Almost everyone loves a summer stroll through their local farmers’ market. In the warm air, you can browse just plucked produce, cheeses made right down the road and bread baked by local artisans.
There’s really only one drawback to theses wonderful-open air venues. When summer’s perfect temperatures give way to chilly fall mornings and blustery winter days, they close down shop.
But this year, when the season changes, you’ll still be able to enjoy all the local goods you want. That’s because this month, one of the biggest and most anticipated indoor markets opened its doors, right in the middle of Washington, D.C.
The market sits in a large stretch of warehouses, at the intersection of Florida Avenue and 5th Street, in Northeast, D.C. The entire lot is technically Union Market, which was built over a hundred years ago, right near where rail cars unloaded their contents.
One popular spot in this area was Union Terminal Market, which was a thriving enterprise from the early 1930s to the early 1960s. Eventually though, a change in city statutes caused many of the vendors to leave the space.
Now, the building has been completely redone. It’s sparkling white and shockingly large, easily one of the largest markets in the city, with anything diligent shoppers could want to buy and everything adventurous eaters would want to snack on.
The entire building is open throughout the interior, with no walls. Every shop is its own small stall, and visitors can see all the way across the market, from one end to the other, and view the signage of each merchant.
And there are very popular spaces throughout. Peregrine Espresso serves up some of the city’s finest drawn espressos. Lyon Bakery, which formerly only sold rolls and baguettes wholesale to some of Washington’s best sandwich shops and restaurants, now has a space where anyone can buy bread baked that morning.
Almaala Farms has a booth and they sell produce harvested on the Eastern Shore. Oh! Pickles, which brines their own cucumbers to make a number of very different flavored pickles, also has a booth.
But shopping is just one of the perks of Union Market. It’s also a great place to come and enjoy a full meal, and at your seat, watch shoppers hustle through the market.
Rappahannock Oyster Co.’s sit down bar serves freshly shucked bivalves, which come from Virginia’s inlets in the Chesapeake Bay, some from spots under two hours away from Washington, D.C.
And like Lyon Bakery, another former distributor will open up a stall in Union Market. Red Apron Butcher, which handcrafts its own charcuterie, sausage and hot dogs, is waiting for its space to be finished. But before they open, you can still eat their popular sandwiches. Right now they are served at Buffalo & Bergen, where one of D.C.’s favorite bartenders, Gina Chersevani, has built her own soda shop to concoct mouth-tingling drinks.
Next to her space, also a sit down bar, is Righteous Cheese, which serves creamy and tasty cheese from around the world, offered with wine pairings at a reasonable price.
But the best part of Union Market DC is that it is still growing. Many spaces have yet to open or even be leased. When finished, it is expected to be one of the most popular places in the entire city.
And a treat for anyone in the area looking for a delicious local snack.
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