There are some great food places all over the world, but especially in the major cities of the United States. There are some food places in Washington DC you that you absolutely have to try if you ever make it to the nations capital.
Del Mar is located at The Wharf in SW Waterfront DC. It’s a beautiful restaurant, you can’t help but take a moment to take it all in. I’m excited for the outdoor seating to open to have a great view of the water. It’s busy every day of the week and if you want great Spanish coastal fare and a gorgeous atmosphere this is the spot for you!
Pan con Tomate $10
Catalan Crisp Bread, Tomatoes, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*the bread remained crispy and the tomato sauce was bright and sweet
Pulpo a la Gallega $18
Classic Galician Style Octopus, Crushed Potatoes, Spanish Pimenton
*surprised at how much I enjoyed this dish because it appeared so simple, I love octopus and it was super tender but what made this dish so amazing was the potatoes
Croquetas de Jamón Y Trufa $15
Creamy Fritters filled with Jamón Mangalitsa, Truffle Alioli
*hands down my favorite dish of the evening, creamy fried cheese with salty jamon ham and a rich and creamy truffle sauce, great combo, the bartender said it’s their biggest seller
TAL VEZ: Rye, Homemade Pumpkin Liqueur, Spiced Smoke
I would highly recommend this drink if you like smoky drinks. The presentation is phenomenal and it has the right amount of bourbon, sweetness and smoke.
Tip: Make reservations on RESERVE.
You have access to the restaurant at the Dabney located in the hidden Blagden Alley or small bites and cocktails in a speakeasy setting at the Dabney Cellar.
SCALLOP CRUDO citrus salad, red onion, pickled fresno chili, peanuts, & ewe’s dream — $14
*So when I think of a typical crudo I think super thinly sliced but these were basically cut in half and were so fresh, silky and delicious. The citrus which was grapefruit and orange segments complemented the scallop so well and the fresno chili gave it the perfect amount of spiciness.
FOIE GRAS BISCUIT fried egg, country ham, & sherry maple gastrique — $24
*Wow. It’s like the most decadent umami breakfast sandwich you can possible have. If only I could eat this every day!
LONGVIEW FARMS PORK LOIN apple mostarda, cabbage, bacon, & pork rinds — $23
*Pork was perfectly roasted with a little bit of fat, loved the warm cabbage and bacon, did not like the apple mostarda, it was much too acidic.
HEARTH-ROASTED VEGETABLES farrotto, ricotta, & whey — $15
*I’ve always been a huge fan of their vegetables and I still am. The portion was a little on the small side but I really enjoyed the variety of textures and roasted flavors.
Tip: Make reservations a couple weeks in advance on RESY.
Dabney Cellar is located under building 1226 on 9th Street, there is a hidden cocktail bar that is associated with The Dabney. Beautiful exposed brick and a mixture of wooden table tops and metal chairs make it feel rustic yet modern.
They had 4 cocktails and I had the opportunity to try them all. Daiquiri, Sour, Vieux Carre and Negroni. All were delicious and carefully handcrafted. The drinks took some time to make which I didn’t mind. They also have a pretty extensive wine list, raw bar and small plates.
Opted for small plates: tuna tartare with wonderful crackers, bacon biscuits served with honey butter and the foie gras served with cherries, mustard and pickled ramps.
Was there for almost 2 hours and enjoyed every minute in this hidden gem!
Duck…duck…yea! There are so many diverse food places in Washington DC.
Pork Buns – hoisin, scallion, cucumber 12
*So I’ve had the brisket buns twice but never the pork buns and the pork buns are the way to go. It literally melts like butter in your mouth – fat at its best.
Roasted Beets – sunflower hozon, citrus, duck prosciutto 13
*So you really gotta love beets to order this dish. It’s a very complex dish that tastes sweet, salty and savory. Beets are nicely tender, the grapefruit has salt to balance out the sour, duck prosciutto adds a nice savory flavor and the sunflower hozon brings in a nice earthy flavor.
Chinese Broccoli – octo vinaigrette, chili, candied cashews* 8
*Spicy, vinegary and crunchy Chinese broccoli, I would get this again.
Crispy Eggplant – honey, cilantro, soy 8
*OMG loved this dish – couldn’t even tell it was eggplant. If you aren’t into any of the starters or don’t want a bun, definitely try this as an appetizer. This was my favorite dish outside of the main entree.
Ginger Scallion Noodles – pickled shiitake, cucumber, cabbage* 15
*Noodles have a great texture, remind me of homemade ramen noodles and all the veggies made this a really cohesive dish. I’d be a pretty happy vegetarian with all their vegetarian tasty options.
