Best Washington DC Businesses With Art Galleries

August 12, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: One Lounge

The District is brimming with places to experience local art. Outside of the galleries and museums, local fine art is readily available in unexpected ways. Local art finds us at the intersection of our everyday lives — in our offices, in our homes, on our streets and especially in our Washingtonian dining experiences. Whether you’re in the mood for an elegant dinner at one of Dupont’s hottest spots, a quick bite and coffee at a favorite local hangout in Adams Morgan or even a blend of both worlds in the quirky cool U Street district, art is readily available for your consumption along with delicious foodie favorites. Many local restaurants have embraced this philosophy and have opened their hearts and their walls to the unpredictable expressive nature of local artists. These local businesses provide unique ways to experience local fine art while stylishly dining out around town.

Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-7638

Delicious, natural food for the soul is not the only tantalizing appeal of Busboys and Poets — the restaurant also displays local art in a variety of mediums. Busboys and Poets’ groovy eclectic atmosphere and appetizing allure is partially credited to the array of artwork donning the walls, ceilings and sometimes even the floors. The restaurant is a delightfully colorful hodgepodge of artistic and culinary expression. The owner is committed to supporting the art scene in and around the District. Busboys and Poets is a local gem providing great opportunities for DC-area artists to be seen and heard.

Related: Best Places To Buy Local Art For Less Than $100 in DC

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Local art can be found in unassuming places (Credit, Kayleigh Bryant)

Local 16
1602 U St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-2828

A stylish spot in mid-city, Local 16 combines festive cuisine with alternative art. Much of the artwork at Local 16 presents diners with witty, satirical entertainment. The iconic Mickey Mouse flipping the bird psychedelic painting has greeted visitors on their way to the outdoor deck bar for ages. Local 16’s commitment to the local arts scene extends to it hosting occasional art events with local arts consultancies, like ArtSee. These occasional art events provide Local 16’s customers with exclusive exposure to new art by emerging artists.

One Lounge
1606 20th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 299-0909

One Lounge became a fast neighborhood favorite in Dupont Circle after opening a few years ago. The restaurant and bar is a very stylish spot to sip a fabulous cocktail and enjoy some great nouveau American cuisine, while surrounded by lavishly art-decorated walls. One Lounge shows a variety of artwork, mostly paintings, but in various styles. The art-clad walls add to the style, sophistication and beauty of the restaurant and makes it fit in perfectly with the gallery district that Dupont has become.

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Art at Tryst (Credit, Kayleigh Bryant)

2459 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-5500

Along with a lengthy drink menu and great food, Tryst presents changing temporary exhibits throughout the year. Many local arts groups have hosted their events here surrounded by the eclectic furniture and easy-going energy of Tryst. The restaurant’s alternative gallery space functions as a real gallery where customers can inquire about the art and purchase art. These spontaneous art engagements bring artists, art and art lovers of all varieties together. Displaying local art adds to the comfortable yet stimulating coffee shop feel of Tryst.

Related: Best Underground Music and Arts in the DC Area

Kayleigh Bryant is a D.C. native, traveler, foodie, artist and frequent museum visitor. Her lifelong fascination with art has moved her to explore the themes, techniques and media artists have employed to express their ideas. Kayleigh has earned a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History. Her work can be found on

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