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Best Food in Washington DC

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Besides being the center of American government, Washington DC is a cornucopia of diverse restaurants and eateries, representative of the myriad cultures found throughout the District. DC is a place for cupcake lovers, chili aficionados, patriots of old-fashioned American tavern food, Ethiopian converts, chocolate fans, and everything in between. There are dozens of excellent places to eat great food in DC, and this list will give you a taste of where to start.

Good for
  • Foodie

10 Places

5 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Ben's Chili Bowl

Restaurants

Georgetown Cupcake

Restaurants

Marvin

Restaurants

Jaleo

Restaurants

Busboys and Poets

Restaurants

Art and Soul

Restaurants

Founding Farmers

Restaurants

1789 Restaurant

Restaurants

Zaytinya

Restaurants

BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant

Restaurants

TawannaCB's City Tips

  • Given so many options for sit-down, takeout, street food, or fine dining, meal prices vary widely.
  • DC has an in-depth public transportation infrastructure. Catch the Metro to save money and get around town quickly.
  • Capital Bikeshare offers a way to explore the city at a leisurely and inexpensive pace. Bikes are free for 30 minutes, so if riding longer, turn yours in and get another.
  • DC locals are fairly low-key and generally friendly. Most people appreciate personal space, minimal staring, and courteous behavior.
  • Tipping in sit-down restaurants averages 15-20%, depending on level of service.
  • Save
    Ben's Chili Bowl
    Restaurants (American, Fast food, Diner)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    Ben's Chili Bowl is a restaurant landmark in Washington DC. I love that, in addition to their awesome beef chili, the restaurant accommodates non-red-meat eaters with a vegetarian chili. There are several wonderful ways to enjoy your chili: as it comes, on fries, on a hot dog, on a burger, or the half-smoke (over a half-pork, half-sausage sandwich).

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    Tips
    • The half-smoke is a unique meal. Try it!
    • Sit at the bar for a casual experience.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #73 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Pretty good 09/12/2017
    • A cultural experience. 09/12/2017
    • Ben's Chili Bowl
    Address:
    1213 U St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20009-4442
    Phone:
    +1 202-667-0909
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$7
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 23:00
    Mon - Thu
    06:00 - 02:00
    Fri
    06:00 - 04:00
    Sat
    07:00 - 04:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Georgetown Cupcake
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    If you love dessert, you must make a trip to Georgetown Cupcake for a sweet end to any meal. The famed cupcakes here are moist and come in a fun variety of flavors (making it hard to choose just one!). The shop is also a nice detour away from the heavy tourist areas of the city.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • This is a busy cupcake shop. The line is often out the door and around the corner. Avoid the weekends and after 5pm if you don't want to wait.
    • The peanut butter and red velvet cupcakes are my favorites!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #56 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Absolutely amazing! 08/12/2017
    • Best Cupcakes I Have Ever Eaten 06/12/2017
    • Georgetown Cupcake
    Address:
    3301 M St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20007-3514
    Phone:
    +1 202-333-8448
    Price range:
    US$2 - US$29
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 19:00
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Marvin
    Restaurants (American, Bar, Pub)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    This restaurant has a fun rooftop bar and always plays great R&B and soul music which blends seamlessly with Marvin's atmosphere and excellent food. The fries are addictive, and the seafood always on point (fresh and tasty).

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Visit with some friends and enjoy the upbeat social atmosphere while you dine on delicious fries and fresh mussels.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #703 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • If I was a local, I'd be a regular! ROOFTOP BAR! 11/12/2017
    • Great food cozy location 28/08/2017
    • Marvin
    Address:
    2007 14th St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20009-7562
    Phone:
    +1 202-797-7171
    Price range:
    US$30 - US$30
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:30 - 02:00
    Mon - Thu
    17:30 - 02:00
    Fri - Sat
    17:30 - 03:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Jaleo
    Restaurants (Latin, Mediterranean, Spanish)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    If you love tapas, you'll love Jose Andres's Jaleo. Here, small plates - including shrimp, chicken fritters, spicy potatoes, croquettes, and octopus - offer a delectable flight of Spanish food. Plus, the sangrias are fruity and the restaurant offers a diverse selection of Spanish wines.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • The tapas prices may be on the expensive side for more budget-conscious diners.
    • Order the sangria by the pitcher — it's worth it!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tapas before Bocelli 13/12/2017
    • Better Tapas than Spain 13/12/2017
    • Jaleo
    Address:
    480 7th St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20004-2207
    Phone:
    +1 202-628-7949
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 22:00
    Mon
    11:00 - 22:00
    Tue - Thu
    11:00 - 23:00
    Fri
    11:00 - 00:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Busboys and Poets
    Restaurants (American, Bar)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    An eclectic mix of coffee shop, bookstore, lounge, and restaurant, Busboys and Poets is a fun place to dine with friends, enjoying delicious food in a lively crowd.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Like a Local
    • Trendsetter
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • During open mic nights, the place fills up very quickly.
    • Stop by for open poetry night, and you'll be treated to entertainment along with your meal.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #17 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great food... Great vibes! 12/12/2017
    • Great Brunch 04/12/2017
    • Busboys and Poets
    Address:
    2021 14th St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20009-4436
    Phone:
    +1 202-387-7638
    Price range:
    US$0 - US$20
    Hours:
    Mon - Wed
    08:00 - 00:00
    Thu - Fri
    08:00 - 02:00
    Sat - Sun
    09:00 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Art and Soul
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    Situated near Capitol Hill, Art and Soul is a refined soul food-inspired restaurant. The massive portions of classic southern dishes served up here - like chicken and waffles, bacon cornbread, and shrimp and grits - make it hard to save room for dessert (but try!).

