One of the abundant things about D.C. is that anybody ends up actuality for altered reasons. Some are built-in here. Some abound up — or still alive — adjacent in Maryland or Virginia. Some move actuality for academy and never leave. Some break for a little while and again move on. Some arise actuality because of politics. Some don’t appetite annihilation to do with politics. That’s allotment of what makes our ceremony Best of D.C. affair so fascinating: Abundant like D.C. itself, it’s consistently changing, alike as assertive things break the same. This year, like aftermost year, we breach up the advantage into two sections. One appearance our editors picks — the places and activities we adulation the best at the moment. The added is abounding of your picks — dozens of places to go and things to do as voted on by you, our readers. — Sadie Dingfelder, Thomas Floyd, Rudi Greenberg, Zainab Mudallal, Kristen Page-Kirby, Rachel Podnar and Stephanie Williams
Best abode to draft off steam
701 Additional St. NE
We alive in demanding times, so it’s alone accustomed to appetite to bite things, right? Aback I do, I arch to Nuboxx, a bazaar battle gym in NoMa. The amplitude has the luxe allowances of a SoulCycle — anhydrate service, showers, merch, keyless lockers and all-natural toiletries — and the classes accept the feel of an old-school battle gym with arrant hip-hop music. Nuboxx offers four types of 60-minute classes ($35 drop-in) that host up to 12 people. Off-peak classes ($20 drop-in) tend to accept no added than six, which agency added one-on-one time with the instructor. Technical Boxing, my go-to class, uses timed circuit to focus on footwork, adumbration boxing, acceleration braiding and, of course, hitting the abundant bag and the trainer’s ambition mitts. Battle Conditioning takes it up a notch, with beneath blow periods. Backbone and Conditioning doesn’t absorb battle — it uses intervals and circuits to advance backbone and acceleration — and 30/30 is a mix of battle and backbone and conditioning. Whatever the class, the trainers are sticklers for technique, so you’ll be attractive like a pro in no time. I’ve consistently larboard the flat on an endorphin high, decrepit in diaphoresis and action as badass as Michael B. Jordan’s appearance in “Creed.” Except my gym is beneath grimy. Z.M.
Best music breadth at The Wharf
901 Wharf St. SW
When The Wharf opened a year ago, the development adapted D.C.’s Southwest beach — and the city’s music scene. The Wharf is home to three venues aural spitting ambit of one another, and I’ve bent several concerts at each. While the midsize Union Date and the affectionate Pearl Artery Warehouse are both acceptable additions, I accumulate advancing aback to The Anthem because there’s annihilation absolutely like it. The abode looks huge (and it is, with a accommodation of 6,000), but it can still feel weirdly intimate. If you’re on the general-admission floor, it’s like you’re at a behemothic adaptation of the venue’s earlier sibling, the 9:30 Club. If you sit in one of the alleged Super Excellent Seats that band the balconies, you feel like you’re at a theater. Arch up to the bleachers on the third attic and it will admonish you of an amphitheatre (albeit one with aloft sightlines and complete that’s activating alike from the way back). The breadth clearly opened with a Foo Fighters appearance and has aback fatigued arena-size names (Lorde, The Killers, Jack White), active legends (Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson) and aggregate in amid over about 150 performances. Aback it comes to D.C. music venues, the 9:30 Club has consistently acquainted like home to me. If The Anthem keeps this clip up, I ability charge to abide a change of address. R.G.
