10 Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

The city's best restaurants for every budget.
best restaurants in washington dc
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Last Updated
August 8, 2023
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Welcome to the culinary epicenter of Washington, D.C., a city that transcends its political reputation through a vibrant food scene. With its rich multicultural tapestry, the capital city is a haven for food enthusiasts offering a splendid array of dining options.

From the charming neighborhood bistros to the upscale dining rooms in the city center, Washington, D.C. boasts a blend of traditional American dishes and global culinary delights.

Each restaurant in Washington, D.C. tells its unique story, inextricably woven into the city's rich history and diverse culture.

Whether you are seeking the nostalgia of timeless American classics, indulging in the intricate flavors of international cuisine, or exploring innovative, avant-garde creations from renowned chefs, the city’s gastronomic offerings cater to every palette.

It is this enticing confluence of the traditional and contemporary that makes dining in Washington, D.C. an experience to cherish.

In the following list, we will guide you through some of the best restaurants that Washington D.C. has to offer.

Each one has been handpicked, not only for their exceptional cuisine but also for their unwavering commitment to offering an unrivaled dining experience.

They are more than just places to eat; they are destinations that promise a culinary journey through the heart and soul of Washington, D.C.


1. Barmini

In Washington, D.C., you can eat at some of the most renowned restaurants in the country. Whether you're looking for a Michelin-starred restaurant or a more affordable hot spot, the city has it all. But where should you go? This guide aims to highlight the best restaurants in the area.

This French restaurant, headed by Michelin-starred Chef Jaques, is a must-visit. Its menu is composed of shareable plates and unique entrees, and it offers private and group dining options. The restaurant has also received numerous awards for its cuisine. The 36-seat restaurant is a city favorite, and reservations are recommended. Men must wear jackets when dining here.

For the perfect dining experience, visit Barmini in Washington D.C., which has two Michelin stars. It is located next to Minibar by Jose Andres and is within walking distance from the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Art. Barmini is one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city, and dining here is an experience not to be missed. To make your dining experience a memorable one, order a Cocktail Flight, which is a recommended way to experience the restaurant.


2. Commissary

If you're looking for a casual yet elegant coffeehouse or bar in the heart of the city, Commissary is the place to go. Located at 1443 P Street NW, this place is open seven days a week from 8 am to 9 pm and features an extensive menu of American dishes. From beer battered fish and chips to grilled pork chops and shrimp scampi, Commissary will satisfy your cravings for classic American fare.

Located on the "hot block" of P between 14th and 15th streets, the Commissary has a great atmosphere. Seating is both indoor and outdoor, with plenty of comfy couches and workstation-style desks for those who need to work while eating. Besides the full-service restaurant menu, the restaurant also has a great late-night menu featuring pasta dishes and hearty pizzas. The restaurant also offers a kids' menu that's ideal for families.

For those seeking Asian fare, Chiko is one of the best options in Washington D.C. There are two locations, each of which has different menus and hours. One of the must-order dishes is the soy-glazed brisket with a poached egg.


3. Whiskey Charlie

Located in the Wharf neighborhood, Whiskey Charlie is a rooftop bar and restaurant with spectacular views of the Potomac River. This stylish restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows, a stylish bar, and large communal booths. Outside, you'll find a winding deck, gas fire pits, and glass railings. Visitors to the restaurant are a diverse group of people - from workmates to sports fans.

For drinks, try the Mermaid Margarita. This delicious cocktail features strawberry, amaro, lime, and tequila. You can also supersize your drinks and order them in a tankard. Whether you're in the mood for a classic cocktail or something a little different, Whiskey Charlie is a good place to grab a drink and a snack.

In addition to its extensive cocktail list, Whiskey Charlie also features shareable plates and a unique, modern twist on American classics. The menu features locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and takes pride in its signature cocktails. Sushi lovers will also enjoy the sushi at O-Ku in Union Market. The chefs use quality ingredients and create dishes that will make you crave more.


4. Ambar Capitol Hill

The redesigned restaurant Ambar has a 3,000 square-foot patio that meets the city's Phase 1 outdoor dining restrictions. Guests can also enjoy the roof-top patio, which features movable teal slats. Ambar's two outdoor dining areas can seat dozens of people.

If you're wondering how to get to Ambar Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Moovit can help you get there fast. It provides free maps and live directions so you can navigate easily. Plus, Moovit tells you how much time it will take to get to your destination in real-time.

Ambar is open on weekends from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Brunch is served until 3 pm. The restaurant is well known for its attentive and professional service, excellent food, and affordable prices. In addition, it features fine decor and a Michelin star. The restaurant also has a new location in Clarendon.


5. Keren Restaurant

If you're looking for authentic Ethiopian or Eritrean food in Washington, D.C., Keren Restaurant is an excellent choice. The restaurant serves an extensive menu of traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes. Guests can also choose from a selection of vegetarian and meat dishes. The food is inexpensive, and the restaurant's large portions can easily feed two to three people.

While the city is filled with attractions, there are also a variety of great restaurants. Although D.C. is known for its steakhouses and power lunch spots, the quality of the restaurants in the area has improved significantly in recent years. Although some famous names have opened their doors here, many top restaurants are run by homegrown talent.