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Luxury Traveller
    Tips
    • Come hungry and forget about counting calories.
    • Street parking is very difficult around here, so take the Metro or prepare to valet.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #89 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Underwhelmed 24/11/2017
    • Very good food and service 18/11/2017
    • Art and Soul
    Address:
    415 New Jersey Ave NW
    Washington DC, DC 20001-2001
    Phone:
    +1 202-393-7777
    Price range:
    US$31 - US$100
    Hours:
    Sun
    17:30 - 22:00
    Mon - Thu
    11:00 - 15:30
    17:30 - 22:30
    Fri
    11:00 - 15:00
    Fri - Sat
    17:30 - 23:00
    Sat - Sun
    07:00 - 15:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Founding Farmers
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    The farm-to-table dishes at Founding Farmers focus on hearty comfort food, with favorites like chicken wings, beignets, macaroni-and-cheese, and french toast.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    Tips
    • I enjoy dining here for brunch, and especially like the mac-and-cheese.
    • Make a reservation — this restaurant is popular and gets crowded.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #36 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not as good as the hype 12/12/2017
    • Thanksgiving treat 11/12/2017
    • Founding Farmers
    Address:
    1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington DC, DC 20006-3607
    Phone:
    +1 202-822-8783
    Price range:
    US$15 - US$50
    Hours:
    Sun
    09:00 - 22:00
    Mon
    07:00 - 22:00
    Tue - Thu
    07:00 - 23:00
    Fri
    07:00 - 00:00
    Sat
    09:00 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Save
    1789 Restaurant
    Restaurants (American)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    Situated in a historic building (the original site of which was purchased by Archbishop John Carroll in 1789), 1789 Restaurant is an homage to the 18th century. Its elegant period decor exquisitely accents the rich menu, which rotates daily and features staples like like rabbit, duck, and lamb.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • This restaurant is on the pricier side.
    • Jackets are suggested for men.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Over-elaborate and fussy 06/12/2017
    • They need to be clear when you reserve that there are many different rooms 29/11/2017
    • 1789 Restaurant
    Address:
    1226 36th St NW
    Washington DC, DC 20007-2627
    Phone:
    +1 202-965-1789
    Price range:
    US$50 - US$85
    Other:
  • Save
    Zaytinya
    Restaurants (Lebanese, Mediterranean, European, Turkish, Greek, Middle Eastern)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    Looking for flavorful Mediterranean mezze that satisfies your palate? Zaytinya serves up traditional dishes from Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece — all filled with spices and fresh ingredients that will have you dreaming of blue seas, stone hearths, and open fields in no time.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    Tips
    • Make a reservation, as this restaurant is always busy.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #12 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A great place - that's why I went there two consecutive days for lunch 11/12/2017
    • Atmosphere 07/12/2017
    • Zaytinya
    Address:
    701 9th St NW
    Edison Place
    Washington DC, DC 20001-4572
    Phone:
    +1 202-638-0800
    Price range:
    US$31 - US$32
    Hours:
    Sun - Mon
    11:30 - 22:00
    Tue - Thu
    11:30 - 23:00
    Fri - Sat
    11:30 - 00:00
    Other:
  • Save
    BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant
    Restaurants (American, Seafood)
    See more photos
    TawannaCB Says:

    This upscale restaurant is recommended for all seafood fans visiting the District. At BlackSalt, simple but extremely fresh fish makes its way straight from the market to your table.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Luxury Traveller
    Tips
    • Save room for dessert.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #78 of 2,517 restaurants in Washington DC
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Well worth the hype 10/11/2017
    • Great Fish Tacos 07/11/2017
    • BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant
    Address:
    4883 Macarthur Blvd NW
    Washington DC, DC 20007-1578
    Phone:
    +1 202-342-9101
    Price range:
    US$31 - US$50
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 14:00
    17:00 - 21:00
    Mon - Thu
    17:30 - 21:30
    Mon - Sat
    11:30 - 14:30
    Fri
    17:30 - 23:00
    Sat
    17:00 - 23:00
    Other:
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