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The Best Restaurants in Washington D.C.

Some of the best casual spots you know today such as Five Guys and Sweetgreen got their starts in Washington, D.C., showing that the city is a national trendsetter. Every neighborhood has its own dining personality. Chinatown is home to diverse cuisines, from various Asian options to Italian and Latin American. Georgetown offers plenty of patio dining and socializing for those just getting off work, and the U Street corridor pairs some of the best jazz clubs in the city with cuisines from around the globe. For elegant dining options there is no better neighborhood than the City Center area. These are the best restaurants in Washington, D.C.

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The OpenTable Team
36 Restaurants
Updated December 17, 2021
Restaurants:All Day by Kramers, Ambar Capitol Hill, Bidwell
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:American, Balkan Style
Neighborhoods:Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, NoMa
A photo of All Day by Kramers restaurant

All Day by Kramers

$$$$
American
Dupont Circle
4.5
108 reviews

When Steve Salis first opened Kramers during the bicentennial celebrations of 1976, it was the first combination of a café and bookstore in Washington, D.C. Diners can try a signature breakfast dish such as avocado toast, a fabulous brunch choice like chicken and waffles, or a dark chocolate mousse for dessert. In addition to the food, diners can also enjoy a beer, wine, or cocktail while reading a book.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Ambar Capitol Hill restaurant

Ambar Capitol Hill

$$$$
Balkan Style
Capitol Hill
4.8
3817 reviews

When Ivan Iricanin opened Ambar Capitol Hill in 2013, it became the first modern Balkan restaurant in the city. The restaurant soon became a fixture in all manner of restaurant guides and was a winner of the 2018 Rammy Award, leading to an early 2020 expansion to double the size of the restaurant including adding a rooftop patio. Today people can enjoy traditional Balkan dishes such as lamb lasagna, pepper croquette, and the Cevapi Balkan kebab in an open, earth-toned environment.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of Bidwell restaurant

Bidwell

$$$$
American
NoMa
4.1
489 reviews

Chef John Mooney opened Bidwell in 2014 with a mantra of offering responsibly sourced dishes. The result is menu choices such as lobster tacos, butternut squash soup, and crispy fried oysters. The corner location of the restaurant and all of the large windows make this a very open and airy environment with a lot of magnificent hardwood tables and chairs and light beiges and browns throughout. The restaurant was a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand 2021 winner, and the restaurant even features a rooftop aeroponic garden that contributes to the fresh tastes on the menu items.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Bistro Aracosia restaurant

Bistro Aracosia

$$$$
Afghan
Palisades Northwest
4.9
1910 reviews

Omar Masroor opened Bistro Aracosia in 2017 as his second Afghan restaurant in the area. The menu caters to many dietary choices, such paleo and gluten-free, in dishes such as the bistro signature mix grill mazza, pumpkin dumplings, and sabzi turnovers. In both 2018 and 2019, this restaurant received an award as one of the 100 best in the city and it was also an OpenTable Diner's Choice award winner. The corner location of the restaurant offers up a warm and casual feeling for those that visit.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of BLT Prime by David Burke restaurant

BLT Prime by David Burke

$$$$
Contemporary American
Downtown
4.7
2169 reviews

David Burke is a renowned restaurateur who brought his talents to the area in 2016. Some of the menu offerings he has created at this location include tuna tartare, a cowboy steak, and his signature crispy skin "salt brick" chicken. With high-end touches such as marble floors and very elegant decor, this is upscale, fine dining at its best with a location inside of a restored, high-ceilinged building that gives people the feeling of dining in an elegant mansion.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Caruso's Grocery restaurant

Caruso's Grocery

$$$$
Italian
Capitol Hill
4.9
420 reviews

A local newspaper referred to Caruso's grocery as the "old school Italian restaurant of your dreams". Opened by chef and co-owner Matt Adler in 2019, the restaurant offers classic Italian dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmigiana, and seafood fra diavolo. The interior of the space is classic Italian with white marble tables and red vinyl booths, plus plenty of wood trim and white tile. Caruso’s beverage program is equally retro, offering wines and cocktails that are straight out of a classic Italian-themed movie with plenty of affordable Italian wines by the glass or carafe.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of China Chilcano restaurant

