How Food Shapes a City

“Food is national security. Food is craft. Food is everything, when you think about it.”

                                                                                                          D.C. Chef José Andrés

Since its founding, Washington’s markets and restaurants have shaped the city’s landscape.  Businesses preparing, serving, and selling food have defined neighborhoods, launched the careers of immigrants, and fed an ever-changing, always-hungry citizenry.  Spend the morning walking through D.C.’s Penn Quarter, Chinatown, and Shaw neighborhoods and see

  • the former site of D.C.’s most extraordinary public market;
  • where Washingtonians got their first taste of tapas;
  • the Indian restaurant that shot D.C.’s food scene to award-winning heights;
  • the mom-and-pop spot that keeps Chinatown’s Asian identity alive.

The walk will conclude along Shaw’s 9th Street corridor, providing an opportunity to explore one of Washington’s newest food scenes and grab a bite to eat at newly-minted local favorites like All Purpose, Unconventional Diner, Buttercream Bake Shop—and more!

Note:  The walking tour does not include stops to sample or purchase food. Participants, however, are encouraged to arrive early and order something to go from the popular Penn Quarter cafe Teaism, located steps away from the walk start point.  Feel free to bring your purchases along to enjoy during the walk! (Ask your guide Carolyn for suggestions.)


People who liked this D.C. walking tour also liked: Capitol Hill and Eastern Market and Penn Quarter


Available for private and group tour bookings. Please email for more information.

Approximately 2 hours
Available for private and group tours only.

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Embarks outside Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro station
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