Good Hope Carry-Out, located at 1350 Good Hope Road SE has similar offerings to other carry-outs in DC, providing the same eclectic selection of Chinese food, fried food and sandwiches. And, as is typical of DC carry-outs, the thing to get is fried chicken wings with jumbo sauce over fried rice, that uniquely DC concoction of greasy, tangy goodness. However, not all carry-outs are created equal and Good Hope Carry-Out is clearly one of DC’s best. All too often, DC carry-outs are dim, dirty and downright sketch. Good Hope Carry-Out is bright and clean. The fried chicken wings with mumbo sauce over fried rice were also the best I’ve had so far- the chicken was perfectly crispy, the mumbo sauce was tangy and plentiful, rather than sweet and the fried rice itself was solid. All in all this is the best spot I’ve found so far to enjoy this classic DC meal.
Caribbean Citations is a Jamaican restaurant located at 1208 Maple View Pl SE though it’s located right on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the center of Historic Anacostia. I happen to love Historic Anacostia and really wanted to like Carribean Citations. The tagline of the place is “turn a parking ticket into a meal ticket,” since they offer discounts to those who bring in parking tickets and you can enter into a raffle for the restaurant to pay your parking ticket (one lucky winner is chosen each month). This is a fun idea, plus I went on a beautiful warm day and sat outside with old friends. The food, however, left a bit to be desired. I ordered jerk chicken with plantains and coco bread. We all agreed that the coco bread basically tasted like a large dinner roll. The plantains were good, but the jerk chicken wasn’t as flavorful as it could have been. Nonetheless, this place would have gotten three stars, but for the fact that part of my chicken was blatantly undercooked. Fortunately, I didn’t end up with food poisoning, but I was less than pleased. The rum cake for dessert was very tasty though. My experience with undercooked chicken might well have been a fluke, but I can’t in good conscience let that slide.
Art-drenaline 365 Café is a restaurant and coffee shop located inside the Anacostia Arts Center at 1231 Good Hope Rd SE. The Anacostia Arts Center is a community space that includes art galleries, shops, a black box theater, and a lounge. It is a sleek and modern space with friendly staff that is a great place to camp out and work for a few hours. Art-drenaline 365 Café aims to provide tasty and nutritious food as well as employment for the local community. I really liked it. When I first went, they were still very new and were working on
The bacon, cheddar and tomato sandwich with a side salad.
getting their espresso drinks online. I had their regular coffee, which was decent, though nothing special. My sandwich was delicious, though. I ordered a tomato, bacon, and cheddar sandwich on texas toast that came with a really nicely-done side salad. A couple of the other customers around me had ordered smoothies, which looked tasty as well. The staff is very friendly. Art-drenaline 365 Café is a good place to work with a laptop in its own right, or you can take your coffee to the lounge space in the front portion of the Anacostia Arts Center. The cafe’s space is sleek and well decorated with (as one might expect) artwork.
I have also been for their Sunday brunch, which was excellent as well. It’s all you can eat for $21.95, including a hot food buffet, a waffle station and an omelet station. It makes for a great getaway from the packed brunch spots of 14th Street and it’s fun to take a walk around Anacostia beforehand or after to admire the neighborhood’s beautiful historic architecture and see Frederick Douglass’s house.
Capitol Hill Crab Cakes, which opened in November 2015, is a small seafood and soul food establishment located at 1243 Good Hope Rd SE in Historic Anacostia. The owner grew up on Capitol Hill, which explains the name. The place is a friendly neighborhood spot; when I was there, Business Beauties, a group that holds poetry and arts events to promote networking for local businesswomen, was collecting donations of cases of water for Flint, MI. It’s nothing fancy, with a few tables for eating in. At $15.99, the price of the jumbo lump crab cakes was pretty steep, but the crab cake was truly jumbo and almost entirely crab meat. It came with a side of tasty, seasoned fries. Other menu options include shrimp and grits, crab and grits, kale greens and crab fries. This is a solid spot for lunch if you’re in the Anacostia area.
The potent “Anacostia River”- gin, rum, sour mix and Pepsi.
Cheers@The Big Chair is a bar, cafe and restaurant located at 2122 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE located across from the Big Chair in Historic Anacostia. For those unfamiliar with the Big Chair, it is (you guessed it) a really big chair that was installed in 1959 by Bassett Furniture, and was the largest chair in the world at the time of its installation. The cafe itself is a friendly locals’ watering hole that serves up mediocre coffee but tasty cocktails at a popular happy hour. Similar to other Historic Anacostia establishments, the place has an “everybody knows each other” vibe, which is a refreshing change from Downtown DC. This place gets four stars for their simple, but tasty and potent “Anacostia River” cocktail made with gin, rum, sour mix and a splash of Pepsi. It’s kind of like an Anacostia take on a Long Island Iced Tea. Downstairs is noisy with loud, upbeat hip hop music but there is a quieter upstairs where you can chat or even work on a laptop.
Mama’s Pizza is a friendly, small pizza place located at 2028 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE in a charming storefront in Historic Anacostia. The pizza is good, though nothing terribly out of the ordinary. It’s a solid choice for a quick lunch if you happen to be in Historic Anacostia, though not worth a detour.
Uniontown Bar & Grill is a restaurant and bar serving soul food and cajun-inspired cuisine as well as beer and cocktails located at 2200 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE. It is a friendly establishment in Historic Anacostia where everyone seems to know each other. I love going to Anacostia for its small-town close-knit community feel, and the atmosphere at Uniontown Bar & Grill is a great example of that feeling. I ordered fried shrimp and collards, which were quite tasty, though I was a bit taken aback that I found a string of some sort in my shrimp (I would’ve given it a higher rating but for that). Their cocktails looked good, but I went for lunch on a weekday, so I didn’t try them.
Turning Natural, located at 2025 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE, is a super friendly and cheery juice bar that is one of a collection of bright, new establishments opening in Historic Anacostia. The staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming and are keen to explain their menu offerings to new customers. Charmingly, their hours of operation are listed as “Hours of Love.” They feature a variety of smoothies and cold-pressed juices with creative and funny names like the “Green Latifah” the “Mi’Kale Jackson,” the “Swizz Beets,” and the “Marion Berry.” Their smoothies and juices are delicious and the shop has free wifi. There is also light food and seating, though not much. It’s more of a place to grab a quick bite or juice and go. It’s not well-suited for laptop use, but laptop users are certainly welcome to linger. The main drawback is that the cold-pressed juices are made at their Maryland location, and sold in bottles at rather expensive prices (one bottle runs around $7.50) including taxes. Otherwise, this place is awesome, and a great addition to the neighborhood.
The “Marion Berry”