Located right next to Union Market, O Ku is a modern hidden gem. O Ku features a beautiful rooftop bar that overlooks Union Market (who doesn’t love a rooftop bar?!). We had one of our all time favorite drinks in DC here. The sugar and spice is a fruity drink with a BIG KICK. If you like some spice in your drink, then we highly suggest ordering it! The wings are Korean style, we loved how tangy they were. The fresh fish is perfectly showcased in their sushi rolls and sashimi. O Ku features dishes from the Robata Grill (think a Hibachi grill). We had the harami from the Robata Grill (pro tip: sit at the bar downstairs, and you can watch your meat being cooked right in front of you). Ordering something from the grill is a must!
Tyber Creek is an adorable wine bar located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Bloomingdale. Surrounded by plants and twinkle lights, the outdoor seating on the patio is a must. Tyber Creek supports and sells a variety of local businesses including local distilleries and breweries. The wine menu is extensive, and hand picked by the Tyber Creek staff. Pair your drinks with the mussels, stuffed peppers, any of the flatbreads, or with a classic meat and cheese board. Be sure to check out Tyber Creek’s brunch menu (yes, they offer bottomless mimosas, but more importantly, they offer bottomless ROSE!).
La Puerta Verde (LPV), which translates to “green door”, sits within Ivy City (just look for the green door). LPV has beautiful, colorful mosaics all over the floor and backsplashes, creating a serious Mexican-inspired vibe. The menu has traditional Mexican dishes: from tacos and tostados to the must-order guacamole, along with spicy pescado and carne entrees, which are all delicious. If you want to be immersed in colorful decor, and feel like you have been transported out of DC, then LPV is definitely worth the trek!
HIDDEN GEM ALERT! Yes, Ivy City is worth the drive for all of the smoked fish you’ll find at Ivy City Smokehouse. From smoked salmon candy to Great Lakes whitefish, we’re talking serious spread goals when you order the Smokehouse Platter. Go for brunch and bring all of your friends - there is plenty of space at this tavern-style restaurant. Sit outside in the summertime and sip local brunch cocktails created by the neighboring Ivy City distilleries. Ivy City Smokehouse won in the Best Casual Restaurant category at the 2018 Rammy Awards, so we expect this gem to not stay hidden for too much longer.
One of our all-time favorite spots in DC, the Red Hen will blow you away. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and caters to personalizing your dining experience. For example, the first time we went, we described what type of drink we wanted and the waiter made us each the perfect drink from scratch. (We don’t even know the name of the waiter or the drinks we got!) We don’t think you can go wrong ordering anything here, but the pastas are definitely the hit for us. Try the Mezzi Rigatoni, Squid Ink Campanelle, and the Cacio e Pepe (from the secret menu). Some appetizers that we also LOVE are the Burrata and the Crispy Arancini ‘Cacio e Pepe’. Be sure to go very early (around 5 PM) if you are trying to get in without a reservation.