Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and who better to outline the perfect date night than Capital Couple?! Don’t worry, coffee is definitely involved. Already have plans for the big day? Their suggestions would work for any date night (or day). So grab your sweetie and enjoy exploring one of the cutest neighborhoods in the area! And don’t forget to keep caffeinated!
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and if you’re anything like us, you’re probably really busy with life and haven’t planned anything yet! Honestly, you may be too late to get a reservation at that “hot” spot in DC – or maybe you just don’t want to deal with the hassle and expense of the crowds and menu prices at most of DC’s best eateries for an occasion like Valentine’s Day. Well, if you want some quality time with your beau or gal to celebrate V-day and (a little) less craziness, might we suggest a date night in Del Ray? Or if going out on a week night isn’t your thing, a date day in Del Ray over the weekend?
Nestled away near Potomac Yard and just north of Alexandria, Virginia, many of our D.C. followers have probably never even heard of this charming neighborhood. Del Ray consists of quiet streets lined with beautiful homes, spacious yards (by DC standards), dogs being walked, community fundraisers selling used books or Girl Scout cookies…it just feels like home. Walk or drive a few blocks in and you’ll find Del Ray’s “Main Street” – Mount Vernon Avenue, lined with bustling coffee shops, handfuls of popular restaurants, and cute little shops.
Del Ray is a popular neighborhood, but it’s likely you can still squeeze in a Valentine’s Day reservation if you act now. According to OpenTable, there are still spots available at several Del Ray favorites.
For dinner, there are several great options. Feeling a sushi date? Taylor is always down for a spicy tuna roll (or 2) at The Sushi Bar in Del-Ray, an adults-only sushi lounge. They even justify the no-kids rule “to create the perfect environment for…couples out on ‘date night.’” Last time we visited, we ate outside to enjoy the nice weather, but the inside offers a cozy respite to February’s cold.
Not a sushi fan? Taqueria el Poblano is a fun alternative with delicious margs and tacos to make for a boozy celebration!
Or for a more casual atmosphere, Pork Barrel BBQ serves up the best BBQ we’ve found in DC – truly a great place to have a few craft beers and some smoked meats. We’re both from down south, so you won’t hear us say it’s the best BBQ we’ve ever had, but it certainly gets the job done!
If you’re looking to eat somewhere a little nicer, check out Cheesetique, a gorgeous wine and cheese bar. Walk through the adorable wine shop to the bar and restaurant area in the back. Plus, Valentine’s Day falls on a Wine Down Wednesday, where you can get “wallet-friendly offerings by the glass.”
After dinner, grab a sweet treat at the Dairy Godmother, where you can grab a cup or cone of delicious frozen custard.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Continue your dinner conversation over a cup of coffee or tea at St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub.
So you might be thinking going out on actual Valentine’s Day on a Wednesday night sounds like a hassle, so consider heading out to Del Ray on Saturday or Sunday to celebrate your love. Rather than a post-dinner cappuccino, head to St. Elmo’s for a latte and pastry to start your day. St. Elmo’s has a great vibe in the mornings – students studying, book clubs meeting, friends catching up.
St. Elmo’s serves up some tasty pastries, but Del Ray residents swear by Stomping Ground, a “down-home” coffee shop located just across the street from St. Elmo’s that serves “a biscuit that will change your life,” according to one Yelp reviewer. We’ve yet to withstand the constant long line out front of this uber-popular spot, but the crowds and reviews suggest you won’t be disappointed!
After you’ve had your daily dose of caffeine, walk around all of the cute shops up and down Mount Vernon Avenue.
Want to cook a nice Valentine’s Day dinner at home? Head to Market 2 Market to buy various local brews or pick up a new bottle of wine. We always enjoy picking from the local brew and wine selection.
Then head to Let’s Meat On The Avenue to pick up some meat to cook for dinner. There’s definitely no shortage of options – we’ve never seen so many types of meat at a butcher before!
Lastly, head into Cheesetique for some cheese and prosciutto to make a Charcuterie board to enjoy before dinner. And maybe even pick up a nice cheese board or knife as a nice Valentine’s Day surprise!
Capital Couple is a couple of attorneys, Ethan & Taylor, living in our
nation’s capital. We are your local guides to DC, showing you the best
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