DC Wanderings: You’ll Find Nary a Native at this Georgetown Hotspot

Once upon a time, in a showing of bipartisanship never seen before or since in this capital city, all of the residents of Washington got together to discuss an important matter. A vote was taken, and it was unanimous. We were not joining the masses. None of us were ever going to set foot in Georgetown Cupcake.

Okay, that is not true. Or, not entirely true. There was no discussion and no vote, but the decision was somehow made nevertheless. We let the tourists eat DC cupcakes.

My friend Amy and I spent our Labor Day afternoon in Georgetown. I had just returned from Mexico, and it was nice to catch up. Amy and I met when we were assigned as roommates our freshman year of college, and she is one of my best friends all these years later. Anyway, after a wonderful lunch at Il Canale, we took a walk along the old canal path.


Constructed during the nineteenth-century, the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal is very much intact. It connected the Potomac River to Western Maryland, and was used until the 1920s to transport coal. Today, it’s a park, and the old towpath is a running and biking trail that extends for miles. The Georgetown Canal is being redesigned, and I am sure it will be fabulous—but I kind of like it now, while it’s still a little overgrown and rough around the edges.


After our walk, we headed back to the car.  And that’s when we saw this:


Georgetown Cupcake.  Since it opened a decade ago, this has been the situation. No matter what the weather or time of day is, there is a line. A long line. We see it every time we drive down M Street, and someone in the car is sure to remark, “I cannot believe those people are standing out there in this heat/rain/snow just to get a cupcake.”  I have ordered and eaten Georgetown cupcakes, sent them as gifts, and marveled at their beautiful and unfussy design, but I have never placed a leg inside that door. Neither has anyone I know.

So anyway, as Amy and I were walking past, she said, “You should write about how DC doesn’t go to Georgetown Cupcake.”  Hmm, but if I was going to write about it, maybe I should actually, well, go. Did I mention that Amy is an excellent sport?  It was 90 degrees and humid, but we got in line.


While we waited, we pondered why DC residents don’t go to Georgetown Cupcake. The neighborhood is cool, cake is good, and in actuality the line is probably not as long as it looks. Is there something about our city’s power obsession, that makes us particularly averse to the inherent powerlessness of waiting in a line? Do we just avoid so-called tourist traps? (I doubt it, since this doesn’t keep us away from the National Gallery or Bad Saint or the Cherry Blossoms.) It became clear within seven minutes. We were hot. The sun was blazing right on us, and there was no shade in sight. Cupcakes are simply not good enough to wait for, even when they hold the added bonus of a Instaworthy photo. After ten minutes, we bailed.

Maybe it’s for the best. I need to stick with my DC peeps. And we don’t go to Georgetown Cupcake.


2 thoughts on “DC Wanderings: You’ll Find Nary a Native at this Georgetown Hotspot

  1. You won’t see me standing in line at the Magnolias Silos Bakery in Waco, Texas to get one of Joanna’s pastry treats either!! Too hot there also!!

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