China Chilcano

$$$$
Peruvian
Penn Quarter
4.6
2988 reviews

Celebrity chef Jose Andres opened China Chilcano in 2015 as a celebration of the rich history of the diverse dishes of Peru. Today that shows up on the menu as dishes such as jaladito norteno, big eye tuna sashimi, and tallarin saltado de verduras. The interior of the space is vibrant with brightly colored murals, wild red tube lighting, lamps hanging above diners, and an open feel thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the space. The restaurant was a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand Award winner in 2021.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of CIRCA at Navy Yard restaurant

CIRCA at Navy Yard

$$$$
American
Navy Yard
4.7
784 reviews

When CIRCA at Navy Yard opened in early 2019 the Metropolitan Hospitality Group restaurant partnered with a local brewery to offer signature local beers and the interior featured custom artwork from a Miami-based pop artist. The result is a combination of an open and airy space with plenty of natural tones and organic colors highlighted by vibrant and colorful artwork. The menu contains items such as their Fuji apple shrimp salad, their free-range brick chicken, as well as a very unique take on the turkey burger.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Das Ethiopian - Georgetown restaurant

Das Ethiopian - Georgetown

$$$$
Ethiopian
Georgetown
4.7
1118 reviews

Sileshi Alifom opened Das in the Georgetown neighborhood in 2010. He created an interior that offers quite a few neutral colors such as white, black, and beige but interspersed throughout the interior are several pictures that reflect the very diverse country of Ethiopia. Their menu offers a wide selection of classic Ethiopian dishes such as beef zilzil tibs, steak tartare kitfo, and chicken infillay. Their outdoor patio is a popular place for people to sit but they do not offer reservations here so for diners planning on dining outside make sure to get here early. With one visit it is easy to see why Das was a Bib Gourmand 2021 award winner.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of dLeña restaurant

dLeña

$$$$
Latin American
Mt. Vernon Square
4.8
603 reviews

Chef and owner Richard Sandoval has created a menu at dLeña that creates a modern slant on classic Mexican dishes. Inspired by the Spanish word "leña", which in English means firewood, this restaurant that opened in early 2021 and has a space that offers a dark yet inviting feel with plenty of candlelight setting the mood. The menu offers dishes such as ceviche camarillo, short rib tacos, and media pollo al carbon. For dessert try the creme brûlée which is a favorite of regular visitors to this restaurant.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of Elizabeth's Gone Raw restaurant

Elizabeth's Gone Raw

$$$$
Vegan
Downtown
4.9
836 reviews

Owner Elizabeth Petty opened Elizabeth's Gone Raw as a dining experience that only occurs on Friday and Saturday nights. During this time, they offer a six-course vegan tasting menu. While the menu does change over time some examples of the foods people will experience here include things like salt baked honeysweet onion soup, wood-grilled oyster mushrooms, and a prickly pear raspberry mousse. The location has the look and feel of a walk-up townhome giving people the sense of an invitation to somebody's home for dinner.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Emmy Squared Shaw DC restaurant

Emmy Squared Shaw DC

$$$$
Pizzeria
Shaw
4.6
84 reviews

When Emily Hyland opened the popular Detroit-style pizza place Emily Squared in early 2020 the rectangular pan pizzas that the restaurant offers became an instant hit. In addition to pizzas, they also offer plates such as their chopped cheese fries double, their huge hot chicken wedge salad, and their le big Matt burger. The interior is a combination of hardwood tables and black vinyl booths with a bright and open feel due to a large number of windows in the space.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Fitzgerald's restaurant

Fitzgerald's

$$$$
Cocktail Bar
Georgetown
4.9
39 reviews

When the Clyde Restaurant Group was looking for a concept to open next to their very popular 1789 restaurant, they hit upon a unique cocktail bar called Fitzgerald's. Opened in early 2021 the interior has the feel of visiting a local neighborhood bar near a prestigious Ivy League school with plenty of rich wood tones and classic upholstered bar stools. Beyond all their signature and classic cocktails, many of which contain one of the rotating menus of Japanese whiskeys, some of the food choices here include Korean chicken wings, American waygu tartare, and The Fitzgerald's salad.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Gypsy Kitchen - DC restaurant

