The Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C.
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
A boom of new restaurants, especially along 14th Street, has made eating in D.C. more satisfying the ever. Case in point: Ryan Ratino’s Bresca, which shakes off any notions of capital city stodginess with its thrillingly unusual flavor combinations. Among the Michelin stars and celebrity chefs, you’ll find a global culinary perspective, from Ethiopian to Western Thai to Greek. D.C. also continues to champion local seafood and maintain tradition at its taverns.
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....
1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Le Diplomate opened up not long ago on the 14th Street Corridor, which has seen an explosion in new restaurants in recent years. Although we have plenty of French restaurants in D.C., this is the first that is truly reminiscent of the French...
1906 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Chef Ryan Ratino opened his first solo restaurant at age 27, riding a wave of momentum from stints at D.C.’s Ripple and New York’s Dovetail and WD-50. He’s made a big splash, racking up accolades including best new restaurant...
3226 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA
I may just have found my mom's Filipino home cooking inside this cozy 25-seat, no-reservation space in Columbia Heights. Facing the open kitchen in DC's first Filipino restaurant, I watched owner/chef Tom Cunanan serve a mix of traditional...
480 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Last week, Haitian Chef Stephan Durand prepared tasty, traditional treats for the dining hall of the World Bank headquarters in D.C. The dishes were part of a concerted effort by the Haitian Ambassador to the U.S., Paul G. Altidor, to promote...
2021 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Busboys and Poets is an iconic D.C. fixture, a hybrid bookstore, event venue, and restaurant. If you show up hungry, find a table and take your pick among the extensive Mediterranean-influenced menu of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and small...
675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA
This iconic Washington restaurant and bar has moved several times since it began as a boarding house/tavern in 1856, but its present location, a block from the White House, speaks to its history. Presidents Grant, Johnson, Cleveland, McKinley,...
301 Water St SE Ste 115, Washington, DC 20003, USA
The bounty of the Chesapeake Bay is one of D.C.’s culinary treasures, and there’s arguably no better setting to enjoy its salty gems than waterside at Whaley’s in the Navy Yards district. The seasonal plates play tricks on the...
4822 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
“The menu at this authentic Japanese restaurant changes constantly. This place is legit authentic Japanese, they even make you take off your shoes and wear their slippers … Men have to wear a button-down collared shirt, so be ready....
122 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
Follow the red brick through Blagden Alley to The Dabney, the cozy Michelin-starred restaurant where Chef Jeremiah Longhorne is putting Mid-Atlantic cuisine on the map. Inside, the fire blazes high from the wood-burning hearth in the open kitchen,...
633 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
Rasika means "flavors" in Sanskrit, and its modern Indian cuisine has been spicing up the Penn Quarter for more than a decade (a West End location followed in 2012). The sophisticated lounge is accented by the bold aromas and flavors of timeless...
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...
1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
The Tabard Inn is delightfully historic and creaky, with corridors and staircases that make the place seem endless. (The inn opened its doors to guests in 1922.) You can dine in the cosy basement restaurant or out on the courtyard patio. It's a...
608 T St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
The largest Ethiopian community outside of Ethiopia is located along U and 9th streets NW, in the historic 19th-century U Street and Shaw neighborhood—and it counts many of the greater D.C. area's 45 Ethiopian restaurants. Among them is a...
800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
Up a few steps from the Hay-Adams’s lobby is the hotel’s elegant restaurant, the Lafayette, a windowed dining room dressed to the nines with gleaming silverware and crystal chandeliers, fresh flowers, and crisp white tablecloths. The...
1827 Adams Mill Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
With subtle, sea-inspired decor, low lighting, warm service, and perfectly paced plates, Tail Up Goat’s Zen-like dining experience will have you doing downward dogs. A palate-cleansing shrub shot starts the ritual before the poetic menu...
1100 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
Memorial Day signals the official start of summer, and for many Washingtonians that means backyard cookouts and crab feasts! While a little pricier out of season, crabs are available year-round. The Wharf is where the locals go for great prices on...
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...
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...
1511 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA
There has been a lot written about Little Serow's Thai offerings. Bon Appetit and GQ have both placed it on their "best of" lists. With skepticism, I allowed my boyfriend to stand in line for an hour and 45 minutes in order to put our name on the...
1201 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
The Blue Duck Tavern is heaven for high-end gluten-free eating in DC. Servers are incredibly well-versed in safe gluten-free options and can walk diners through the menu. Save room for multiple courses, as you'll find amazing gluten-free veggies,...
2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
“No visit to DC is complete without a visit to Bourbon Steak. There will always be a special place in my heart for this bar as I helped open and train the bar staff here. They consistently turn out amazing cocktails and I couldn’t be...
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