People who visit Eastern Market tend to be welcoming Washington D.C. locals. They appreciate open-air markets, farm grown produce and hot espresso on early Sunday mornings. Typically these individuals are accompanied by adorable children and futuristic-looking strollers. Elizabeth and I do not have a real-life child, however, our lovely friend Deborah does. We borrowed her toddler, Zoë, for the occasion. Fully prepared with a cute kid, notebook and drawing materials we explored the large marketplace on a beautiful, sunny day. Immediately, we noticed the location teeming with vendors and bustling with hectic shopping activity. Everything from fragrant handmade soaps to artists selling Rothko inspired art was in reach.
Upon arrival you’re moved to walk a dog, push a baby stroller and start buying stuff…what exactly?
Well, anything. Handmade scarves. Stoneware pottery. Food. Lots and lots of food. You can’t find fresher nor more reasonably priced fruit and vegetables anywhere in the area, and the array of choices vendor to vendor is quite impressive.
It’s alluring appeal stems from the market’s rich history & engaging residents. It’s one beautiful orchestration of people enjoying their neighborhood. The beloved market is a community hub located in Capitol Hill and is the city’s oldest public market.
Again, you’re bound to find everything you want at this market. We wandered around creating a wish list of things to purchase:
- 2 vintage bicycles
- A bushel of apples
- A deep-crimson Persian rug
- Handmade lavender candles
- Letterpressed stationary
- One 20 oz hanger steak
- Vintage jewelry & clothing from the ‘60s
- An endless amount of handcrafted furniture & antiques
With each turn our list grew longer and LONGER. And our temporary child grew hungry. Obligated to feed Zoë, we shifted our focus to food and went to visit Eastern Market’s South Hall. The 13 indoor merchants (listed below!) offer an amazing selection of meat, fish and poultry. You’ll also find vendors selling homegrown plants and floral arrangements. Unlike the outdoor market, a majority of these vendors are open Monday – Sunday.
Blue Iris Flowers
Bowers Fancy Dairy Products
Calomiris Fruits & Vegetables
Canales Quality Meats
Capitol Hill Poultry
Capitol Hill Produce
Eastern Market Grocery
Fine Sweet Shop
Southern Maryland Seafood
Union Meat Company, LLC
For lunch, we stopped at the Fine Sweet Shop, treating ourselves to bagels and lox.
Note: Zoë doesn’t care for lox and happily enjoyed her peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch.
We also sampled their German chocolate cupcakes.
One more note: Apparently, the 3-year old is a harsh chocolate critic. Please to report that she loved every bite.
Overall, Eastern Market is an eclectic mix of food vendors, quality sellers and arguably one of the best places to people-watch in the District. Here are some shopping tips:
1.) Expect lots of people and prized canines during your visit. It will be crowded. There will be dozens of children present. We found the environment pleasant & family-oriented. If you don’t like kids or dogs keep your visit brief.
2.) Take the metro. Parking can sometimes be a challenge. Avoid the frustration and use public transportation. The Eastern Market metro stop is on the blue and orange lines and is a short distance away from the market. (Click here for the metro map)
3.) Perfect location for antiques, vintage goods or collectibles. The flea market has a great selection of handmade furniture & unique decorative pieces. You will continually find affordable and well-made items for your home. Delivery is often available.
4.) Bring a dog or a child. It’s the hip thing to do.
225 7th Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Elizabeth & Glory