Gypsy Kitchen - DC

$$$$
Mediterranean
Logan Circle
4.7
750 reviews

Andres Sweeks has created a concept that opened in 2020 that includes many small Mediterranean plates which incorporate tastes from Greece, Spain, Morocco, and the Middle East. This includes things such as crispy cauliflower, lacquered half chicken, and lamb ribs and crispy lamb belly. The restaurant features a spacious outdoor patio full of bright colors on top of rich wood tones and the interior is full of brick and wood plus plenty of plants hanging from the ceiling interspersed with a variety of different light fixtures.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Haikan restaurant

Haikan

$$$$
Ramen
Shaw
4.7
526 reviews

Haikan, which is a Japanese word meaning "pipeworks", gets its name as an homage to the Atlantic Plumbing Building where the restaurant sits. Owners Katsuya Fukushima, Yama Jewayni, and Daisuke Utagawa opened this Sapporo Ramen shop in 2016 offering dishes such as crispy pig ears, shoyu ramen, and mapo tofu aburamen. The floor-to-ceiling windows have the feeling of garage doors and give the dining room plenty of natural light. On top of that, the large Japanese-style lanterns in the ceiling give the interior a vibrant and exciting look.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Jaleo DC restaurant

Jaleo DC

$$$$
Spanish
Penn Quarter
4.6
9593 reviews

Jaleo is sure to be a unique dining experience given that one of the signature pieces of furniture here are two dining tables that are foosball tables with glass tabletops. The restaurant has served this area since 1993 and is the brainchild of chef Jose Andres. Some of the menu items people can experience here include san simon queso, espinacas a la cataland, and gambas al ajillio. Jaleo, which was a Bib Gourmand 2021 award winner, is the type of place where people order several smaller dishes and then share in all the tastes at the table.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Joselito Casa de Comidas restaurant

Joselito Casa de Comidas

$$$$
Spanish
Capitol Hill
4.8
1113 reviews

Owner Javier Candon opened Joselito Casa de Comidas in 2017 and the name is an homage to his late father. The interior offers a rich old-world feel with marble tables and antique mirrors. The restaurant also offers both indoor and outdoor seating for people. Some of the menu offerings include bavette de wagyu a la plancha, setas y chimichurri, queso manchego viejo, and gazpacho andaluz. Diners cannot stop talking about the fresh and flavorful seafood dishes offered here.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of La Piquette restaurant

La Piquette

$$$$
French
Cleveland Park
4.8
1928 reviews

La Piquette offers a Bistro atmosphere they like to say is simple, fun, and tasty. What that translates to are high-top wood tables, brightly painted yellow walls, and many French-inspired murals strategically located throughout. Opened by Bruno Fortin and Cyrille Brenac in 2014 some of the dishes diners will find here include seared Maine sea scallops, braised beef short ribs, and duck confit.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Lafayette Restaurant restaurant

Lafayette Restaurant

$$$$
American
Downtown
4.8
1349 reviews

The Lafayette is a themed restaurant in Washington, D.C., with a location overlooking Lafayette Park inside The Hay-Adams Hotel. The dining room is classic and upscale with white linen tablecloths and Victorian-style chairs. The staff dress impeccably, which adds to the fine-dining feel. The menu includes items such as their chilled avocado and tomatillo soup, seared Mediterranean whole bronzino, and the Cheshire pork chop.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Le Diplomate restaurant

Le Diplomate

$$$$
French
Logan Circle
4.8
11906 reviews

Stephen Starr opened Le Diplomate in 2013 as a restaurant that would pay tribute to French café culture. He created a comfortable and versatile interior as a fantastic gathering place in the neighborhood. The feel is that of a classic French bistro with a bakery counter in the center, a bar, and a huge selection of wine and spirits on the back bar. Some of the menu items diners will find here include ricotta ravioli, beef Bourguignon, and Pasta Primavera.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Morris restaurant

Morris

$$$$
Cocktail Bar
Mount Vernon
4.8
88 reviews

In 2018 a local cocktail guru named David Strauss opened Morris American Bar. With a checkerboard floor, bright blue ceilings and walls, and a Formica countertop at the bar this location has the feeling of an old-school diner paired with very upscale and trendy finishes and fixtures giving it a truly unique look. In addition to several signature cocktails and spirits, the food menu offers small bites such as their crab and artichoke dip, deviled eggs, and a portobello panini.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of O-Ku - DC restaurant

