Washington, D.C. Restaurants

Washington has long benefited from a constant infusion of different cultures, making it a stellar culinary host for visitors and transplants from around the world, but recent years have made the fifth or sixth banana of American haute cuisine into a foodie town in its own right. You can find almost any cuisine here, from Salvado
Washington has long benefited from a constant infusion of different cultures, making it a stellar culinary host for visitors and transplants from around the world, but recent years have made the fifth or sixth banana of American haute cuisine into a foodie town in its o
Washington has long benefited from a constant infusion of different cultures, making it a stellar culinary host for visi

Washington has long benefited from a constant infusion of different cultures, making it a stellar culinary host for visitors and transplants from around the world, but recent years have made the fifth or sixth banana of American haute cuisine into a foodie town in its own right. You can find almost any cuisine here, from Salvadoran to Ethiopian, despite D.C.'s lack of true ethnic neighborhoods. But now you can also sample cooking from some of the country’s hottest new chefs and sip craft cocktails that could be mistaken for Manhattan’s. Just follow your nose.

Although most neighborhoods lack a unified culinary flavor, make no mistake: D.C. is a city of distinctive areas, each with its own style. Chinatown, for example, is known for chic small plates of various origins. You'll find Japanese noodle shops next to Mexican taquerias and Indian bistros. These spots wax and wane on the popularity scale with each passing season; it's worth taking a stroll down the street to see what's new. Downtown, you'll find many of the city's blue-chip law firms and deluxe, expense-account restaurants, as well as stylish lounges, brewpubs, and upscale eateries that have sprung up to serve the crowds that attend games at the Verizon Center.

Wherever you venture forth in the city, there are a few trends worth noting: artisanal cocktails, charcuterie-and-cheese plates, and back-to-basics New American cuisine are in vogue. You'll find tapas-style portions pervasive, whether you're at a Greek, Asian, or American restaurant. High-end restaurants in town also have begun to add bar menus with smaller plates that are much less expensive than their entrées, but created with the same finesse.

Though Italian, French, and fusion spots continue to open at a ferocious pace, Washingtonians are always hungry to try something new, whether it's Chinese smoked lobster, fiery Indian curry, or crunchy and addictive Vietnamese spring rolls.

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  • 1. Art and Soul

    $$$ | Capitol Hill | American

    Best known as Oprah's longtime personal chef, Art Smith is now serving the Washingtonian crowd at this funky Southern-fried spot, located in...Read More

  • 2. Bistro Bis

    $$$ | Capitol Hill | French

    A zinc bar, spacious brown-leather booths, and a glass-front display kitchen create great expectations at Bistro Bis, the second restaurant...Read More

  • 3. Bombay Club

    $$ | Downtown | Indian

    One block from the White House, the beautiful Bombay Club tries to re-create the refined aura of British private clubs in colonial India. Potted...Read More

  • 4. China Chilcano

    $$ | Fusion

    The José Andrés formula is pleasantly familiar to D.C. diners who have thronged his ever-growing empire of endlessly kicky ethnic small plates...Read More

  • 5. Osteria Morini

    $$$$ | Italian

    This stylish design and superlative pastas of this take on regional Emilia-Romagna fare (think crostini, rich ragus, and wood-grilled meat)...Read More

  • 6. Range

    $$$ | American

    Bryan Voltaggio has been a favorite son of Maryland foodies ever since finishing second to his brother Michael on Top Chef in 2009, and this...Read More

  • 7. The Hamilton

    $$ | Downtown | Eclectic

    Words don't do justice to the remodeling of a former warehouselike Borders bookstore into this classy cavalcade of culinary hits bolstered by...Read More

  • 8. The Partisan

    $$$ | American

    Did you know that charcuterie can be as diverse as wine? It's more than just salami at this wood-paneled homage to all parts of the pig, bathed...Read More

  • 9. Johnny's Half Shell

    $$$ | Capitol Hill | Seafood

    On the Senate side of the Capitol, this eatery's Southern-tinged mid-Atlantic fare—pristine Kumamoto oysters, flavorful seafood stews, fried...Read More

  • 10. Vidalia

    $$$$ | Dupont Circle | American

    There's a lot more to chef Jeffrey Buben's distinguished restaurant than the sweet Vidalia onion, which is a specialty in season. Inspired by...Read More

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