With all that Washington DC has to offer it is very easy to ride the Metro or even hop on a bike and explore. You can visit the Smithsonian or take a paddle boat on the Potomac River. How about relaxing on a double-decker tour bus and soaking up some of the varied and fascinating history that the Nation’s Capital has? If shopping is your thing you’ll love the local shops and marketplaces that have plenty of things to look at.
No matter what you are looking for, you are sure to find it in DC. Aside from the traditional tourist spots like the monuments and the U.S. Capital, you will also find a plethora of food and drink choices to explore. Whether it’s going to the many farmer’s markets or spending the even in a fine dining restaurant, DC has a lot to offer foodies and those looking for more than just a place to get food.
The food scene in DC is as varied and eclectic as the people of the United States. The city has received a Michelin for the first time and has been named the restaurant city of the year by the popular Bon Apetit Magazine. It was also called the hottest food city by the popular Zagat. What this means is that you will be able to expect each restaurant you go to be unique, offering you a true dining experience and not just food.
Whether the dishes are served by a celebrity chef in a fine dining restaurant or you order a deli sandwich at a true delicatessen the local flavor is delicious. We have listed the best places to eat in DC. This list will give you a great place to start exploring DC’s culinary landscape.
Visit: Matchbox Pizza
The industrial and rustic décor of Matchbox Pizza provides guests with an urban feel that is relaxing and comfortable. You can enjoy eating outside on the patio or on cooler nights, enjoy sitting by the fireplace in a place that is always contemporary and cool. If you’ve never tried thin crust pizza that has been cooked in a wood-fired oven made of brick, you are in for a real treat. This crust is thin and crispy and packed full of flavor. Some of the guest favorites include a meat pizza that is layered with spicy Italian sausage that has been roasted in-house, thick cut pepperoni, and bacon crumbled on top of a zesty, flavorful tomato sauce. Pizza is Matchbox Pizza’s passion but they have an incredible bistro menu as well that includes grilled mini-burgers made from angus beef, an assortment of salads, sandwiches like the crab cake sandwich topped with a roasted red pepper remoulade on a toasted bun and served with fries or one of their entrees like the seared sea scallops or the porcini rubbed rib eye. All of the dishes served at Matchbox Pizza are made from fresh ingredients that will provide you with a dining experience you will really enjoy.
Blue Duck Tavern
Visit: Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern specializes in American cuisine that has been prepared from regional ingredients that are the freshest around. They only choose seasonal ingredients so you are always getting the best ingredients in your dishes. Blue Tuck Tavern is casual-chic and inspires the kind of relaxed dining experiences and gatherings that occur on your own deck. There is no stuffy feeling here; the setting is very friendly and warm. The décor includes dark oak, wood tables and blue burlap that give Blue Duck Tavern an inviting contemporary atmosphere that makes your dining experience comfortable and relaxing. The open kitchen provides visual appeal for those interested in the behind-the-scenes of this enjoyable restaurant. The exquisite wins that are displayed in the floor-to-ceiling cellar are also impressive. Chef de Cuisine Brad Deboy offers guests the opportunity to dine at the Chef’s Table for private occasions where they can experience progressive wine and food events. If you’re looking for a place to meet with friends and family and enjoy rustic, inviting décor and fabulous food, you’ve found your spot.
At Rasika, the dining experience is all about sharing. The inspiration behind this unique restaurant involves choosing many different entrees and appetizers that are shared among your dining companions. To make the experience even more special, Rasika’s experienced sommelier will help you pair the right wines with your selections. Rasika offers guests different dining venues that include a relaxing bar and lounge, a showcase open kitchen where you can watch the chefs work their magic on the griddle (tawa) and barbecue (sigri), a private dining room for special events, a main dining room and a community dining room. The ambience is further enhanced by the beautiful canvas and oil paintings and sculptures. The food is spectacular and prepared in authentic Indian style. You can choose from selections such as Mango Shrimp with house-made mint chutney or the Chicken Makhani with tomato and fenugreek. You can also take part in the 4 course tasting menu or enjoy the Chef’s Table where you will partake in a 6 course tasting menu. Wine pairing options are available for the tasting menus if desired. The staff at Rasika looks forward to making your experience one you will never forget.
Good Stuff Eatery
Visit: Good Stuff Eatery
In July of 2008 the pilot location of Good Stuff Eatery opened, bringing this family operated establishment to DC for guests to enjoy. The Mendelsohns, the founders of the restaurant, offer their guests classic American food that is made from farm fresh ingredients from the local farming community. Cathy Mendelsohn, one of the founders, had a vision of creating a place where people can enjoy classics like hand cut fries, delicious, hand-crafted burgers and handspun shakes that are made from the highest quality ingredients, ensuring the kind of delicious taste you expect. The chefs that create these delicious favorites including Spike’s Sunnyside , a delicious burger that is topped with cheese fresh from the dairy, crisp, applewood bacon and a farm fresh egg on a Brioche bun. There are many more selections like this one including a few chicken sandwiches and vegetarian options as well. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a thick, hand spun shake that is available in a variety of flavors including Lemon Meringue, Salty Carmel Kiss and of course the traditional Chocolate, Strawberry and vanilla. If you feel like something lighter, choose from a selection of delicious farmer’s Market chopped salads as well. The food at Good Stuff Eatery will please every palate and send you away full and looking forward to your next visit.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab
If you want to try some delicious Stone Crab Claws, head over to Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab Restaurant where they are famous for their Stone Crab that comes from Florida. They are caught by day boat and harvested by hand from the Gulf of Mexico where they are then processed by Miami fisheries that are owned by Joe’s Partners. These delicious Stone crab claws are served with Joe’s special mustard and a few of the sides that Joe’s offers including yummy grilled tomatoes, creamed spinach, cole slaw or hashed brown potatoes. Joe’s has earned the reputation of being a top-rated steakhouse, serving prime Midwest, grain-fed beef. Some of the guest favorites are the 24 oz. bone-in Ribeye that has been dry-aged, the 16 oz. bone-in Filet Mignon and many other cuts of beef. Joe’s also serves delicious fresh seafood that has been sourced direct and is served in season. Selections like the Nantucket Cape Scallops or the Jumbo Alaskan King Crab Legs will satisfy any craving you have for seafood. Don’t forget to finish up your exquisite dining experience with a slice of fresh-baked pie. Choose from banana cream pie, Havana dream pie and Joe’s signature key lime pie.