Rotisserie Duck Ssam – bibb lettuce, hoisin, pancakes (serves 3-5) 92
*Disclaimer: this takes 1 hour to make and it is totally worth the wait. So what makes this dish different from other duck dishes you’ve had? In addition to the delicious whole roasted duck they shred the legs and mix it in with rice. I also loved the accompaniments which were hoisin sauce, ginger and scallion sauce (my fav) and kimchi. I have one criticism which are the pancakes: way too big, way too dense and chewy. Went with the bibb lettuce to construct the delicious duck pancakes.
Penicillin – highly recommend it was so refreshing!
Bonji Old Fashioned – wasn’t a fan of the bonji
Honjozo Akitabare Momofuku ‘Lucky Peach’ – really smooth sake
Tip: Make reservation on OpenTable.
Global Food. Eclectic atmosphere. One of the more unique food places in Washington DC to check out.
Curried Lamb/JAMAICA – lamb, habanero, tomato, thyme, scallion, jasmine rice, coconut milk | $16
*OMG I could eat two heaping bowls – this is my favorite dish hands down. The lamb is so tender it almost melts in your mouth and there definitely is heat in this dish but I couldn’t stop eating it even though it was so spicy.
Sambal Udang/ MALAYSIA – shrimp, tofu, lemongrass, fermented chile, tomato | $15
*Large perfectly cooked shrimp with the tail on in a delicious chile tomato sauce. I wasn’t a fan of the fried tofu, it didn’t really add anything to the dish.
Meshawi/LEBANON – hanger steak, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, kuzbara, herb salad, vinaigrette | $20
*One of their larger dishes to share, hanger steak is cooked to medium rare and the kuzbara sauce is so delicious with the steak. I also loved the nice crust of the fingerling potatoes. This is a really hearty dish but the herb salad was completely drenched in the vinaigrette and it would’ve been great to cut through the richness of the steak. I’d recommend going without dressing or ask for it on the side.
Trifle: Peaches, Cake, Cream. Yes – get it.
Meltemi Rose: dry rose, not too sweet, Greek
Coconut Old Fashioned: typical old fashioned with a slight coconut finish – this paired well with the curried lamb
Tip: They only take reservations for the Bedouin Tent. Otherwise you just have to wait in line, try to get there early especially on weekends!
If you love brunch there are plenty of food places in Washington DC for that, but you need to make sure you check out this one.
WOODWARD’S FAMOUS PARKER HOUSE ROLLS $6.50
hearth baked, herb butter, maldon salt
*OMG OMG OMG. These are the best Parker House Rolls I’ve ever had in my entire life. If you are a bread lover, this will not disappoint! The maldon salt was incredible sprinkled on top of this bread!
BUTCHER BOARD $16.50
cured meats, pates, terrines, pickled vegetables, grilled bread, mustards
*If you love a variety of pates and terrines this is fabulous! Did not receive any pickled vegetables and it would have been great if there was a sweet component like honey or quince paste to cut through the richness of the meats.
LOX & BAGELS $16.75
Atlantic smoked salmon, tomato, red onion, capers, smoked salmon caviar, whipped cream cheese, everything bagel
*Whipped cream cheese is already spread on the everything bagels with smoked salmon on top. I did not see any smoked salmon caviar or tasted any. I would’ve preferred assembling my own lox and bagel but it was still really good.
CHICKEN & WAFFLE $18.50
southern fried breast, sweet potato waffle, applewood bacon, bourbon pecan syrup, black pepper gravy
*So surprisingly this was a thick chicken breast but it was super juicy. Umm as for the sweet potato waffle I really didn’t get any sweet potato flavor but the waffle was still good. It was accompanied by bourbon pecan syrup, maple syrup, butter and whipped butter. I was surprised that I actually preferred the regular maple syrup over the bourbon pecan syrup.
I’ve also heard their crab cake BLT is amazing!
Tip: They offer takeout (yum…) and you can make reservations on OpenTable.
One of my favorite food places in Washington DC. Really solid Greek food and cocktails. Sat the chef’s counter to watch the chefs cook in the open kitchen format. Whether you want to go for brunch, happy hour or dinner, it’s literally all amazing!
I highly recommend starting with pikilia which is a sampling of three spreads which come with delicious flatbread. You can also order gluten free bread for $4.
*Tzatziki: Kalamata olive, preserved lemon, orange
*Hummus: chickpea, tahini, sultan chutney
*Melitzanosalata: smoked eggplant, roasted peppers, walnuts, feta (this is my absolute favorite!)
