Tag Archives: union market

Dish of the Week: Poke Bowl at District Fishwife

1 Nov
Poke Bowl at District Fishwife

Poke Bowl at District Fishwife

Dish of the Week is a new ongoing series from District Cuisine that highlights one of our favorite dishes from a local restaurant.

In case you haven’t found out yet, several months ago, District Fishwife in Union Market expanded its offerings to include freshly prepared meals in addition to its seafood selection.  The meals are primarily lunch items (dinner on the weekend) and include fish sandwiches, salmon burgers, and most recently a chili crab fried sandwich.  Our favorite is the Ahi Tuna poke bowl (you can also get it with salmon, depending upon what they have available).  Poke bowls (a style of marinated raw fish from Hawaii) have recently become very popular both around town and nationally (see recent Washington Post story here).  District Fishwife’s preparation has a bed of rice with two different types of marinated tuna on either side of the container: a soy based marinade and a spicy aioli marinade.  In the middle you get wasabi, seaweed salad, ginger, thinly sliced carrot, and fish row.  The two different marinades are both delicious and play well together with the rice and salad in the middle.  The poke bowl is a great way to have an interesting, fresh, and fairly light lunch or dinner (unlike several of their items, you can get the poke bowl in the late afternoon).


Eden’s Union Market Begins to Move West

5 Jun

We’ve spoken previously about all of the real estate that Eden’s owns in the Union Market area in addition to the Union Market building (see all of our previous coverage here and additional coverage from Washington Business Journal).  Eden’s transformation of the warehouse space immediately to the west of the existing Union Market building appears to have begun.  This weekend we walked by two upscale pop-up shops at 1270 and 1274 5th Street, NE that had previously been warehouse space.  One was an upscale interior designer (J.D. Ireland) and one was an upscale fashion store (Emporium DNA Edit).  You can see more details on both from Washingtonian.  It will be very interesting to see what Eden’s plans for these spaces long term.

Angelika Pop-Up: A Preview of Upscale Movie Viewing in Union Market

11 Dec
Premovie Lounge at Angelika Pop-Up Theater

Premovie Lounge at Angelika Pop-Up Theater

D.C. has needed more and better movie theaters, especially in the eastern part of the city.  Earlier this year, if you lived east of downtown, the choices were traveling across the city to Georgetown, going to the nice but limited E Street Cinema, viewing a movie in the rundown Regal Cinema in Gallery Place, or going to the suburbs.  Edens promised to change all of this by announcing it would put an upscale Angelika Film Center in the second phase of its Union Market building.  However, that permanent theater will not be built for several years.  In the meantime, Edens converted part of a building the company owns a block north of Union Market into a pop-up movie theater to preview the future permanent theater.  The pop-up currently offers around four different films with multiple showings throughout the day.  There is a mix of recently released mainstream films, indie films, and classics (including It’s a Wonderful Life before Christmas).

Concessions Stand at Angelika Pop-Up Theater

Concessions Stand at Angelika Pop-Up Theater

Continue reading

A. Litteri: DC’s Best Italian Market

10 Dec
Exterior at A. Litteri

Exterior at A. Litteri

If you haven’t heard of A. Litteri (517 Morse Street, NE), we don’t blame you.  It took us over a year of living in the NoMa/H Street region to discover the Italian market and deli buried amongst the massive wholesale warehouses around Union Market.  First established in 1926 but relocated to Morse Street in 1932 by Mariano DeFrancisci and Antonio Litteri, A. Litteri’s is the best Italian market in the District.  Prior to finding A. Litteri’s we used to trek out to the Italian Store in Arlington for our Italian needs but no more–you’ll find everything you need here.

Shelves of Dried Pasta at A. Litteri

Shelves of Dried Pasta at A. Litteri

Do not let the market’s unassuming exterior push you away.  Inside you will find shelves and shelves of pastas, sauces, olive oils (of all sizes), vinegars, Italian wines, and many other Italian necessities.  At the deli counter in the back, you will find homemade sausages, meatballs, Italian meats, cheeses, and olives.  You can also order some of the best Italian sandwiches in the region too.  The gentlemen behind the counter may have a somewhat aggressive attitude but grab a number and step right on up when your number is called (for sandwiches fill out a little form that is on the counter).

