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Food In Dc

by Munmun Moni
Food In Dc
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With a D.C. restaurant industry emerging from a two-year pandemic, going out to eat now comes with a semblance of normality.

Food In Dc

The Eater 38 offers a selection of defining culinary destinations that showcase the diversity of D.C. (and its many suburbs). Some of D.C.’s most cherished restaurants that weathered the pandemic through takeout are finally able to show off their best sit-down spreads and prix-fixe menus in person. Restaurants on this map must be open for at least six months. For the most exciting new restaurants in town, check out the heatmap.

For the summer 2022 refresh, new additions to the 38 include Brescia, for fantastical French tasting menus and expert cocktails in Logan Circle; El Secretor de Rosita, for pristine Peruvian cuisine on U Street NW; and Churcher, for an Ethiopian stalwart in Shaw and Bethesda.

The following restaurants, while definitely still worth a trip, are leaving the 38: Benito’s Place, Elle, and Ziebach.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

Tip Khao

Considered the standard-bearer for Lao cuisine in D.C., Tip Khao comes from mother-and-son chefs Seng Luangrath and Bobby Predacity. Their Columbia Heights standby continues to satisfy heat-seekers with a menu full of fermented fish sauce, a heavy dose of chilis, offal, and cured meats. Hit orders include crispy tamarind glazed wings, grilled pork shoulder with lemongrass, and a fiery Lao papaya salad. The restaurant opens Wednesday to Sunday (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) with carryout, indoor dining, and outdoor service across a cozy tented patio (90-minute limit with a $20 deposit charged via Tock). For small plates and tike cocktails from Minibar alum Al Thompson, consider its Shaw sibling bar Hanumanth.

Food In Dc

Food In Dc

Cracked Egger

What started as a farmer’s market stall in 2019 has become a popular brick-and-mortar serving hangover relief in the form of egg sandwiches. This somewhat-new opening has taken Cleveland Park by storm and recently opened a second location in Shaw
It’s simple: You’re here for breakfast sandwiches. The Mayor is served with cracked bacon, scrambled egg, American and cheddar cheeses, and slathered in special sauce, while the Abe Forman is made with Logan’s Sausage, scrambled egg, American and cheddar cheeses, plus special sauce. With more than a dozen options all served on fluffy toasted challah, there’s something for everyone.

 Shibuya Eatery

This versatile, basement-level shop is part of a three-piece project from chef Darren Norris that includes a penthouse cocktail bar and Zen middle floor for shaku shaku. At Shibuya Eatery, Norris’s team prepares sushi rolls, sashimi, and nigiri that incorporate North Pacific blue fin tuna and yellowtail flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. There are also succulent short rib skewers grilled over binchotan charcoal, build-your-own bento boxes, and donburi bowls. Noodles brim with hot or cold dashi, chopstick-thick udo, or matcher tea-green soba. Seasonal surprises include a soft shell crab entrée next to broth less ramen or a compressed summer melon with mint, garlic chive oil, and crispy ham. Walk-ins are welcome in the 15-seat basement, top-floor Death Punch bar, and outdoors, which all serve the same food menu. Call for pickups, order delivery through third-party apps, or reserve a seat on Rosy.

Food In Dc

Food In Dc

Honeymoon Chicken

Rob Sonder man’s latest fried chicken concept in Wentworth channels the vibes of a spot “where funky meets fancy,” and he’s delivering buckets of fun with mouthwatering and crispy-fried chicken. Honeymoon Chicken transports diners with sandwiches like the honey garlic chicken banh mi and a crispy mushroom sandwich that’s veggie-friendly. This new eatery occupies what was once the Formica-countertop diner known as Slam’s. It’s still got plenty of retro-flare, but the menu has changed its tune thanks to Zondervan, who is also The Federalist Pig’s postmaster.

Martha Dear

Inside a narrow, dark basement underneath an ice cream shop in Mount Pleasant, Martha Dear owners Tara Smith and Demetri Michalis serve a style of Greek pizza that’s unlike anything else in D.C. Michalis mans a domed oven that fires round, naturally leavened pies studded with salty Mediterranean cheeses; the white pizza boasts crumbly mizithra and hard kefalograviera, while Michalis’s take on pantzarosalata dots the classic roasted beet and yogurt salad with candied hazelnuts and herbs. Slices of exceptionally soft chocolate olive oil cake bring brownie batter to mind, albeit one made with a first-press fat sourced from one of Michelin’s uncles in Greece. Pre-order online for carryout or snag a no-reservations.

