Weekend Guide to Union Market

Within the first few days of starting our blog, we received a message from a fellow DC blogger. As it turns out, that fellow blogger was Taylor’s previous co-worker – Stephanie. Small world! We looked at her blog, Magnolia Stripes, for inspiration and guidance and were blown away by the high quality content and photos.

Magnolia Stripes is an entertaining, home, and lifestyle blog inspired by beautiful, bright designs, and a love of classic tradition and southern hospitality. Stephanie shares tips and tricks on style, entertaining, and weekend getaways. Check out her blog for inspiration and follow her on Instagram, so you don’t miss a tip. The best way to put it – Magnolia Stripes will make you look good! Her blog and Instagram give us serious closet, decor, and hosting envy.

We wanted to collaborate, so Stephanie headed up to Union Market to give our readers a Weekend Guide to this DC hot spot. Check it out!

WEEKEND GUIDE TO UNION MARKET

WHERE TO SHOP, WHAT TO EAT, AND HOW TO CURATE THE PERFECT CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARD WHILE YOU’RE HERE

Living in the nation’s capital (or just outside of it) is the absolute cat’s pajamas. I just don’t have another way to say it. Sure. The cost of living is high. Yes. Traffic is terrible. But, we’re lucky to be home to the Smithsonian museums, some truly terrific art galleries, hundreds of restaurants, and so much more. When my good friends at Capital Couple announced their blog, which will be chock full of D.C. bucket lists, seasonal lists, and guides to the city curated from their explorations, I had to check it out for myself. I’m thrilled to help cover Union Market for this dynamic duo! Be sure and give their Instagram a follow and check out Capital Couple for upcoming stories.

On to Union Market! I’m sharing a few of my favorite shops to find everything from hostess gifts to succulents, places to eat, and where in the market you can find items to build your perfect cheese and charcuterie board. Trust me, Union Market is a one-stop shop!

The History

Union Market opened to the public in 1871 and soon became the largest market in Washington, D.C. It was in the perfect location – close to the U.S. Capitol, railroad station, and streetcar lines. It was torn down years later to become home to the National Archives. Many of the businesses relocated to a new venue: Union Terminal Market, which opened in 1931. The market moved indoors a few years later in 1967 when a 1962 ban by the city of outdoor sales of meat and eggs was issued. You can find a lot of the history (replicas of the Union Terminal Market signage) on the walls of Union Market today. The Market continued to grow in wholesale operations until the 1980s. Union Market evolved as things on the wholesale front began to slow into the space it is today: a lively, energetic indoor market with all kinds of merchants.

Where to Shop

Little Leaf

This fabulous pop-up (their permanent store is at 1401 S. Street, NW) is a true escape from reality. Little Leaf, a shop under the umbrella of Salt & Sundry (more on this shop below), offers shoppers an oasis where they can find plants, paperie, and other unique gifts.

Just stepping inside their nook in Union Market is enough to transport you to the nearest island.

 

This is the place for you if you’re looking for housewarming gifts, a last-minute thoughtful card, or an “office-warming” succulent!

Salt & Sundry

This is one of my favorite shops in the city. It’s perfect for anyone and everyone who hosts – whether it’s a baby shower here and there or on a weekly basis, in an urban studio apartment or in a four-bedroom home in northern Virginia. You can find just about anything for the home here: a fabulous pair of gold coupe glasses, luxurious infused bath salts for your mother-in-law, or a herringbone throw for your new couch.

I’m still not sure how I walked away without these. Luckily, several of their products are available online.

Unique candles, this too-cute book, those glasses and stirrers (below) – Salt & Sundry is home to some of the best curated gifts, home goods, and entertaining essentials.

I’m going back for the Oysters book below…

TasteLab

I’m including TasteLab‘s nook in here because I absolutely love the concept. TasteLab’s Marketplace at Union Market houses a fun blend of food products and beverages produced by their more than sixty-five small businesses. These dog treats caught my eye. It’s definitely a space I’ll be checking back frequently.

Where to Eat

Bidwell

We went here for brunch and it was absolutely delicious! Each of Chef John Mooney’s dishes has a southern flair with some serious flavor. This locally-sourced kitchen is definitely worth a sit-down stop. Check out full menus here.

Rappahannock Oyster Co.

Craving oysters on the half shell with a glass of white? This is your place. Rappahannock serves up local oysters from the Chesapeake Bay. The restaurant’s website shows the sites they represent.

We enjoyed an oyster happy hour earlier this summer (see the mouthwatering photos below) right before Union Market’s drive-in movie. You heard that right. You can shop, enjoy happy hour and dinner, then catch a drive-in movie for $10 a car. It’s a great date night or kid-friendly activity. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is up next on November 3rd. You can find more details here.

Panorama Bakery

There is a whole list of restaurants where you can find a bite to eat on Union Market’s website. I couldn’t leave without trying one of Panorama Bakery’s giant macarons. Breaking a sugar fast? Guilty as charged.

Building the Perfect Cheese and Charcuterie Board at Union Market

On a mission with ten minutes before book club? Did you over-commit at this month’s supper club? Or, are you leaving town to visit the parents and have nothing to bring? Union Market not only has some of the best spots for happy hour, hostess gifts, home goods and decor, but is the perfect one-stop shop for an easy and impressive cheese and charcuterie board.

Salt & Sundry (mentioned earlier) has your base. You can find slate boards, marble boards, and a stylish tea towel to boot. Round off your board with these beautiful Laguiole cheese knives and you’re almost ready to go.

Cordial has a vast collection of fine wines and craft beers that are all from local vineyards and breweries. They also offer complimentary tastings on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 3:00 pm, so you can sample some of your selections before purchasing.

Red Apron Butchery has all the meats. And I do mean, all the meats. Pick your favorites out of a selection of beautiful pates, cured meats, and more. A good rillete is a favorite of mine. Calories don’t count with those, or so I’m told. Either way, you can’t go wrong with Red Apron.

Righteous Cheese has a fabulous selection of – you guessed it – cheeses. They also have all the accoutrements your heart could desire: marcona almonds, containers on containers of olives, dried fruits – even a DIY cheese board. Be sure and check out their website, where you can sign up for their cheese and wine pairing classes and tasting tips enewsletter.

Whether you have a whole weekend or a few hours, Union Market is a great spot to explore, sip, and shop. See y’all next time!

Thank you for this weekend guide, Stephanie! I know Capital Couple will certainly use it next time we head to Union Market. Head over to Magnolia Stripes for more great content!

See you there, Capital Couple

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