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
Visit: Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana is the place to go when you are craving delicious Mexican food. This restaurant combines the diversity of Mexico with an urban atmosphere that rivals modern Mexico City itself. You will love the lively, festive dining room and the creative menu that features plenty of antojitos (which are like appetizers), tacos and ceviches. Don’t forget to order a delicious margarita or one of the many other cocktails that are available or choose from an extensive selection of tequilas or wines. If you get hit with cravings late night, Oyamel stays open late and offers a special menu that you can order from the bar area. This includes Mexican beer that is served in a bucket, special tacos and several other delicious offerings. Oyamel is the place to go when you are looking for a place to celebrate any occasion or when you’re just in the mood for excellent tasting cocktails and fresh, authentic Mexican food.
District Chophouse and Brewery
One of DC’s popular gathering places is the District Chophouse and Brewery. They pride themselves on serving delicious American steakhouse classics and handcrafted beer that has been brewed right on site. The menu is full of delicious selections including fresh seafood, hand-cut chops and much more. You can make any steak a surf n turf by adding delicious shrimp or a lobster tail to the dish as well. One of the most unique things about District Chophouse and Brewery is that it is housed in a turn-of-the-century bank that was transformed. They offer a semi-private dining room that can accommodate as many as 54 if you want to host an event or rehearsal dinner. The Brewer’s lounge accommodates as many as 100 people or up to 75 if you want a sit-down dinner. There is a billiard table and comfortable sofas in that room to make your gathering something comfortable and special. The Chophouse is one of Washington’s hot spots and is the perfect place for your celebration, luncheon, fundraiser or business dinner.
Old Glory Barbecue
Visit: Old Glory Barbecue
When you taste great barbecue you can be sure that it wasn’t just cooked, it was nurtured. Old Glory Barbecue features mouthwatering authentic barbecue that will change the way you look at every other barbecue restaurant you’ve been to. The huge open kitchen, the gigantic barbecue pit and the handcrafted bar that was built in 1901 creates an atmosphere that is down-home and casual yet relaxing and lively too. Old Glory’s menu is full of slow-cooked meats that are truly slow cooked and served with a variety of dry rubs and in-house made barbecue sauces that reflect some of the country’s greatest barbecue joints. Some of the delicious selections on the regular menu include the unique Francis Scott Key Burnt Ends which are marbled brisket ends that have been dry rubbed or how about trying the stars and stripes frickles? These are dill pickle chips and spears, fried jalapenos and a barbecue horsey sauce. Entrees include slow smoked wet brisket or smoked chicken thighs. There are so many different things to try on the menu you’ll have a hard time deciding. If some of your dinner companions aren’t in the mood for barbecue there is a selection of sandwiches that they can order such as the Smoke N Turkey Club or the Double Shroom Burger. Whatever you’re craving Old Glory will deliver above and beyond in service, taste and atmosphere.
Visit: The Dubliner
The Dubliner was opened in 1974 as part of a long barkeeping tradition. The pride the restaurant founders have in their Irish Heritage is evident in this premier Irish Pub that recreates an authentic Dublin City Pub. Many of the staff is from Ireland originally and they are as friendly and colorful as any of the characters in Dubliners by James Joyce, which is what the pub is proudly named after. The menu is full of hearty fare including Irish Beef Stew, Fish n Chip, traditional big Irish breakfasts, and of course, Shepherd’s Pie. The Irish authenticity that The Dubliner offers includes the array of terrific beers they serve their guests. They hold the distinction of having one of the largest selections of Guinness Stout in the United States. They are the only one who has the special Auld Dubliner Amber Ale. This Ale is exclusively made for the Dubliner and its guests. They have an impressive collection of fine Irish Whiskeys where you can get a variety of cocktails that will add to any dish you order. One more notable thing about The Dubliner is the Irish entertainment that they provide each night. Whether it’s rousing reels and jigs or soulful ballads, you can experience the best in Irish entertainment every night of the week.
Come have dinner at Zatinya where you can experience some delicious, innovative dishes that have been inspired by Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisines. Your food will be prepared by celebrated Chef Jose Andre’s and the “Think Food Group Team that are dedicated to providing their guests with authentic dishes that are sure to please. Chef Jose’s extensive knowledge of Mediterranean cooking is very apparent when you look over the menu and see what Zatinya has to offer. The restaurant opened in 2002 and has consistently been listed on the Top DC dining destinations list. Their unique mezze menu is fun and creates a unique dining experience. The term Mezze defines the small Eastern Mediterranean plates of food that are regionally known as maza, meze or mezethes. The chefs have been impeccably trained in traditional techniques that will create unexpected and original dishes that are meant to be shared. They are often thought of as party style food and encourage a lot of socializing and interaction while everyone tries a little bit of everything. This type of food gives guests that chance to try all different kinds of vegetables, poultry, seafood, cheeses, spreads, meats and of course desserts. Don’t forget to have some of their traditional coffee or tea to complete your special dining experience.