Union Market {Weekend Adventure}

This weekend (finally!) brought a taste of glorious spring weather to DC. On Sunday, we were eager to be out and about so we could enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures. We met my parents for lunch for a fun spot called Union Market. I've been dying to go there for awhile now, based on rave reviews I've heard from my parents and lots of other folks. Let me tell you, this place did not disappoint - it's a feast for the stomach as well as the eyes! And although I wish y'all could have been there to taste some of the food with us, I think the photos will give you an idea of why I loved this place from the moment I laid eyes on it.

Union Market is an actual market - there are open-air food booths, farmer's market goods, a few lunch-counter style restaurants, artisinal specialty shops, and even a boutique. It's an eclectic mix that hearkens back to the days of authentic markets, but it has a gourmet twist thanks to the atmosphere, types of vendors, and design of the space. 

For example, this cheese vendor. They've got a counter where you can sample cheese (and sip your beverage of choice), as well as a case where you can pick some out to take home with you. Have I mentioned how much I love cheese? And they had some delicious ones...

This space has a rich history as an open-air market destination for the surrounding neighborhood (and really, the whole city). You can read more about its fascinating history on Union Market's website, but to summarize, the market originated way back in 1871 as "Centre Market." Over time, it went through several evolutions, and in the 1980s, as the demand for wholesale goods declined in the nearby area and vendors moved to larger commercial spaces, the market basically shut down. In the fall of 2012, after a massive renovation and revitalization, the market reopened in its shiny new form, becoming an instant destination in a (mostly) run-down area of the city. In a weird way, this place kind of reminds me of Anthropologie mixed with a farmer's market. Go with me on this one. I think it'll make more sense once you see some pictures...

I love this sign they have hanging in the back of the market. I'm not sure if it's original or not, but it definitely gives you a feel for what the original market was like:

One of my favorite vendors in the market was a boutique called Salt & Sundry:

Their collection of home furnishings, linens, paper goods, etc. was so fun to browse. Take a look at all their pretty things:

Lovely, right? They had a little bit of everything, and I was so tempted to take a few things home myself :). 

Even the lighting was amazing:

I really loved this vintage-y looking sign for a butcher/restaurant called Red Apron:

And the design of this "soda shop" (Buffalo & Bergen):

{I'm drooling over the sign, pendants and ceiling!}

Oh, and you've got to see this chandelier. (I'm a little obsessed with light fixtures right now...) If you look real close, you can see that it's made out of recycled, smushed plastic water bottles! What? Brilliance, I tell you.

Needless to say, I loved this place. I could've wandered around for hours sampling food, sipping wine, and staring at everything in the beautiful space. I think I'll be making many return trips in the future - even if it's just to gaze at that chandelier :). 

Hope you enjoyed being a part of my weekend adventure today!

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  1. GREAT FUN, Chaney! All those years I lived in Alexandria and I never knew about UNION Market! Next field trip in to DC and I am there! ;) Thanks for sharing! :D

    1. It just opened in the fall, so you didn't miss out while you were here! You'll definitely need to make a stop next time you're in town!

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