The sign outside is unassuming and the inside––bearing nothing more than a few stools––may make newcomers wonder how Adam Express stays in business. But one bite into a fresh sushi roll or Korean entrée makes it all clear. Those who happen to snag one of two seats in front of the open kitchen can sit and watch as chefs prepare kimchee and bibimbap to order without flavor enhancers like MSG or chocolate syrup. Besides Korean specialties like chap chae––vermicelli noodles with shredded beef, veggies, and soy sauce––the chefs cook up a number of Chinese dishes such as fried rice and lomein, and blend Japanese and Korean traditions to make bulgogi sushi rolls, which feature marinated beef, crab cakes, and pickled radish.
FroZenYo is a Washington, DC mainstay. With roughly fifteen locations in the greater DC metro area, FroZenYo offers a wide range of temptations for young children, high schoolers and anyone with a sweet tooth. The Columbia Heights outpost is right across the street from a large mall, so expect occasional long lines of shoppers coming to revive themselves with an assortment of fat-free flavors, from apple pie and cheesecake to old standards like chocolate and cookies and cream. Fruitier combinations can be had as well, plus FroZenYo is known for making their own in-house styles, like toasted marshmallow. Don’t expect much in the way of comfort or ambiance, as there are only a handful of café tables around the purple and neon green space to choose from; most people take their pay-by-the-ounce treats to go.
Sticky Fingers has made its name as a 100% vegan bakery, but its goodies are a treat for everyone. Of course, the Columbia Heights sweet shop is best known for its homemade cakes and cupcakes, but it also has an extensive sandwich menu, while a vegan brunch is served on weekends and gluten-free options are also available. The shop has a nice retro vibe, with an old-school, glass cupcake display case, vintage wall decor and a super friendly staff. And if that woman behind the counter looks familiar, it’s because she has appeared and won several times on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.
Peddling potables for almost 20 years, Cleveland Park Wines offers a bevy of grape-centric delights, including organic and kosher vintages as well as champagne and dessert wine. The knowledgeable staff aids guests in picking out a future fermented family, with a variety of red and white wines broken down into pinot noirs, rosés, merlots, cabernet sauvignons, and more. Sniff and swirl the bold and buttery notes of the 2008 Chalone Vineyards Estate chardonnay ($22.99), or realize a resolution to drink more dry fruit by sipping up the XYZIN zinfandel ($15.99). For a more seasonal crash course in Bacchic beverages, Cleveland Park Wines' April offerings include dry rosés from around the world, granting aficionados a passport-less daytrip to exotic vineyards. Grab a bottle of Quinta do Carqueijal ($5.99 on sale), or pair an elegant bottle of Loir Valley, Mareuil J. Mourat, with notes of soft peach and rose petals ($16.49), with smoked salmon. Cleveland Park Wines also plays host to ongoing events, where guests can taste exquisite vintages before snapping up a favorite bottle to fill the shelves of pantries, wine cabinets, or basement speakeasies.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Irvingia Blend (African Mango)
Pro Tip: All our smoothie blends contain a 70/30 spinach/kale/fruit composition.
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Take a huge whiff of Italy as you walk through the front door of Vace Italian Delicatessen. The salami and sausages hanging over your head will further trigger your panging stomach, making this old school eatery one of those neighborhood joints that has become known throughout the city. Pizza aficionados can head here for a slice or a whole pie, while huge sandwiches made with Italian deli meats and cheeses are an option for those found wanting. If you prefer to cook at home, Vace stocks imported packaged items ranging from pasta to pimentos, and also sells homemade pasta and fresh pizza dough. The counter service can be a bit spotty, but at Vace, the food and the vibrant, colorful atmosphere are the star of the show.