Washington, D.C./Near Northeast
The boundaries of Near Northeast are North Capitol St to the west, Florida Ave to the north, F St to the south, and 15th St to the east. The neighborhood is just south of Gallaudet University.
The Atlas District refers to H St NE between North Capitol St and 15th St NE. This is the most popular part of the neighborhood for visitors due to its bars, restaurants, and shopping. It is named after the Atlas Theater (opened in 1938), now the Atlas Performing Arts Center, at 1338 H St NE. Compared to other nightlife-centered neighborhoods, the Atlas District attracts a slightly older, more eccentric and artsy, more local, and almost certainly less drunken crowd.
NoMa refers to the area just north of Union Station, near the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metrorail Station.
Near Northeast has long since been a popular area for immigrants to settle. By the 1950s, it had become predominately African-American. The neighborhood suffered some of the biggest damage during the 1968 riots that left 1,200 buildings in the city destroyed and, like many areas of eastern D.C., it was reduced to urban blight for decades.
However, since the turn of the century, efforts have been made to revitalize the neighborhood and make it a destination for locals and visitors. In 2004, under new ownership, the Atlas Theatre underwent a $22 million renovation. In 2006, Joe Englert, a local entrepreneur, purchased 8 properties on H St NE between 12th St NE & 14th St NE and converted them into top destination restaurants, bars, and concert venues. In 2012, Union Market, a warehouse-style indoor market just west of Gallaudet University, was renovated and re-tenanted.
For more information on riding the Metrorail in Washington DC, see Washington DC#Get_around.
The Red Line stops at Union Station and NoMa–Gallaudet U, both of which are a short walk from the nightlife in the Atlas District.
The DC Streetcar operates from Union Station down H St NE, through the heart of the Atlas District. The service runs every 10-15 minutes Mondays through Saturdays.
For more information on riding buses in Washington DC, see Washington DC#Get_around. The following bus lines that are useful when visiting Near Northeast:
- X2 runs along H St every 15 minutes during the day, but every 30 minutes after 10PM, all the way to the East End.
A car is not necessary to visit Near Northeast, but it is the most convenient option, provided you trust yourself to navigate all the treacherous twisting diagonals. Routes US-1 and US-50 are both quick options to head east out of the city towards I-495 Capital Beltway.
A bicycle is a great option for visiting the areas that are hard to reach by Metrorail. For information on bike-sharing programs in the Washington DC area, see Washington DC#Get_around.
- Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE, ☎ +1 202 651-5050. Gallaudet is the world's only university where all classes and services are tailored to the needs of the hearing-impaired. Aside from being the principal institution for teaching and learning American Sign Language, the campus includes several buildings of fanciful North American High Gothic architecture and is a National Historic Landmark District. The most famous building is the campus' centerpiece, Chapel Hall. Guided tours are available, but unless you give two weeks notice, the tours are given in ASL. Self guided tours are also available.
- National Arboretum, Entrances: 3501 New York Ave NE & 2400 R St NE (Take Metrobus B2, get off on Bladensburg Rd at Rand St (just past the Arboretum sign on the right), then walk one block south back to R St, turn left and walk five minutes east to the Arboretum entrance), ☎ +1 202 245-2726. 8AM-5PM daily. The park's sprawling acres of carefully manicured gardens and its wide collection of trees from around the world are fantastic for getting away from the urban world and for a picnic. There are several attractions within the park worth seeking out, including the original columns from the Capitol Building's first incarnation, now standing alone mimicking Roman ruins, a Japanese garden, and a great bonsai collection. This is the best place in the city to enjoy the cherry blossom season—you can stroll serenely around the trees, while inwardly chuckling at the uninformed hordes sweating it out at the sardined Tidal Basin. They are not exclusively of the sakura variant downtown. Rather, there is an extensive collection of over 30 different flowering cherry trees, making for an excellent scavenger hunt! Free.
- Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-7993. Art gallery: Tu-Su noon-6PM. First opened in 1938, the Atlas Theatre was an old movie palace that was transformed into an arts center and performance venue in 2004 via an extensive $22 million renovation. Performances run throughout the whole year, and vary from drama to musical to cabaret to dance. The building also houses a public art gallery
- Langston Golf Course, 26th St & Benning Rd NE, ☎ +1 202 397-8638. Given its obscure location, you might assume this would be an empty 18 holes, but you'd be wrong—it's no secret to the locals. Langston's public course offers the most challenging and interesting 18 inside the Beltway, including an infamous shot 200 yards out to an island on the Anacostia River. It opened in 1939 as a segregated African-American golf club named after John Mercer Langston. It has since attracted a good amount of African-American celebrities —Joe Louis was a big fan and booster. Much better than the other D.C. golf course, Rock Creek Golf Course. M-Th: $18 for 9 holes, $25 for 18 holes; F-Su: $22 for 9 holes, $32 for 18 holes.
