ask Inés about
cocktail bars • museums • viewpoints • ethnic food • beer gardens • public art • music venues
What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm a Latin America Analyst focused on political risk and security.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Edith Piaf's everything and all French music from that period. Let the nostalgia wash away the pain?
What are the best TV shows of all time?
This is hard question! I'm currently hooked with The Americans. It's such a great show... and such a well-timed/thought-through soundtrack!
Name some spots in Washington DC that are good for a Tinder date.
Hmm... Leopold's Kafe is a great spot (you can find it in my map!) When the weather is right try to steal a table by the fountain in the patio. This place has the right amount of noise. Loud enough to not make it awkward and be able to have a private conversation, but you won't have to shout over the music and into your potential lover's ear either.
Who’s your hero and where in Washington DC would you take them out for a serious hang?
My hero: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I'd take her to Radici for a nice cup of coffee and a light lunch and then to Capitol Hill Books (see my map) and ask for book recommendations. It'd be epic.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Ah! glad you asked. Everything COS is to die for. And their sales are the absolute best. Uniqlo is also a go-to for me.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
I avoid the nightclubs located around Downtown and Connecticut Ave. If you are into clubbing there are a few good spots you don't want to miss: 9:30 Club for good live music, El Centro for some latin beats, Flash if you are into techno, and Town is a great gay nightclub.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Wander around Rock Creek Park, specially during the Fall. It's one of those things as a local you never get around to doing... I'd also like to visit the US National Arboretum.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Washington DC and where did you get it?
Do cocktails count as a dish? I will, and will recommend Bar Mini. Cocktails there are ridiculously extravagant (in a good way).
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Washington DC? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
The "kaiseki" dinner at Sushi Taro (chef decides what to feed you, reservation required) is a great experience. This place has the best sushi in DC. A kaiseki dinner ranges from $90 to $245 per person, if you want the sake pairings. Expensive, but oh so good!
What restaurant in Washington DC looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
If you like Ethiopian/Eritrean food, or are willing to try it, Keren is a great no-frills place. Food is great, service is perfect, prices are impressive.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Washington DC? Which one do you like?
There's no question about it. Mezcaleria Espita is great. Their cocktails are all mezcal based, though. So beware!
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Washington DC?
Many people recommend POV (rooftop @ W hotel) The views are nice, but it's SO expensive and touristy it's become a little lame... I also recommend avoiding one of DC's staples: themed pop-up bars (GoT, cherry blossoms, Harry Potter, etc.) People stand in line for hours just to get in, get a selfie and a lousy drink, and leave. Not worth your time...!
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Washington DC?
The Hillwood Museum and State. For some reason I just found out about this place. It used to be the house of the heiress to the Post Cereal fortune, who apparently came to be the wealthiest woman in the US for a while. She was a huge French and most notably Russian art collector, and the objects on display are amazing! The house itself is breathtaking too and the gardens are really pretty. Amazingly enough, no one seems to know about this hidden gem, maybe because it's a little far away from the usual touristic places.
What are the Washington DC spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
We all know and love Smithsonian museums. They are good, they are pretty, they are all very conveniently located close to one another, and they are free. But there are so many of them, so I'd prioritize and definitely wouldn't miss the National Gallery of Art. You also have to visit the most popular monuments: Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Washington DC. How do you spend it?
This would be such a sad situation! I'd definitely start by going to Union Market for breakfast, visit the National Gallery of Art (specially the East Building!) at noon, late lunch at Daikaya (ramen!), stroll around the Mall before dusk and watch the sunset, and finish it off with some good bar hopping around Shaw/U street
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Mexico City! I was fortunate enough to grow up there, so I've never really taken a "vacation" there, but the city is just so much fun (and gets such a bad rap) that I brag about it every time I get. There's so much to do, so much beautiful chaos, the sounds, the smells, THE FOOD!!! It can be a little overwhelming (22 million people live in and around the city) but if you take your time to visit, you will not be disappointed, nor bored!