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The DC food scene has been steadily building, and in the last few years, has become most impressive.  Talented chefs abound and incredible restaurants are opening on the regular.  The city used to be known as a steakhouse town but you wouldn’t know that if you visited today.  There is an abundance of diverse international cuisine and local neighborhood restaurants to keep politicians, ambassadors, and locals happy.  Below is a list of our favorite DC restaurants – everything from fine dining to the world famous Ben’s Chili Bowl.

 


DC’s Best Restaurants

 

buffalo mozzarella course from Restaurant Obelisk in DC

Photo Credit: Washingtonian

Obelisk

Obelisk has been around for 30 years and still puts out an incredible 5-course Italian meal.  The ingredients are of the highest quality and the small dining room gives the feel of a family dinner in Tuscany.

 


 

Steak & Frites plus lobster salad from Le Diplomate DC

Photo Credit: Oh Carlene

 

Le Diplomate

Everything you want in a classic French bistro!  Fantastic cocktails and wine, incredible fresh baked breads, wonderfully French ambiance, and perfect attention to detail on all the classic menu items (Steak Frites, Sole Almandine, Oysters…)

 


 

Bartender cleaning glasses behind wooden bar at the Old Ebbit Grill, DC

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

Old Ebbitt Grill

The Old Ebbitt has been around since 1856 and continues to stand the test of time.  It’s an oyster bar and restaurant right in the heart of downtown DC.  It’s ambiance is iconic and rumor has it Teddy Rosevelt bagged the animal heads on display.

 


 

Breakfast egg sandwich on an everything bagel from Call Your Mother DC

Photo Credit: Washington

 

Call Your Mother

This is a traditional jewish bakery with bagels to-die-for!  Not to be missed and if you go with a group, order the ‘Big A$$ Bagel Board’, you’re welcome.

 


 

Photo Credit: The Caucus

 

Ben’s Chili Bowl

One of the most beloved DC eateries is Ben’s Chili Bowl.  They are most famous for their half-smoke sausage and of course; chili dogs.  It continues to draw crowds of locals, tourists, and politicians in huge numbers so make sure you don’t miss this one.

 


 

Oasters on the half shell from A Rake's Progress DC

Photo Credit: Business Insider

A Rake’s Progress

This is a newer restaurant located inside the gorgeous Line hotel.  James Beard Award–winning chef Spike Gjerde cooks what he sources from Mid-Atlantic farms and waters.  The dining room is architecturally stunning and the food – fantastic.

 


 

Twisted fresh baked bread and latte from A Baked Joint DC

Photo Credit: Thrillist

 

A Baked Joint

This is a bright and airy bakery and coffee shop.  Absolutely everything is prepared perfectly.  They serve breakfast, lunch, and pizza.

 


 

Outside storefront of Rose's Luxury Restaurant DC

Photo Credit:  Eater

Rose’s Luxury

Inside a quaint converted townhouse with an upstairs bar, Rose’s is a great choice for both ambiance and upscale dining.  You’ll definitely need to make a reservation because this place fills up fast.  The rear dining room is strung with lights and feels like a backyard party.  Don’t miss out on the luscious pastas.

 


 

Crispy fried julienned vegetables from Bad Saint Restaurant DC

Photo Credit: Eater

Bad Saint

Crowds line up outside this nouveau Filipino joint every night.  The flavors will transport you far far away and blow your mind.  Try the Heirloom-rice salad with tamarind vinaigrette, scallop kinilaw, prawns with crab fat, fried chicken, and garlic fried rice.  Yum!

 


 

Gorgeous plate of food from The Dabney DC

Photo Credit:  Bon Appetit

 

The Dabney

2018 James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef, The Dabney is a must!  Chef Jeremiah Langhorne uses a wood-fired hearth and classic techniques to prepare local dishes like charred cabbage bathed in foie gras hollandaise and Eastern Shore style chicken and dumplings.

 


 

Picture of the interior of Centrolina Restaurant DC

Photo Credit:  Centrolina

Centrolina

This is seasonal Italian cooking at its best.  Centrolina is both a restaurant and market.  As a guest, you’ll experience views of the fresh market produce, an open kitchen, and the terracotta-clad wood oven.  Makes for a complete sensory dining experience.

 


 

Top-down view of several colorful plates of food from Tail Up Goat DC

Photo Credit:  Fathom Away

Tail Up Goat

Tail Up Goat is a neighborhood spot where you can just as easily grab a quick bite on the way home or settle in for a more leisurely celebration.  The food and drink are soulful and sophisticated with a special emphasis on pasta and bread but don’t be surprised if you discover something new and unexpected.

 


 

Roasted Kimchi toast from Elle Restaurant DC

Photo Credit:  Ellē

Ellē

Ellē is a cafe, bakery, restaurant, and bar.  The coffee and bread situation is on point but don’t miss the full dinner service.  The menu is vegetable heavy with inspiration from all over the globe.  Try the grilled kimchi toast or olive oil poached swordfish with lemon spaetzle.

 


 

Top-down pic of multiple pizzas from Timber Pizza Co. DC

Photo Credit:  Timber Pizza Co.

 

Timber Pizza Co.

This pizza is LEGIT!  It’s Neopolitan-ish wood-fired pies can be topped classically or with farmer’s market produce.  Just go, it’s amazing.

 


 

Octopus hoagie from Brothers and Sisters DC

Photo Credit:  Eater

 

Brothers & Sisters

Like A Rake’s Progress, Brothers And Sisters is also located in the lobby of the Line hotel DC.  The architecture and ambiance is like no other.  The food is ‘American’ but with an international twist.  Everything we’ve ordered is delicious but the octopus hotdog is a must!

 


 

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