- Fatty's Tattoos & Piercings, 516 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 452-0999. A cool tattoo shop. It is worth a look inside just to check out the artwork!
- Union Market, 1309 5th St NE (Just north of Near Northeast, west of Galludet University). A warehouse-style indoor market featuring 40 boutique shops and plenty of food options. A must-visit if you are in the area!
- Dangerously Delicious Pies, 1339 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 398-7437. M-Th 11AM-midnight, F 11AM-3:30AM, Sa 9AM-3:30AM, Su 9AM-10PM. A slice of one of their savory pies (like the wonderful steak, mushroom, and gruyère) can be enough for dinner, really, so this qualifies as a prime cheap eats spot on H St (or an inebriated after-bar indulgence). Among the dessert pies, it would be a shame not to try the strawberry rhubarb! An import from Baltimore, Dangerously Delicious has flourished here, and is probably the best bakery for pies in the immediate D.C. metro area. Look for pies by the slice out of their food truck downtown, too. By the slice: $4.50-6, whole pies: $30-35.
- Horace & Dickie's Seafood Carryout, 809 12th St NE, ☎ +1 202 397-6040. M-Sa 10AM-2AM, Su 10AM-9PM. Fish fry. The king of late night drunken eating in the Atlas District. Try the fried whitefish sandwich. $10.
- Sticky Rice, 1224 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 397-7655. Su-Th 11:30AM-2AM, F 11:30AM-3AM, Sa 5PM-3AM. A stylish sushi restaurant by day and crowded bar by night, the biggest draw here is the sushi. The rolls are big, inventive, and jaunty—and reasonably priced. If you are here for a couple beers, definitely order a bucket of tater tots. Thursday nights have karaoke at 10:30PM, while F-Sa nights have DJ dance parties. Mains: $10-13.
- The Atlas Room, 1015 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 388-4020. Tu-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM, Su 5PM-9:30PM; lounge until 1AM Tu-Th, 2AM F-Sa. Fine dining on H St. It's creative contemporary American cuisine in a small, simple, but very attractive room. Makes for a great date spot. A great place to grab a drink as well as eat. Mains: $21-23; Beer: $7; Cocktails: $12.
- Ethiopic, 401 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 675-2066. Tu-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Su noon-10PM. Trying Ethiopian food is a must in D.C. and this is as good of a place to do it as any! If you don't mind raw meat, try the raw kitfo - with a little extra spicy red powder on the side. $14-22.
- Granville Moore's, 1238 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-2546. Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM. A popular Belgian gastropub with great seafood, salads, and sandwiches. Over 50 beers available. Try the Belgian mussels and fries. Mains: $14-25; Beers: $6-12.
- Indigo, 243 K St NE, ☎ +1 202 544-4777. A great Indian restaurant where you are encouraged to write on the wall!
- Le Grenier, 502 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 544-4999. A 2-level French bistro with great food. The exposed brick gives the restaurant a lot of character! Mains: $19-24; Cocktails: $11.
- Smith Commons, 1245 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 396-0038. A chic multi-level restaurant in a converted warehouse. Mains: $15-25; Draft beers: $6-9; Cocktails: $10.
- Toki Underground, 1234 H St NE, 2nd floor, with the door marked only by a symbol just left of The Pug's entrance, ☎ +1 202 388-3086. M-W,Su 5PM-10PM, Th 5PM-midnight, F-Sa 5PM-2AM. A popular Taiwanese-style ramen house (think noodles with eggs) run by culinary ninja Erik Bruner-Yang. Try the buttermilk cookies that come with a shot of milk or any one of the 5 eclectic cocktails on the menu. $10-22.
The Atlas District offers D.C.'s most eclectic, most unique, most off-beat nightlife. This isn't simply a strip full of hipsters lounging in dives—the different venues, bars, and lounges all have a very strong sense of individual character. Since many venues are on H St NE between 12th St & 14th St, you can have a very easy one-night crawl! Most of the restaurants become bars later on in the night as well.
- Biergarten Haus, 1355 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 388-4053. M-Th 4PM-11PM, F 4PM-2AM; Sa 11AM-2AM; Su 11AM-11PM. Great selection of German draughts served in 1 liter mugs. In good weather, the outdoor courtyard and the roof deck are very crowded. If the courtyard is too crowded, the indoor section is also a great place to have a drink. The food is not up to par with the rest of what is on offer, but even low quality German food will go well with some good beer. Trivia on Tuesday evenings. Beer: 0.5L for $8 or 1.0L for $14.