Best island getaway
575 Oklahoma Ave. NE
A 7-acre accumulation in the Anacostia River, Heritage Island is an accidental cairn to the accommodating chain of nature. Created in wetlands broke by the Army Corps of Engineers in the aboriginal 1900s, Heritage Island and Kingman Island — its larger, drier acquaintance — accept been disappointment developers’ dreams anytime since. Over the years, affairs to use the islands as landfills, parking lots and a children’s affair esplanade accept collapsed through, and a little backwoods has sprung up instead. These days, Kingman Island is home to a accepted ceremony bluegrass festival, but Heritage Island gets adored few visitors — aloof a scattering of hikers who don’t apperception the vine-choked trails and mosquito-infested puddles. I go to watch abundant egrets angle in the marshes and to accept to catbirds cackle in the brush. Affairs are still accepted to body alfresco classrooms, a amphibian lab, an ecology apprenticeship centermost and more, and I anguish these developments could displace the actual attributes they’re advised to showcase. But I may not charge to anguish too abundant — a boardwalk congenital on Heritage Island aloof aftermost bounce is already actuality drowned by the river. S.D.
Best rainy-day action
2020 O St. NW
Actually bristles commutual Dupont Circle rowhomes, The Mansion on O Artery is a clandestine club, bed-and-breakfast, museum, concert breadth and flea market, and it additionally hosts a accepted account brunch. But my admired way to analyze the camp amplitude is by action on one of its abundance hunts ($30-$45 per person). Choose from several alternating capacity — my admired is the Rock & Roll Hunt — and again blow your way about the home’s 100-plus themed rooms. Three that are accessible to acquisition are the two-story log berth room, an animal-print-intensive carnival allowance and a bedfellow allowance breadth Rosa Parks acclimated to break (she was accompany with the mansion’s antisocial owner, H.H. Leonards). As you aberrate around, acclaim advance suspicious-looking bookshelves, mirrors and colossal paintings — some of them will beat accessible to acknowledge hidden rooms. That’s your admission to award treasures like Prince’s anorak from “Purple Rain,” a armchair shaped like a behemothic stiletto heel, and several agreeable toilets. S.D.
Best D.C. art that comes with a beer
300 Tingey St. SE
From a applied standpoint, the characterization on your beer can doesn’t amount — it’s what’s central that counts. That hasn’t chock-full ability breweries from axis now-ubiquitous cans into works of art. In D.C., no one is accomplishing cans added abnormally than Navy Yard’s Bluejacket, which started its brewery-only account can releases in March. While abounding brewers booty either a audacious or compatible branding access that ability accomplish all their cans alloy together, Bluejacket puts the art first, with best of ceremony can’s characterization committed to a stylized, altered angel (with typography that is simple, apple-pie and to the point). Aback Bluejacket arise an IPA alleged Turnstiles, for example, Kris Mullins, who designs the cans as Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s artistic director, acclimated an angel of a Metro base ceiling. The characterization for Accessible Window shows a squinting dog with its arch dabbling out a car window. Freak Amphitheatre appearance a d, awakening cartoon of a suited-up man with four eyes. “Every one of the beers has a backstory, and with the images — metaphorically or contrarily — we’re aggravating to telegraph article about the action we get from the beer itself,” Mullins says. “It’s an announcement of what’s in the can.” R.G.
Best abode to feel like you’re bistro at a booth in Spain
1432 Esplanade Road NW
When it comes to restaurants, D.C. has a assembly of options — except for acceptable booth food. That’s what fabricated Flip It LJ Diner, which opened aftermost year, such a acceptable accession to the landscape. The restaurant has all the allegiant breakfast offerings (served all day) — big endless of pancakes, waffles, bootleg biscuits and gravy, New York-style bagels — but additionally offers a decidedly all-inclusive alternative of Spanish abundance foods that add a nice aberration to the acceptable booth experience. Craving carne asada with a ancillary of craven and waffles? Or maybe you appetite to add corned beef assortment to your taco bloom platter? Flip It is breadth the best of both worlds arise together. S.W.
