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