- Boundary Road, 414 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 450-3265. A classy bar/restaurant with exposed brick that has a good selection of draft beers, cocktails, and bar food. Mains: $19-29; Beers: $7; Cocktails: $11.
- H Street Country Club, 1335 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-4722. Su-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Sa 5PM-3AM. Possibly the street's most eclectic venue: upscale Mexican cuisine in the dining room via a nationally acclaimed chef, an impressive cocktail menu via a nationally acclaimed mixologist, and then an outrageous mini-golf course, along with pool tables, shuffleboard, skee-ball, etc. The golf course is a work of art, full of random Washingtonian references and inside jokes (like Marion Barry's Awakening on hole eight). It can also be extremely crowded, and best played on a weeknight or otherwise very early in the evening. Alcohol is served on the course, so it's open only to people aged 21+. Golf: $7; Margaritas: $7; Specialty drinks: $7-10; Beers: $4-6.
- Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar, 1104 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 636-0050. A New Orleans theme bar with over 50 beers available in bottles. Has a haunted house feeling and shows football games of the New Orleans Saints on TV. Cash Only. Beer: $5-8.
- The Pug, 1234 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 636-0050. A small, boxing-themed dive bar. "No idiots. No politics. No specials".
- Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 388-7625. Su-Th 7PM-2AM, F-Sa 7PM-3AM. This is not actually a hotel - it's H Street's biggest performance venue/nightclub in a former funeral home. In addition to the main downstairs area, the upstairs is a pretty terrific place to hang out, shoot some pool, get some drinks, or play the piano-if you can hear yourself over the blaring rock music. The atmosphere is a fun mix of metal and Western. Sometimes covers: $4-15.
- Vendetta, 1212 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 399-3201. M 7AM-9PM, Tu-Th 7AM-10PM, F 7AM-1AM, Sa 7:30AM-1AM, Su 8AM-8PM. A quirky 2-level Vespa-themed bar that includes bocce courts and eclectic pasta dishes!
- H Street Coffeehouse & Cafe, 1359 H St NE, ☎ +1 202 396-0469. Bagels, coffee & WiFi.
There are several budget and mid-range hotels along US-50/New York Avenue NE just north of Gallaudet University and the National Arboreteum. These hotels mostly cater to motorists entering the city via US-50. Some of these hotels offer free shuttle buses to Union Station and are cheap options for those who are driving to D.C. but don't want to actually drive in the city. However, many are close to a noisy rail line and are quite dingy so be sure to check online reviews prior to booking.
In addition, there are several nicer and more expensive hotels just northeast of Union Station.
- Capitol City Hostel, 2411 Benning Rd NE (Take the X2 bus), ☎ +1 202 387-1328. A basic hostel. It is not accessible by Metrorail, but it is the cheapest accommodation option in the area. You must have proof of travel; locals are not allowed to stay here. Dorm bed: $28.
- Howard Johnson Inn Washington DC, 600 New York Ave NE (Around the corner from the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metrorail Station), ☎ +1 202 546-9200. This hotel is dingy but it is cheap and within walking distance to the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metrorail Station. $94.
- Kellogg Conference Hotel @ Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE (On the campus of Gallaudet University), ☎ +1 202 651-6000, fax: +1 202 651-6107. With 17,000 square feet of meeting space, this hotel caters to conferences. From $95; best rates are usually obtained via booking engines.
- Motel 6 Washington DC, 1345 4th St NE (Around the corner from the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metrorail Station), ☎ +1 202 544-2000. Very basic low-end hotel. Free WiFi and morning coffee. $105.
- Courtyard Washington, DC/U.S. Capitol, 1325 2nd St NE (At the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metrorail Station), ☎ +1 202 898-4000. From $135 on weekends; From $229 on weekdays.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Washington, DC/New York Avenue, 2305 New York Ave NE, ☎ +1 202 266-3000. A roadside hotel. Free shuttle bus to Union Station. From $139.
- Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC/U.S. Capitol, 1225 1st St NE, ☎ +1 202 408-4870. From $143 on weekends; From $229 on weekdays.
- Hyatt Place Washington, DC/U.S. Capitol, 33 New York Ave NE, ☎ +1 202 289-5599. From $170 on weekends; From $229 on weekdays.
The NoMa Business Improvement District offers free outdoor WiFi in the area just north of Union Station. In addition, most restaurants and cafes offer free WiFi.
|Routes through Near Northeast|
|East End ← Capitol Hill ←||S N||→ Brookland → Wheaton|