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Neighborhood Spotlight: Mount Pleasant


BY: BEN GUTMAN, STAFF WRITER

PHOTOS BY: NICO ARTIGA-OLIVER, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

One of the most diverse neighborhoods in the District, Mt. Pleasant is located in Northwest D.C. With Adams Morgan to the south and Columbia Heights to the east, Mt. Pleasant is at times overshadowed by two of D.C.’s most popular neighborhoods. However, within Mt. Pleasant sits eight blocks of unique restaurants, small businesses, and neighborhood traditions.

The influx of Central American immigrants starting in the 1960s, specifically from El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, helped establish Mt. Pleasant as one of the only recognizable ethnic neighborhoods in D.C.

Although not formally acknowledged, Mt. Pleasant is D.C.’s Little El Salvador, boasting an array of Salvadoran eateries and markets. Located on the corner of Irving and Mt. Pleasant Streets, “Ercilia’s” is home to Mt. Pleasant’s best pupusas and other Salvadoran cuisine.

Other restaurants known for their ethnic Salvadoran food include “Haydees” on the other side of Irving and Mt. Pleasant Street and “Don Juan” located at Lamont and Mt. Pleasant Street.

Pupusas are not the only delicacy of Mt. Pleasant. Located at 3221 Mt. Pleasant Street is D.C.’s most famous bakery. The historic Heller’s Bakery opened in 1922 and is known for their 95-cent glazed doughnuts.

If doughnuts aren’t your thing, just cross the street to Lamont Park for fresh produce and fruit at the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market, set up every Saturday Morning from 9 am to 1 pm.

Mt. Pleasant is also home to a variety of activities, including Lamont Park’s popular fall outdoor movie festival, which takes place every other Friday night during the fall season.

More active types are guaranteed to find a competitive pick-up soccer game any night at Bancroft Elementary, located on 18th Street. Finally, the newly renovated library at Lamont and 16th is one of the nicest libraries in D.C. and is a great quiet place to study or read.

As appeared in the October 25 issue of  The Beacon