Disclosure: This trip to DC was partially sponsored by Kimpton in exchange for coverage of The Hotel Palomar and Urbana.
My most recent trip to DC was pretty well rounded- lots of pizza, snacks, and drinks with friends, and a Rock N Roll race thrown in for good measure. I always fly Jetblue from Boston to DC, because the flights are almost always free thanks to my Jetblue credit card points! It pays to be loyal to an airline and I highly recommend getting the credit card for your favorite.
A Hotel Fit For A Pizza Queen
A few of my best friends live in the DMV area, so I usually just crash on one of their couches. I might just be getting old, but for this trip I wanted my own home base, and the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle was the perfect spot.
I loved staying in Dupont Circle because it’s close to so many stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. The streets were well-lit (important for a female solo traveler!) and some of the houses I was walking by were gorgeous. I was totally looking up home prices on Zillow as soon as I got back to my hotel room.
I loved the wood, gold, & leather accents – so warm and sleek at the same time.
Also THIS BLUE! I loved it so much – I really want to incorporate something similar in my own home.
How fun is this robe?! The huge mirror made getting ready so easy all weekend.
My room at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar had a great view of P Street and was decorated so thoughtfully and beautifully, it truly felt indulgent staying there. The style of the Hotel Palomar is a mix of classic rustic features and quirky statement pieces and accent walls.
The Hotel Palomar is also home to Urbana, who caters the hotel’s room service and was kind enough to send me a quattro formaggi pizza and bottle of wine on my first night. I saved the wine for the next day after my race, but Urbana’s quattro formaggi made for a tasty end to my night. I loved the goat cheese and gorgonzola, which you don’t always see on a quattro formaggi. This pizza is perfect for people who love cheese, aka everybody.
Quick Eats in DC
My first stop after landing at DCA and loading my MetroCard was to visit my friend Mike at Bozzelli’s. Bozzelli’s is a quick service / deli style place that has really great pizzas that cater to all appetites, from meat lovers (hi) to vegan (not me.) Their cheese pizza is one of my favorites anywhere, and the Meaty Boy is out of this world indulgent.
Across the street from the Hotel Palomar was my go-to breakfast spot, Bagels Ect. On Saturday morning I stopped in before the race, unfortunately without anything on me except my MetroCard, credit card, headphones, ID, and hotel room key. Of course, unbeknownst to me… they are cash only.
Luckily for me though, the sweet employees at Bagels Ect told me to just come back and pay later. I didn’t end up making it back until the next morning, when I paid them for my bagel the morning before along with picking up bagels for all of my friends – they were delicious!
Sit-Down Eats in DC
For dinner on Friday night, my friends and I went to Vapiano’s on M Street, which was only about a 10 minute walk from the Hotel Palomar. Vapiano’s is a cool concept and perfect for groups who don’t want to split the bill.
When you walk in, a staff member gives you a card that acts kind of like your “credit card” for the evening. There are different food stations set up with chefs who make your food to order right there and “charge” your card. There’s a station for salads, pastas, pizza, ect;
I obviously got a margherita pizza, which came out looking more like a traditional cheese pizza. The taste was better than the pizza looks like it would be, and was also huge. I had more than enough to share with my friends and still not finish the whole thing. My friends got pasta and risotto dishes that they all enjoyed. I would love having a place like Vapiano near my office!
For dinner Saturday night, we went to neighborhood spot Flight, which specializes in wine flights and small plates. I ordered a hanger steak that was a little grizzly in spots but came with an awesome chimmichurri sauce.
Our server was very attentive and caring, making sure to check up on me when I wasn’t really drinking my glass of rosé. It wasn’t that the food & drink weren’t great, it had just been a pretty long day of running, eating, and drinking by that point!
My last meal in DC was a spur of the moment decision after my flight back to Boston got delayed. Since we were already in the Ivy City area, we popped into Panda Gourmet, which is famous for counting President Obama as a fan.
I was in the mood for more of a snack, so I just ordered chicken noodle soup. The broth was delicious & the soup was very filling. This was exactly what I needed before heading to the airport for my flight home.
Pizza Brunch at Urbana
Brunch at Urbana is all of my wildest dreams come true. If you’re staying in Dupont Circle I highly recommend that you stop by at some point. My friends who live in DC have been fans of Urbana for a while and consider it to be an “under the radar” brunch spot. Sorry guys, I’m kinda blowing up the secret here!
After our races were completed and we were able to rinse off, my friends and I headed to Urbana for bottomless pizzas & brunch drinks!
Urbana has a brunch deal that is absolutely perfect for pizza lovers- for $34 per person, they will give everyone at your table bottomless pizzas on top of bottomless brunch drinks. You can even mix and match the brunch drinks, unlike a lot of places who will lock you into ordering mimosas or bloodys for the entire brunch.
We ordered and shared three pizzas: the margherita, the prosciutto-arugula, and the veggie. I didn’t partake in the veggie pizza but it was absolutely devoured by my two vegetarian friends. The prosciutto-arugula pizza was great and I loved how the prosciutto pieces were on the smaller side, which made the pizza easier to eat.
As for the margherita pizza, it was executed perfectly, and exactly what I needed to refuel and recharge myself. Some people drink protein shakes; I go for Neapolitan pizzas. 😛
Exploring DC Like A Local
During this trip to DC I really wanted to hang out with my friends in the places they love. Between the race expo, the actual race, and our Saturday Funday afterwards, I ended up without too much time to explore this weekend like I usually would.
On Friday, between checking in to the Hotel Palomar and going to the Rock n Roll expo, I stopped by the Smithsonian Museum of African American History. The Smithsonian museums are all free to visit and probably my #1 recommendation for anyone visiting DC! Just make sure to check with your museum of choice to check if you need tickets in advance or not.
On Sunday, we had a leisurely morning and made brunch at my bff’s apartment. Once we managed to rally (around 3pm) from the day before, we headed over to Supreme Core Cider in Ivy City, which is a little bit out of the way. If you visit, I recommend grabbing an Uber or driving since the neighborhood isn’t very Metro accessible or pedestrian friendly.
My friends and I snagged a table and had a blast trying different ciders, playing cornhole and board games, and eating snacks like the buffalo chicken tots above.
Everything at Supreme Core Cider is reasonably priced, which is great, and it wasn’t busy at all when we stopped by. I didn’t like the Ivy City Rosé as much as I thought I would, but I LOVED the Micawber, which is their flagship cider. Hanging out here was the perfect, low-key way to end the weekend with my besties.