Vegans (and converts) the city over trek to Sticky Fingers Bakery because its baked goods are so delicious that eaters won’t miss dairy at all. When it comes to ethnic food, DC diners have voiced their desire to do away with weak Western versions of dishes in favor of ordering the real deal, previously reserved for expats and the in-the-know crowd.
When you need to grab a quick bite late at night, fill up on a delicacy native to El Salvador, affordable and must-try pork popular from Gloria’s Pupuseria, or go with a conveyed belt-cooked pizza, which stays open until 1 a.m. on weekends. Starting during a civil war in the 1970s and continuing through the 2000s, a large population from El Salvador emigrated the U.S., with many of them relocating to DC, in Mount Pleasant to be specific.
You don’t have to be a Bolshevik to have a good night at Marx Café Revolutionary Cuisine in Mount Pleasant, a neighborhood hangout where the bartender is quick to mingle with locals and newbies alike. The no-frills bar is famed for its annual Sundress Fest the first Sunday in May, when men and women don their blowiest frocks to enjoy all-day happy hour.
Tip: If you want to fit in like a local, leave the suit at home, don’t order food (there actually is no grill, but you can get a bag of UTC potato chips) and slunk into a booth beside towering pictures of icons like Elvis, Marlene Dietrich and John Lennon. And even if (read: when) you do stick out like a sore thumb, savor the fact that you’ve landed in one of the city’s most historic bars, oozing with personality and character.
These are the best restaurants to visit, each representing a tasty piece of the neighborhood’s culture and melting pot of citizens. A cozy spot with a dog friendly patio and late night coffee, The Coupe provides a relaxing environment for regulars and visitors.
The French-American café sources their food from local and organic farms, and the alcohol from the District breweries and distilleries. The selection is vegetarian-friendly, offering a mushroom Reuben or an open-faced vegan fennel sausage sandwich.
There are also plenty of options for omnivores, like fish and chips or crispy croquet monsieur. A Dominican restaurant that is family run, this is an excellent spot to get a try something new and still get a taste of home cooking.
Los Germans is a friendly establishment that dishes out generous portions of their food that guests can mix together for the perfect meal. Guests get a choice of rice, a side and one of the many types of meat available; stewed beef or chicken, pork chops or goat, and more.
A modern restaurant, This Khan brings Laotian cuisine and tradition to Washington, DC. A This Khan is a traditional communal basket that contains sticky rice and is shared among the family at meal time.
With wood-fired oven pizzas and a wide selection of panini and calzones, this Neapolitan Bistro is a chic spot to spend lunch with friends or set up a work meeting. Red Rocks also offers a range of beers and cocktails to drink with the pizza, creating a relaxing atmosphere to kick back and enjoy the meal.
A simple, no-frills environment, El Poll Sabras is an easy-to-miss restaurant with amicable staff who are happy to help customers with questions. The restaurant specializes in Peruvian cuisine with moist rotisserie chicken, gyros and sandwiches, and the must-have yucca fries.
A colorful space filled with tropical plants, this Cuban restaurant exudes the scents and sounds of Cuba. This is a great place to meet up with a large group of friends and share an affordable dinner out.
The small restaurant is almost always crowded, as visitors and locals cannot get enough of the empanadas or Cuban sandwiches. Mi Cuba Café also provides fresh squeezed orange juice, which can be refreshing on a hot summer day.
Maple is an Italian restaurant with outdoor seating, large portions and a cool relaxing atmosphere. The menu offers a list of panini, such as short rib, three cheese or white beans, as well as homemade pastas, like the lamb ragù tagliatelle.
This restaurant’s intimate air makes it an ideal location for dates, where guests can watch the sunset while enjoying a sweet after dinner afloat. It is easy to feel at home at El Incognito, and that is what keeps guests returning time and again to eat more of the hearty food.
While waiting for their meal of popular, tamales or Cimarron, guests can munch on complementary chips and salsa. Columbia Heights | OpenTable Skip to Main Content Restaurants are struggling due to COVID-19.
Our Staple (which is also our namesake) would be our four hour slow-cooked, melt in your mouth Veal Ossobuco. Legend is a farm-to-table Ethiopian restaurant serving dishes made with natural, premium ingredients.
Located in the heart of ColumbiaHeights, Washington DC, Legend is a family-owned destination centered around authentic, quality Ethiopian food. Owner Yam rot Eminem opened Legend’s doors in October... See More.
