Though part of Pierre L’Enfant’s original city plan for Washington D.C, the area around Dupont Circle was largely empty until after the Civil War. Mass development began following the construction of the traffic circle in 1871, with brick row homes, office buildings, restaurants and more quickly filling the new neighborhood. The neighborhood blossomed in the 1970s and 1980s as young artists, professionals and cultural figures moved to the area and established art galleries, bars, music venues and more. Since then, Dupont has become a more upscale destination for D.C. residents and visitors, offering a mixture of it’s bohemian past and its elegant and modern future.
Dupont’s real estate consists mainly of two offerings: turn of the century row homes, and medium sized apartment buildings constructed in the 1970s and 1980s. The townhouses, usually divided into multiple units, feature elegant and beautiful revival styles popular in the 1900s, while apartment buildings offer affordable but still excellent housing options. Connecticut and Massachusetts avenues are the main thoroughfares of Dupont, though driving can get hectic around the circle itself. Dupont is serviced by its eponymous Metro station on the red line, as well as many Capital Bikeshare stations and bike lanes.
Dupont is home to some of the most exquisite restaurants in the District as well as more casual options for everyday eats. Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is a combination bookstore, restaurant, and local landmark perfect for hungry bookworms. Award winning Mediterranean restaurant Komi serves up a set-course tasting dinner sure to wow any upscale diner. Be sure to check out their sister restaurant Little Serow for a set-meal Thai dinner unlike any other. Looking for something a little more casual? Try Lauriol Plaza for hearty Mexican food and lively atmosphere, or Nando’s Peri-Peri for African-style chicken and sangria.
For the art lovers among us, there’s truly no better place than Dupont, with its countless museums and art galleries. Founded in 1921, the Phillips Collection houses stunning collections of French Impressionist and American modern & contemporary artwork. Check out the Hillyer Art Space for live music & international contemporary art, or head to Fondo del Sol Visual Arts Center to see beautiful ancient & contemporary works from Latin America and the world. For the history buff in your life, look no further than the Society of the Cinncinati’s Anderson House, a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the American Revolution with manuscripts, paintings, and other artifacts from the colonial era.
Dupont offers a variety of nightlife options sure to please any resident or visitor. Check out Kabin Lounge on Thursdays & weekends for a mixture of top 40, house, classics and hip-hop in a chic and trendy setting. The 18th Street Lounge features live jazz, Latin, roots, reggae, electronic music and more Tuesday through Sunday. Looking to laugh? Head over to DC Improv comedy club and laugh ’til your sides hurt – their opening show in 1992 featured Ellen Degeneres, Dave Chappelle, and Brian Regan. Of course, no article on Dupont could be complete without a mention of the famous Capital Pride Parade, one of countless street festivals and local events to grace the Circle annually.
Put simply, Dupont is the quintessential DC neighborhood. It boasts the best combination of lively fun and sensible living that any District resident could want. And with artists, businesspeople, politicians, culinary professionals, musicians and more moving to the neighborhood in droves, there’s no better time than now to live, work and play in Dupont Circle.