A Taste of Latin America Comes to Union Market

Union Market is already well known as a great spot to visit for interesting vendors and seemingly endless food options. In October, La Cosecha, a Latin American market opened nearby adding new flavors to the growing neighborhood.

The market is expected to expand in 2020 but already features a variety of vendors and most notably, a bar in the center. The bar, Serenata, is a full-service Latino cocktail bar highlighting cocktails and small plate dishes from South America and the Carribean.

Serenata is currently the only spot in the market offering food and drinks and they are celebrating their opening with a passport series. Each month through March, they’ll highlight a different country with 3 featured cocktails. The passport ($45 for one or $80 for 2) earns you one free full-sized featured cocktail or a flight of all 3 each month. If you try all three of the featured cocktails with the passport, Serenata offers a VIP cocktail.

The passport themed program, Latin American-inspired cocktails, and cozy indoor location, make the bar feel like a vacation without leaving the city. It’s a perfect spot to escape the cold all winter long.

Related: Where to Drink and Dine Outside This Winter

When we visited Serenata, we met up with Beverage Director, AJ Johnson. She told us the menu (both drinks and food) rotates often. She, her business partners, and many members of her team have Carribean roots. They are often experimenting with flavors meaning the menu is always fresh. This month (December), the bar is highlighting Puerto Rico and will switch to Peru on January 1. February and March have yet to be decided.

What to Expect at Serenata

In December, the 3 Puerto Rican inspired cocktails are Bat & Lion, Vega Alta, and Coquito. The Bat & Lion features Bacardi with refreshing lime and melon flavors. The Vega Alta is a reimagined daiquiri and feels like the perfect beach drink with coconut and pineapple rum. The Coquito is a nod to the Puerto Rican nog-style classic Christmas cocktail. It features Puerto Rican rum, condensed milk, nutmeg, vanilla, and rum raisins.

Three cocktails by the bar

The menu also features some great small dishes. A few of our favorites were the Choripan and the Tostada Azteca. The Choripan from Uruguay featured chorizo on charred avocado on sourdough, a perfect dish for avocado toast fans. The Tostada Azteca from Mexico was an incredible veggie dish with heats of palm ceviche. Even though it was all veggies and nuts, it tasted like the perfect oceanside dish.

Plus, what is a Latin American menu without empanadas? These empanadas from Argentina are full of duck and butternut squash which AJ told us were one of her favorites. (Ours too!)

Empanadas and dip

Serenata is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5 PM to 10 PM as well as Friday and Saturday from 5 PM to midnight. Passports can be purchased online. Keep up with Serenata on Instagram @serenatadc.

Good For
Cocktails and shopping

$45 per passport or $80 for 2 
Small plates ranging from $9 to $15

Inside La Cosecha
1280 4th Street NE

Closest Metro
NOMA (red) 

About Kelley Smith 88 Articles
I'm Kelley Smith and I love sharing tips on how to best explore Washington, DC. I love pretty much anything I can eat plus really good beer and whiskey served by story telling bartenders. I also like sassy museum guides, photogenic architecture, and colorful urban gardens.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments