Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Leave it to tourists in Georgetown to wait in long lines for cupcakes. RareSweets owner and pastry chef Meredith Tomason suggests taking a “cake break” instead. Whereas there’s a natural rush to eat cupcakes because of their portability, people at Tomason’s CityCenterDC bakeshop sit down for dessert. “It’s interesting to watch this city indulge,” she says. “People come in and say, ‘I told my boss I was going to the bathroom, and instead I came here.’ This is a city filled with workaholics, but they’re taking the time for cake.” Unlike cupcakes, which glob and pile high the icing, Tomason’s cakes maintain a reasonable frosting-to-cake ratio. Indulge in classic cake varieties like red velvet, German chocolate, or black and white cake ($5 a slice) or try seasonal varieties including lemon and rhubarb or lavender and buttercream ($5.50).