It’s official—you are a foodie. And now, you’ve noticed, your kid is following suit—preferring bacon shavings in their chocolate ice cream, mixing allspice into their Cheerios, or flipping through cookbooks to dog-ear things like Maruka Honey and Manchego Cheese Pizza. Appease the whole family’s appetite for indie bites at the newly-renovated Union Market, where you can stroll the nearly 100 (and counting) stalls of this hip food-lovers haven. Don’t know where to start? Read on for our picks of the most kid-pleasing options.

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1. Warm up at Soup UpThis specialty soup maker boasts several vegan and gluten free options like Pumpkin Coconut and Apple Butternut. Ask for samples to find your favorite, and don’t forget a side of gluten free cornbread!

2. Get a taste of Italy. The best sandwiches are at A. Litteri’s, D.C.’s oldest Italian grocery store and specialty market, located in the warehouse complex nearby (517 Morse St., NE). There’s no seating here, so you’ll have to take your sandwiches to go. We recommended popping a squat on one of the outdoor seats at Union Market (weather permitting).

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3. Enjoy some finger foods. Leave the utensils behind. Cheese pies (feta-filled pastries) from DC Mediterranean and The Bronx Bomber (an empanada that contains sausage, mozzarella and marinara) from DC Empanadas are sure-fire winners—and mess-proof—for the kiddos.

4. Sip on fancy soda. Forget Coke and Pepsi, the not-too-sweet, hand crafted drinks at Buffalo and Bergen are perfect for parents and kids. The pops are made to order right in front of you with flavors ranging from blueberry to lime and everything in between.

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5. Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. Give your little ones a few dollars and let them “make healthy choices” by selecting their favorite seasonal produce: bag of grapes, an apple, or some sweet potatoes to take home for later. There’s a stall in the market with fruits and veggies from Eastern Shore Organic. (Tip: for the best selection, check out the farmers market on Sundays, 10:00 am-2:00 pm).

6. Don’t miss out on sweet treats! Pick your poison… Dolcezza gelato (there are no words to describe the Salted Caramel), peanut butter and jelly chocolates at Co. Co. Sala, or a good ol’ fashioned cupcake from Curbside Cupcakes. Plan on making dessert a part of your trip.

Union Market
1309 5th St., NE. (Union Market)
Online: unionmarketdc.com

Have you been to Union Market with kids? Tell us about your trip in the Comments section below. 

—Besa Pinchotti

Photos courtesy of Nikki Aikens via Flickr, ruburton via Flickr, and caroline.angelo via Flickr