What to Expect Living on Capitol Hill

What to Expect Living on Capitol Hill

  • Kyra Erika Agarwal
  • 05/23/22

The Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. is most known as a crucial center for law professionals, lobbyists, and government workers. While that describes Capitol Hill at a basic level, this neighborhood is rich in history, community, and so much merriment. Locals love the convenience of the area and the lively recreation scene. If that comes as a surprise, check out everything you can expect from living on Capitol Hill.

Getting Around

Like many of the country’s largest cities, Capitol Hill is a walkable neighborhood. If you work in law or public administration, this neighborhood is a great residential location.

You’ll find people enjoy riding their bikes throughout this neighborhood. Capital Bikeshare is an affordable and accessible transportation option available for everyone. With over 500 stations and 4,500 bikes, Capital Bikeshare can help you explore the city or get you home when other transit is closed.
Washington, D.C. is on the shortlist of cities with the best public transportation system in the country and functions better than in other major cities in the US. D.C. transit consists of the circulator and the Metro. The circulator Congress Heights-Union Station route services this area from 6 am to 9 pm on weekdays and 7 am to 9 pm on weekends. The Capitol South and Eastern Market Metro stations on the orange, blue, and silver lines serve this neighborhood. The Capitol South station is about a fifteen-minute walk from Union Station and two stops from L’Enfant Plaza, where five of the Metro lines meet.

Shopping & Activities

Don’t expect life in Capitol Hill to be sleepy or boring. This sophisticated neighborhood is booming with pleasant daytime activities and a lively nightlife scene.
Capitol Hill is abundant in green spaces like Lincoln Park, the largest park in the neighborhood, and Bartholdi Park, both excellent spaces to spend enjoying Washington, D.C.’s spectacular summers. You can also explore a wide variety of plants at the largest living plant museum, the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Eastern Market

The locals recommend a visit to Eastern Market, a daily public market on 7th Street NE that’s been in operation on Capitol Hill since 1873. On weekdays, you’ll find a variety of goods from their indoor merchants, and on weekends the outdoor vendors sell art, furniture, jewelry, and more. Locals pro-tip: the best day to visit Eastern Market is early Sunday mornings when The Flea Market at Eastern Market is open. You can browse even more outdoor vendors selling vintage items, food, apparel, and more.

Library of Congress

Avid readers should treat themselves to at least one trip to the Library of Congress. This top destination spot is the world’s largest library and our nation’s oldest cultural institution. The main purpose of the Library of Congress is to serve Congress with research resources. You’ll find over 170 million items in the library’s collection, more than 24 million cataloged books are included in their collection. The LoC is housed in the original 1897 Thomas Jefferson building where people from all over the world come to visit the grand reading room with 160-foot ceilings, stunning architecture, and read books on-site from their incredible collections.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Folger Shakespeare Library is home to the largest collection of Shakespearean writing in the world. The library was established in 1932, as a gift to the American people, and is also home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare’s First Folios. All copies of the First Folios a book of 18 plays by Shakespeare published in 1623 were collected by Henry and Emily Folger between 1893 and 1928. Today, the Folger Shakespeare Library is transforming how Shakespeare is taught in classrooms and creates engaging experiences for individuals to advance their understanding and appreciation for his work.

Barracks Row

Barracks Row Main Street is a beloved historic commercial corridor stretching five blocks of 8th Street from Pennsylvania Ave S.E. to the end of 8th Street at the Washington Navy Yard. This is the oldest commercial district in the D.C. area and in 1999, the National Trust for Historic Preservation chartered Barracks Row as a Main Street, a program devoted to aiding struggling commercial districts in their restoration and preservation.  At Barracks Row, you’ll find several shops, services, business resources, eateries, and events. Some of the most popular places to visit along Barracks Row are The Miracle Theatre, Garrison, Pineapple and Pearls Patio and Cafe, Capitol Hill Books, and Labyrinth Games & Puzzles.


Ted’s Bulletin

Ted’s Bulletin is the go-to place for cocktails, all-day breakfast, and classic American cuisine. From country fried chicken to filet mignon, you can count on finding a creative, contemporary spin on all their menu items. If you just can’t decide on what to order, you can never go wrong with their daily special. Don’t forget dessert! At Ted’s Bulletin, Ted’s seasonal tarts are a unique treat, but if you crave shakes over pastries, they have 15 delicious flavors.


One of the most popular restaurants in the Capitol Hill neighborhood is CHIKO, a casual Chinese-Korean eatery. The restaurant is a concept born from renowned chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno. Their menu boasts delicious options pairing contemporary cooking techniques with traditional Chinese and Korean flavors. Between the lunch combination plates and their unique entrees, a meal at CHIKO will leave you satisfied and excited for your next visit. Pro-tip: start off with their orange-ish chicken and ask for a side of their orange sauce. An incredible combination.


If you crave fresh, contemporary Italian dishes, Lavagna is the premier restaurant you can count on for a simple, innovative menu. Lavagna, named for the Genoan village nestled on the northern Italian coast, relies on its network of local farmers to provide ingredients that create the foundation of its rotating menu. You’ll feel right at home in their warm, inviting dining room with a plate of their handmade pasta made from scratch.

Café Berlin

In operation since 1985, Café Berlin has become a Capitol Hill staple. This eatery is known for its 1920’s style dining room, having the best patio on the Hill, and its unique German cuisine.
The combination of seasonal ingredients, Texan influence, and authentic German specialty dishes all contribute to the inventiveness that is Café Berlin. You can enjoy a traditional German breakfast or a bier dinner, a 5-course dinner with beer pairings served in their Biergarten. The taste of their unique menu reflects their German chefs who are from different regions in Germany.


Casual dining and Southern-inspired cuisine meet at Barrel. This modern neighborhood bar has the largest selection of whiskeys, bourbons, and elixirs on The Hill. You’ll find classic weekend brunch entrees like shrimp and grits, steak and eggs, and chicken and waffles with inventive, modern twists. Fans of Barrel recommend their Barrel BBQ Box: Select one of six protein options and one of their house BBQ sauces. The rest of the box comes with a side of their delectable BBQ beans, creamy collard greens, a biscuit, their handcrafted bacon jam, and a pickle. Whether you’re searching for a savory brunch or a lively happy hour, Barrel is the best place to enjoy a meal and laidback drinks with friends.
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