What used to be an eyesore in the warehouse district is now becoming one of my favorite Saturday morning rituals. It will definitely take multiple visits to be able to taste and experience everything that Union Market has to offer. It is currently set up as a network of vendors and pop-up shops, including some that have spawned from well-known DC institutions such as C0Co Sala and Ris. There are even a few stands that humble food truck beginnings TaKorean, Curbside Cupcakes, and DC Empanadas.
To keep myself from eating everything in sight, I have settled on a couple of favorites. One of them is Neopol Savory Smokery. Food just seems to taste better when it’s smoked, and these guys don’t disappoint. I usually get the smoked salmon and cream cheese w/ tomatoes, capers, and red onions on a bagel. That was my favorite, until I switched it up and got the shrimp salad sandwich, but then I tried their smoked egg salad sandwich and I am now declaring that my favorite! The next new things I wanna try are the salmon crepes, smoked catfish, and smoked tofu.
My other favorite spot is Toki Underground. The ramen and dumpling spot has a brick and mortar shop along the H Street Corridor. At the market, they are operate as a pop-up artisan stand serving up breakfast street food until it runs out. My favorite thing to get here is the fresh steamed BBQ pork buns. The best part about it is watching it being made from scratch. Each bun is about the size of your fist, and at $3 a pop, it’s hard to eat just one.
Union Market is a place for true food lovers to congregate. Whether it’s venison chili, oysters, frozen hot chocolate, fresh made juices, wines, fresh cuts of meat, homemade ice cream, terrines, olive oils, pickled veggies, exotic spices, sundries, or just good old-fashioned diner food you crave, you will find the perfect dish to keep those stomach grumblings at bay.
Fair warning: On Saturdays from around 11 A.M. to 1 P.M., the place is packed, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Union Market is located at 1309 5th Street N.E.; Washington, DC 20002. Business Hours: Tue-Fri 11 A.M.-8 P.M.; Sat-Sun 8 A.M.-8 P.M. Nearest Metro station: NoMa-Gallaudet University