Welcome to Brookland, home of The Catholic University of America! Catholic is nestled in Northeast, Washington, DC, and is in a residential part of the city. That isn’t to say that we don’t have much in Brookland! We have all you could need, and even a little more, so let me give you a quick tour of our neighborhood!
The ARTSWALK is a super cool feature of the Brookland neighborhood. It’s home to local artists’ studios where they showcase their work, a Saturday morning farmer’s market, Brookland Pint, a bike shop, and the soon-to-arrive all-day breakfast burrito spot, Fox Loves Tacos! Stop into the Arts Walk if you’re looking for a small gift for a friend or for taco Tuesday this fall!
Barnes and Noble Bookstore
Don’t forget to stop by our bookstore found on Monroe Street in Brookland. With the large, red awning and The Catholic University of America written in big letters, you can never miss it! Stop by to get some Catholic University gear or order and pick up your books for class right here. This isn’t just your stop for books, though. It’s also home to one of three Starbucks on campus.
Also more formally known as the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, this is the little church with the blue dome that students walk by on our way to classes. The Basilica offers six daily masses and there are OVER SEVENTY chapels that you go into to pray and reflect on your day. On Sunday mornings, EWTN broadcasts masses from the Upper Church. Though often mistaken as part of the campus, the Basilica is not owned by the University. However, Catholic University donated the land it sits on, and so it plays a large role in our students’ four years here. Freshman convocation is held inside in the Upper Church, while graduation is typically held on the Basilica Lawn.
Brookland/CUA Metro Stop
Campus is also home to the Brookland-CUA metro stop on the red line or as we like to call it, the best line! The red line has stops at some main attractions in DC including Union Station (where you can catch an Amtrak and do some shopping), Gallery Place (eat in downtown Chinatown and catch a game at the Verizon Center), Metro Center (your quickest stop to some of the best the museums), and Woodley Park (where the Smithsonian Zoo is located, and did I mention it’s free?). Our metro station is the only stop that is found directly on the college campus in DC, which is great for exploring the DMV (that’s DC/Maryland/Virginia, not the department of motor vehicles) and is super useful when you need to get to a different neighborhood for an internship or clinicals.
The Brookland community, and especially Catholic University students, are lucky enough to have a CVS Pharmacy just a few blocks away from campus! Fun fact: before the building housed the CVS, it used to be a movie theater! The CVS is super convenient for picking up any long-term prescriptions you need filled or any items they might need for snacking, cleaning, or just getting through the common cold.
Monroe Street Eateries
When you want a break from the Student Restaurant, there are some great spots just across from campus! There’s a Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop, Chipotle, &Pizza (think of Subway for Pizza), and Busboys & Poets, so whatever you’re craving, you can find it only a few steps from campus.
Menomale is one of the most delicious restaurants found in the Brookland neighborhood, if not all of Washington, DC! It holds a special place in my heart because my roommate threw me a surprise party for my 19th birthday here. Menomale is known for their wood-fired pizzas but instead of slicing it with a typical pizza slicer, they give you pizza-scissors. I’m not sure if the method by which you cut your pizza can affect how good/great it tastes, but if that’s possible, Menomale deserves credit for those pizza scissors! Also, the good news is if you don’t want pizza, they have salads and sandwiches on their menu. This is definitely one of the restaurants that you will want to experience while you’re here at Catholic, and it’s not too far–just up 12th Street!
I mentioned Catholic University students have access to three Starbucks–one in our Barnes and Noble Bookstore, one is found in the Pryzbyla Center in the heart of campus, and the last is the Starbucks Reserve on Monroe Street. This one is a little different, though. Starbucks Reserve features exotic coffees that are hand-selected by the experts at Starbucks, but don’t worry–you can still get your favorite staples here, too. Swing by this one on treat-yourself-Tuesday.
Yes! Organic Market Brookland
If you’re planning to live off campus or you choose to not have a meal plan when you’re an upperclassman, Yes! Organic Market is super helpful to have just around the corner from campus on 12th Street. You can take care of your grocery shopping here if you don’t want to hop on the metro with groceries.
These are just a few of the staple places in Brookland, but there is so much more to explore! Brookland is a constantly changing area, adding new restaurants and fun activities all the time that families and college students can enjoy. Be sure to take some time to explore our neighborhood when you plan your visit to campus!
Graceann is a sophomore nursing student from Alexandria, Virginia. She is involved in Habitat for Humanity, Campus Ministry, College Republicans, and is the current Sophomore Class President for the Student Nurses’ Association. Some hobbies she enjoys pursuing are reading, taking naps, and working in the Office of Admission.