It’s a combination flea market, artist’s gallery, farmer’s market, antique bazaar, flowers shop, bakery and butcher shop spread over a couple blocks. Think of it as a big and somewhat whacky “town center meets mega garage sale”.
The market is actually comprised of a building with two large halls (north & south) which services as a food market and community center and its grounds plus a large parking lot across the street which houses the weekend open air flea market.
The market building, completed just 8 years after the end of the Civil War, is situated on a tree lined street in the historic Capital Hill neighborhood. It’s the last fresh food and farmers market that is still in operation in the District. The building has been designated as a National Historical Landmark.
As part of Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s initial plan for the new Capital City, he wanted to ensure the public had reliable access to fresh food and produce. The first such market which opening in 1802 was located where the Capitol Building now sits.
It was moved in 1812 to East Capitol St. and after the British burned down the Capitol in 1814, the Supreme Court, which had previously held court in the Capital Building, moved their next term to the to the East Capitol Street market.
Today, it acts as an unofficial town center for “The Hill”, and bustles with activity as it has since it first opened in 1873.
There are many nearby restaurants ranging from casual to more elegant that serve weekend brunch and lunch so you can make an afternoon out of your visit.
Some local trivia: The site was used last month for a location shoot for the production of the next in the Die Hard movie series staring Bruce Willis.
Farmer’s market and fresh food in the South Hall is open Tuesday – Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weekend flea and arts & crafts market – on the grounds and the parking lot across the street is open only on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Eastern Market is closed on Mondays.
Nearest Metro subway station
Eastern Market station – Blue and Orange lines.
Street parking is available, if you’re willing to look a bit.