Washington, D.C., is full of up-and-coming neighborhoods. The beauty of these neighborhoods is that you get a little something new and a little something old. They tend to be demographically diverse and steeped in city history. And the rent prices tend to be a lot lower.
Petworth is one such neighborhood. It’s a blend of residents who have lived in the neighborhood for decades and young people who’ve moved into the area because of cheaper housing costs. Here you’ll find businesses like trendy new cocktail bars and 50-year-old diners situated right next to each other.
Here is your Petworth neighborhood guide.
Petworth definitely has a more eclectic vibe than other neighborhoods in D.C. Until recently, it had been a quiet, residential neighborhood with people that had lived there for decades. In the last couple years though, the neighborhood has grown in popularity amongst the 20-something crowd because rent prices are lower.
Here you’ll find vintage stores, hipster bookstores, art collectives, local dance studios, tons of international food options, and hole-in-the-wall bars. The more residential parts of the area are a blend of new developments and historic row homes. The whole neighborhood is a melting pot of old and new.
Upshur Street is one of the main commercial streets in Petworth, featuring a lot of mixed-use space. The street has charm and character both in the storefronts and the people you see walking by. The idea that people want to shop locally is really prevalent here; you’ll see residents sporting an outfit they picked up at Fia’s Fabulous Finds (a local vintage shop) and grabbing cocktails at Petworth Citizen & Reading Room, a local watering hole.
Make sure to wander the side streets for murals and public art. They aren’t concentrated in a specific place, so you have to let yourself run into them as you explore the neighborhood.
Best Green Space:
If you love parks with events, check out Friends of Petworth Park. Especially in the summer months, it’s filled with kids, dogs, performers, and anyone else looking to enjoy fresh air and sunshine. And if you love listening to music outside, look no further than the Petworth Jazz Project, which is a free concert series in the park every summer.
From May to November, you can also find The Petworth Community Market, a weekly farmers market on the corner of 9th and Upshur streets, featuring fresh produce, live music, and fun activities.
Nearby Grocery Stores:
Because Petworth is undergoing the process of gentrification, you’ll find different kinds of grocery store options. A brand-new Safeway is located on Georgia Avenue, where you can shop for all the essentials you need. If you prefer organic products, Yes! Organic Market has got you covered. You can also shop local at the Morazan Grocery Store, which acts more as a corner store and has been around for much longer.
There are a couple musts when it comes to bars in Petworth. Hank’s Cocktail Bar features some of the best craft cocktails in the neighborhood. Try the “scnr (sorry could not resist)”cocktail for a basil-grapefruit and vodka mix, or the “between you & me” drink for a spicy cinnamon and bourbon kick. You can view their very unique drinks menu here.
If you love literature as well as drinking, and you’d really like to talk to someone about literature while drinking, then you may meet your soulmate at Petworth Citizen & Reading Room. The restaurant highlights that
“every weekend, Reading Room bartender Chantal Tseng creates a limited-edition menu based on an author or theme for her popular Literary Cocktails series. On other nights the Reading Room hosts community meet-ups, live music, and private parties.”
It’s also features one of the coolest speakeasies in Washington, D.C., in its basement.
Petworth has recently exploded on the D.C. food scene. Timber Pizza has been ranked the best pizza joint in Washington, D.C., which is quite an honor for a local startup company that isn’t more than a few years old.
The recently opened Himitsu has also received high praise for its fresh, modern take on Japanese-inspired cuisine. The menu, both drink and food, changes daily and they don’t take reservations. Keeping Washingtonians on their toes peaks their interest and elevates a restaurant from just good to extremely trendy.
What to do:
Petworth is a great neighborhood if you’re looking to be part of a community. The first Friday of every month, Petworth hosts a neighborhood-wide event to spark interest in local business and happenings. This brings in not only its own residents, but people from all over the city. Fia’s Fabulous Finds serves up discounts and complimentary margaritas, Hank’s Cocktail Bar displays art from local artists, and art, dance, and creative collectives come together to discuss how to make the space they live a place to thrive. You can view the 2018 schedule of events here.
Because Petworth’s feel is a little more alternative, it’s a great place to shop for vintage clothes, records, and books. You can spend a weekend afternoon picking up rare finds, and then head to one of the bars on Upshur Street to enjoy drinks. If you like a small-town feel in a big city, and you love a community vibe, you’ll love the eclectic mix of people, places, and activities here.
Have you checked out the neighborhood of Petworth yet? What are your favorite spots to frequent? Let us know in the comments below!