• Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/groovysoup/4371100480/">Ben's Chili Bowl</a> by Dave Newman

U Street Corridor

Home-style Ethiopian food, offbeat boutiques, and live music are fueling the revival of the U Street, Logan Circle, and Shaw areas. This part of the District once survived on memories of its heyday as a center of Black culture and jazz music in the first half of the 20th century; now it's a vibrant, food-savvy restaurant and nightlife destination.

The area was especially vibrant from the 1920s to the 1950s, when it was home to jazz genius Duke Ellington, social activist Mary McLeod Bethune, and poets Langston Hughes and Georgia Douglas Johnson. In the 1950s, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, then still a lawyer, organized the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case at the 12th Street YMCA. Now, murals and artwork speckled across the Shaw neighborhood reflect the art and artists that added to the town's vibrancy, among a lively resurgence of culture, cuisine, and nightlife.

U Street has become a nightlife destination with music venues and theaters, but Shaw and Logan Circle have emerged as the new restaurants strips for fantastic and niche culinary experiences.

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