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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Arts District Hyattsville: Book Nook and Cafe Azul

Photo via Book Nook Bookstore Photo via Cafe Azul

Lucas and I spent a lovely morning at the Arts District Hyattsville on Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) yesterday. Parking was plentiful on Longfellow Street and behind the shops.

First, we visited the Book Nook Bookstore, a lovely independent book store. We went in with a mission: a birthday present for a 3yo boy. We left with 3 books for the birthday boy and 1 for Lucas for just over $20. I love that their children's selections are arranged by theme. Lucas's eyes went straight toward the trucks, trains and dinosaur sections. The store is small enough that I could easily peruse books of interest to me while keeping an eye on Lucas. The owner, Angelisa Hawes, was incredibly helpful and even wrapped our gift books for free! The Book Nook is a small shop and if you can't find a specific book you are looking for, they will special order it for you at no extra charge. We will definitely be back!

Next, we walked up the street to Cafe Azul, a terrific cafe on the corner of Rt. 1 and Longfellow Street. Billed as "a fresh Mediterranean and Latin cafe" they serve great sandwiches, including Venezuelan arepas: "made from scratch daily, white corn cakes, soft and smooth within and a golden crispiness on the outside." I can't wait to go back to have one of those for breakfast. They have arepas lunch sandwiches, too, but because Lucas and I were going to share a sandwich, I chose something I was certain he'd eat. Our a turkey panini was definitely large enough to share and was delicious. He also enjoyed his banana strawberry smoothie. This is just a small cafe, but it is a perfect spot for breakfast or lunch. I don't drink coffee so can't vouch for it, but they seem to have an extensive espresso/latte/cappuccino menu, too.

Our visit, which was less than a 10 minute drive from Cheverly, was perfect timing to learn about the 2nd Annual Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival happening this Saturday, May 16 from 12-5pm. There will be 35 exhibiting artists, live entertainment and great food for sale. Admission and parking are free and there is a free shuttle bus from the West Hyattsville Metro station.

Additional information:

2nd Annual Downtown Hyattsville Arts Festival
Saturday, May 16, 12-5pm
All the details can be found here.

Book Nook Bookstore
5606 Baltimore Avenue
Hyattsville, MD 20781
Hours: T-F 11am-7pm, Sat. 10am-6pm, 301.209.0035

Cafe Azul
4423 Longfellow Street
Hyattsville, MD 20781
M-Sat. 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm, 301.209.0049

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