Take a jumbo-sized pizza tour

Anyone who has had a few too many in Adams Morgan knows that Jumbo Slice is the spot for pizza so big, you’ll need two paper plates to hold a slice. And sure, this certainly isn’t DC’s best pizza but it’s a part-nostalgia, part-novelty dish that can easily feed a small family or cure a giant-sized hangover. For the very best in jumbo slice, head to Puccini’s at the corner where U Street meets Florida Avenue NW. And if you can stomach even more carbs, meander up 18th Street in Adams Morgan to Pizza Mart and Best Olli Pizza for other jumbo-sized options.

Food In Dc

Food In Dc

Slurp oysters at Old Ebbits Grill

After extensive renovations during the height of the pandemic, Old Ebbits Grill is bigger and better than ever for patrons eager to slurp down oysters on the half-shell. This spot is nothing less than a quintessential DC bar and restaurant, whether you’re a tourist or have lived here for decades. The ambiance, service, and fresh seafood are the main draws. But it’s the extensive list of oysters that keeps people coming back for more. Find varieties like Great White, Pink Ladies, and Dutch Islands.

Eat at one of DC’s oldest restaurants

Iron Gate in Dupont Circle is a secluded spot with a secret garden and patio that happens to be one of the oldest continuously operated restaurants in the District. Aside from almost a century’s worth of history, its latest inhabitant, chef Anthony Chattem, has been cooking dishes inspired by his love for Greece and Italy. He also sources the menu from local farms in the Shenandoah and Path Valleys in the Mid-Atlantic region. While this restaurant has an impressive track record in terms of history, the menu offers up many new surprises according to seasonality.

Explore the amazing Vietnamese food options

The Eden Center center in Falls Church, Virginia has more than 125 Vietnamese vendors and many out-of-this-world eating options, including banh mi, Boba shakes, and cha go (Vietnamese spring rolls). Start your experience at Nau Lan Sandwich for a banh mi that might be the best in DC, then swing by Huong Bind Bakery & Deli for sweets and bobo teas. And save room for extra dessert. Wing Sheng Bakery (located inside the Good Fortune Supermarket) serves pillow-soft buns stuffed with sweet and savory options and priced at jus.


Maidan sets an Arabic table with communal plates like zucchini baba ghanoush, chicken shish taluk kebabs, and ribeye seasoned with blue fenugreek, all complemented by an array of condiments such as tour, tahina sauce, and hug. In addition to a dining room built around a theatrical wood-burning hearth, Maidan covered the alleyway leading to its doorway with patterned carpets that add an inviting touch to its outdoor setup. Owners Rose Private and Mike Schuster (Compass Rose) secured future homes in Fairfax and Clarendon for Tale, their Middle Eastern, family-style menu offshoot born at Maidan.

Food In Dc

Food In Dc

Spanish Diner

Chef Jose Andres recently revamped his former, tapas-centric restaurant Jalen into a more casual affair that specializes in an Iberian take on the American diner, complete with jamun and fried eggs and other fresh takes on greasy spoon classics. Chefs Nicolas Lopez and Daniel Lugo offer breakfast served all day with dishes like Spain’s famed hues roots casa Lucio. Translation: Eggs fried in olive oil served atop crispy potatoes, as one does in Madrid. The menu also highlights Andres’ birthplace of Asturias, the northwest region of Spain, with dishes like fabada Asturian, a bean stew with morcilla, chorizo, and smoked Iberic pork bacon. The beverage program, guided by bartender Miguel Lancia, features Spanish favorites including several gin and tonics, sangrias, and Spanish beers and wines.

No Goodbyes

Chef Opie Crooks champions Mid-Atlantic farmers, fishers, and small-time ranchers at his wood-burning magnet for locavores that landed inside the retooled Line hotel last summer. Crooks centers seasonal delicacies in his breakout Adams Morgan menu. Right now there’s catfish lettuce wraps, ember-grilled Path Valley carrots with vadouvan yogurt, and delicately fried ramps alongside slow-cooked brisket, with a parade of plump heirloom tomatoes waiting in the wings. Chesapeake oysters flecked with a house hot sauce warm up diners to an abundant charcuterie “Salthouse board” with black pepper biscuits and homemade pickles. Childhood favorites get a grown-up edge here, as seen in his paper-thin potato chips dusted in crab spice and sticks of “hush doggies” bursting with bratwurst. Cocktails from D.C. bar vet Lukas Smith include a black walnut Old Fashioned and refreshing gin and tonic jazzed up with blood orange.

Embark on an injera crawl

Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland houses one of the largest concentrations of Ethiopian eateries in the United States. Let injera, a spongy textured bread, be your guide as you nosh your way through a city filled with Doro wat, coffee ceremonies, and markets filled with imported goods. Shops along Georgia and Colesville Avenue, including Betsey, Shala Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar, and Beet Ethiopian Cuisine & Café, are all great stops.