O-Ku - DC

$$$$
Sushi
Washington
4.8
1110 reviews

This upscale sushi bar, opened in 2016 by partners Steve Palmer and Kimball Brienza, offers diners an industrial setting, with open ceilings and ductwork, but paired with bright and light wood furniture, combining features of a traditional sushi bar with a hip and modern restaurant. Their menu offers sushi rolls such as the harvest roll, as well as Kobe-style nigiri, and traditional Japanese entrées like chicken teriyaki.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Ottoman Taverna restaurant

Ottoman Taverna

$$$$
Turkish
Mt. Vernon Square
4.6
1138 reviews

A native of Turkey, Hakan Ilhan opened Ottoman Taverna in 2016 intending to offer the foods of his home country to the Washington, D.C. area. Some of the menu offerings include starters like haydari, hot mezze like the sifara boregi, and main courses such as the tavuk sis. The centerpiece of the restaurant is the huge fire grill that features an ornate bronze exhaust hood with the name of the restaurant emblazoned on the side. The restaurant offers several colorful and ornate murals on the walls, as well as subtle yet distinctive light fixtures on the ceiling. They were a Bib Gourmand 2021 award winner for their efforts.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Oyamel restaurant

Oyamel

$$$$
Mexican
Penn Quarter
4.7
9083 reviews

Jose Andres put together a team at Oyamel to bring together the expansive regional diversity of Mexico in both the look and the menu at the restaurant. The Bib Gourmand 2021 award-winning restaurant is bright and colorful with a signature design attribute being decals, murals, and sculpture pieces all depicting butterflies scattered throughout the space. Their menu includes soups, such as their gazpacho estilo morelia and entrees, such as the pulpo negro and their quesadilla de chicharrones.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Pearl Dive Oyster Palace restaurant

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

$$$$
Seafood
Logan Circle
4.8
1047 reviews

Back in 2011, owner Jeff Black opened Pearl Dive Oyster Palace which has nautical decor including wood that has a weathered look, undersea murals complete with portholes, coat hangers that look like mermaids, and an overall distressed feel, as if the entire restaurant had been under the sea floor. Their Bib Gourmand 2021 award-winning menu includes appetizers such as their spicy shrimp cocktail, hot oyster plates like their rockefeller, and entrées such as their blackened catfish.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Punjab Grill restaurant

Punjab Grill

$$$$
Indian
Penn Quarter
4.7
833 reviews

The 2019 opening of Punjab Grill by Karen Singh focused on creating an atmosphere straight from the country of India that includes four different and separate themes spread throughout the rooms of the restaurant. Their menu includes small plates like the gol gappa, larger plates like the elk gilafi seekh, and signature dishes such as the tawa scallops. Diners love the set price menu that offers several choices from each section of the menu and is a fabulous way to taste some of what this restaurant has to offer.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Rumi's Kitchen - DC restaurant

Rumi's Kitchen - DC

$$$$
Persian
Mt. Vernon Square
4.8
966 reviews

When Rumi's Kitchen chef and owner Ali Mesghali opened his space in 2020, he did so with a painstaking eye towards the details of the menu, such as not using rice in his dishes unless it is at least two years old. The interior of the space features exposed beams and ductwork, as well as sealed concrete floors and a whitewash brick wall behind the bar, with furniture combining black granite and earth-toned seating. The menu features starters such as their roasted cauliflower and shallot torshi, and entrées such as their chicken barg and their Chilean sea bass.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar - Washington D.C. restaurant

Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar - Washington D.C.

$$$$
Peruvian
Downtown
4.7
1595 reviews

With a location inside of the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel, owned and operated by The Blackstone Group, it is easy to imagine that diners will have an upscale and elegant experience at this restaurant that focuses on breakfast, lunch, and brunch. The interior is warm, inviting, and modern with many granite and black marble countertops. The menu features items such as their dressed Maryland crab cake, favorites such as their huevos rancheros, as well as the very healthy superfood salad.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of St. Anselm - DC restaurant

