Need A New Apartment? 4 Awesome D.C. 'Hoods To Scope Out Now

Apartment-hunting in D.C. comes with its own special set of challenges. Rent is high, amenities can be scarce, and demand is always higher than supply. But before you curse yourself for falling for yet another Craigslist scam posting — hey, we've all been there — take heart. Ahead, we've highlighted four awesome D.C. neighborhoods that are just perfect for renters. Can't live without a convenient Metro stop and great coffee? Got it. Prefer cheap rent and abundant green space? Got that, too. We're willing to bet you'll find your happy home somewhere in these four distinctive 'hoods. All you need to do now is pick out a welcome mat.
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A favorite among creative types, foodies, and young professionals craving an artsy vibe and a tiny bit more space than, say, Logan Circle, Bloomingdale strikes the perfect balance between charming and cool. With a blossoming restaurant scene and plenty of row houses for sharing, it's especially tempting to social butterflies and anyone who doesn't mind a roommate (or three).
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What We Love About Bloomingdale

52 O Street Studios
One of a sacred few full-fledged artist studios in the District, 52 O Street is home to some of the city's most promising talent — from fine artists to clothing designers. Mark your calendar for one of the open studio days to meet some of the creative forces in your new 'hood.
52 O Street NW; 202-232-1063.

The Red Hen
This Italian-influenced dinner spot opened roughly two months ago, and has been serving up a staggering menu of comfort-inducing favorites, including house-made pasta.
1822 1st Street NW; 202-525-3021.
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Big Bear Cafe
Not only is the coffee here pretty amazing, the food is out of this world, too. When the weather is nice, snag a seat on the outdoor patio and soak up some rays.
1700 1st Street NW; 202-643-9222.

Harry Thomas Sr. Recreation Center
Bloomingdale residents can take advantage of an expansive outdoor public pool at this rec center, which is open until 8 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on weekends — which gives you plenty of time to cool down after work.
1743 Lincoln Road NE; 202-576-5642.
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In a city that doesn't have a hidden gem for very long, Southeast Capitol Hill is about the closest you'll come to renter's paradise. Once you get a few blocks away from Eastern Market and Barracks Row, rent starts to drop while square footage goes up. Plus, everyday necessities, like grocery stores and public transit, are abundant — and did we mention there's a park around every corner, practically?
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What We Love About SE Capitol Hill

When it comes to living in D.C., it's all about convenience — whether that means easy access to nightlife or a supermarket right outside your door. The Hill East, as it's lovingly known, has the latter in spades: Safeway sits two blocks north of the Potomac Avenue Metro stop, while a new Harris Teeter is just a block south.

Trusty's
No neighborhood is complete without a quirky dive bar, and Trusty's is just that. It's ideal for nights when you just want a cold beer, a burger, and some good conversation with your neighbor — or maybe a serious round of trivia.
1420 Pennsylvania Avenue SE; 202-547-1010.
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The Pretzel Bakery
Be advised if you're a carb-conscious eater: This place will be your downfall. The soft Philly-style pretzels are delicious on their own, but don't skimp on the sauces (especially the caramel mustard, your D.C. editor's weakness).
340 15th Street SE; 202-450-6067.

Green space is abundant on Capitol Hill, and the SE quadrant is no exception. Make time for evening walks around Lincoln Park to meet your neighbors (including the four-legged ones), and bring a blanket for alfresco afternoon naps.
East Capitol Street SE, between 11th and 13th streets SE; no phone.
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While waterfront views in Georgetown are — let's face it — pretty unattainable, the Navy Yard neighborhood offers the next best thing. With Nationals stadium a few blocks away and waterfront picnics an easy possibility, this is the place for renters who like to keep it low-key and relaxed.
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What We Love About Navy Yard

There are so many apartment buildings going up in this 'hood that it just might be the one place where supply exceeds demand — or at least comes close. Start your search around the Navy Yard metro stop for easy access to Metro's Green line.

Lot 38 Espresso Bar
To refuel, head to Lot 38, where you can grab a latte and a yummy pastry to satisfy your coffee-and-carbs cravings. Snag a table upstairs, where there's free Wi-Fi, to boot.
1001 2nd Street SE; 202-758-0677.
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Yards Park
We've sung the praises of this cool public space before, and for good reason: It's unlike anything else in D.C., and to us, that makes it pretty appealing to a prospective resident. With a sweeping view of the Anacostia River and plenty of opportunities to get your feet wet, the park is an unexpected oasis. Future development plans include three retail and dining pavilions, so you can expect even more good things to come.
355 Water Street SE; no phone.

Canal Park Ice Rink
Soon enough, it'll be too chilly to bask in the sun overlooking the river. When those days arrive, make plans for an ice-skating excursion at Canal Park, where you can meander along the frozen canal at your leisure.
2nd Place SE and M Street SE; 202-554-6051.
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Originally famous for dirt-cheap English basements and a less-than-stellar rep, Petworth has become more and more friendly to renters over the past several years. With coffee shops, bars, and restaurants settling in for the long haul, it's definitely worth a look for the budget-conscious.
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What We Love About Petworth

Qualia Coffee
A great coffeeshop can transform your general area into a place that feels like home — and if you've lived in the District for very long, you know how important that is. Petworth's Qualia Coffee is a favorite among java aficionados; spend some time with the menu to get acquainted with the variety of hot and cold drinks, all made from scratch in-house.
3917 Georgia Avenue NW; 202-248-6423.

No matter where you choose to live, easy access to the city's transportation system is essential. From Petworth, you can hop on Metro's Green or Yellow lines and meet friends at a U Street bar in no time.
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Chez Billy
One of our go-to venues when we want a low-key (but still really fun) night out, Chez Billy is well worth a visit even if you don't end up living nearby. With that trademark ESL cool and plenty of space to eat, drink, and dance, you'll feel like you've wandered into your very own nightlife nirvana.
3815 Georgia Avenue NW; 202-506-2080.

Yes! Organic Market
Every health-conscious shopper needs a place to snag organic fruits, veggies, and other clean-food staples, so making Yes! your regular stop is a no-brainer.
100 Georgia Avenue NW; 202-291-5790
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