Neighborhood 101: Adams Morgan

30 Dec

Madam’s Organ is easy to spot thanks to its famous mural. © dbking at Creative Commons

When I think of Adams Morgan two things to come to mind: getting drunk and eating brunch (not necessarily together but sometimes). Located in Northwest DC and considered a global village, the neighborhood is known for its restaurants and bars as well as independent shops. The main area is at the intersection of 18th and Columbia Road.

Getting There: Unfortunately, the closest Metro station—Woodley Park–Zoo/Adams Morgan on the Red Line—isn’t that close at all. It’s walkable, but rest assured, it’s a walk. Street parking is a pain but it’s possible (though not so much on Saturday nights) as long as you’re patient and, again, okay with walking.

Interesting Tidbit: Adams Morgan was named for the District’s first segregated schools—the all-black Thomas P. Morgan Elementary School and all-white John Quincy Adams Elementary School.

Hot Spots:
There are many, but here are a few of my favorites.

  • Madam’s Organ Blues Bar & Soul Food Restaurant—This landmark bar is known for its live music.
  • The Diner—Breakfast 24/7? Yes, please!
  • The Reef—It’s a restaurant as well as a bar, but I’ve only been there for drinks. They’ve got fish tanks, lots of them.
  • Grand Central—I fully recognize that this dance club is cheesy and only plays cliché Top 40 music and that people will judge me for listing it, but I can’t help myself, I love it.
  • Pizza Mart—Because there’s nothing like a jumbo slice at 1:30 in the morning.


  • Adams Morgan Day—This annual festival happens on the second Sunday of September.
  • Crafty Bastards—An alternative arts and crafts fair showcasing independent artists.

5 Responses to “Neighborhood 101: Adams Morgan”

  1. Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 30, 2010 at 10:53 am #

    Adams Morgan also features Amsterdam Falafel, where you can top your own falafel sandwich with 20+ selections from their toppings bar, and Biagio Chocolate is just a couple of blocks south. Both are great for the afternoon when it is neither drinking time nor brunch time.

    • marseadc December 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

      Thanks Victoria! Your foodie knowledge never ceases to amaze me.

  2. Jessica December 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Hey, love the blog! Thanks for the comment over on my own, too. You can’t forget Millie and Al’s in AdMo– arguably the best dive bar in the city, complete with pitchers (an oddity in DC–why?!) and a dancing skeleton.

    • marseadc December 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

      Thanks Jessica! I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never heard of Millie and Al’s, but it sounds like I need to go!

  3. Lissy December 30, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    I agree re: Amsterdam Falafelhouse — best cheap eats in the city. Tryst is also a fun coffeebar, if you can find a seat. And Perry’s drag queen brunch on Sundays is campy and fun.

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