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Brightwood Community Guide A quiet, diverse neighborhood that's entirely residential.

History and Flavor

Located in the northernmost part of Washington, DC, the neighborhood of Brightwood has a small population of about 16,000 people. No metro station is easily accessible, there are no strip malls or major destinations within general walking distance, and there are certainly no hipster coffee shops or bruncheries. Instead, the neighborhood is reserved, affordable, family-friendly, quiet, and undisturbed.

Brightwood is a quiet neighborhood, but it isn’t without its history. Fort Stevens was here in 1864 when 20,000 Confederate soldiers were repelled by the Union soldiers. There remains a plaque and a park at the site of the battle. There is still a running spring in the neighborhood discovered in 1756, and in 1909, the first flight by helicopter took place in Brightwood.

The neighborhood is nearly entirely residential and is home to a mix of middle-aged or retired people and some young professionals.

Nearly every house in Brightwood is built out of bricks or is designed according to older, more traditional architectural styles. Most people here don’t build new additions or try to renovate their homes; they’d rather keep up the homes they have owned for decades and keep the history of the buildings alive.

As a result, walking through Brightwood will reveal various styles and buildings, from Art Deco to Colonial and everything in between. Brightwood could be a good fit for your next home if older architecture or building history interests you.


Music & Parks

  • Takoma Station Tavern Soul, jazz & various other artists play on a small stage in a cozy space with pub food & a full bar.
  • DC9 Nightclub– Tri-level hipster hangout with a snug basement bar, music stage with dance parties & rooftop deck.
  • Karma DC Live Music Venue– A truly unique venue. An old warehouse feel with a vast stage and hookah lounge. The ambiance is casual, and the music is always great. This is a cool spot for a night out!
  • 9:30 Club– A nightclub and concert venue in Washington, D.C. In 2018 the 9:30 Club was named one of the ten best live music venues in America by Rolling Stone, and in 2019 the club was named “Venue of the Decade” by VenuesNow.
  • Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society– Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society is a not-for-profit jazz club in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC. Unless otherwise noted, all shows are $5 at the door (cash only).
  • Emery Heights Park– Playground with lots of fun equipment for the kids.
  • Lorenzo Larry Allen Memorial Park– Small park with walkways, seating, and green space.
  • Missouri Ave Park– Here you’ll find a baseball diamond, football field, and some exciting playground equipment to keep the children busy.


Popular Shopping and Eats

  • Prime Thrift The first store opened in 1951 in San Antonio to support American Veterans. Twenty years later, the first DC store opened as Prime Thrift supports veterans in The District.
  • Rhode Island Ave Shopping Center– Unfussy strip mall with discount grocery & clothing stores, a nail salon & automotive services.
  • DC USA– DC USA is an 890,000-square-foot retail development in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. A Washington City Paper poll named DC USA the “Best Designed Retail Space” of 2009. The development is adjacent to the Columbia Heights station on the Yellow and Green Lines of the Washington Metro.
  • CityCenterDC– CityCenterDC is a mixed-use development consisting of two condominium buildings, two rental apartment buildings, two office buildings, a luxury hotel, and a public park in downtown Washington, D.C. It encompasses 2,000,000 square feet and covers more than five city blocks.
  • Mita Ethio-Japanese Cafe– If you’ve got a taste for Ethiopian or Japanese, you’ve found the right place. Some Japanese and Ethiopian dishes served at Mita Cafe include Seaweed Salad, Tofu Wrap, Tokyo Sushi, and more. Find us near Fort Slocum Park on Kennedy Street.
  • Library Tavern– Unpretentious Persian eatery offering kebabs & grilled meat plates, plus salads & rice dishes.
  • Deset Ethiopian Restaurant– Casual Ethiopian spot offering classic fare, a full bar & a traditional coffee ceremony.
  • Haydee’s Restaurant– This festive cantina offers Mexican fare, margaritas, DJ’d dance parties & live music.
  • J & J Mex-Taqueria– Traditional Mexican fare in the restaurant, food truck, or catering. 


Best Public High Schools

Best Public Elementary Schools

Public Transportation


14th St & Tuckerman St– Bus stop

5th St & Kennedy St– Bus stop

5th St & Oglethorpe St– Bus stop

Amtrak Station– Train

Median Home Value

$600,000 as of 2023

Renters: 54%

Owners: 46%


Population 20,415

Median household income –  $84,000

Median age: 39

Families with children – 29%

High school diploma or equivalent – 19%

College Degree: 68%

57% African American

24% Hispanic

14% White

5% Other