Eastern Market is D.C.’s oldest continuously operating public market. I remember visiting Eastern Market for lunch with my mom and uncle when I was younger. I can’t remember much about the experience, except we ate at The Market Lunch inside the main building, South Hall Market. Since I moved to D.C., I had been wanting to revisit it.
Completed in 1873, Eastern Market has always been an important landmark in Capitol Hill. The market operated through the 20th century, as additions were being made. Unfortunately, a fire in 2007 devastated South Hall Market, but it has since been rebuilt and re-opened. South Hall houses indoor merchants selling everything from meat and poultry to freshly baked bread. The Market Lunch is also found in this building, and serves breakfast and lunch from Tuesday to Sunday until 3 p.m.
By the time I arrived at South Hall, it was 3:15 p.m. The Market Lunch had just shut down for the day. This would happen to me. I caught a glimpse of the menu – crab cake sandwich, pulled pork – I slapped myself in the face for missing this!
Instead, I chose a meat vender who also sold sandwiches. Ravenous, I would have eaten anything. I ordered a rotisserie chicken sandwich on wheat bread with provolone cheese and lettuce. Big mistake. Although the chicken was flavorful and moist, the thin, lifeless bread became instantly soggy. I tossed out the bread and just ate the chicken. I don’t remember what this place was called, but beware of the soggy chicken sandwich at Eastern Market!
To experience Eastern Market at its best, I need to return on the weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, there are more food vendors and an outdoor farmers market selling local produce. The Market Lunch can’t be missed either. Next time I’ll be sure to get there before 3 p.m.!