Categories: Food & Drink

Top 10 Washington DC Restaurants Tourists Will Enjoy

Washington DC Restaurants are full of flavor and culture. There is so much to choose from. Below I listed my top 10 Washington DC Restaurants that will add so much to your trip!

1. Nando’s

Although this place is not a DC exclusive, it is still a rare find in the U.S. The only other cities you can find Nando’s is Chicago, Virginia, and Maryland. That’s it. Nando’s is a major hit worldwide. You can find it at every corner of the UK, South Africa, Bahrain, etc. The U.S has yet to blow it up.

Nando’s offers some of the best “quick-service” chicken dinners. People worldwide have praised how incredible the food is. The Peri-Peri chicken is the most popular item on the menu. It is simply chicken breast and drumsticks smothered in the world-famous peri-peri sauce. It is simple but popular for a good reason. The desserts are really good. I loved the Portuguese egg tart, a custard that tastes like heaven! 

2. Founding Farmers

Founding Farmers provides the foundation for a great dining experience. The restaurant is dedicated to making food with quality ingredients. They cook from scratch, imitating those good homemade meals your grandma loved to make. They use locally sourced food from real farmers, making the food as authentic as possible.

The menu is all about American classics. These include chicken pot pie, cheeseburgers, fried chicken dinners, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and more. To me, Founding Farmers is like a more upscale version of Boston Market. This might be a weird comparison but it shows how good this place is. It is like a thanksgiving dinner you can get 24/7.  You will feel warm and comfortable when visiting this lovely place. 

3. Old Ebbitt Grill

Speaking of American classics, here is another quintessential restaurant. Like Founding Farmers, Old Ebbitt Grill provides quality American food. What makes this place different it’s a million times more upscale. This is a reservation only, dress code enforced, palace of an eatery. It is meant for special occasions and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 

Ready to hear about the menu? Old Ebbitt offers oysters Rockerfeller, caviar, Maine lobster, Atlantic salmon, NY strip steak, and other luxurious items. Do not expect a casual time when visiting this establishment.

It makes sense to add this to the Washington DC restaurants list with its all-American environment. And with how upscale it is, you might feel like you are dining at the White House with the president. 

4. Busboys and Poets

Busboys and Poets will continue that American theme. But instead of celebrating American culture, it critiques it. This black-owned establishment follows the theme of good southern food and social justice. Around the walls of this eatery, you will see gorgeous artwork made by local artists. There is a small bookstore attached to the restaurant displaying stories about black culture, cultural criticism poetry, and LGBT coloring books. It is all about what we want the future of America to be. There’s even a lovely portrait of George Floyd towards the entrance of this place. 

The food also makes a statement. You can feast on southern fried chicken, black-eyed pea nachos, collard greens, and vegan versions of most items. The food is super bomb and delicious. The best part is that you get to support a local establishment that supports social change! 

5. Farmers and Distillers

I view this restaurant as the sister to Founding Farmers. It serves all American classics and the name is similar. The chain also used local ingredients and collaborates with actual farmers. What makes this place different is the variety of foods it offers. 

Farmers and Distillers may serve what Founding Farmers does, but it also serves quiche, Croque Madames, mushroom risotto, and other unique eats. This restaurant is a huge hit for people who love comfort foods. You will have a blast when visiting! 

6. Duke’s Grocery

Following the hipster aesthetic, Duke’s Grocery will take you on that journey. 

This wacky restaurant is small but has a big attitude. The interior is decorated with funky artwork covering the walls. They are impossible to miss because of how much it covers the space. It is a sight to behold. The menus are also elaborately decorated and the bathrooms are super hip and cool. You know it’s artistic when even the bathrooms are making a statement. 

The food is super good. I had the chance to visit during their brunch hours. I tried their buttermilk pancakes with berries and cream. One of the best pancakes I ever had. They also have other delicious offerings such as bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, beignets, and other classics. 

See Also

7. Zaytinya

Want to leave the U.S without leaving the capital, Chef Zaytina’s got you covered with his Mediterranean-inspired menu. This restaurant will take you on this journey across Southern Europe. You can try babganoush, Falafel, hummus, octopus Santorini, and other foods authentic to the region. 

This restaurant has been said to be super delicious and you would not want to miss it!

8. Le Diplomate

Now that we left Southern Europe, we have left for France. Le Diplomate will give you the best of what France has to offer. These include escargot, quiche, pork Milanese, mushroom tarts, and other delicacies. 

This is the perfect place to go to if you love French Food! 

9. Maydan

Maydan will give you the best of what the Middle East offers. These include chicken kebabs, falafel, Mediterranean trout, and other famous foods. 

It is perfect for people who want to try something more adventurous! 

10. Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime will give you the best of what the Atlantic offers. These include Maine lobster, New England clam chowder, Alaskan Salmon (technically Pacific but oh well), and other delicacies. Many people have praised this place for being so delicious!

It is the prime of the seven seas! 

Have you added any of these Washington DC restaurants to your dining list yet? If so, which Washington DC restaurant are you most excited about the most?

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Mark Grinker

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