A mainstay of the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood and of the city itself, Eastern Market has been operating continuously since 1873, not even pausing after a fire in 2007 (indoor vendors moved to a parking lot across the street until the building re-opened in 2009.) Inside, 13 vendors in their separate stalls sell fresh produce, pasta, seafood, meats, cheeses, sweets, flowers, and pottery Tuesday through Sunday. Weekends are when things get really lively, when more than 100 arts and crafts merchants, plus an additional 20 or so farmers and open air food-vendors sell their wares on the market’s outdoor plaza. The street is closed to traffic in front of the market, and the block teems with families doing their weekly grocery shopping, hipsters attracted to this cool attraction, and even the occasional congressperson (many live in the neighborhood). For a real hometown experience, come for blueberry buckwheat pancakes (“bluebucks”) served at Market Lunch inside the market on Saturdays, or for lunch Tuesday through Sunday.
- Elise Hartman Ford