Originally Posted by Huntsman
Tell me about the following: Places for good coffee/breakfast, any great places to purchase foodstuffs, good neighborhoods to wander into a restaurant (U street is my only lead here), and best places to canvass for great wine/spirits (is MD/VA/DC better?) Any good outlets for sartorial interests?
ALSO: tell me about the DC thrifting scene. My gf is an intense thrifter, and if there are some cool spots, I'd love to go -- feel free to PM as I'll only be there a little while and won't spoil it!
I don't drink coffee, and usually cook breakfast for myself, so I can't help you there. P&C Market on Lincoln Park is a nice little food store, high quality products and not too expensive. Hana Japanese Market on U is a fun place to find all kind of obscure imported food items. Eastern Market is kind of a big deal in DC; I don't like it that much, but I suppose it would be worthwhile for you to check out and decide for yourself.
Barrack's Row seems to be a hot spot for restaurants the past year or two; I tend to find most of the options there to be middling and overpriced, however. The 14th St corridor (Logan Circle area) has some nice spots and will be opening about a dozen restaurants this summer, many from well-established chefs or dining groups, so that would be a good strip for a culinary adventure. I also enjoy the Shaw/Bloomingdale area a lot, though many would consider it rough around the edges still-- but it's home to my favorite Ethiopian joint (Zenebech).
Schneider's on the Hill is my usual spot for booze since it's close to my place, but I've also had success with Calvert-Woodley and Central Liquors (only place I was able to find Pimento Dram). Though I'm mostly a beer/whiskey guy, I have heard great things about Weygandt in Cleveland Park for wine specifically.
Regarding "thrifting," the women I know who check out the second-hand circuit in DC tell me that things tend to be over-priced at such stores in this city. So pretty much par for the course, really. I'll ask my lady-friends for best suggestions and let you know.