St. Anselm - DC

$$$$
Contemporary American
Mount Vernon
4.8
2806 reviews

Joe Carroll partnered with Stephen Starr, who also owns another popular restaurant in the area called Le Diplomate, to open St. Anselm in 2018. One of the hallmarks of their menu is that they feature quite a few unconventional beef selections. These include hanger steaks and flat iron steaks that offer as much complexity and rich taste as more traditional cuts of meat, such as ribeye's and New York strips. They offer meat that is both hormone-free and antibiotic-free and they endeavor to source them from local farms whenever possible. The interior is bright yet intimate with a signature design piece being the large animal antlers serving as beer taps.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Succotash PRIME restaurant

Succotash PRIME

$$$$
American
Penn Quarter
4.5
2465 reviews

In 2017 Edward Lee, who is an alum of a very popular cooking contest show, opened his southern-inspired restaurant called Succotash. The interior has the feel of a stately southern matter, with ornate columns and detailed ceiling design, as well as very pastoral murals and plants scattered throughout the space. The Bib Gourmand 2021 award-winning menu offers starters such as shrimp cocktail and Maryland crab cakes, and entrees straight out of the south such as shrimp 'n' grits and crispy local blue catfish.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sushi Hachi restaurant

Sushi Hachi

$$$$
Sushi
Capitol Hill
4.6
148 reviews

When owner and chef Steve Yoon opened Sushi Hachi in 2017 he endeavored to bring together the highest quality of fish that he had found while in Asia with the contemporary and modern trappings of the Washington, D.C. area. Today diners experience this with white-washed wood floors, exposed brick walls, and a very lengthy bar-height sushi bar. Their menu contains classic starters such as edamame and shrimp tempura, and their sushi rolls contain sushi house staples such as a tuna roll, a California roll, and a spicy tuna avocado roll.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Swahili Village The Consulate restaurant

Swahili Village The Consulate

$$$$
African
Dupont Circle
4.7
196 reviews

When restaurateur Kevin Onyona gave his restaurant the nickname of "The Consulate" in 2020 he envisioned it as being a culinary and cultural hub for African diplomats and ex-pats. What that meant for diners was a combination of a bright and open beige and brown colored feel interspersed with a number of colorful African-themed pieces of art. The menu features a wide variety of meat choices such as their curry chicken, their tilapia "Samaki" fillet, and even a goat stew.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Park at 14th restaurant

The Park at 14th

$$$$
Contemporary American
Downtown
4.7
1468 reviews

Owner Marc Barnes opened The Park at 14th as something he refers to as a "restobar". This means a menu filled with signature cocktails and small plate items, such as their chipotle maple lime glazed bbq wings, pastas like their penne pasta in a chipotle cream sauce, and entrees like their jerk and salmon dinner. The ambiance is quite upscale and trendy due to the fact that this space transitions into a popular nightclub on several nights of the week.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of Tortino restaurant

Tortino

$$$$
Italian
Downtown
4.6
1525 reviews

The owner of Tortino, Noe Canales, opened his restaurant with an eye towards offering modern Italian style in a neighborhood restaurant feel that would make diners believe they had been magically transported to a small trattoria in Tuscany. The menu features appetizers like their marinated portobello mushroom, offers pastas like their fettuccine alla bolognese, and has entrees, such as pan-seared duck breast. Diners love the lobster linguine especially when it is expertly paired by the wait staff with one of their signature cocktails.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Via Ghibellina restaurant

Via Ghibellina

$$$$
Italian
Ivy City
4.7
171 reviews

The owner of Via Ghibellina is a unique restauranteur in this area as he grew up in Washington, D.C. He opened this restaurant in 2013 with an eye towards offering classic Tuscan fare in a modern, American setting. The result is a very edgy and modern feel with soft, diffused lighting coming from the ceilings and a wood and metalwork back bar highlighting some of the spirits and wines available here. The menu features pastas like their cacio e pepe, entrees such as their pollo al mattone, and pizzas such as the salsiccia e cipolla.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Zaytinya restaurant

Zaytinya

$$$$
Mediterranean
Penn Quarter
4.7
17060 reviews

Chef and owner Jose Andres created a menu at Zaytinya when he opened in 2002. The result is a number of mezzes featuring different vegetables, seafood, or meat and poultry. This includes plates such as the crispy Brussels afelia, the octopus Santorini, and the chicken youvetsi. The decor invites people in with white walls and ceilings which contrasts with the black furniture and hardwood floors, the restaurant also features a very spacious patio area.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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