innovation

Tucked away in Union Market, Buffalo &Bergen brings a splash of New York deli charm. It's the brainchild ofmixologist and restaurateur Gina Chersevani, and if you're all about bigflavors and even bigger character, this spot's a must-visit.

 Walking into Buffalo & Bergen, you'reimmediately struck by its laid-back, retro vibe. The place feels like a stepback in time with its vintage soda fountain and classic New York deli setup.It’s casual and bustling, perfect for a quick bite or a leisurely brunch thatlingers into the afternoon.

 What to eat? Start with the bagels. They'rehand-rolled, kettle-boiled, and come with a variety of toppings from thetraditional to the unexpected. The bagels here are a true standout—chewy,perfectly seasoned, and just begging to be slathered in cream cheese or piledhigh with lox and capers. Buffalo & Bergen offers more than just bagels.The menu is a delightful romp through comfort food classics, with each dishgiven a unique twist.

 The "Lox'd and Loaded" Bloody Maryis another crowd-pleaser, complete with a garnish of a mini bagel—it's brunchin a glass! If you’re into cocktails, you're in luck.The creative drink menu,featuring everything from handcrafted sodas to inventive cocktails, all perfectto wash down the hearty, flavorful fare.

You have to stop by for a bagel and adrink—you’ll find yourself planning your next visit before you even finish yourmeal.

Address: 1309 5th Street, NEWashington, DC 20002
Website:
https://www.buffalobergendc.com

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1320 4th Street, NE Washington,
DC 20002