Tucked away off Wisconsin Avenue, and sharing a street with Dog Tag Bakery and Chaia, Grace Street Market brings some much-needed “hipster” flair to Georgetown’s food scene.
At just over three weeks old, this “fancy food court” is home to Grace Street Coffee Roasters, a South Block juicery, and a SUNdeVICH sandwich shop, each of which brings its own character into the space. It’s essentially a hallway hosting these three vendors, a trail of tantalizing food and drink that leads you to an outside patio. Seating is abundant for the size of the space, with windowed sections hinting at outside greenery offering bar and cafeteria-style seating.
Grace Street Coffee Roasters first greets you when you enter, a moment rendered overwhelming by the brightness and bustle of the new surroundings. They have an assortment of teas (including an “Iced Tea of the Day”) and an espresso guide, but for those up for a little fun, try one of their specialty drinks. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is made in-house, and is advertised as tasting exactly like a pumpkin pie. Their Grace St. Mule is an espresso-infused, non-alcoholic spin off of the Moscow Mule, and their Matcha Tonic is refreshingly limey, albeit lacking in matcha flavor. Also, try a kolache (stuffed brioche bun). It’s a-mazing.
Grace Street Market is South Block Juice Co.’s ninth and newest location. Born out of Virginia, South Block advertises 100% raw juice that’s made with love locally and in small batches. Offering acai bowls with 14 available toppings (such as bee pollen and free chia seeds), cold-pressed juices, and housemade cashew milk, this popular juicery is the second stop on Grace Street Market’s food trail. It’s also the only downright healthy option, unless you consider lattes and/or sandwiches healthy. You can also order a juice cleanse: it’s only $160 for three days of liquids and a lifetime of my respect. The smoothie I ordered, the Green Caveman, was exotic in ingredient (dates! Cashew milk! kale!) but unrevolutionary in flavor. As far as the acai bowls go, they’re refreshing but unfulfilling. The Aqua Bowl, with granola, coconut, and berries, was sweet, cold, and crunchy, offering a beautiful blend of textures and flavors. I so badly wanted to be full from it, but all I could think about was the short walk over to SUNdeVICH.
SUNdeVICH is the final stop, offering much heartier meals than Grace Street’s more exotic options. It offers 20 sandwich options, each named after and inspired by a different city around the world. For instance, the Kingston, with jerk chicken, pineapple salsa, greens, spicy slaw, and garlic mayo, or the Paris, with ham, eggs, gruyere, greens, tomato, and dijonnaise, take clear flavor notes from their respective cities. Arriving on a soft, chewy italian bread roll, the cool-factor of my Paris sandwich overwhelmed the blandness of the flavor. Although I remain disturbed by the soft, rather than crispy, bread, the texture of the components of the sandwich were satisfying, and while the flavors were subtle. My fatal flaw was not ordering the [delicious] dijonnaise on the side; even though it might’ve overpowered the muted ham-egg flavors, it would’ve added some needed punch to the sandwich. Wrapped in brown paper, the sandwiches are easy to grab-and-go, but I recommend getting a table and hanging around for a while.
A place of and for experimentation, Grace Street Market is slowly becoming the place to go, be it for a quick snack, a coffee date, or a nice spot to sit down and read a book. Getting WiFi is their next step, a frightening reminder of how new this already-popular place is. But for now, they’ll remain a hipster’s hideout.