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Great Food Shopping on DC Metro?

A dozen members of my extended family will be staying together in a condo close to the Capitol South Metro station in Washington, DC during the first week of January. We are all cooks and the condo has a full kitchen. We are enthusiastic DC Metro travelers.

Where, within walking distance of DC Metro stations, are the DC area's great groceries, farmers markets, ethnic food markets, fish markets, kitchen stores, and other resources that will make our cooking-together-in-DC visit especially memorable?

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  1. The Maine Avenue fish market is walkable from the Southwest waterfront metro or L'Enfant metro. Eastern market (metro stop same name) is best on weekends. Union market is close to New York avenue metro. I believe the Dupont farmer's market is open year round but only on Sundays (Dupont metro).

    1. There is a Giant right next to the Van Ness Metro and a Whole Foods right next to Tenleytown. These two Metro stations on the red line aren't far from each other, but neither are close to Cap. South and both involve changing trains at Metro Center.

      There is a nice kitchen store near the Eastern Market Metro.

      When using the Metro, especially on weekends, read their website to keep yourself apprised of any work they may be doing. If you see that they are "single tracking" in a place where you want to go, don't go! This can extend your trip by an hour or hours.

      Don't miss Eastern Market on Sat!

      1. Capital South is on the blue/orange line. If you're going to be visiting the monuments/Smithsonians, you can take the blue/orange to the Smithsonian stop, then do some walking and make your way to Foggy Bottom. There's a Whole Foods across the street from the Foggy Bottom Metro station (which is also on the blue/orange line) plus a Trader Joe's a few blocks from the Metro stop as well. Neither are ethnic or particularly unique, but you can do some good shopping and hop back on the blue/orange line back to Capital South.

        There are a few Metro-accesible farmer's markets you might want to visit. Dupont Circle (off the red line) has one on Sunday mornings. Eastern Market has lots of different shopping options. There's an indoor market with a bunch of different vendors that I believe is open all week, and the outdoor farmer's market is open weekends and has tons of shopping.

        You also might want to check out Union Market (off the red line, NoMa-Galludet stop), which opened recently. It hosts a bunch of local vendors that are worth sampling. It's open most days, but check their website for hours.

        1. Thanks for the great suggestions. Are there ethnic groceries close to Metro stations -- Mexican, Chinese, Middle Eastern?

          3 Replies
          1. re: EastLake

            There is an H Mart nearish to the Wheaton Metro. Personally, I always take the Y Bus to get there. I walked once and found the walk to be too long and unpleasant. It would take at least 3 hours minimum door to door for you to go there.

            1. re: EastLake

              As you might gather from this thread, not really. Metro doesn't serve too many areas where there's a concentration of Mexicans, Chinese or Middle Easterners. I guess it would be politically incorrect to say "poor areas" but you get the drift.

              There are a number of pan-Asian supermarkets in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, all easily accessible by car but not by Metro.

              Eden Center (Vietnamese) is a wonderful shopping and eating experience. The Orange line to Ballston and the 1F bus to Wilson Boulevard and Peyton Randolph Dr will get you within about a 5 minute walk. If you feel adventuresome, make an afternoon of it - lunch, a little snacking, some bubble tea and pastries, and stock up on groceries and staples for dinner and lunch the next day.


              1. re: EastLake

                There are options, though every year the list grows slimmer (apparently El Chaparral in Clarendon is now closed?).

                Also in Wheaton is Max's which will give you some middle eastern options (and reward you with a great falafel in their neighboring restaurant). And then there's Hung Phat, which I'm not familiar with, but represents (imo) what you'll find close to metro stops - smaller stores though often with good variety.

                Bangkok 54 has a market and is relatively easy by metro (using a bus to go up the Pike from the Pentagon or P-City).

                There's a Great Wall nearish the Rockville stop as well.

              2. Union Market and Eastern Market are the best for your location. Next to Union Market you can check out Litteri's, which is a pretty funky Italian market.

                You can go to Hana Market (Japanese), easy bus ride on the 90s from Eastern Market.

                There's a smallish Latino market, El Chaparral, near Clarendon, which is a direct orange line ride from Eastern market.

                Also a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's at Clarendon (
                that's farther than Foggy Bottom though...which is also a direct metro ride from Capitol South)

                You can take the orange line out to East Falls Church and walk about 15 minutes to Eden Center - there you will find a treasure trove of Vietnamese restaurants and a large Vietnamese market.

                You can also go to Mount Pleasant by metro or bus (Columbia Heights metro station on the yellow/green), and check out the Bestway for a Latino market. The Giant at Columbia Heights will also have a lot of Latino goods.

                1. There's a Harris Teeter very close to the New York Ave. (Red Line) Metro.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: 4X4

                    There's another one at Potomac Ave, which is a close metro ride and direct ride on blue/orange line from Capitol South.

                    1. re: hamster

                      if you walk to the Potomac Ave HT use your 'street smarts'. there's a 2-block stretch around 12th that gets iffy for a pedestrian. although if it's during Mangialardo's hours (old school deli beloved by cops, FD and EMT) then it can be about the safest place in town and anyway there's a Metro station just across Penn from HT. for last minute things like milk or cereal or flour there's a mom'n'pop type place at Penn and 4th open until, uhh I think 1 AM. peruse their meats and vegetables with caution (but cheap cilantro when they have it and a decent wine selection given the place)

                      Asian stuff: in the Eastern Market, the Paik's poultry and vegetable stands usually have all sorts of things, but sometimes you have to ask. around the corner on Penn, 'YES! Organic' has a good variety of dried noodles, condiments and bulk spices by the ounce.

                      also inside the EM are the Canales' stands including Latino and Italian dry goods and a variety of fresh pasta oh why do I bother trying to encapsulate this: http://www.easternmarket-dc.org/defau... be sure to check the hours esp. at New Year's, and never open on Monday

                      PS the 'cheese guy' is gruff to everyone so don't take it personal; Mrs. Calomiris is a sweetheart and always slips in an extra piece of fruit if you spend about $5; the bakery has great cookies and desserts, but I'd get my bread at Marvelous Market down the street. the Inman's have fascinating oddities in their freezer case in addition to the fresh poultry. the Paik's I mentioned above also have good poultry and usu have pre-marinaded Bulgogi for you to cook up at home. the guys at Union Meat are good sports and accommodating. the seafood counter changes selections according to what's fresh but I never had a problem. best strategy: go without a list, or rather make up one as you shop based on what looks good that day.

                      1. re: hill food

                        "Enthusiastic DC Metro travelers" . . . . I guess it is good that someone still is.. . . .

                        Hill food hits the nail on the head. Why metro to a chain, when Eastern Market is within walking distance of your hotel or, if it is too cold, one metro stop will get you a we bit closer?

                        Not only are their stalls inside the market, but there are food vendors outside as well. Also outside is a robust flea market along the perimeter of the market and across the street.