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.

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Sort by: 33 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL CLEAR ALL
Loading...
  • 1. Cork

    $$ | U Street | Wine Bar

    This rustic, dimly lighted slip of a wine bar brings chic cuisine to the still-gentrifying streets of the city's hippest neighborhood. The wine...Read More

  • 2. Zaytinya

    $$ | Chinatown | Middle Eastern

    This sophisticated urban dining room with soaring ceilings is a local favorite for meeting friends or dining with a group. Zaytinya, which means...Read More

  • 3. Bayou

    $$ | Georgetown | American

    New Orleans and Washington, D.C., might seem to have little in common, but both cities share a common love of carousing after hours and belt...Read More

  • 4. Bibiana Osteria and Enoteca

    $$ | Downtown | Italian

    You might call this the Italian version of the überpopular Indian spot Rasika, and you'd be correctly noting the modernist fingerprints of local...Read More

  • 5. Bistrot du Coin

    $$ | Dupont Circle | French

    An instant hit in its Dupont Circle neighborhood, this moderately priced French bistro with a monumental zinc bar is noisy, crowded, and fun...Read More

  • 6. Cava Mezze

    $$ | Capitol Hill | Mediterranean

    This modern mecca for mezes (small plates for sharing) delivers delicious and chic Mediterranean without the whiz-bang conceits of its pricier...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Daikaya

    $$ | Chinatown | Japanese

    This quirky, gorgeously decorated split-level party for gourmands is "Lost in Translation" in restaurant form, a sexy-quirky tour of modern...Read More

  • 9. Doi Moi

    $$$ | U Street | Asian

    The rise of foodie culture can leave adventurous diners feeling like they've turned over every culinary stone, but this pilgrimage into the...Read More

  • 10. El Camino

    $ | Mexican

    The up-and-coming Bloomingdale neighborhood is still long on pubs and short on reliable, quality food, but this California-style taco temple...Read More

  • 11. Estadio

    $$$ | Logan Circle | Spanish

    The name of this polished palace means "stadium," and its gorgeously baroque interior, which surrounds a high-wire open kitchen, makes a perfect...Read More

  • 12. Graffiato

    $$ | Chinatown | Italian

    Manhattan-trained Mike Isabella brought a rock-star cool to his stint on Top Chef, and his venture down I–95 gave the same instant pizzazz...Read More

  • 13. Granville Moore's Brickyard

    $$ | Capitol Hill | Belgian

    This Belgian beer hall with a gourmet soul is worth a visit despite its location in D.C.'s Atlas District, an area that can be seedy after dark...Read More

  • 14. Jaleo

    $$ | Chinatown | Spanish

    You are encouraged to make a meal of the long list of tapas at this lively Spanish bistro, although the five types of handcrafted paella are...Read More

  • 15. Kafe Leopold

    $$ | Georgetown | Austrian

    Forget all the clichés about heavy Austrian fare served by waiters in lederhosen. Leopold is about as Euro trendy as it gets, with an all-day...Read More

  • 16. Kaz Sushi Bistro

    $$ | Downtown | Japanese

    Traditional Japanese cooking is combined with often inspired improvisations ("freestyle Japanese cuisine," in the words of chef-owner Kaz Okochi...Read More

  • 17. Le Diplomate

    $$$$ | U Street | French

    Even award-winning chef-and-owner Stephen Starr was surprised by how revered his first D.C.-area concept became within days of its opening....Read More

  • 18. Little Serow

    $$$$ | Dupont Circle | Thai

    Remember the last time a quirky new musical group or movie seemed to take over the world, racking up fans despite being more than a little,...Read More

  • 19. 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

  • 20. Oyamel

    $$ | Chinatown | Mexican

    The specialty at this Mexican stunner is antojitos, literally translated as "little dishes from the streets." But the high ceilings, gracious...Read More

No Restaurants Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions: