While I’ve been loving living in Indonesia thus far, I got homesick upon returning from my two-week trip to the US. This is when America’s capital came to mind again: so I decided to write a post about my friend and I’s favorite quirky Washington DC spots!
Henley Park Hotel: Unique Accommodation
926 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 20001
When I travel, I avoid chain hotels whenever possible, opting for Couchsurfing or other types of unique lodging. My favorite in DC is the historic Henley Park Hotel. Its European architectural details, such as stained-glass windows and 119 gargoyles, make it a special place to stay. Moreover, its location is perfect for visiting Capitol Hill, Gallery Place, and Chinatown.
Perry’s: Drag Queen Brunch
1811 Columbia Rd. NW, 20009
As many of my friends are part of the LGBT community, I have been attending drag queen shows for years. I love them! So when I found out Washington DC spices up your brunch with a drag queen show, I was hooked. The buffet is average, so it’s the queens who steal the show. Perry’s is a great spot to have a good Sunday afternoon with friends—great rooftop for the evenings, too! Insider tip: get there by 9:30 AM if you want good seats for the show.
International Spy Museum: The Real James Bonds
800 F St. NW, 20004
I’ve always been fascinated with crime and covert operations. In fact, one of my majors in college was criminology! That’s why I love the International Spy Museum: a historical compendium of the real James Bonds. It exhibits old espionage instruments, real spy stories, and other interactive media. What makes this spot even cooler is the fact that the museum is hands-on: at the entrance, you receive your own cover which, by the end of your tour, you find out whether you “blew it” or not.
Takorean: Mexican-Korean Fusion
Washington DC’s best food trucks converge at Truckeroo, my friend Stephanie’s favorite foodie event. Her favorite pick? Takorean. It’s like Chipotle, where you make your own taco, burrito or bowl—but with inventive ingredients such as steak bulgogi, spiced kale, and Korean-style salsa roja. Luckily, Takorean is also open for business at Union Market and Navy Yard.
Vapiano: Peculiar Italian Resto
623-625 H Street NW, 20001
Oh dear, I’m recommending a global chain! But hear me out: Vapiano Chinatown is a cool, Italian cafeteria/lounge concept. Not only is the menu fresh and delicious, but the restaurant is also great for groups due to its comfy seating arrangements and payment system. Guests receive cards upon arrival, to be swapped at the different food stations—total which is later paid by each cardholder upon checkout. No headaches splitting the bill!
Union Market: Collective Foodie Heaven
1309 5th St. NE, 20002
The historic market, revitalized and reopened September 2012, now features 40 local food artisans. I believe it is one of Washington DC’s best day trips, as visitors can enjoy daily happy hour specials and weekly special events—in addition to sampling inventive cuisine.