DC denizens, it’s that time of year. You know, when the District is covered in droves of tourists, snapping pictures and walking infuriatingly slow across the street as they gaze at the Capitol. Well, we say: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! That doesn’t mean that we’re advocating trips to the Mall and the monuments, although of course that’s up to you. Our suggestion? Become a tourist in your own town on a DC Metro Food Tour!
DC Metro Food Tours, in operation since 2008, leads food tours of the neighborhoods Capitol Hill, Georgetown, U Street, Dupont, Eastern Market and Little Ethiopia. Outside the city limits, you can try Old Town Alexandria or historic Leesburg, too. The company even offers food tours of certain Baltimore neighborhoods, including Fells Point, Federal Hill and Little Italy. The company’s founder, Jeff Swedarsky, says the most popular tours are the Capitol Hill and Georgetown options, due to the history and culture of the neighborhoods. He says the tours are “about 50/50” locals and tourists. The Little Ethopia tour is the most popular with people already living in the area.
Your guide might be a former chef, a current food editor, or even just a local foodie, but Swedarsky says all of DC Metro Food Tour’s guides “have a passion for culture and cuisine.” Tours range in price from $55 to $65, and include all food and drink at several restaurants in the specific neighborhood. It’s a walking tour, so you can burn off at least some of the amazing meals you’ll eat. The tours run rain or shine, although I’m assured that most of the time on the tour is spent inside, sitting down, and enjoying the labors of the local restaurants.
A DC Metro Food Tour is the perfect outing for a summer Saturday: you don’t have to do any organizing or planning, you’ll eat delicious food, AND you’ll discover some awesome restaurants that may not have been on your radar. As Swedarsky says, “The tours are about community, about appreciating what makes an area special.” Now that’s a staycation.