Explore Washington D.C.

Carla Hall's Perfect Day in Washington

Top Chef alum and host of ABC's The Chew shares her favorite spots in D.C.

Morning: Bike Ride in the Cool Weather

I enjoy taking out-of-towners around the monuments. We would meet at Union Station and then rent bikes to see the city. The reward for our efforts? Banana pancakes at Lincoln’s Waffle Shop near Ford’s Theater. 

Mid-Day: Capitol Hill 

I’d take Metro (Eastern Market) to my favorite walk-around neighborhood. The vivid colors of the rowhouses there inspired the palette of my own house, slate blue trim and a yellow door. I always check out the market artisans showing jewelry and pottery.

Afternoon: Lunch + Mall

The Source, fine dining Asian fusion restaurant headlined by Chef Wolfgang Puck.
The Source, fine dining Asian fusion restaurant headlined by Chef Wolfgang Puck (©Darko Zagar)

At Source, by the Newseum, I like to sit at my friend Scott Drewno’s counter for dumplings and a hold-the-alcohol cocktail. I walk three blocks south (down 6th St.) to my favorite museum, Air & Space with grand-scale objects and dazzling Imax films. 

Evening: 14th Street

Mussels at Le Diplomate (Courtesy Le Diplomate)
Mussels at Le Diplomate (Courtesy Le Diplomate)

Sometimes I just stop and try one of the new restaurants or cafes. At Le Diplomate, I order boeuf bourguignon and always mussels. (I like to empty and stack the shells before I start dipping the bread.)

Studio Theater

Nighttime: On Stage

The theater scene is booming here, and Source and Studio are near Le Diplomate. But a short cab ride to Penn Quarter gets me to Woolly Mammoth, known for its daring plays. When my husband and I were dating, we took acting classes there!

Read our Q&A with Carla