Best accumulation to address home about
When Rachel Coonce and Courtney Sexton convened the aboriginal affair of The Inner Loop in 2014, added than 75 bodies showed up — way added than they were expecting. “We were appealing shocked,” Coonce says. Apparently, the D.C. breadth was agog for what The Inner Loop offers: a account accessible account featuring a mix of bounded authors, from the acclaimed to the up-and-coming. “I absolutely capital to actualize this community, because autograph is generally a actual aloof endeavor, and writers charge to be able to get alfresco of their own heads,” Sexton says. The chargeless affairs circle through altered spots in the burghal and animate writers to get communicative with one another. “We try to accumulate it fun and informal; there’s usually booze available,” Sexton says. The action has developed over the years to accommodate a writer’s address and a podcast, but the account readings are the group’s assault heart, the founders say. “They aren’t aloof for writers,” Coonce adds. “They are for readers, too.” S.D.
Best bar for singing forth with strangers
713 King St., Alexandria
Sometime into your additional beer at Murphy’s, you may t yourself shouting “MacIntyre!” forth with the army during a arrangement of “Old Dun Cow,” or acclamation during the pauses of “The Wild Rover.” This ability alike arise on your aboriginal visit, because it’s that accessible to abatement in adulation with this cozy, affable bar in Old Town. Murphy’s acclaimed its 40th ceremony this year, so it’s safe to say abounding first-time visitors about-face into regulars. The aliment is acceptable and the Guinness is caked properly, but the absolute draw is the alive Irish music. According to accepted administrator Kenny Mitchell, there hasn’t been a distinct night in all 40 years of operation after alive music. And you can still t Pat Garvey, who played on Murphy’s aperture night in 1978, singing “Finnegan’s Wake” and the like a few times ceremony month. But try not to get agitated away, or you ability end up onstage with him like I did, miming blooming alligators and long-necked geese, allowance the army apprentice the duke motions to “The Unicorn.” R.P.
1770 Euclid St. NW
D.C.’s hippest auberge isn’t aloof for hipsters. Sure, you’ll see 20-somethings in high-waisted jeans sipping Todd Thrasher-designed affair at Brothers and Sisters, one of the hotel’s centralized restaurants, but they will be administration the stainless animate bar with scruffy activists and able all-embracing travelers. This isn’t an blow — the huge, accessible antechamber of The Band encourages assortment by abnegation to bow to banausic account like bound spaces. As you analyze the aerial atrium (which was reclaimed from a 112-year-old church), you’ll acquisition restaurants overlooking or nested central added restaurants, and a coffee bar overlooking a fishbowl-like recording flat — the address of Abounding Account Radio, a bounded podcasting network. That agency if you adhere out continued abundant with your latte at The Cup We All Race 4, you’re acceptable to see all sorts of DMV musicians, DJs and tastemakers. The circadian ability affray that happens at The Line’s antechamber can accumulate a committed people-watcher active for hours on end. S.D.
Best new ball venue
Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd St. NW
Comedy thrives in dark, chilly spaces. Expose it to beginning air or aurora and it withers and dies. Don’t accept me? Analysis out all the abundant ball accident at Bier Baron’s DC Ball Loft, a bifold that includes a ample admiral date and a baby cavern showroom. The apartment is my favorite, admitting award it isn’t accessible — you accept to airing through the bench bar, bottomward a alley and accomplished a kitchen. Aback aperture in July, the amplitude has acceptable abundant arena for all kinds of absorbing experiments. Every Monday night, for instance, there’s the Ball Shuffle, an accessible mic breadth bounded comedians try out new actual and get eviscerated (or, to put it nicely, workshopped) in absolute time by their peers. The abstraction of Bier Baron accepted administrator James Gaghan, the two spaces accord the bar the adaptability to book big-name comics as able-bodied as shows tailored to added alcove audiences. I’m decidedly attractive advanced to seeing “Chelsea Lately” biographer Chris Franjola, who will beat by Saturday and Sunday. S.D.
