Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights is a bustling, thriving neighborhood in northwest D.C.

Welcome to Columbia Heights

Bustling neighborhood with a large park and good restaurants

Columbia Heights is a bustling, thriving neighborhood in northwest D.C. Columbia Heights was originally named for Columbian College, later renamed George Washington University. The college moved out of the neighborhood in the early 20th century, and its former campus became Meridian Hill Park. Columbia Heights is home to cultural attractions, several embassies, and a selection of trendy bars and restaurants lining 11th Street, described in the New York Times as Columbia Heights’ Hip Strip. Columbia Heights is a diverse neighborhood with an eclectic housing stock. The real estate mix includes grand turn-of-the-century mansions, charming historic row houses, and attractive contemporary townhouses and condominiums.

What to Love

  • Diverse culture 
  • Eclectic architecture 
  • 11th Street dining scene 
  • Meridian Hill Park

People & Lifestyle

Columbia Heights is one of D.C.’s most diverse neighborhoods. The area has long been steeped in African-American and Hispanic culture. Duke Ellington and Marvin Gaye both lived in the neighborhood, while Columbia Heights’ Hispanic legacy is celebrated at the GALA Hispanic Theatre and Mexican Cultural Institute. Columbia Heights is a convenient neighborhood where it’s easy to get around on foot or by bike. There’s a Capital Bikeshare station near the Metro. Columbia Heights’ hilltop location makes it easy to ride to other neighborhoods.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

11th Street is teeming with great dining choices covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Standouts include Bad Saint, a Michelin Guide recommended Filipino restaurant with dynamic dishes, chic décor, and great cocktails. Queen’s English offers authentic Cantonese cuisine riffing on the traditional cooking of Hong Kong’s rural Northern Territories. Start the day with breakfast or lunch at The Coupe. The Coupe stays open 24 hours a day, transforming from a refined coffee shop with an excellent all-day breakfast by day to a sleek gastropub with specialty cocktails at night. Room 11 is another excellent 11th Street eatery with a double life as a daytime coffee house and cool nighttime cocktail spot. Other highlights include creative Mexican taqueria fare and margaritas at El Chuco and delicious Neapolitan pizzas at RedRocks.

On nearby 14th Street, Trip Khao serves classic cocktails and creative interpretations of spicy traditional Laotian cuisine. Pho 14 on Park Road is an unassuming Vietnamese eatery with fantastic pho and banh mi. The Wonderland Ballroom is a favorite neighborhood hangout with a great beer selection, elevated gastropub eats, and weekly happenings such as comedy nights, DJ-led dance parties, and live music. Wonderland Ballroom’s bohemian beer garden is the perfect place to enjoy a cold drink on a hot day.

DC USA is the city’s largest shopping mall. This sprawling contemporary retail center features big box stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Marshalls, Modell’s Sporting Goods, and Target.

Things to Do

Meridian Hill Park is one of D.C.’s most beloved and historic public spaces. The park features a gorgeous Italian Renaissance-style plaza and tiered fountain with cascading waterfalls leading into a reflecting pool. Other features include statues of famous figures such as Joan of Arc, Dante, and President James Buchanan. Since 1965, a drum circle has gathered in the park each Sunday afternoon during the warmer months. The drum circle was started to celebrate black liberation after the death of Malcolm X, leading to Meridian Hill Park’s alternative name of Malcolm X Park. Meridian Hill Park is part of the sprawling 1,754-acre greenspace of Rock Creek Park.

The Tivoli Theatre is a 1920s Italian Renaissance Revival movie palace that has been home to the GALA Hispanic Theatre since 2005. GALA stages Spanish-language productions with live English translation. The theatre also hosts other Latin cultural performers such as South American musicians and Spanish flamenco dancers. Columbia Heights’ Latin American heritage is also celebrated at the Mexican Cultural Institute. Housed within the former Mexican Embassy, the Mexican Cultural Institute features art exhibitions, cooking classes, and concerts.

Schools

Columbia Heights is served by the District of Columbia Public School District. 

  • Bancroft Elementary School at Sharpe, Public, PK-5
  • Ross Elementary School, Public, PK-5
  • Emerson Preparatory School, Private, 9-12
  • St. Augustine Catholic School, Private, Roman Catholic, 1-8
  • Sacred Heart School, Private, Roman Catholic, PK-8

Work With Us

Each of us also represents our neighborhood well, taking on leadership and activism roles. We are here to provide you with the same unparalleled service that each of us expects in our own lives.