Classic Italian Sub at A. Litteri

Classic Italian Sub at A. Litteri

With all of the changes planned for the Union Market area in the coming years, A. Litteri’s is one existing gem that we hope doesn’t change one bit in the future.

shelves at a litteri


This post is part of District Cuisine’s Union Market series.  You can view the entire series here.

Union Market: The Upper Section

9 Dec
Upper Section of Union Market

Upper Section of Union Market

For the purposes of this post, the upper section is defined as the area and buildings starting on the northern side of Penn Street, NE at 6th Street, going west to New York Avenue, turning right, and then running up New York Avenue for one block.  You can view our interactive map here (note: this is not perfectly drawn to scale and does not perfectly reflect lot lines, etc).  The properties are colored by owner; the color purple indicates that the property is not owned by one of the large development companies.

The upper section of Union Market has two large parcels that are owned by Edens but disconnected from each other.  The first Edens property on Penn Street by 6th Street (550 Penn Street) is already being used by Edens as part of Union Market.  In this space, Dolcezza Gelato has a factory and retail store; Angelika Film Center has a pop-up movie theater (until it moves to its permanent home in the Union Market building in several years).  The second Edens owned property is down the block on the corner of New York Avenue.  This building is not currently used for a public purpose by Edens, although it does have several advertisements for Union Market attractions painted onto the side of it.  In between these two properties is Maurice Electrical Supply.

Next to the Edens owned property on New York Avenue is an independently owned property.  The large parcel next to that building is currently undergoing a major construction project.  The property was previously a very rundown Quality Inn (check out some of the horrible reviews here) but was knocked down recently and is now being rebuilt as two hotels: a Hampton Inn and a Homewood Suites.

In our next two Union Market series posts, we will examine two existing parts of the Union Market area that you may be overlooking but are well worth you checking out.

Special thanks to Washington Business Journal for their previous reporting on the real estate deals in Union Market and to ANC 6C 06 Commissioner Tony Goodman for his help in answering questions about the area.

Union Market: The Middle Section (Updated)

13 Nov

Overview of Middle Section of Union Market


For the purposes of this post, the middle section is defined as the area and buildings starting on the northern side of Florida Avenue, NE at 4th Street, going over to 5th Street, and then running up in between both streets until Penn Street (including Morse Street and Neal Place).  You can view our interactive map here (note: this is not perfectly drawn to scale and does not perfectly reflect lot lines, etc).  The properties are colored by owner; the color purple indicates that the property is not owned by one of the large development companies.

***Update: after this post went live, the Washington Business Journal reported that Edens used a series of hidden LLCs to purchase much of the property on the western side of 5th Street in between Morse Street and Neal Place.  This would seem to indicate that Edens has plans to purchase all of this property for a future development.  The post has been updated below to reflect Edens’s ownership of these parcels.**

The middle section of Union Market is the area least likely to see significant change in the coming years, with three exceptions.  Unlike the areas to the east and west, most of the middle section does not have large parcels of land owned by major developers.  Instead, much of the middle section is owned by a variety of independent owners and the buildings are broken up into smaller shops.  This diverse ownership makes it difficult for anyone to consolidate ownership and make major changes quickly.

The first exception is the western side of 5th Street in between Morse Street and Neal Place where Edens has purchased several individual parcels over the past couple of months.  Edens has yet to purchase several of the properties in this block, but the company appears to be aggressively buying the properties in an attempt to consolidate ownership of the entire block for a potential future development.

The second exception is the land along Florida Avenue in between 4th and 5th streets because Edens owns all of the block except for one parcel.

The final exception is the Choi family which owns many pieces of land in the middle part of the Union Market area.  In the mid-2000s, Sang Oh Choi developed a plan with several members of the DC City Council where his company would consolidate ownership of Union Market and redevelop it.  The plan was very controversial as many of the landowners feared they would be pushed out, and it ultimately fell apart.  However, the Choi family continues to own land in the area and could be a major player in the years ahead (Sang Oh Choi worked with Edens on the Gateway Market project).

Instead of seeing change that is driven by large developers, the middle section is more likely to see slow change as independent owners begin to renovate and freshen up their buildings as the rest of the area redevelops.  It is also possible that the large developers could buy a bunch of the small properties (as Edens is actively doing), but this strategy would take time as there are so many owners.