Best abode to t a Broadway appearance not on Broadway
1101 Sixth St. SW
There’s an acquaintance to Amphitheatre Date productions that proves surprising. The facility’s sprawling bottle exoteric looms over Sixth Street, but the Kreeger Amphitheater — the best acceptable of the three spaces aural Amphitheatre — is a cozy, 514-seat room. While “there’s not a bad bench in the house” can be a annoying cliche, in this case it’s applicable. The productions, however, can be larger-than-life. It was at the Kreeger Amphitheater that Tony-hoarding agreeable “Dear Evan Hansen” got its alpha three years ago. That appearance charcoal one of the hottest tickets on Broadway, about two years into its run. This accomplished summer, audiences were advised to the apple premiere of the airy movie-turned-musical “Dave,” featuring a artistic aggregation arranged with Broadway staples. The aing time a appearance comes through Amphitheatre for an out-of-town tryout, do yourself a favor and snag a ticket. Then, accomplish abiding to blow to your accompany about seeing that Broadway hit up aing and claimed afore the appearance alike fabricated it to the Big Apple. T.F.
Best all-you-can-eat vegan brunch
818 Connecticut Ave. NW
I’m allergic to dairy, so whenever I attending at a restaurant menu, I accept to comedy a academic d as to what I can eat — or beat a server with bags of questions. So I tend to eat vegan generally out of convenience. There’s no bigger action than walking into a abode and alive I can eat aggregate on the menu. And at Equinox’s Sunday brunch, I actually have. For 3½ hours every week, the accomplished dining enactment gets casual, ditching the ceramics and adorned tasting airheaded for a $35 buffet-style all-you-can eat accumulation of some of the city’s best plant-based cooking. The abstraction of co-owner Ellen Kassoff Gray, as accomplished by her husband, chef Todd Gray, this vegan brunch isn’t aggravating to carbon meat dishes. Ironically, “I alarm this array of a carnivore’s access to plant-based cooking,” Todd says. “I don’t try to do things that are aggravating to be things they aren’t.” The card rotates monthly, but you’ll about consistently acquisition a advantageous alternative of vegan pancakes, breads and spreads, fondue and desserts. Todd afresh started application JUST Egg — a clay bean-based acting that’s afterpiece to the absolute affair than a tofu clutter — in addictive, bite-size breakfast sandwiches. You’ll additionally generally acquisition the chef alive the allowance and affably casual out samples of one of his latest creations. R.G.
Best children’s book breadth
600 H St. NE
Reading is all about imagination, and Solid State Books provides a amplitude that inspires adolescent minds to soar. A costly backwoods with hand-sewn leaves abeyant above, the children’s breadth rewards the usually blah action of browsing by ambuscade account nooks and clamber spaces in what appear, at first, to be accustomed shelves. You’ll additionally acquisition all the latest titles for woke kids, including “Julian Is a Mermaid,” a abundantly illustrated chance that gives accouchement (ages 4-6) permission to chase their dreams, alike aback they run adverse to gender norms. For earlier readers (14 and up), analysis out “The Hate U Give,” the chance of a atramentous apprentice grappling with character issues at a mostly white basic school. All the abstract are in banal too, so if you appetite to run with the space’s backcountry theme, aces up a archetype of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and apprehend it to your little ones beneath the tree. S.D.
Best ceremony that about didn’t happen
This year’s copy of D.C.’s Alarm Array got off to a bouldered alpha aback organizers appear in March that the chargeless daylong ceremony was on the border of abandoning due to a abridgement of funds. But supporters apace came to the accomplishment and donated abundant money to accumulate the alarm action in May. This is aloof one archetype of how the ceremony festival, which began in 2014, has brought the association afterpiece calm and created a high-profile belvedere for alarm and apple music in D.C. The besom with afterlife fabricated this year’s array feel alike added community-bonding than usual, as if the army had a acute appreciation. It was additionally a beyond anniversary of D.C.’s music scene, with the night allocation of the ceremony addition into venues all beyond the city, not aloof forth the U Artery Corridor as in years past. For me, the best allotment is accepting to see bounded acts like chargeless applesauce ensemble Nag Champa and R&B accumulation Dior Ashley Brown & The dAb Band ability a new (and abundant wider) audience. The Alarm Parade’s big acknowledgment acquainted like a win not aloof for the festival, but for D.C. music as a whole. S.W.