View All Tucked away in the District of Columbia's northwest corner, the neighborhoods of ColumbiaHeights and Driftwood contain beautiful homes, friendly residents, and some of the greatest chefs on the East Coast. Restaurants in this area of D.C. have been featured by food critics in the Washington Post and the Washingtonian magazine.
On weekends, both visitors and locals of the city can enjoy brunch at several notable restaurants. Former President Barack Obama and celebrities have frequented the area for Southern fare or a classic meal of eggs Benedict.
Local enthusiasm for coffee has also peaked over the years, so strong and bold brews are popular at establishments on 11th Street. For lunch and dinner, modern American and Asian-fusion are popular.
Upscale vegan restaurants are also a hit among Washington's Millennial residents. Tucked away in the District of Columbia's northwest corner, the neighborhoods of ColumbiaHeights and Driftwood contain beautiful homes, friendly residents, and some of the greatest chefs on the East Coast.
Restaurants in this area of D.C. have been featured by food critics in the Washington Post and the Washingtonian magazine. On weekends, both visitors and locals of the city can enjoy brunch at several notable restaurants.
Former President Barack Obama and celebrities have frequented the area for Southern fare or a classic meal of eggs Benedict. Local enthusiasm for coffee has also peaked over the years, so strong and bold brews are popular at establishments on 11th Street.
In this first selection, three restaurants have been awarded two stars: Mini Bar, where under the eyes of his customers, chef Jose Andres offers particularly avant-garde and innovative cuisine in the form of a tasting menu featuring whimsical and fun dishes; Pineapple & Pearls, opened earlier this year by chef Aaron Silverman, has perfectly flavored dishes reflecting a wide range of influences; and The Inn at Little Washington, which is outside of Washington and has long offered the classic and eclectic French cuisine in a stunning setting, all of which is orchestrated by celebrity chef Patrick. The tasting menu showcases a series of whimsical, playful, and thought-provoking dishes prepared right in front of the guests (seated at a kitchen-facing counter).
A meal at Pineapple and Pearls is a more refined and elevated display of Chef Silverman’s unique style and was a very convincing two stars. The remote establishment began life as a garage built in the late 1890s, and has evolved since opening in 1978 into a culinary campus with guestrooms, a farmer’s market, and shops.
Chilled veal tongue arrives with pickled vegetables and horseradish and mustard ice cream; while fried soft-shell crabs are sauced with orange and ginger. “Over the last five years the culinary offering has significantly developed in the city, driven by chefs who have travelled, have trained abroad and have enriched their cuisine on their return by incorporating new techniques, new flavors, and new seasonings,” says Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin guides.
“This gastronomic revival is amplified and supported by the “Mid-Atlantic cuisine” led by young chefs who have decided to take advantage of their terror and work local products, thereby giving Washington a unique culinary identity.” Chef Jeremiah Langhorne is a Virginia-native, and he has interned at Nova where he learned about foraging, and has cooked at Sean Brock’s McCray’s in Charleston, SC.
The chef is clear in using his menu to promote Mid-Atlantic cuisine in an updated way: ramp custard, pan-fried Chesapeake catfish, buttermilk pie with fresh-made strawberry jam. The product-driven cuisine calls on the local area’s (mostly, but not solely) the finest products and the menu’s farm-to-table vibe incorporates the wood-burning oven.
Kinship Eric Piebald has an impressive pedigree, having worked for Thomas Keller at The French Laundry and as opening chef at Per Se. His many years as an apprentice in Europe directly influence his cuisine, which has an Old World sensibility though it is made with local and seasonal ingredients.
The curious name is explained on the website and was reiterated to me by my server, but is worth mentioning: Partner Jill Tyler (wife of Chef Jon Robert) grew up on the US Virgin Islands and the moniker refers to the island saying to differentiate between goat and sheep: tail up goat, tail down sheep. Assyria Chef Nicholas Stephane takes great care in making each dish shine with the bright flavors of his family’s beloved region, Paglia.
With so many Italian leaning restaurants populating this city, Assyria stands out for its contemporary take on the dishes of Paglia and for a setting that could have been plucked from the uber-chic countryside of Southern Italy. Viola Fabio Trabocchi has been a major fixture on the DC dining scene for years; clearly he and his team know how to welcome diplomats and politicians of all stripes.
Sushi Taro This longstanding DC favorite opened in 1986, and was taken over in 2003 by brothers Nob and Jin Yamazaki, the sons of the original owners. The signature point arrives when the chefs unveil boxes of fish to be used for the evening’s sashimi and Nigeria, allowing guests to choose for themselves from the incredible bounty.