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Washington D.C. intern guide: Housing, eats and bars essential to living in the capital

Washington, D.C. is the straight up intern capital of the world every summer, as well-dressed, sweaty college kids sprint around Capitol Hill running errands for whatever and whomever in the most powerful city in the world. Between the politics, the law firms and pretty much everything else, Philly college students will be all over DC come June. And they will all (aim to) look something like this:

There are few things as important to surviving a low-paid (or unpaid) summer internship than housing, food and booze, as long as you remember to budget like an intern. Here’s a look at what you need to know while planning your temporary move to the beautiful Washington, D.C.:

Housing

There are so many interns in Washington every summer that there is actually a large housing program specifically for them. For two decades, the Washington Intern Student Housing program has been putting up college kids in residences close to the Hill. More on that here. 

Here’s a look at a few other areas you could look at, but know Washington D.C. has a lot of areas to offer:

Any of the colleges

Between Georgetown, American and George Washington, you have plenty of options of shacking up in a dorm on a campus in DC for the summer. You can find information on what the colleges offer here.

Adams Morgan

This kinda hipster, culturally diverse neighborhood in northwest D.C. is moderately priced. Apartments here are common but in high demand.

Cleveland Park

This is a residential area in the northwestern part of the city and is about a 15-minute Metro ride to the center of D.C.

Columbia Heights

This neighborhood in the northwest quadrant of Washington D.C. is near Howard University and is a popular stop on the Metro. The area also has a new, large shopping area that’d be within walking distance from you.

Dupont Circle

This lively area south of Adams Morgan is likely to have a ton of options in terms of apartments or open rooms in townhomes.

Foggy Bottom

This area that’s west of downtown D.C. is partially occupied by George Washington University and offers a variety of eating and shopping options in and around the neighborhood.

NoMa

This neighborhood, named because it’s north of Massachusetts Avenue, is the area just north of the Capitol, where Union Station is located.

Takoma

This neighborhood is a good option for you if your internship is near Union Station or Dupont Circle because you’ll be a short ride on the Metro away. This eclectic area in northern D.C. will have options for you.

Food

There is just such an exorbitant amount of food options in Washington D.C. that we can’t possibly highlight all the great ones. We picked out one from each of these categories and linked to the rest:

Pizza

Comet Ping Pong: This restaurant in the northwestern part of the city has free ping-pong and some of the best thin-crust pizza you can find — it also comes in individual pies.

Burger

Good Stuff Eatery: Get the Spike’s Sunnyside burger that’s complete with fresh cheese, applewood bacon and a fried egg with special sauce. YUM.

Food trucks

Red Hook Lobster DC: This popular food truck serves up ridiculously New England-tasting Lobster Rolls and is one of the most well-visited food trucks in D.C. Check out their Twitter to see where they park.

Brunch

Fiola Mare: This upscale brunch spot in the northwestern area of D.C. offers signature cocktails, traditional brunch favorites, seafood and pasta.

Bars

You and your best new intern friends will undoubtedly go to bro-y intern hubs like The Mad Hatter, McFadden’s and Sign of the Whale, and while there’s nothing inherently *wrong* with these places, there are others. Promise!

We picked out the best from each category and gave you a link to a place that breaks down more:

Dive

The Red Derby: This place in Petworth isn’t the diviest of dive bars, but it does offer cheap canned beers, Jenga and whole bunch of different beer and shot combo deals. And a rooftop/outdoor area.

Club

9:30 Club: The concert and dance hall in the U Street Corridor has four bars and one of the largest dance floors in the D.C. area. Just make sure you get tickets in advance if there’s a show that night.

Outdoor

Le Diplomate: This Logan Circle watering hole has a fantastic outdoor patio that is allllways packed. They’ve also got a bangin’ burger.

College-y

Local 16: Can you even remember what you did last night? This bar in the U Street Corridor is good for getting hammered and pretending like you weren’t there.

Sports bar

Penn Social: The place in Penn Quarter has four 22-foot projection screens. ‘Nuff said.

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