NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE – Outgoing President Obama inaugurated this latest addition to DC’s already thriving museum scene. The building’s three-tiered shape was inspired by a Yoruban crown, and exhibits include potent symbols of the black American experience, including clothing worn by civil rights activists.
WATERGATE HOTEL – Best known as the site of the 70s scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, this historic hotel has recently reopened after renovation. Rooms reference its heritage with vintage-inspired design, and the rooftop bar has 360° views of the Potomac River and Washington Monument.
POD HOTEL – Now taking bookings for December, this will be the first POD Hotel to open outside of New York City. Offering small, smartly designed rooms in the diverse downtown district of Penn Quarter, it’s excellent value for money. Mostly-millennial guests can congregate in bar-diner Crimson, serving Southern comfort food and whiskey cocktails.
RADIATOR – Celebrating mid-century DC, when the street on which it sits was lined with car dealerships and auto repair shops, the interior of this small-plates eatery features garage-style doors and old car parts. Fun, ta pas-style dishes include grilled octopus, bacon fat fries and lamb belly tacos.
LA JAMBE – Run by a French woman wistful for the culinary experiences of her homeland, and by her DC-bom husband, this neighbourhood bar and restaurant is big on all things fromage and charcuterie. The decor is a nostalgic nod to Paris, no mean feat in such a thoroughly modem building. Around 20 wines are available by the glass, and twice as many by the bottle.
DISTRICT DISTILLING – A change in the law means it’s newly legal for DC premises to produce their own alcohol on-site. This distillery-bar is the first to do so, making vodka, gin and whiskey in an atmospheric 19th-century town house. Book a tour of the handmade copper pots before heading to the bar for a negroni.
FARE WELL – Part bakery, part diner, part bar, this ha rd-to-define new opening on H Street services Washingtonians from dawn to dusk. By day it serves a veggie-focused menu in a dining room reminiscent of a retro diner, but in evenings and weekends the focus shifts to drinks, including local beers on tap, root beer floats and well-crafted cocktails.