Washington DC Shopping: Landmark Independent Bookstores

There is a lot of Washington D.C. Shopping to do, when visiting the nation's capital. Book enthusiasts are in luck because D.C. offers some of the best independent bookstores in the nation. While staying at a Washington D.C. Bed and Breakfast, BBOnline recommends these 3 top choices: Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill, Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffee Shop, and Busboys and Poets.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill
1517 Connecticut Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 387-1400

Located on top of the Dupont Circle metro station, this landmark independent bookstore has been part of the Dupont Circle shopping scene in Washington D.C. since 1976. Kramerbooks is more than a bookstore. It's also a restaurant and a cafe, so it's no surprise that critics always highly regard this establishment as one for a great date or a just a lazy afternoon. Kramerbooks opens daily from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. but BBOnline highly recommends that you call (202) 387-3825 (this number goes directly to the hostess of the Afterwords Cafe & Grill) to make a reservation if you plan to have dinner, lunch or brunch and your party is 6 or more. Both establishments are entirely non-smoking. One of the brunch specialties of the Afterwords Cafe & Grill is the Pork Chop with red eye gravy and grits.

Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffee Shop
5015 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 364-1919

Co-owners Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade established Politics and Prose back in 1984, and have been so successful that they eventually merged with another local children's bookstore called Cheshire Cat. It's now operated on a more than 13,000 square foot space that combines a bookstore with offices and a coffee shop. Politics and Prose works hard to please its customers that want to take a break away from all the Washington D.C. shopping and sit down comfortably with a good read. Open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. BBOnline recommends that you ask for the Book of the Week, because the staff at Politics and Prose take it seriously to select it. It doesn't hurt that the Book of the Week gets a 20% discount. It has more than 70 different book groups that meet either on a monthly or weekly basis. Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffee Shop is the kind of place where you can spend a whole day before going back to your Washington D.C. Inn for some well deserved rest and relaxation.

Busboys and Poets
2021 14th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
Phone: (202) 387-7638

This is a new independent bookstore in Washington, D.C., established in 2005. The meteoric rise of Busboys and Poets has been such that they have 2 locations already (the second one is at 1025 5th Street N.W.). The establishment at 14th Street is housed within the Langston Lofts, a building that stands out in D.C.'s U Street Corridor and the whole Washington D.C. Shopping scene. The U Street Corridor has a rich history of cultural activity, with historic venues such as the Lincoln Theater, and this Busboys and Poets seeks to re-energize that artistic tradition. The curious name of this independent bookstore comes from the fact that American poet Langston Hughes made a living as a busboy before becoming a well known poet. Langston's name is also used on the main room of Busboys and Poets, where about 100 guests can enjoy different kinds of performances and a great party atmosphere.