The restaurant is located in Adams Morgan and serves Ethiopian cuisine. You can expect to eat fluffy injera and piping-hot ful (a mash of fava beans with garlic and American chili). The staff is friendly and the drinks are cheap.


6. Kinship Restaurant

The Michelin-starred Kinship Restaurant in Washington D.C. is facing some negative press. A former server claims that she was called "stupid" four times while working at the restaurant three months ago. Last week, Klyn Jones staged a protest outside the restaurant. She is not alone.

The menu at Kinship features classic dishes as well as modern twists on familiar favorites. The restaurant is divided into three sections: history, ingredients, and indulgence. The dinner menu includes everything from lobster french toast to braised lamb shoulder. The dining room is stylish and reminiscent of a Restoration Hardware showroom.

The restaurant is owned by Chef Eric Ziebold, who has worked at several Michelin-starred restaurants. Before opening Kinship, he was executive chef of CityZen from 2004 to 2014. His work at CityZen earned him several awards, including a James Beard Award. Ziebold began his career in the restaurant industry as a teenager, working at Cafe Maude. He later enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America.


7. Lafayette Restaurant

One of Washington's most upscale restaurants, Lafayette Restaurant is a fine dining destination for power lunches and dinners. Located in the Hay-Adams hotel across from the White House, the elegant setting boasts white tablecloths, overhead chandeliers, and uniformed waiters. The elegant menu showcases classy contemporary American cuisine.

In addition to its main dining room, The Lafayette offers a private dining room. This elegant room seats up to 24 people. It is a perfect place for business meetings. Guests can enjoy champagne, Merlot, Mimosas, and fresh juices. Lafayette also offers a wide variety of delicious desserts.

Guests can also choose to stay at the nearby Washington Plaza. This hotel is a quick walk from Lafayette Square and offers contactless check-in. Another excellent hotel is the Courtyard by Marriott, a hotel that sits next to Mount Vernon Square. Guests are also within 0.72 mi of Lafayette Park.


8. Del Mar

Del Mar is located on the waterfront in District Wharf. It is owned by Michelin-starred chef Fabio Trabocchi and serves high-end Spanish seafood. Although it is quite pricey, it's worth the trip for those who love Spanish cuisine. The menu offers a wide variety of seafood dishes, which are sure to please any seafood fan.

Earlier this year, nine customer-facing employees at the Del Mar in Washington D.C. were laid off. The employees allegedly felt they were being sexually assaulted by a guest. They called the police, but Trabocchi did not respond by the deadline for comment. Douah said she sent an email to Trabocchi shortly after the assault.

Del Mar is Spanish for "of the sea." Their menu is focused on seafood that reflects the sea. Many of the dishes are made with unexpected ingredients. They include dishes such as kanpachi with salted kumquats and clams with cucumber. The menu also includes more traditional dishes, such as grilled red beets and potato omelet.

Del Mar is owned by Maria Trabocchi, a restaurateur from Mallorca. Trabocchi has a total of eight restaurants, including Del Mar.


9. Le Diplomate

If you're looking for a place to grab a bite in the heart of the nation's capital, look no further than Le Diplomate. The French restaurant's menu is as expansive as its interior, and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The restaurant's dishes include everything from onion soup to foie gras and steak-frites, and there's also a wide variety of desserts.

For those who have a passion for seafood, Le Diplomate's seafood-based menu features fresh, grilled fish from the North Sea. The entrée costs $48 and comes in a meuniere (a small dish). There are no regular meals, so this special entree is only served on certain days of the week. This means that the waitstaff is always busy, and the restaurant is notoriously full.

Another restaurant in the District of Columbia, Kinship, serves contemporary American fare with a French flair. The restaurant is known for its high quality ingredients and service. The restaurant offers a customizable tasting menu for vegetarians, vegans, and lactose-intolerant diners.

The city of Washington DC is a foodie's dream. The city is home to many award-winning restaurants that serve international cuisine. There are many Michelin-starred restaurants and all-day eateries for you to choose from.


10. Tonari

In Washington DC, you can choose from a variety of great restaurants. Because eating is a necessary part of life, it is important to find a dining establishment that offers an exceptional experience. Dining experiences in the city should enrich your life and enrich your palate.

Tonari is an Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant that opened Feb. 7 in the Chinatown neighborhood. The menu includes fusion dishes and Wafu, or Japanese-style cooking inspired by Italian dishes. The chefs and owners of Tonari, Daisuke Utagawa, Yama Jewayni, and Katsuya Fukushima, promise to please diners with innovative combinations of flavors. The menu is relatively inexpensive, too.

Pizza is a staple of Japanese cuisine, and the menu at Tonari features a variety of different versions. You can try the popular Hawaiian pizza, which incorporates wakame and usukuchi, or try the Pepperoni. The Clam pizza is also delicious and features japanese pineapple and dill.

Tonari's minimalist interior and monochromatic decor make it feel like an authentic Japanese restaurant. The first floor features light wood booths and a bar that faces the open kitchen. Guests are served their meals from servers who set them in front of them. Although the menu is not extensive, the meals are excellent. Menu items range from cod roe pasta to Hawaiian pizza.




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