A Hole Lot of Doughnuts in the District

Cupcakes are no longer all the rage (although the line is always out the door at Georgetown Cupcake and Baked and Wired). While doughnuts have been around for quite some time (see http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-history-of-the-doughnut-150405177/?no-ist) they seem to have risen to the top of the dessert menu recently. DC has a quality selection of doughnuts (or donuts, if you’d like to save a few letters) that make for a sweet, summer treat. Celebrate National Doughnut Day on June 5th! 


District Doughnut ~749 8th Street, NE

District Doughnut and Coffee is home to a mix of unusual and classic doughnuts. They rotate flavors throughout the week, but update their website (districtdoughnut.com) with daily flavors so you can plan ahead if you want to ensure you get your hands on a Vanilla Bean Glazed. Other flavors include PB & J and The Fluffernutter –a delicious doughnut filled with marshmallow cream and topped with peanut butter glaze.

District Doughnuts’ coffee is supplied by Compass Coffee, an up and coming fair trade group home to really good coffee. Their location at 1535 7th Street, NW is worth checking out if you’re looking to explore a great, new coffee vendor.


Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken ~ 1308 G Street, NW

Astro Doughnuts is a popular district location for unique, but delicious, doughnut flavors. They offer four flavors daily, including a customer favorite: maple bacon. Aside from their standard fare, their menu caters to the time of year, offering monthly seasonal doughnuts that use local, seasonal fruit, for instance. In addition to its doughnuts, Astro’s fried chicken includes everything from a Fried Chicken BLT to Chicken Fingers. If you’re looking to splurge for a not-so-healthy experience, Astro Doughnuts is the way to go.


Golden Brown Delicious ~1323 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Golden Brown Delicious, or GBD as it is more commonly known, agrees with Astro Doughnuts –fried chicken is a doughnut’s best friend. In addition to their 30 doughnut flavors, rotating daily, they have a large fried chicken menu. The Lil Chicken Biscuit Trio is a favorite. This Dupont Circle restaurant outdoes the others because it is home to the true trifecta: doughnuts, fried chicken, and alcohol. The restaurant has a full bar with a menu of classic beer and cocktails as well as “Doughnut Beers” and “Fried Chicken Beers” to complement the food. What to do if you’re eating both?!


Sugar Shack Donuts and Coffee ~ 804 N. Henry Street, Alexandria, Virginia

Located a bit outside the district, Sugar Shack skirts spelling standards and traditional flavors in favor of a large selection of doughnuts. With more variety than the other doughnut shops, Sugar Shack offers both simple glazed and sprinkle doughnuts as well as more unique, sweeter flavors such as Chocolate M&M, Chocolate Butterfinger, and Sea Salt Caramel. All doughnuts like to be paired with a cup of coffee, and Sugar Shack does not fall short. They sell Zeke’s Coffee, a Baltimore group, and have a comprehensive menu of coffee and espresso to curb the Shack’s inevitable sugar rush.

In addition to their Alexandria location, Sugar Shack also has two locations in Richmond, Virginia.


14th Street Romantic Restaurant Destinations

Looking for a restaurant to spend your anniversary or go for a date to this summer? Look no further than these top restaurants that offer romantic outdoor seating, allowing couples to enjoy both delicious food and summer weather.   

Kapnos ~ 2201 14th Street NW

Go to this contemporary Greek restaurant in the U Street Corridor and request to eat on the patio; you won't regret it. Chef Mike Isabella and Chef George Pagonis bring the Mediterranean to your plate. They were able to create a menu that showcases traditional Greek dishes with a modern twist. Try their tryrokafteri spread (feta and smoked manouri cheese) with flat bread. Move on to their marinated spring lamb and suckling pig with Greek fries. Pair their exquisite food with one of their Mediterranean wines or hand-crafted cocktails. Kapnos creates a romantic Mediterranean ambiance right here in the district --an escape from the city. 

Photos courtesy of Greg Powers


Le Diplomate ~ 1601 14th Street NW

Take a date or a friend to this popular 14th street restaurant and prepare to be transported to the city of love.  Considered one of the hottest restaurants in town, frequented by celebrities and politicians, Le Diplomate will not disappoint. Request a seat outside this Parisian restaurant at a table by the sidewalk for some dinnertime people watching. Try some of their most popular dishes: fois gras parfait, escargot, mushroom tart, and steak frites. Pair these selections with one of their cocktails or wine, carefully curated by their sommelier. Le Diplomate is popular, so we suggest taking a break from your hectic week and dining here on a week night.

