D.C. Global Eats
Collected by Christian Mirasol, AFAR Local Expert
DC is a global village with a preponderance of foreign embassies, international organizations, the world's bureaucratic elite, and tight-knit immigrant groups. Because of such a global presence, it's no surprise that the culinary traditions of most nations is present at local restaurants. Eat your way around the globe noshing on Ethiopian, Salvadoran, Greek, Turkish, Thai, Mexican, Moroccan, Indian, Italian, Peruvian, Japanese, or the nations of Eastern Europe.
2016 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
A relative newcomer to the roster of D.C. restaurants, Ezme quickly established itself as worthy addition. Ezme is located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, and it’s a small but cozy dining space. The moment I see the Turkish tiles on the wall, I...
1511 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
Little Serow’s northern Thai dining experience is a sensory adventure. The minimalist, cavernous room is a blank canvas for James Beard Award–winning chef Johnny Monis to paint palates with the bitter, funky, spicy, and salty...
1814 K St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
As with many Chinese restaurants in the U.S., Sichuan Pavilion has two menus. Ask for the home kitchen menu—the one with the authentic dishes. Warning: The chili is hot, and the Sichuan peppercorn used in many of the dishes is tongue-tingling....
701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
In the heart of D.C.'s Penn Quarter, Zaytinya serves up a variety of tapas inspired by traditional dishes from Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey. It also has a selection of wines from such Eastern Mediterranean countries and seasonally serves a hot tea...
1190 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
We have restaurateur Ashok Bajaj to thank for bringing the cuisine of his hometown, Mumbai, to the D.C. dining scene. Both Rasika and now sister restaurant Rasika West End have received rave reviews from both food reviewers and diners. You can...
1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Le Diplomate brings France’s chic bistro culture to D.C.’s trendy U Street Corridor. Upon entering through its bright blue door frame, the high ceilings, antique decor, and bread-cart centerpiece will have you checking for your...
1141 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
Step inside Mari Vanna, and the first thing that strikes you is the feminine décor. The place looks like what I imagine a Russian grandmother’s house to be—lots of flowery wallpaper, crocheted lampshades, shabby chic furniture, lace tablecloths,...
1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
I've visited Belgian cafes across this country, and I liked this one quite a bit. With waffle brunches, pastries, and beer, they cover the whole food experience. The service has a hipster edge (and was somewhat lackadaisical), so don't go when in...
2311 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Sorriso is a family-owned and -operated Italian restaurant located in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of D.C. Most nights, you’ll find owner Pietro Polles working in the kitchen and his wife Rosemarie greeting diners at the door. This is a small...
401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
It’s only been in the past few years that serious Mexican food has made an appearance in D.C. We now have our share of taquerias serving up tacos as delicious and as reasonably priced as I’ve ever had. Not to brush off the newcomers, but none of...
4822 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
If the only way you know how to eat Japanese rice is with sushi or sashimi, you are missing out. You need to go to Kotobuki for kamameshi, a traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot called a kama. Kotobuki is a hole-in-the-wall, tiny...
1234 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA
1010, 2147 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Marrakesh doesn't have a door. It has a hatch, and you have to knock. Once you enter through it (plus a curtain), a lush, exotic room of couches, textiles, and knee-high tables awaits you. You lounge on the couches, eating a five-course meal with...
932 N Kenmore St, Arlington, VA 22201, USA
To Peruvians, Pollo a la Brasa (rotisserie chicken) is considered a special feast. But for D.C.-area residents, it's considered a highly-coveted fast food and cheap eat. Since 1988, the Solano family has served what diners (including chef and TV...
2020 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Owner/chef Taw Vigsittaboot cooks traditional Thai recipes passed down from his mother, aunt, and grandmother out of his quaint Florida Avenue rowhouse-turned-restaurant. He has a flavorful, rotating 5-6 course chef's choice prix-fixe menu, which...
705 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
On my last day in DC, my brother and I dined at Daikaya, the city's newest ramen shop by Chef Katsuya Fukushima, former chef de cuisine to the revolutionary Spanish chef, José Andrés. The restaurant is somewhat difficult to find. Look for a large,...
717 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA
Chef/owner Aaron Silverman's farmhouse restaurant, in the heart of Barracks Row, serves creative (and Michelin-starred) cooking inspired by his travels and culinary training in the American South, Mexico, the Mediterranean, and Southeast Asia....
1610 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
This industrial-rustic style Italian gastropub is perhaps home to the most coveted dining seats in the city. It is first-come, first-serve at the six elevated front-marble countertop stools where not only can you savor Tuscan-inspired hand-made...
1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Cozy and intimate yet animated and buzzing, Mintwood has settled right in as a reliable and stylish brasserie in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood. Chef Cedric Maupiller shows off a French-inspired menu that makes for easy and satisfying eating....
8214 Piney Branch Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
The D.C. metro area is home to one of the strongest Salvadoran communities in the nation, so also home to top-notch pupuserías. In the northern reaches of the city, in Silver Spring, you’ll find La Casita, which is cultish among locals. Try the...
1550 7th St NW A, Washington, DC 20001, USA
“The Thai chef, Aschara Vigsittaboot, makes classic dishes with extra-authentic ingredients. Where else can you ﬁnd duck curries? No other place in town.” —Local food blogger Zach Patton of The Bitten Word on his essential eats in the District.of...
1822 1st St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Nestled in charming Bloomingdale, the rustic Red Hen is a golden egg of D.C.’s dining scene. Chef/owner Michael Friedman (also of All Purpose Pizza) has created an inviting home for culinary pleasures like the cool taste of soft, bulbous...
1346 T St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Located off the 14th Street Corridor, owners Rose Previte and her husband, NPR Morning Editon co-host David Greene, transformed a converted rowhouse into a funky yet homey dining space and bar serving an eclectic menu of international street food...
1351 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA
Inspired by vibrant Southeast Asian night markets, D.C. chef Erik Bruner-Yang (of Toki Underground fame) and D.C. streetwear mogul Will Sharp created a sleek, two-story indoor/outdoor space that's part menswear store, part café and...
3226 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA
Rain or shine, the line outside Bad Saint starts forming two hours before it opens, when the first 25 diners get seated inside this tiny, no-reservations Filipino hot spot in Columbia Heights. The familial staff extend a warm welcome, while the...
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