Best new way to arctic out
Whatever backwoods works for you
Feeling stressed? Of advance you are. The account in this actual cardboard apparently raises your claret burden daily. Wait, don’t stop reading. There’s accession solution: backwoods bathing. This contemporary new way to arctic comes from Japan, breadth it’s accepted as “shinrin-yoku” and has continued been assigned for a array of ills — and for acceptable reason. Studies advance backwoods bathing ability lower the accident for Type 2 diabetes and coronary affection disease. Best of all, it’s accessible to do. Aloof acquisition some woodsy breadth and booty a airing — but not a fast walk. Stop and sit at the bottom of a tree, or lie bottomward in a accumulation of anew collapsed leaves. Sniff the soil, accept to the cicadas, beachcomber goodbye to the aftermost collywobbles of fall. You’re action to attending like a crazy person, so if you’re not adequate accord with attributes on your own, accede action on a guided walk. My admired bounded naturalist, Melanie Choukas-Bradley, leads approved backwoods bathing walks, including a daytime bout on Oct. 31 at the Enid A. Haupt Garden abaft the Smithsonian Castle. Or analysis out her new book, “The Joy of Backwoods Bathing: Reconnect With Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life,” which offers simple, applied means to try backwoods bathing on your own. S.D.
Best way to acquaintance Burning Man after abrogation D.C.
Olde Burghal Farm & Garden, 925 Rhode Island Ave. NW
The Renwick’s accepted Burning Man display is a acceptable way to see some of the festival’s all-embracing art, but what it’s missing are the parties — the bacchanals of aitionist self-expression. For a added accurate Burning Man acquaintance in D.C., analysis out Sunset & Chill, an every-other-Saturday-evening alfresco accumulation with alive DJs, ablaze installations and fire-dancing (tickets are $10). The organizers — Ethan Sapperstein, Sam Stevens and Wade Hammes — aim to actualize a collaborative ambiance breadth bodies can accurate themselves through dancing, acquaintance juggling, acro-yoga and added alleged “flow arts.” “It’s about bodies from altered walks of activity advancing calm and creating article new and altered for a few hours,” Sapperstein says. Will the affair accumulate action alike aback the acclimate gets cold? “We intend to accumulate hosting … as continued as bodies accumulate assuming up,” he says. Now that’s the playa spirit! S.D.
Best grocery abundance for whatever you’re cooking
3201 Brinkley Road, Temple Hills, Md.
If you’re a austere cook, there comes a time aback you charge article awe-inspiring — at atomic by American grocery abundance standards. Mine came aback I was advancing Anthony Bourdain’s cassoulet and bare pig bark to band the pot. I asked at my bounded grocery abundance and got some actual awe-inspiring looks; again a appropriate Jumbo Aliment All-embracing Supermarket. Asian, Hispanic and African grocery food and the like accept consistently been a abode to grab capacity that never accomplish it to the “international” breadth of the bounded supermarket, but Jumbo has articles from all about the world, all in one spot. Appetite to accomplish menudo? Here’s the tripe! Recipe calls for Chinkiang vinegar? You got it! Appetite to accomplish your own bacon? Jumbo has pork abdomen for $3 a batter and it’s ALWAYS in stock. The seafood breadth is aboriginal (you consistently appetite a angle adverse that smells annihilation like fish), has an absurd array and all the fishies are whole; the men with terrifyingly aciculate knives will basic them any way you want. If you’re a baker with aerial standards and a faculty of adventure, again Jumbo is your affectionate of place. K.P.K.
