Washington D.C. Restaurants
122 Blagden Alley NW, Downtown
Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St. NW, Downtown
2331 Calvert St. NW, Woodley Park
Part coffeehouse, part restaurant, Open City is open early and closes late. It’s an easy spot for a family breakfast or afternoon pit-stop—i.e. no frills and something on the menu for everyone (from breakfast sandwiches and grilled cheese, to kale caesar, pizza, and grilled chicken). The outdoor patio is lovely on not-too-humid days, but there’s a cozy, neighborhood café-bar feel inside. The standalone Open City is near the Smithsonian National Zoo, and they also have an outpost at the National Cathedral.
The Tabard Inn
1739 N St. NW, Dupont Circle
1177 22nd St. NW, West End
This is the second location of the popular Penn Quarter original, and it's stunning, from the teal booth pods to the giant glass walls and 3-D wooden ceilings, while remaining elegant and understated, quite like the excellent modern Indian menu. Don’t miss the super tasty Palak Chaat, crispy baby spinach, or the Dal Dhungaree, smoked lentils, which you’ll need a lot of buttery nann to soak up.
Restaurant Nora (Closed)
2132 Florida Ave. NW, Dupont Circle
Organic dining pioneer Nora Pouillon opened Restaurant Nora in 1999 as America’s first certified organic restaurant. The fantastic seasonal menu, which remains unflinchingly devoted to organic and biodynamic practices, attracts politicians and environmentalists alike. Get the four-course tasting menu (vegetarian option also available) and let chef decide for you. You won’t be disappointed.
327 7th St. SE, Capitol Hill
Though the eponymous neighborhood is in Paris, the hearty French comfort food at this cozy bistro tucked away in Capitol Hill is decidedly from the South: succulent braised rabbit leg to classic cassoulet and more. The atmosphere is true bistro—intimate, inviting, and casual, which also describes the prices. The excellent brunch features mussels done four ways and a killer Eggs Benedict. For a perfect D.C. outing, pair with a pre-or-post stroll through nearby Eastern Market, which is full of farmer’s market stalls and local artisans on weekends.
4822 Macarthur Blvd. NW, Foxhall Crescent
Makoto is some of the best and most authentic Japanese in D.C., and perhaps the country. The multi-course tasting menu is a relative bargain for the gastronomy that arrives before you, course after course, in this shoebox of a space. The no-shoe rule means you can get a good look what socks the senator next to you is wearing. This is a true experience.
1511 17th St. NW, Dupont Circle
This is the little sister to Dupont Circle’s acclaimed Komi, which is also very much worth the visit if you have the budget. It's just as ambitious, though more affordable, and teeny tiny, where they offer a set $49 Isaan-style dinner, which is less of a tasting menu than it is a family-style meal. The menu changes weekly, and they only accept walk-ins.
Kaz Sushi Bistro
1915 I St. NW, Downtown
It’s all about the incredible sushi here, a fact that the business-heavy lunch crowd appreciates. The best seat in the house is the sushi bar, where you can watch the chefs preparing the excellent and inventive nigiri like the outrageously good seared salmon belly with sweet soy lemon or tuna with foie gras miso, and many more. They even blend their own low-sodium soy sauce, mixing in mirin and dashi. For what you get, the prices are great, and it manages keep a pretty low profile.
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