It's right by Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights, but the northwest D.C. neighborhood of Mount Pleasant has a vibe that is entirely its own. Known in the 1800s as Mount Pleasant Village, this area still feels like a small town within Washington.
The neighborhood boasts gorgeous rowhouses, its own library, and a main street lined with shops and restaurants. This area is home to many members of D.C.'s Latino community, and diversity is a point of pride in Mount Pleasant. Here are a few things to see and do in this beautiful neighborhood — one that's off the beaten path for tourists.
Go for a Scenic Walk
Walk off your meal and stretch your legs in this neighborhood: the homes here are beautiful and worth gawking over. You can even take a self-guided cultural walking tour and see Colonial Revival mansions, row homes, and Mount Pleasant's oldest home (it was designed by Thomas Ustick Walter, who served as an architect of portions of the U.S. Capitol). If you want to keep walking, you can easily head into the leafy Rock Creek Park from here. This urban park extends 12 miles and is a getaway for Washingtonians who want to experience nature.
One of the best ways to feel like a local in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood is to head to the farmers market on Saturdays to shop alongside the community. You won't miss it on Mount Pleasant street: it's a scene with produce vendors, folks selling ready-to eat food like bao or popsicles, and musicians performing impromptu sets. The farmers market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 pm. every Saturday from the first weekend in April until the winter holidays. The vendors are from farms across the D.C. region and neighboring states, selling fresh and organic veggies, fruits, and more.
Get a Drink at One of D.C.'s True Dive Bars
So many D.C. watering holes serve $14 cocktails along with cans of craft beer, but not the Raven Grill. This long-running establishment is said to be in business since 1935, according to WAMU. This is a no-frills establishment: the only food here is Utz potato chips. Settle in at the bar for cans of PBR or a stiff drink, and good conversation with neighborhood regulars. Just be sure to bring cash to make your visit go smoothly.
Grocery shopping in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood happens at the Best World market and a shop called Each Peach Market. This is a place that celebrates local food producers and artisans in the Washington region and beyond. Think Taharka Bros. ice cream made in Baltimore or Supreme Core cider. Each Peach Market also sells prepared food that's ready to eat — or to take to a party to impress your friends.
Suns Cinema feels like you've stumbled into the living room of a movie-obsessed friend. This theatre shows one movie a night, and the choices are eclectic, screening Mean Girls one night and a Czech New Wave flick the next. It's a pretty informal atmosphere and totally unique. This theater also boasts a bar serving up beer, wine, and cocktails. Check the schedule to find out what movie is on deck for the evening you're planning on visiting.
Mount Pleasant restaurant Ellē has been written up in Bon Appétit for its kimchi toast, and has garnered acclaim from critics all over the city for its inventive cooking, including write-ups in the Michelin Guide. The newish eatery is located in an historic building that was once home to old-school bakery Heller's. Ellē keeps the tradition going with freshly-baked bread and decadent breakfast sandwiches. In the evening, it's a full-service spot with top-notch cocktails, creative fare, and pie for dessert.
There are quite a few places for food from Latin America in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, and one popular spot along the strip is Haydee's with its outdoor tables and live music nights. The long-running restaurant offers six different margaritas and classic Mexican entrées. Keep the party going with karaoke nights or dance to a performance from a local band.
Go for Thai, Filipino, or Laotian Food
The food scene is getting hotter in this neighborhood, with options from all around the world. One favorite is Beau Thai, a stylish spot for spring rolls and noodle bowls, and a good choice for groups. Or try Filipino cuisine at Purple Patch, which serves American comfort food, too. Another interesting option is Sabydee, a tiny spot that serves both Thai fare and food from Laos.