Choose your own adventure at Kinship

Tasting menus are fun, but chef Eric Siebold also recognizes that sometimes diners want to call the shots. That’s why Kinship offers a “choose-your-own” adventure take on an a la carte menu that celebrates classic American cuisine. Menus are grouped into one of four categories: dishes that celebrate craft, history, ingredients, and indulgence. On that last one, Siebold has a swanky version of “chips and dip” with Maine lobster French toast served with marinated rhubarb, cucumber, and sesame mousse. The full menu is also served in the bar area which includes twelve seats and three booths, available on a walk-in basis.

Food In Dc

Food In Dc

Slurp oysters at Old Ebbits Grill

After extensive renovations during the height of the pandemic, Old Ebbits Grill is bigger and better than ever for patrons eager to slurp down oysters on the half-shell. This spot is nothing less than a quintessential DC bar and restaurant, whether you’re a tourist or have lived here for decades. The ambiance, service, and fresh seafood are the main draws. But it’s the extensive list of oysters that keeps people coming back for more. Find varieties like Great White, Pink Ladies, and Dutch Islands.

Dine around the world in one meal at Compass Rose

Planning a trip soon? Skip the jet lag, and book a table at Compass Rose to sample its worldly menu. Restaurateur Rose Private brings a world of options to the intimate and personal menu that’s also a reflection of her personal travels—from sampling wine in Georgia to riding the Trans-Siberian Rails. Her restaurant includes dishes from around the world and includes Argentine As ado, Tunisian Kebab, and Spanish Pittas Brava’s. With such a global menu, it’s possible to sample several dishes across thousands of miles in a single night. The newest addition to the restaurant is a private and elaborately decorated Ukrainian train car, called the Sunflower Coach, where guests can order a family-style meal featuring Ukrainian Borscht and Potato Veronika. Proceeds support World Central Kitchen’s relief effort in Ukraine.

Dive deep into a 40-layer lasagna

If you’ve been on Instagram in the past year, chances are you already know which restaurant is home to an epic 40-layer lasagna that requires two to take down. L’Ardente is the city’s splashiest new restaurant from chef David Decays and restaurateur Eric Eden of Unconventional Diner. It has a grand and gilded-style dining room that makes it destination-worthy on its own, but its signature dish is what earns the restaurant’s spot on the bucket list of all DC diners. Once you eat through the delicate layers of short rib sago, truffle moray, and sottocenere cheese, sample the other wood-fired favorites like Bucatini allay Carbonara and Whole Grilled Bronzini stuffed with fennel, tomatoes, and olives.

Open Crambo

This takeout kitchen offers tasty fried chicken sandwiches alongside vegan-friendly dishes.
Expect a made-from-scratch meal served up in minutes from this takeout spot in Anacostia that is a family affair run by Abigail Oppari and her three sons. Crab bites are a nice nod to the region, and you can start off with a few side orders, several of which are vegan friendly, including plantains, sautéed kale with lemon vinegar, and coconut rice. The main attractions are heartier dishes, like fried chicken sandwiches, shrimp and grits, mac n’ cheese, and vegan options like peanut soup and spinach stew.

Caruso’s Grocery

Modeled off a classic red-sauce joint, Caruso’s Grocery features classic Italian fare like you might order in The Bronx, Brooklyn, or Bergen County.
Find handmade pastas dressed up in dishes like rigatoni allay vodka and five cheese ravioli, plus hand-pulled mozzarella with basil marinated tomatoes, chicken parmigiana, pork chops pizzaiola-style to round out the menu by chef Matt Adler. The restaurant also offers dessert classics, like New York-style cheesecake with strawberry preserves and a transcendent tiramisu.

Food In Dc

Food In Dc


As they say in New Orleans—luz le bon temps ruler! And the good times definitely roll at Dauphine’s, a restaurant that pays homage to the Crescent City.
Expect an abundance of New Orleans-themed dishes, like lightly dusted beignets, seafood gumbo, and a raw bar that greets you at the door. Chef Kristen Essig called the Big Easy home for more than two decades and developed the menu and concept alongside chef and partner Kyle Bailey (also of The Salt Line). The duo utilizes Mid-Atlantic seafood including soft shell crabs, Chesapeake oysters, and rockfish. Order up a hurricane, and you might feel as if you’ve been transported to the French Quarter, and you can also find other expertly crafted cocktails from Neal Bodenheim, owner of Cure, a top bar in New Orleans, and beverage director Donato Alvarez (The Salt Line).

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