Spring has (finally) sprung in DC, and with it, thousands of beautiful cherry blossoms and a stubborn unwillingness to do any work. At least, that’s the case for me.
Now if you want to go all out for spring (and you know I do), it’s not enough to just visit the mall and take a pretty Instagram of cherry blossoms with the Jefferson memorial in the background. You have to taste the cherry blossom festival. How, you ask? Trying one (or more) of these incredibly creative cherry blossom-themed treats.
The festival ends April 12th, as do many of these specials, so get out there, see the trees and chow down right now.
1. Cherry Blossom Milk Shake
Where to get it: Good Stuff Eatery
Good Stuff Eatery may be best known for its burgers, but their shakes are even better. Good Stuff’s shake of the month for April is cherry blossom, made with hand-spun vanilla ice cream and fresh cherry puree. Good Stuff shakes are thick, creamy and just generally good stuff. Grab a shake and walk to the monuments to celebrate the festival in the tastiest of ways.
2. Cherry Blossom Pizza
Where to get it: Pizzeria Paradiso
Pizzeria Paradiso serves up creative, artisanal pizzas for a reasonable price. The cherry blossom pizza is particularly innovative though, featuring cherry pesto, cherries, homemade chicken sausage and local cheddar. And if that isn’t enough to satisfy your cherry craving, you’re in luck – Pizzeria Paradiso currently has several cherry beers on draft and in the bottle.
3. Cherry Blossom Gin Rickey
Where to get it: Rural Society
It is literally worth going to Rural Society, a downtown Argentine restaurant, for their bread basket alone. However Rural Society is also offering a cherry blossom gin rickey in honor of the festival, a refreshing twist on the DC-original gin rickey. The Rural Society version features gin, lime juice, hibiscus simple syrup and brandied cherries and “is layered with juniper, sweet floral notes, and balanced acidity.” Happy hour, anyone?
4. Chocolate Cherry Cheese Ice Cream Sandwich
Where to get it: GCDC
If you’ve never been to (or heard of) GCDC, it’s time to change that. GCDC is a classy grilled cheese bar serving up classics like caramelized onions & gruyere and American cheese, tomato & bacon build-your-own grilled cheeses, as well as an impressive selection of tots. Their cherry blossom specials include their homemade chocolate cherry cheese ice cream sandwiches pictured above. Yes please.
5. Cherry Sangria
Where to get it: GCDC
In addition to ice cream sandwiches, GCDC is offering a cherry sangria made with red wine, cherry juice, blood orange and pomegranate for a very reasonable $5 per glass or $13 for a carafe. Again, happy hour anyone?
6. Cherry Blossom and Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Where to get it: Georgetown Cupcake
Georgetown Cupcake is offering a cherry blossom cupcake, a vanilla cake with cherries folded into it (pictured) and a cherry cheesecake with a graham cracker crust, both topped with cherry-infused vanilla cream cheese frosting. I’ve already consumed my fair share of cherry blossom cupcakes over the years, and I couldn’t be more excited for the cheesecake. Do yourself a favor and come in on a weekday morning to avoid the rush.
7. Milk Chocolate Cherry Mousse Bar
Where to get it: Founding Farmers
Founding Farmers, an incredibly popular farm-to-table restaurant and a brunch favorite among Georgetown students, is offering a creamy chocolate mousse bar served with vanilla bean ice cream and cherry compote for the festival. If you want to try this before the festival is over (and you know you do), I suggest making a reservation right now.
Hungry for more? Here’s the exhaustive list of DC restaurants doing it up for the cherry blossom festival. Now get out there and enjoy the festival!