Dupont Circle has got charm, style, and tons to do, which is why you should make it one of the top neighborhoods to visit or spend more time in.
Here’s what you need to know about the overall vibe of Dupont Circle -- including what to do and where to eat, drink, and relax.
The thing that makes Dupont so attractive as a Washington, D.C., neighborhood is how dynamic it is. While many people live here, almost an equal number work in the neighborhood, making it a constantly used space. Local businesses and tons of restaurants flourish here, but it can also get pretty busy on Connecticut Avenue, the main street. However, if you step onto a side street, you’ll be immediately transported into the Dupont with pristine, historic row houses on quiet, tree-lined streets. Dupont is incredibly walkable and easy to get around. The north side of the neighborhood maintains a more charming, residential feel, while the south side features bars and is more of a place to go out. The circle sits in the middle and provides a breath of fresh air to all that frequent it. It’s residents are also an eclectic mix of families, young professionals, and creatives. The neighborhood has an active LGBTQ scene and hosts various festivals and events to celebrate pride every year.
If you like to be in the hustle and bustle of it all, then you’ll love the Dupont Circle stretch of Connecticut Avenue. The Avenue runs right through the neighborhood, with the circle in the middle of the action. South of the circle you’ll find a lot of lunch spots and bars; during the day it's very much a professional crowd, and at night it can get a bit rowdy. North of the circle has many local shops and more upscale dining options. If you’re looking for action, whether it's shopping or drinking (or better yet both), this is the street to be on. And of course, in a neighborhood as historic as Dupont, you can step off the main street for the quiet serenity and beauty of perfectly kept row houses. Dupont is full of picturesque nooks and crannies and maintains a residential feel off Connecticut Avenue.
Best Green Space:
The circle itself is a gathering spot for all types of people. You’ll find people eating their lunch here on weekdays, and you’ll also find people playing with their dogs, lounging around on the grassy patches with a good book, or simply taking a phone call on one of the many benches around the centered fountain. Though it’s a little bit busier than other circles in Washington, D.C, it’s definitely worth a visit. Not only will it provide you with some much-needed greenery, but it is also the ultimate representation of the neighborhood. If more traditional parks are up your alley, you can head to Mitchell Park in North Dupont. Located about five minutes from the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Florida Avenue, this park is open to the public and has everything from grassy fields to picnic tables, to a peace that’s hard to find in an urban setting. You’ll find that a lot of dog owners bring their furry friends here, so if you are looking for a place for your dog to stretch their legs, this is a great option. And if you want a more traditional dog park, the S Street dog park is widely popular among Dupont residents.
Courtesy of dc.curbed.com
Nearby Grocery Stores:
Safeway is located on 17th Street and is a great place to find all your essentials at affordable prices. If you’re looking for something organic and fresh, go to Glen’s Garden Market. Here you’ll find fresh vegetables, organic products, and tons of meat and cheese options. It’s also a great spot to grab a sandwich for lunch and a beer for happy hour. However, you will pay a premium to shop here.
There is a bar for everyone in Dupont Circle, and it really depends on what you want to get out of it. If you’re part of the happy hour crowd, you can’t miss Mission, which sells $20 margarita pitchers and offers quite a few food items on special as well. In South Dupont, Dirty Martini is a fun option for both happy hour and a late-night crowd. Glen’s Garden Market also serves $4 tap beers starting at 4 p.m. If you’re into games, The Board Room is a bar in North Dupont that offers board games for patrons to play. It’s important to note that while they don’t have food on the menu, you’re allowed to bring food in (and conveniently for you, there’s a delicious pizza place next door).
Courtesy of washingtoncitypaper.com
As with the bar options, there are also tons of restaurants to choose from. 17th Street is a great place to wander to if you’re looking to eat with other Washingtonians. Hank’s Oyster Bar is a cute spot right on the corner of 17th and S with a great oyster menu and wine selection. Or you can head to Duke’s Grocery farther down the block, where you’ll have the best burger in all of Washington, D.C. Order the "Proper Burger" off the menu, and make sure to make a reservation or be okay waiting, as both the inside and outside get quite crowded in the evening hours. On Connecticut Avenue, check out Rakuya for sushi and ramen, La Tomate for Italian (it's been open for 30 years!), and Russia House Restaurant and Lounge for authentic Russian cuisine.
Courtesy of washington.org
What To Do:
Though Dupont is not a tourist destination the way the National Mall is, it has many activities to offer locals and visitors alike. If you like to shop, and especially if you like to shop local, make your way up and down Connecticut Avenue and pop your head into one of the many boutiques selling everything from clothing to jewelry to pet supplies to regional wine. Kramerbooks and Afterwords Café is an iconic bookstore and adjoining restaurant/bar in Dupont Circle. With their recent expansion and reorganization of the stacks, you can now spend hours comfortably browsing or, better yet, you can purchase a new read and enjoy with some red wine at the bar. And when you’re done shopping, walk around the quieter parts of the neighborhood and admire the row houses, many dating back 100 years. Finish your night off with dinner at one of the local restaurants on 17th Street. Try to snag a table by the window so you can people-watch the colorful and vibrant residents that call Dupont Circle home.
What do you love about the Dupont Circle neighborhood? Let us know in the comments below!