10 Restaurants In Washington DC To Try This Year

January 15, 2021

There are countless reasons to visit Washington DC. The seat of American power, the city is home to iconic landmarks including the White House, Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial, making it one of the USA’s most popular attractions. But did you know that the city is also a hotspot for food enthusiasts? Home to some of the most popular and quirky restaurants in the country, this article will break down some of the best restaurants in Washington DC.

Purple Patch

Purple Patch in Washington DC
Chef Patrice’s 25oz soy sauce calamansi braised bone in short rib from Purple Patch in Washington DC

Purple Patch is an authentic Filipino restaurant in the heart of Washington DC. It is owned and managed by native Filipinos, which is how you know the food is good. Head chef Patrice Cleary is passionate about her home country and loves sharing its food and culture with residents of Washington DC. Guests at the restaurant can feast on dishes including 25oz rib Bistek, Filipino coconut curried chicken and a traditional Fried crab cake sandwich. The restaurant is also open for brunch, serving a range of smaller dishes and Filipino sandwiches, which can be enjoyed in the restaurant itself or on the patio terrace. This remains open in the evening, where patio heaters ensure guests stay warm.


The lamb shoulder feast from Zaytinya, Washington DC

A slice of the Mediterranean in the heart of America, Zaytinya specialises in Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisine and was included in the Michelin Guide to Washington DC in 2019. Housed in a modern glass building, the restaurant has been an established part of the city’s food scene since it opened in 2002. For $75, guests can enjoy a tasting menu, tucking into an entire range of dishes from across the restaurant’s catalogue. This offer also includes a $25 gift card and a cava toast. If you have something more specific in mind then you can enjoy some of Zaytinya’s famous spreads, flat breads or mezzes – platters of seafood, meat, vegetables or poultry.

Et Voila!

Et Voila!
Salmon Gravlax with mache lettuce salad and sweet mustard dressing at Et Voila! in Washington DC

Located in the heart of Washington DC’s palisades neighbourhood, Et Voila! is a French and Belgian bistro, voted a 2020 Neighbourhood Favourite by NextDoor. Belgian chefs Alex Malaise and Claudio Pirollo are incredibly experienced, with the latter once having cooked for former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice! Et Voila! has been open since the year 2008, serving traditional European dishes including Flemish beef stew, Beef tartare and Rigatoni bolognese. The restaurant has an indoor dining area as well as a heated outdoor section, where diners can relax and watch the world go by as they tuck into their meal.


Arcuri, Washington DC
Great pizza every day at Arcuri, Washington DC

A pizza place with a difference, Arcuri brings authentic, healthy pizza to hundreds of customers in Washington DC every day. Part of the Slice group of pizza restaurants, it consistently ranks amongst the best rated pizzerias in Washington DC. Old classics such as Margherita (Plain Cheese Pizza) are accompanied by bold and mouth-watering flavour combinations such as the Fig Lebowski Pizza (fig, prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, port reduction) and the Pacific BBQ Pizza (BBQ sauce, pineapple, caramelized red onion, chicken) to ensure there is sure to be something for everyone on the menu. The restaurant also serves a healthy range of salads, soups and sandwiches, as well as classic sides such as Garlic bread and French fries, alongside gourmet sides such as Salmon filet and Broccoli rabe.

City Tap House Dupont

City Tap House Dupont
A great selection of food and drinks at City Tap House Dupont

City Tap have a number of outlets across the USA, many with a focus on delicious craft beers. Dupont in Washington DC is the company’s foodie outlet, serving a variety of incredible dishes from brunch, all the way until late evening. Anything from Avocado toast to Breakfast tacos is available for early risers, whilst the lunch menu is just as diverse. The restaurant has a brick pizza oven to create gourmet pizzas, and serves a range of fresh seafood including mussels, crab cakes and classic fish and chips. If you want to make a day of it and stay for a few drinks from the extensive beverages’ menu after your meal, then you can also order spicy wings, Korean short rib tacos and more, right up until 1am.

DC Harvest

DC Harvest
Great food awaits at DC Harvest in Washington DC

The family-owned, independent DC Harvest has become one of Washington DC’s best kept secrets. Serving a range of healthy, locally sourced, seasonal dishes, the restaurant is also known for its bottomless brunches, where unlimited mimosas are served throughout the restaurant’s opening hours. The menu changes seasonally, but winter offerings include hearty meals such as Grilled Elysian Fields lamb burger, Roasted butternut squash steak and Pecan wood smoked chicken breast. The restaurant also offers a private dining space, which can host up to 60 guests – perfect for a party, wedding reception or business meeting.

District Taco

District Taco
Great Guac @ District Taco, Washington DC

With branches in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as Washington DC, it is fair to say that District Taco has been a roaring success. And this comes as little surprise to guests who venture into one of the company’s restaurants. Classic Mexican dishes are made with the finest ingredients and put together by highly-skilled chefs. Tacos, burritos, ensaladas, quesadillas and taco bowls are just some of the traditional Mexican offerings available.

Founded by two friends and entrepreneurs, Marc Wallace and Osiris Hoil, a Mexican immigrant turned American citizen, District Taco now operates 14 restaurants across America, a living example of the American Dream in action.

Due South

Due South, washington
Wings & beers at Due South, Washington DC

As the name suggests, Due South brings together all the good things about the southern United States, namely its mouth-watering food and friendly hospitality. Fresh cocktails and craft beers are served alongside delicious food, right on the banks of the Anacostia River. Dishes at the restaurant include fried chicken, pulled pork and chicken pot pie. Although the menu is heavily carnivorous, there are plenty of provisions for vegetarians too, including beet and pear salad and a roasted squash bowl. Perhaps the highlight of the menu is the “From the Smoker” section, where everything is freshly smoked daily and onsite. Texas-style brisket and Salt and pepper ribs are just some of the offerings.


Top quality dishes at Farmbird, Washintgon DC

One of the top-rated Washington DC restaurants on TripAdvisor, Farmbird does chicken properly. Their chicken is of the highest quality, never frozen and the birds themselves are reared humanely and treated without antibiotics on farms in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. When paired with the restaurant’s talented chefs, you get some of the best chicken dishes in the city. Chicken breast or thighs is served with rice and a range of sides, including roasted sweet potatoes, mac and cheese or roasted broccoli. The restaurant also serves a range of sandwiches and salads, as well as tofu for vegetarian diners.

Unconventional Diner

Unconventional Diner, Washington DC
Corn cheese dip with mozzarella, chili pepper and a corn tortilla from Unconventional Diner, Washington DC

You know it’s good when the chef wins Chef of the Year at the 2020 Rammy Awards, celebrating great dining. David Deshaies is the head chef at Unconventional Diner in Washington DC. The restaurant declares its mission statement to be Modern Comfort Food, bringing fine dining to some of those staple dishes we eat day-to-day. Some classic examples on the menu include Kale nachos and a truly exquisite Meatloaf, nothing like your grandmother used to make…

Amsterdam Falafelshop

Amsterdam Falafelshop
Great choice of middle eastern dishes at Amsterdam Falafelshop

Falafel is often described as one of the world’s oldest superfoods, packed full of goodness and one of the most popular vegan and vegetarian dishes out there. At the Amsterdam Falafelshop in Washington DC, you’re sure to find some of the best falafel in the USA. One of their most popular dishes is the Falafel Sandwich, which involves three (small) or five (regular) falafel balls served in a pitta with your choice of up to 22 toppings and sauces. Their other dishes include falafel bowls and sides including fries, that old American favourite. For larger parties or office lunches, they also offer sharing platters, perfect for spicing up a gathering or boring meeting.

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