Starting on Florida Avenue in between 4th and 5th streets (view interactive map here):

Florida Avenue Between 4th and 5th Streets

  • Corner of 4th Street (red on map): Edens owns from the corner of 4th Street up until 416 4th Street.  The plans for this land are unknown.
  • 416 Florida Avenue (purple on map): this land is currently occupied by Yum’s Carryout.  Edens has attempted to purchase this land from Yum’s in the past but has been unsuccessful.  However, this parcel represents the only land on the block that Edens does not own.
  • 418 Florida Avenue (red on map): Edens owns this parcel.  Plans unknown.

Turn left down 5th Street and then turn down Morse Street (view interactive map here):

Morse Street in Between 4th and 5th Streets


  • 416 Morse Street (red on map): this property is owned by 416 Morse Street NE LLC, which Washington Business Journal reports is an LLC that is likely owned by Edens.
  • The properties to the south are owned by a mix of independent owners and the Choi family.  The corner unit on 5th Street is independently owned, followed by 419 that is owned by the Choi family, followed by 417 that is owned by another independent owner, followed by 413-415 Morse Street that are owned by the Choi family, and then the rest of the block is owned by independent owners.

Walk down Morse Street and turn right on 4th Street, heading north (view interactive map here): Continue reading

Union Market: Edens Has Major Culinary Retail Tenant for 1270 4th Street

11 Nov
1270 4th Street

Site of Future Edens Apartment/Retail Building at 1270 4th Street, NE

Union Market developer Edens has a major retail tenant for its future retail/residential project at 1270 4th Street, NE in the Union Market area (top red box on map).  Speaking at a meeting of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C Planning, Zoning, and Environment Committee last week, representatives for Edens gave a presentation on their plans for the 1270 4th Street parcel that is to the southwest of Edens’s existing Union Market building.  Edens is planning an apartment building with major retail on the first and second floors.  According to Edens, they already have a culinary retailer who will occupy the retail space and who will create a Union Market-style eatery space.  The retailer is apparently a significant name in the culinary world that people will recognize, and this project is the first of its kind for this person in the United States.  However, the identity of the retailer is not being released because the project is several years away from breaking ground.  When an ANC Commissioner joked that it was Eataly (there have been rumors that Eataly is coming to a different part of town for years), Edens joked that it was a good guess but not correct.  We reached out to Edens after the meeting for additional comment but did not hear back.

View our interactive Union Market map here.

Union Market Series: A Preview of the Future

10 Nov

Almost everyone knows about the new Union Market–the massive indoor culinary market that opened two years ago and currently features over 40 different vendors and small restaurants.  The Market building previously housed the D.C. Farmers Market until a serious fire destroyed the building several years ago.  At that point, Edens, the owner, decided to completely remodel the building and reposition the concept to become the premiere culinary destination for foodies across the District.  Located between 5th and 6th streets and bounded by Neal Place in Northeast, the Market has been come a magnet for people around the area.  For the past two years, Edens has held a ton of different events ranging from beerfests to ice cream parties to musicfests to drive-in movies to put Union Market on the map for people across the District.

The Market itself and the surrounding area have a fascinating history dating to the 1800s (click here to see the progression through the years) and has been called Florida Avenue Market, Union Market Terminal, and Capital City Market.  The largely warehouse district previously was a hub for food distributors around the area, partially based upon its proximity to the railroad.  However, over time many of the buildings have lost their previous tenants and much of the area has become rundown.  At one point in the late 2000s, there was a plan to consolidate ownership of the Market area and push through a massive redevelopment project; however, this plan fell through.  Regardless, this deterioration of the area stands in very stark contrast to the new Union Market building that holds some of the most upscale food stores around town and that is packed with people and families every weekend.

While you know about the new Union Market building, what you probably don’t know about are the impressive plans for a revitalization of the area in the years ahead.  In this series, we will be taking a look at what is in store for the Union Market area in the future.  We will begin with several posts looking at the area in a series of geographical chunks: the west section, the middle section, the east section, and the upper section.  Finally, we will examine two existing spots in the Market that you are probably overlooking right now (A. Litteri Italian market and Angelika Pop-Up Theater).  Questions or comments?  As always, please feel free to use the comment section.