Columbia Heights has changed radically in the years I've lived in DC. When I first moved to the city, it was a sleepy residential neighborhood with little retail and foot traffic. Then came the development starting with DC USA, a new Giant grocery store, and multiple apartment and condo buildings. Now it's a bustling, pedestrian friendly neighborhood full of restuarants and retail. It's so cool, the NY Times has designated it a "hip strip".
at DC USA
. Unfortunately, Columbia Heights doesn't have any local home goods stores. Instead, there's national chains. Shop at the only Target in DC, Marshall's and Bed Bath and Beyond. While they're not as fun as some of the other stores I've featured in my neighborhood guides, they get the job done.
and El Chuco
. Maple is small so expect to wait. Once that part of the evening is behind you, get ready to enjoy a delicious meal. El Chucho is the best Mexican food I've encountered in DC. They also have fantastic margaritas and a fun roof top deck.
at Wonderland Ballroom and Room 11
. Wonderland Ballroom was the first bar to open on 11th St. back in the day. The cheap beer, big patio and great jukebox make this a favorite neighborhood hang out. Room 11 is another beloved neighborhood spot. Their wine and cocktail list is outstanding and they also have a lovely patio.