Essex Street Market, Chelsea Market, Smorgasburg — New York knows how to do food markets.

So this weekend, when I headed to Washington D.C. for my friend Kate’s bridal shower (you remember Kate!), I was happy to see how the city’s markets compared. And, ooh, I was impressed.

She and her husband-to-be, Darius, took me to Union Market and I thought it was too cute not to share. Here are some of the things I liked:

1 :: A lovely outdoor area, complete with a herb garden, neon-colored seating and ‘grass’.

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2 :: Delicious egg and cheese biscuits from Red Apron Butchery (yes, despite the name, they catered to a veggie).

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3 :: Never-ending pastry displays from Panorama Bakery:

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4 :: Freshly farmed and baked produce everywhere you looked:

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5 :: The creative sauerkraut and pickles from No.1 Sons. These Masala Cider Beets were my favorite.

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6 :: This build-your-own cheese plate.

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7 :: Lots and lots of pretty food…

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8 :: …did I mention lots and lots of pretty food?

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You can check out a full list of the vendors – who make everything and anything from empanadas and dosas to Korean BBQ and gelato – here.

As well as endless – and very trendy – stalls of snacks, there’s a restaurant in the market and a couple of bars, including one for oysters. It means that they have every event — from a casual breakfast to a fancier dinner — covered. I don’t think that variety is something we can say of any of the food markets here. I was impressed.

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I just hope they get a few more chairs outside for the impending summer crowds. I’d definitely be here all the time if I lived in the city!

Thanks for the introduction — and for the great weekend — Kate and Darius!

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For more info about the market, see their website here. It’s open between 11am and 8pm on Tuesday to Friday and between 8am and 8pm at weekends; it’s shut on Mondays.

Washington, DC 20002