Eastern Market is a DC institution. The only still-active historic market in the city, you could call it the Target or Walmart of the 19th century (and part of the 20th!). The historic building was built in 1873 but burned down in 2007. The response was massive: locals came together, donated money for the renovation and a few years later it was back, as good as new.
It’s a great spot to go on the weekends for shopping – there’s lots of fresh food (meat, produce and more), but also arts & crafts, clothing, jewelry and more – or just go to browse and see all the people. There are so many vendors that the building can’t contain them – they spill onto sidewalks, patios and a parking lot across the street. The parking lot has more art than the other areas, and I like the guy who sells vintage traffic lights and street signs.
Food-wise, you can get all sorts of snacks and breakfast or lunch there (I love the homemade donuts made on-site and the orangeade, both on the patio) or you can go to one of the many restaurants nearby for brunch or lunch.
There’s only so many seats in and around the market, but a few parks nearby are good for sitting and enjoying your goodies if it’s nice out – though there are plenty of coffee, cider and hot food vendors for chilly days too. A great spot for snacking, browsing, or people watching in a historic setting.