Photos courtesy of Jason Varney

 Lupo Verde~ 1401 T Street NW

Sit outside at U Street's Lupo Verde and prepare for some of the most authentic Italian food in all of DC. While smaller and quieter than the other two restaurants, it is by no means any less popular. The wait to be seated can be long without a reservation, but the food and experience compensate for your time. Try their tuna tartare, squash gnocchetti, and salt baked branzino.  If you have a sweet tooth, try the tiramisu here (some of the best!). Lupo Verde also offers unique cocktails, such as the Lupo Alberto made with rye, Don Ciccio, figli fennel, fennel bitters, and strong tonic. 

Photos courtesy of lupoverde.com

Beer Festivals are Near

DC’s summer heat is accompanied by a number of beer festivals to offer a fun, cool-down. Here are some upcoming beer festivals:

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival~ May 30, 1pm-6pm; 44 E. Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival is coming right up! Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, so save some money and order them online at mdcraftbeerfestival.com. Tickets include 6 tokens, each for a 4 oz sample. However, additional tokens can be purchased for $1 a piece at the festival. With almost 30 different breweries due to be there, the festival is sure to offer a variety of craft options, although this may not be the best stop for Budweiser fans. The festival also will have live music. One great thing about this festival is that Designated Drivers and kids can come for $5. Children under 12 are admitted for free. Check for Twitter updates with the hashtag #MdCBF   

Rock the Core~ May 30, either 1pm-4pm or 6pm-9pm; 500 block of New York Avenue, NW

 If you play your cards right, May 30th could be a day for two beer festivals! Rock the Core is a cider and beer festival, complete with a live DJ, drinking and regular games, and food trucks galore. Ticket price varies depending on whether you are planning on going in the afternoon or evening session.  The 1pm-4pm slot runs for $50 while the later time is $39. Tickets include unlimited tastings of the more than 30 ciders available and the more than 20 beers. You can indulge in a full glass of your favorites, and taste to explore others.

Summerfest DC~ June 13, 12pm-3pm, 3:30pm – 6:30pm, 7:15-10:15; 1299 Half Street, SE

 Summerfest is a beer and wine festival set to hit The Fairgrounds in DC on June 13th. Earlybird tickets cost $40 and then rise to $50. Tickets include unlimited tastings. Summerfest will have over 100 beers and 10 cider options --something for everyone. 

Red White and Brew DC~ June 27, 1pm-4pm or 6pm-9pm; 500 block of New York Avenue, NW

Similar to Rock the Core, this festival has two sessions in the same location. Early bird tickets go for $39 and include unlimited tastings of both beer and wine. Wear your patriotic colors for a pre-4th celebration and enjoy a selection of over 100 beers and wines. Food trucks such as Captain Cookie, DC Slices, Rito Loco, and Carnivore BBQ.










DHM's Best Brunch

Brunch is one of our favorite meals at District Home Magazine. Here are a couple of favorites that are definite crowd pleasers and great for the holiday season. Enjoy!

Blue Duck Tavern 
West End ~ 24 & M Streets NW
A favorite spot of the Obamas for intimate dinners and known for its signature refined American cuisine, the Blue Duck Tavern’s brunch certainly is not one to be overshadowed by the evening meal. Blue Duck has a passion for locally sourced ingredients, and recognizes their growers on the menu next to each dish. Enjoy a gourmet cocktail or fresh squeezed juice along with starters such as the Sticky Bun, assorted basket of homemade pastries, or Salmon Avocado Johnny Cake. Main dishes include traditional yet upscale comfort food such as Strawberry-Rhubarb French Toast, Eggs Benedict with Smoked Trout, Wagyu Beef Steak and Egg, and Short Rib Hash.

