Best Place to Load Up on Artisanal Goods

DC Food Swap
First comes the surveying. Amateur purveyors of baked and canned foodstuffs size each other up at the roughly bi-monthly DC Food Swap in Dupont Circle, strolling around the room full of other self-fashioned culinary artisans and proposing trades on each other’s bid sheets. Then it’s time to swap, and all sense of order breaks down. Bartering is a messy thing: It quickly becomes clear who the popular kids are, and who’s going to be stuck taking home most of what they brought. If you contribute something that’s in reasonably high demand, you’ll emerge from the swapping with an impressive assortment of chutneys, soups, salads, and desserts to last you a month or more. (Word to the wise: Sweet baked goods tend to be over-represented and less desirable.) Just don’t be the guy who brought Chex Mix to a gunfight: Pity trades will get you only so far.