Washington, DC Guide: Eating Local at Union Market


This post is sponsored by Vanguard but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

One of my favorite ways to spend a morning, afternoon, or evening in DC is strolling around the stalls at Union Market. Picking up an everything bagel donut from one vendor, a latte from another, grabbing croissants for breakfast the next day, pasta for dinner that evening, and maybe even a bottle of wine, it’s a wonderful way to feel connected to the DC community and a way to spend my hard-earned money on food and experiences that feel good (more on that later in the post!).


Union Market is a collection of food and food-related vendors located in the NoMa (North of Massachusetts) neighborhood of Washington, DC. Springing up from several warehouse blocks of long-standing wholesale food storefronts, Union Market brings together those in the DC community who are committed to delicious, unique, and artisan food.




What I love about Union Market is that it’s all local vendors and food artisans, so when you choose to spend your money here over just grabbing something quick at the Giant down the street, you’re investing your money in the local community while at the same time spending quality time either having a day to yourself or enjoying it with family and friends. And that’s what spending money should be all about – investing in the local community and investing in your relationships.

There’s nothing better than bonding over the most amazing squid ink fettucini (see below!) that you’ve ever had or catching up over a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. When you make the decision to spend a few dollars more on the freshly baked croissant over picking up a plastic-wrapped pack at the grocery store, you’re making the decision to say, I’m investing in the things I care about.




You don’t just have the opportunity to grab food to eat while you’re at Union Market. One of my favorite things to do is stock up for the week on homemade eats from some of the most talented and creative food vendors. Whether it’s grabbing a loaf of freshly baked bread, a jar of amazing sausage and pepper sauce, or pasta that is made right in front of my eyes, I love walking home with a bag of treats that will bring me so much satisfaction throughout the week.

That’s what makes spending money on the experience of shopping at Union Market worth it. You take that experience with you and come back to that connection to community and food each time you take a bite.




So, who are a few of my favorite vendors? Well, I can’t get enough of the everything bagel donuts at B Doughnut (they’re savory and amazing!). I always pick up interesting spices and herbs at Bazaar Spices (I use their lavender in my lavender lattes!). Al Volo makes the most exquisite pasta. La Petit Lou Lou is the perfect spot to satisfy both your carb and chocolate cravings. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried the bread pudding from puddin’. And Takorean‘s Korean take on a taco is out of this world.




All this is to say, yes, it costs a bit more at times to eat local and buy from talented bakers and artisans at Union Market, but it’s all about choosing to spend your money on experiences, rather than just things, and investing in yourself and the community.

And I’ve partnered with Vanguard to bring to my readers’ attention how it’s more meaningful to spend your money on experiences that enrich your life, rather than things. I like to think that’s what I do with this blog anyway – I focus on travel and home rather than strictly style because I’m not trying to feed into a line of thinking where we’re always chasing the next must-have item.

According to recent data, if you hold $10,000 in cash, you could earn about $170 in a year, at the current average yields of money market mutual funds. In a bank savings account, you’d only make about $10.*  I can spend $160 on a meal and groceries there in a day, and it’s worth it for the connections made and the satisfaction that comes from supporting my local community.



*This illustration uses 1.69% average yield for money market mutual funds and 0.09% national average yield for bank savings, both as of 9/30/2018, according to cranedata.com and bankrate.com. These rates are not guaranteed.  Vanguard is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their investors. All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Bank deposits are guaranteed (within limits) as to principal and interest by an agency of the federal government. There may be other material differences between products that should be considered before investing. 

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