How to Explore Washington, D.C. Like Vice President Kamala Harris
From Howard University to Florina, this guide will take you behind the scenes at some of Madam Vice President’s favorite local hangouts.
Vice President Kamala Harris may just be getting settled into her new role as the nation's first female VP, but she's certainly no newcomer to D.C. The Howard University graduate first got acquainted with what was once known as "Chocolate City'' in the 1980s, and then later, once she became cemented in history (for the first time) when she was elected to the United States Senate. And well, you know the rest. Now she's the highest-ranking woman in American politics, with multiple D.C. office addresses to match.
Over the years we've gotten glimpses into some of her favorite hotspots through social media (and no, they don't only include Capitol Hill and the West Wing), and though California may be her first love, we can definitely tell there's an affair going on with D.C. And it comes as no surprise, with so much that the city has to offer. From new hotel openings such as the AC Hotel Washington D.C. Convention Center, Hotel Zena and The Ven at Embassy Row, to the $211 million renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, to a plethora of delicious dining, free museums and attractions, there's a reason Washington D.C. is one of the most top-ranked travel destinations of 2021.
Perhaps as foreshadowing for what was to come, Harris bought a two-bedroom condo for $1.7 million the same year she joined the Senate, making herself right at home for these next four (or eight years) in Washington. So the next time you plan a trip to Washington D.C., bookmark these places she's visited, so you can take in the city like a Vice President.
Cork Wine Bar
Add "wine snob" to Kamala Harris' already impressive list of accolades. According to the Cork Wine Bar owner Khalid Pitts, "She can talk about differences between California oak and French oak." Harris hosted a holiday party for staff there in 2019 and has been known to frequent the bar. So much so that they even refer to themselves as "The Official Wine Bar of Kamala Harris for VP," according to the Washingtonian.
The Lincoln Memorial
Despite her packed schedule, Vice President Harris still manages to find time to get in her fitness by jogging up and down the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial during her "off" hours. But, are you ever really "off" as VP?
Dog Tag Bakery
Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff visited Dog Tag Bakery back in November 2020 in honor of Veterans Day to speak with several veteran alumni from Dog Tag's fellowship program for veterans. Service with a side of scone? What better combo.
As one of most elite upscale restaurants at D.C.'s Wharf, it's no surprise that Kamala Harris would frequent this capital hotspot. Serving wide-open, 360-degree waterfront views and coastal-inspired cuisine, the menu is fit for royalty — or even a Vice President.
No trip to D.C. would be complete without a visit to "The Mecca." Harris is the first graduate of a historically black college or university to serve in the role as vice president, and Howard alums do not take it lightly. In fact, it was her time here that set the course for where she is today. It was here the first time Harris ran for office — and she won then too. She was elected freshman representative to a student council for liberal arts majors at Howard University, later graduating from the institution in 1986. Harris isn't the only famous Black alumni. The school has also matriculated the likes of the late Chadwick Boseman, Taraji P. Henson, Sean "Diddy" Combs, and more.
Blue Duck Tavern
It's only right the Veep would have a list of go-to spots near her home — and Blue Duck Tavern is at the top. Harris has previously been spotted dining with a group of friends and acquaintances. Want a VP spotting? This is your best bet.
Floriana, an Italian restaurant in DuPont Circle, knows how to attract a Vice President. It's simple: put up a 16-foot "Kamala Tree" during the holidays with over 18,000 lights, cut-outs of President Joe Biden, and American flags. Voila! You'll have the VP at your door in no time.
White wine… with ice cubes? That's Kamala Harris' special drink, if you're looking for menu options at Mirabelle, D.C.'s premiere French restaurant. Former bartender Zac Hoffman previously spilled tea on when Harris once asked him for a cup of ice so she could drop cubes into her white wine. If she likes it, we of course, love it.
Farmers and Distillers
Farmers and Distillers is a food lovers paradise. Served from family-farmed products, the menu is brought by restaurateurs Mike Vucurevich and Dan Simons. Oh, and did we mention it's even got a micro-batch distillery inside? As one of D.C.'s hidden (in plain sight) gems, we can understand why Kamala Harris would visit around lunch time and sit in a private area towards the back of the restaurant — we like to cherish our favorites, too.