You just fulfilled your life-long dream of getting a college degree and all that hard work, pulling all-nighters and eating nothing but microwaveable soup and pasta has paid off. Now you get to reap all the accolades and benefits that come with being a college grad. But let’s face it, you can’t say you’ve made it until you get a sweet pad out in the big city–and our nation’s capital is one of the best cities for a recent college grad like yourself. Depending on your budget, you can find Washington, D.C. neighborhoods that are close to all the nightlife, music and culture the city has to offer.
An up-and-coming Washington D.C. neighborhood, H-Street is a great location for young professionals that are just starting out. It isn’t as densely populated as other parts of the city, but newly built high-rise apartments and popular bars are attracting college grads every year. One place to definitely check out is Granville Moore’s. It is known for its mussels, five-star fries and tasty Belgian cuisine. Ethiopic, the Ethiopian restaurant of choice for locals, serves traditional cuisine in a low-key, soothing atmosphere. H-Street also holds its own festival once a year, closing down streets to make room for extended beer gardens and makeshift runways for the local boutiques’ fashion shows. First-rate patio seating in front of H-Street’s restaurants is prime real estate when the local bands and DJs get on stage to play.
U-Street was another up-and-coming metro area about seven or eight years ago and has since blossomed into a flourishing little D.C. neighborhood with lots of must-visit places to check out. If you love the food scene, U-Street has a variety of cultural restaurants. The Hana Japanese market is your one-stop shop for Asian food. You can pick up Japanese groceries like specialty sodas, frozen dumplings and rice balls, but there are fresh products available to you as well. The U-Street Music Hall is a great place that doesn’t cater to the $500 table service/stuffy dress code/bad attitude crowd; people come to this music hall to enjoy House/electronic dance music and its huge, cushioned main floor, two stages and state-of-the-art sound system, making this place the perfect spot to get down and dance the night away.
Eastern Market in Capitol Hill
The Eastern Market is a great place to see and be seen and is often the Washington D.C. neighborhood of choice for many politicians and politicians-in-training. Although the restaurants and bars in this area are becoming more expensive, the extra money you spend is well worth the experience. The Market is the most likely place where you’ll get that “city” feel in Washington, D.C., and is considered a hotspot for some of the best views of the nation’s capitol. If the nightlife and bar scenes aren’t for you, this part of town is full of community events. Every weekend, the Market brings in handmade arts and crafts made by neighborhood artists and fresh food and produce from local farms.