U Street Corridor

The strip of bars, restaurants and boutiques runs for about eight blocks between 17th Street and 9th Street NW, in a neighborhood called Shaw. The birthplace of Duke Ellington, U Street was once a center of African-American culture. Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong were regulars. After the 1968 riots, the corridor sat mostly vacant for far too long. But it is now finally, fully revived, jangling with sound and motion after dark.

Check out D.C.’s best live-music venue, the 9:30 Club, just off the corridor at the corner of 9th Street and V Street NW. You can also find good, upscale restaurants and bars like Marvin, a bistro and bar with a rooftop lounge. But the icon of U Street is still Ben’s Chili Bowl, a family-run, old-school chili-dog joint that opened in 1958 and stuck around when almost nothing else did. Take the green or yellow line to the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo stop.

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