*Greek Fries: chickpea, peppercorns, mizithra cheese
*Kolokithokeftedes: zucchini fritters, mint yogurt
*Charred Octopus: favosalata, scallions, marinated tomatoes, harissa $19
It’s a bit expensive but the octopus is super tender not chewy and has a great char
*Spanikopita: spinach, leeks, feta (you’ve never had this dish quite like this before, sometimes they have the duck pie and it’s out of this world!)
For the Table:
*half spit-roasted chicken with lemon potatoes $24
chicken is super juicy and tender, potatoes have a lot of lemon flavor
Tip: They offer a lot of their most popular dishes at Happy Hour 5-8pm in the bar area at a very reasonable price and you can make dining reservations on OpenTable.
I’m a super fan of this Ethiopian restaurant for both the food and service. There really are so many food places in Washington DC to choose from!
I usually get these items:
Keren Special: Veggie & Meat combo
Veggie Combo #2: Lentils, cabbage, spinach, potato with carrot and house salad. The veggies are always delicious and the house salad is always fresh.
Side special Tibsi #1 (Beef or Chicken). You honestly can’t go wrong with either beef or chicken.
Kicha Silsi: Breakfast item
Chopped barley bread sauteed with traditional Eritrean tomato sauce.
I love the texture of the chopped barley bread, it’s super comfort food.
Trust me when I say it is amazing! They use BrookeBond Red Label which has wonderful spices. Even if you aren’t a tea drinker I highly recommend getting a cup after dinner. You can’t get great tea at every one of the food places in Washington DC, but you can at this one.
The only downside is since the restaurant is small, I’ve definitely had to wait awhile for a seat since they are almost always busy.
Tip: No reservations but totally worth the wait!
Small menu but exceptional food. Quality over quantity is a saying for a reason. This is one of the food places in Washington DC that takes that phrase to heart.
Mapo Tofu Gnocchi | Tofu Gnocchi | Fish Sauce Caramel Popcorn | Cauliflower | 21
Great flavors and textures. Loved the velvety texture of the gnocchi and the silkiness of the tofu. Was not a fan of the fish sauce caramel popcorn, it felt out of place and the sweet flavor lingered too much. The dish is so good without the popcorn.
Pan-Seared Scallops | Coconut Risotto | Basil Ice Cream | Scallions | 20
I’ve had this dish at his other restaurants and it still blows me away. The scallops were perfection and the risotto was nice and creamy with the basil ice cream.
The Ball | Date Filled Sesame Ball
Fantastic! Completely shocked at how good this dessert was. You grab a little of the sesame ball, ice cream, candied ginger etc. Mouthful of goodness plus if you like desserts that aren’t overly sweet, ding ding ding.
I would be interested in getting brunch because when you google Kyirisan it comes up as Kyirisan brunch. Plus they have congee only at brunch and I could use that kind of delicious comfort food! One of the many brunch food places in Washington DC to check out!
Tip: Make reservations on RESERVE. Follow them on IG to see what new dishes they are adding to their menu.
Ok, so this is my favorite of the Italian food places in Washington DC and after spending 9 days in Italy eating everything, this is the only spot that comes close to making a Carbonara as good as I had there! I have no shame, I’ve been to this restaurant 18 times and I’ll admit it.
*Truffled Garlic Bread ($9): Buttery, garlicky and truffle-y. Pairs well with everything!
*600-Day Prosciutto ($18): Prosciutto is shaved super thin and almost melts in your mouth! It’s plenty to share with the table.
*Carbonara ($18): Imagine housemade pasta with egginess and peppery pancetta. Yea that good. It’s my #1 favorite pasta at RPM.
*Spicy King Crab ($23): Great amount of spice, sweet king crab and salty pasta. Everything you want in a seafood pasta.
*Pappardelle Bolognese ($20): I love fat ribbon pasta and this doesn’t disappoint. I like that they offer this as a gluten-free option and it doesn’t taste gluten-free.
I never leave RPM without dessert and neither should you. Get the Torta Meringata which is a salted caramel & vanilla gelato cake which is flambeed tableside with Bacardi 151.
Tip: Make reservation on OpenTable.
If you are looking for something unique and exceptional you’ve found it here. A hidden gem of the food places in Washington DC.
Here’s the skinny:
1. It’s really difficult to find the restaurant, to the left of Komi, down the stairs.
2. The restaurant seats about 20 ppl and they don’t take reservations so it’s best to get there early and put your name down. and they will give you an approximate time and text you when your table is ready.
3. 7 courses of Northern Thai spicy food for $49 per person. It can get pretty spicy just FYI.
4. Fantastic wine, fortified wine and beer list with some really eclectic options.
5. Really wonderful service throughout the meal. Servers took the time to describe each dish and make appropriate wine/beer recommendations.
Tip: Menus are posted on the website weekly. No reservations, first come first serve.