A D.C. fixture since it opened in 1984, Politics and Prose is a much-loved independent bookstore. Even as the larger chain bookstores began to shutter in the '90s, this place thrived. The knowledgeable staff, author readings and book signings (even Bill Clinton made an appearance), occasional trivia night. and café with organic fare set it apart. Politics and Prose was a book/coffeeshop long before those sorts of places came into vogue.
The store is packed every day. You could spend a whole afternoon here: There's a book club meeting space and a children's reading area downstairs. This local institution is slightly off the beaten path, but it's well worth a visit, even if just to browse. Take the metro to the Van Ness-UDC stop.