Visiting Washington, DC? This post shares some great restaurants to check out!
What is it about visiting a new city that makes eating so fun? Easy – you get to eat at all the best restaurants you’ve researched! We had a quick 72-hour trip to Washington, DC and enjoyed many delicious things. DC has PLENTY of options, so use this guide as part of your research.
7 Best Restaurants to Check Out
In our short time in DC, we enjoyed seven places I recommend.
There are two locations of Hank’s in DC – one at Dupont Circle and one at the Wharf. We visited the Wharf location to check out the waterfront. It’s a busy spot, but we easily got seats at the bar around 1:30 p.m. As the name of the restaurant suggests, it’s known for its seafood, so we enjoyed crab dip and Salty Wolfe oysters, their proprietary oyster grown and harvested from the lower Chesapeake, Virginia.
One of the two reservations I made before the trip, Rooster & Owl is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving American food with Asian twists. Their menu is four courses for $85 and you get to pick from four options in each course. See this blog post for more details.
This spot was on my list because of their bagel sandwiches. (Ok, and their fun, pink branding was hard to resist too.) They have six locations in the D.C. area and also vend at the Dupont Farmers Market on Sundays. We split the Royal Palm – plain cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber, tomato, red onion, capers on an everything bagel. The dirty chai latte also fueled us up. I was also eyeing the latkes and babka muffins.
We walked by Tatte and couldn’t help stopping in after seeing the large pastry case and the throngs of people. It was a good choice because the kouign amann and morning bun we enjoyed were excellent! Tatte originated in Boston and now has 10 locations in the D.C. area. They do have heartier entrees like shakshuka, and their counter service set-up makes it easy to grab and go pastries like we did. It does get pretty busy, so go early or prepare for a wait.
For a nicer option near the National Mall, Oyamel is a short walk away. The restaurant serves upscale Mexican food and is owned by Chef José Andrés. This place is happening! We enjoyed the huge, fresh-made guacamole, ceviche con citricos (striped bass), and tacos – chilorio de res (shredded beef) and taco de lengua (beef tongue). If you want to go all-out, they have a chef’s tasting menu for $72.
We made a last-minute reservation at Bar Spero when our plans fell through and we were very pleased with our experience. The menu is a la carte and leans heavily on Spanish cuisine and open fire. It’s a newer restaurant by a Michelin chef, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it brings in big accolades. See our full experience in this blog post.
Last but not least, one of my last bites in D.C. was sweet! We ventured to Georgetown for a cupcake at Baked and Wired, a bakery known for its cupcakes. They have so many flavors but I opted for my favorite and bestseller – strawberry.
We enjoyed the smallest fraction of great restaurants in D.C. If you’re looking for more recommendations, I would take a look at the below lists and explore the Eater D.C. website to plan your trip.
DC is a city with Michelin-starred restaurants, 24 in total. While these aren’t the only restaurants where you’ll find great eats, you’ll be guaranteed to find creativity, quality, and a high standard of service. Here’s a list of the restaurants.
- The Inn at Little Washington
- Pineapple & Pearls
- El Cielo D.C.
- Imperfecto: The Chef’s Table
- Little Pearl
- Oyster Oyster
- Rooster & Owl
- Rose’s Luxury
- Sushi Nakazawa
- Tail Up Goat
- The Dabney
Here are some other places I had on my list but didn’t get to work into the schedule. I have them bookmarked for a future trip!
- Compass Rose
- Old Ebbit Grill
- Purple Patch
- Right Proper Brewing
- Un Je Ne Sai Quoi
- Union Market
I hope you enjoy eating in DC! I can’t wait to go back and try more restaurants.