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10 Must-Order Foods and Drinks at Union Market

From barbecue platters to dosas, customers can sate nearly every craving at the Northeast dining hub

A vegetable-topped dosa at DC Dosa.
DC Dosa/Facebook
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Union Market has officially risen as a food lovers’ mecca, giving many a valid reason to frequently trek it to its industrial Northeast neighborhood.

With Indian dosas, Korean tacos, and barbecue galore to choose from across its 50-plus food stalls, the options are near endless. Also, don’t forget about Bidwell (inside the market), neighboring upscale Italian spot Masseria, or stellar Italian hoagie spot A. Litteri. And stay tuned for James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr’s St. Anselm steak restaurant coming later this year.

Navigating the intense current culinary lineup can be intimidating for first timers. To help out, Eater has assembled a list of 10 destination dishes and drinks to try now at Union Market.

Buffalo and Bergen: The meal-in-one Lox’D and Loaded Bloody Mary, topped with lox and cream cheese sandwiched by an everything bagel, continues to be a huge hit, but its In your Face breakfast sandwich — with spicy Italian salami, fresh mozzarella, pesto, and a fried sunny egg— has also exploded in popularity since appearing on Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise.”

District Fishwife: Fish fans come for tuna poke, but they’re also hooked on the shrimp donburi, salmon burger, and fish and chips.

Tuna poke at District Fishwife.
District Fishwife [official photo]

DC Dosa: South Indian street food thrives at this stall, where signature dosas are made from different lentils, filled with vegetables, and topped with chutneys. Other perks: they’re gluten-free and plant based.

Puddin: Comfort food is the name of the game at this food truck-turned-food hall outfit. A top seller is the chicken ‘n beef sausage gumbo, and of course, its namesake brown butter bourbon bread puddin’.

Sloppy Mama’s: The four-year-old barbecue company’s Union Market locale features favorites like St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork, and corn bread. Its top seller is the two-meat platter, with carnivorous offerings like turkey, house made sausages, duck, lamb and goat available on a rotating basis.

Napkins are needed for this Sloppy Mama’s sandwich.
Sloppy Mama’s [official photo]

Toli Moli: The dessert drink Falooda, commonly served in Asia and the Middle East, is the specialty here. The treat includes house-made jellos and syrups topped with milk, ice cream, and an array of toppings. The Royal Falooda is filled with pomegranate-ginger jellies, basil seeds, rice noodle pudding, almond milk, and vanilla ice cream, with silvered almonds, pumpkin seeds, and rose water syrup as toppings. More recently, coconut noodles and a Tandoori chicken sandwich have become edible hits.

Toli Moli’s Falooda lineup.
Farrah Skeiky/Dim Sum Media

Gorsha: Fast-casual Ethiopian eatery puts a modern spin on its traditional cuisine, with injera pockets and bowls topped with red lentils, yellow split peas. and shiro sauce, as well as corn salsa, pickled shallots and fermented cucumbers. Tack on berbere chicken, braised lamb, and yellowfin tuna, as well as Berbere Salt or Awaze sauce.

Arepa Zone: A top destination dish is the pabellón cachaca, a sweet corn pancake with venezuelan queso de mano cheese, sweet plantains, black beans, and shredded beef.

Takorean: The Korean-Mexican stall offers a variety of combinations of rice bowls, salads, and tacos. Guests can choose their favorite protein, slaws, sauces, and toppings. But the Bulgogi Taco, featuring thin slices of beef marinated in a sweet-and-spicy soy-based sauce and topped with a kimchi long hails as the favorite combo.

Assorted dishes at Takorean.
Takorean [official photo]

Red Apron: Meat lovers flock here for all kinds of burgers, but its classic RA Burger (cheddar, pickles, shredded iceburg, onion, island sauce, tomato) is a top hit, for $10.50; ramp up the meat intake with bacon for $2 more. (Its beef fat fries with garlic and rosemary for $4.25 pair well).

Union Market

1309 5th Street Northeast, , DC 20002 (202) 902-2633 Visit Website