Birch and Barley 
Logan Circle ~ 1337 14th St NW
Birch & Barley takes a different approach to brunch. While for many in the restaurant industry it can be a difficult day, Chef Kyle Bailey & his team embrace with an all day Sunday brunch menu filled with sweet and savory dishes. Many choose the “Boozy Brunch” option, which begins with freshly fried donut holes and choice of two brunch cocktails like the Brunch Punch (Bourbon, Iced Black Tea, Citrus, Mint, Honey and Bitters) & the Cava Mimosa. The indulgent entrée offerings include the famous Fried Chicken & Waffles, House-Brined Corned Beef Hash with Fried Duck Eggs, and Sausage, Egg and Cheese on a Warm Crème Fraîche Biscuit with hash browns.

Farmers Fishers Bakers
Georgetown ~ 3000 K Street NW
Farmers Fishers Bakers boasts an award winning, all-you-can-eat, farmers market style brunch buffet. First, Heavenly Fluffy Biscuits & Warm Cinnamon Rolls are served to each table with butter and larder jam. The buffet spread features indulgences such as Brûléed Pink Grapefruit, Hot Maryland Crab Dip, Bananas Foster French Toast, Honey Pot Fried Chicken, Cured Ham, an assortment of house made pastries along with various salads and traditional brunch fare. Brunch includes complimentary drip coffee and iced tea, but don’t miss out on the cocktail options, featuring house made simple syrups and blends. This brunch is kid-friendly, and children under six eat free.

Southern Hospitality
Adams Morgan ~ 1815 Adams Mill Rd NW
The appropriately named Southern Hospitality offers just that: a warm, sweet and welcoming approach to dining. Offering southern-style brunch on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesday evenings (who doesn't love brunch for dinner?!), you'll be sure to go home with a happy stomach -- if not also a new friend or two. Start out with the bottomless mimosas, and go for a Benedict with your choice of fried chicken, crab cake or salmon. Feeling lunch? Enjoy some Shrimp 'n' Grits, Mac 'n' Cheese, Fried Green Tomatoes or all of the above. Finally, if you can’t ecide between sweet and savory, spoil yourself with Southern Hospitality’s Chicken and Waffles. 



New Hampshire Avenue, NW

Located in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood, Firefly has become a hot spot and culinary destination that attracts regulars and DC foodies alike. With a casual vibe that is heightened by the incredible cuisine, Firefly has created a unique menu of American comfort food classics with a contemporary twist. Firefly’s menus are designed to keep with each season, focusing on sustainable ingredients and supporting local farms and purveyors. For unparalleled freshness, many of the ingredients are grown right there, on the restaurant’s rooftop garden. Not only is there a concern for sustainability but also, Firefly is committed to serving dietary restrictions. The restaurant has long been a champion of the gluten-free cause with a menu that offers many delicious and fun dishes for those who suffer from celiac disease. A seasonal favorite is Executive Chef Todd Wiss’s gluten-free ice cream sandwiches. In addition to the cuisine, Bar Manager, Jon Harris, has grown the cocktail program at Firefly to great heights with a fun and creative menu. These handcrafted drinks also rely on local and seasonal ingredients for unique and fresh tastes.

Behind the distinctive menu at Firefly, Chef Todd Wiss is truly the star. Chef Todd is inspired by the idea of a melting pot, both as an American and as a culinary concept. For him, America is a place where he can reimagine classic dishes of culinary tradition with a healthy spin, using fresh and seasonal ingredients. He explains, “I believe food should represent all the varied cultures and people of the United States…I try to build on American classics in a way that’s approachable, seasonal and fun.”

A DC native, Chef Todd recalls happy memories of cooking with his family, in particular making Greek classics with his grandmother in his Glover Park kitchen. After spending summers at his grandparents’ landmark restaurant in Williamsburg, VA, he knew that he belonged in the restaurant industry. Having graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2002, Chef Todd Wiss brings more than 10 years of diverse experience to Firefly. When he joined the Klimpton restaurant team, he found mentors who further fostered his commitment to local ingredients and high standards in the kitchen. In 2012, he started in Firefly as Chef de Cuisine, where he helped the restaurant through a massive renovation and built the rooftop garden with his own hands. Just one year later, he was promoted to Executive Chef, the position he holds today.

For Todd Wiss, “food is culture.” Through his menu items, he lets each ingredient tell a story while his dishes bring people and families together.

In coming years, with its unique culinary experience, Firefly will only continue to grow in success and succulence.