Best absurd restaurant that’s account the drive
196 West St., Annapolis
You absolutely alone charge a few things to accessible a restaurant. A apparent kitchen? Nope. A stove? Nope. An oven? Nope. Aback Scott Herbst, buyer and abettor of Sailor Oyster Bar, absolved into the architecture for the aboriginal time in 2016, he accomplished he couldn’t accept it all. “I knew that it wasn’t action to accept the acceptable kitchen, aloof because of the blueprint of the building,” which was complete in 1910, Herbst says. “I sat bottomward with my chef at the time and we started brainstorming about what we could do if we were on a boat. After an hour, we had this outline of a card and we were like, ‘We can do this.’ ” The card they accustomed at includes oysters on the bisected shell, crudo, charcuterie, toasts and preserved seafood like sardines from Portugal and mussels from Spain — and it’s all done with annihilation but a toaster oven, one consecration burner, a sous vide apparatus and a kitchen blowtorch. Diners — who should be able to allotment dishes and eat too abundant — will airing abroad from the table alive that the chefs of Sailor Oyster Bar accept kept their air-conditioned in the kitchen all night long. K.P.K.
Best way to pretend you’re at an action park
701 Seventh St. NW
Anyone who’s been to Disney Apple or Universal Studios knows about the co-called “4D” acquaintance — aback a 3D cine is supplemented by adaptable seats and applied effects. Aback January, the Regal Gallery Abode Stadium 14’s 4DX amphitheater has brought action esplanade thrills to city D.C. The admission comes with a ample amount tag ($23-$26), but a beholder accommodating to splurge can now watch the latest 3D blockbusters complete with activating seats, gusts of wind, splashes of rain and more. My contempo screening of “Venom” accepted to be an apt advertise for what 4DX has to offer, decidedly aback Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock bashed through the streets of San Francisco on a motorcycle while my bench shifted, slid and rumbled with every turn. Or when, as Venom eerily baffled a victim beyond the face, I acquainted drops of baptize hit my cheek. The 4DX acquaintance affectionate of fabricated this apish blend of a cine fun — is there a bigger endorsement than that? T.F.
Best band-aid for a continued Maryland commute
The D.C. drive is a abhorrent mural with no escape. Booty your car and you’re amidst by drivers who deserve afterlife for blocking the box. Booty Metro and you’re … on the Metro. Those of us who alive in abounding Maryland suburbs or exurbs, though, are lucky. The Maryland Transit Administration’s disciplinarian buses are authentic affluence compared to actually any added option. They accept comfortable seats. They accept Wi-Fi. MTA has two dozen or so routes into D.C., and they alpha active aboriginal and stop active late. They’re additionally cheaper than Metro or driving: For me, accepting from home to assignment and aback on Metro costs over $12 and involves a 30-minute drive to the station. Driving the accomplished way takes an hour, with $15 parking. The bus? Eight bucks and a 10-minute drive. Plus, you get to accomplish accompany whose absolute names you never know, like my buddies Catholic Missal Guy, Snore McSnoreson and Curly Bangs. So sit back, relax and let the disciplinarian booty on all the idiots who don’t apperceive what a about-face arresting is. K.P.K.
Best abode to bless D.C.’s awe-inspiring side
6950 Maple St. NW
Sitting on a quiet and backward residential artery in Takoma is a abode breadth artists of all disciplines absolve their weirdest, best camp projects. Did you apperceive that you can about-face a behemothic inflatable anachronistic into a agreeable instrument? I didn’t either, until I went to Rhizome DC aftermost year and saw the guy abaft Sgt. Pepper’s Plastic Inevitable Pet Sounds authoritative acute ambient bombinate music by abrading up adjoin a airship animal. Best bookers would belittle at the abstraction of accepting an act like that comedy in their space, but that’s all a allotment of Rhizome’s charm. The breadth is not alone a amplitude to apprehend abstruse bands, but a abode to apprentice and experiment: The able-bodied agenda offers a advanced alternative of workshops, lectures and exhibitions, such as a six-week brainwork alternation focused on beginning music and a journaling branch breadth participants apprentice to abduction memories from their dreams. As one of the few DIY arts spaces larboard in the area, Rhizome is a acute breadth for bounded creatives to advisedly accurate themselves in a safe and nonjudgmental space. S.W.
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