ONECITY

Capi­tol culi­nary cre­den­tials, go-go mu­sic greats and the coolest (non-smith­so­nian) mu­se­ums in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Canadian Geographic - - CONTENTS - By Michela Rosano

1. FOOD

THIS CITY IS SO MUCH MORE than the White House, mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als. It’s an un­ex­pected culi­nary cap­i­tal with se­ri­ous chops, re­cently gain­ing its own Miche­lin Guide, one of only four cre­ated for cities in the United States. James Beard Foun­da­tion Award-win­ning chef José An­drés has a hand­ful of restau­rants fea­tured in the guide, in­clud­ing down­town’s China Chilcano, which fea­tures play­ful takes on Peru’s eclec­tic Chi­nese- and Ja­panese-in­flu­enced cui­sine. Find a spot at the sushi bar, grab a mouth-puck­er­ing pisco sour and al­ter­nate bites of soft sashimi and crunchy plan­tain and taro root chips dunked in a Chi­nese five-spice dip. His­tory buffs should head to 1789 ( right), an up­scale con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can restau­rant in a Fed­eral Pe­riod house in Ge­orge­town, the city’s old­est — and ar­guably most charm­ing — neigh­bour­hood. Dine on sea­sonal fare (think wild ramp risotto and soft-shell crab) while sur­rounded by an­tiques, his­tor­i­cal prints and Li­mo­ges china. chi­nachilcano.com, 1789restau­rant.com

2. MU­SIC

WHAT’S DIN­NER WITH­OUT A LIT­TLE DANC­ING? Go-go mu­sic — a sub­genre rooted in funk, soul and old-school hip-hop — is quintessen­tially D.C., con­ceived in the Wash­ing­ton met­ro­pol­i­tan area in the 1970s by the late gui­tarist and singer Chuck Brown. For more than three decades, the 11-mem­ber go-go band Rare Essence has helped keep go-go alive with en­er­getic per­for­mances at clubs and fes­ti­vals. Con­cert­go­ers will want to check out 9:30 Club ( left) in the U Street neigh­bour­hood for ex­cit­ing up-and-com­ers in nearly ev­ery genre. Called the “best big room” venue in Amer­ica by Rolling Stone, this 1,200-per­son ca­pac­ity, stand­in­groom-only club has its ori­gins in the 1980s hard­core, punk and alt-rock scenes, host­ing now fa­mous but then lit­tle-known acts such as Nir­vana and Black Flag. Don’t leave with­out visit­ing the 9:30 Hall of Records, a col­lec­tion of mu­sic from ev­ery artist that has ever played the venue. ra­reessence.com, 930.com

3. MU­SE­UMS

D.C. IS BRIMMING with top-notch mu­se­ums, but ditch the masses at the Smith­so­ni­ans lin­ing the Na­tional Mall (for now, any­way) and walk a few blocks north to some lesser-known col­lec­tions. The In­ter­na­tional Spy Mu­seum is the only mu­seum in the United States ded­i­cated to es­pi­onage and fea­tures the largest pub­lic col­lec­tion of its kind in the world, in­clud­ing dis­guised weapons such as the lip­stick pis­tol, minia­ture cam­eras and lis­ten­ing de­vices, KGB ar­ti­facts and spy train­ing films from the Sec­ond World War. Ded­i­cate an af­ter­noon to free ex­pres­sion at the New­seum ( right), near the Capi­tol build­ing. This in­ter­ac­tive mu­seum de­voted to jour­nal­ism and de­fend­ing the First Amend­ment of the United States Con­sti­tu­tion has 15 fas­ci­nat­ing gal­leries in which you can ex­plore top­ics such as the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, the 9/11 at­tacks and ev­ery Pulitzer Prize-win­ning pho­to­graph since 1942. spy­mu­seum.org, new­seum.org

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