A last minute, weekend trip to the capital with lots to see and endless culinary options; a wannabe foodie delight. But with so many choices and so little time, it can be hard to pick and choose where to eat so I want to share my Washington D.C. restaurant diary with you.
To help, I’ve split the restaurants up by their neighborhoods so you can fill your bellies based on your location (but most places are only a $10 Uber away). Want to see more highlights based on the below? Watch my D.C. story over on Instagram!
On our first night in Washington D.C., we decided to try some of the city’s French fare at DBGB Kitchen. First impressions weren’t great though when the hostess didn’t even greet us and more than 10 minutes passed before we were acknowledged by our server (and the restaurant was pretty empty at this point.) However, it was saved by the food that was to follow… The burrata was fresh and creamy and went perfectly with the zesty mandarins and sunflower seed pesto, a fab starter all round. For the main course, I had the Maryland Blue Crab Spaghettini and my husband had the Steak Frites. The steak was perfectly medium rare and the Bearnaise sauce tasted just like it had come straight from Paris itself.
Pictures from the left: Burrata and Steak Frites @ DBGB Kitchen and Soft Serve @ Milk Bar.
On our last night, we ended up back at CityCenterDC again. We didn’t have dinner here (we just came for a drink and got tempted by the soft serve) but if you like Japanese food and you’re in the area, I would definitely recommend paying Momofuku a visit. The menu sounds amazing, the food smelt delicious and the ramen bowl looked to die for. Looking for something sweeter? Momofuku’s Milk Bar sits to the side of the restaurant, selling its famous soft-serve and bakery goods. Personally, I think the soft-serve tastes like you’re eating a bowl of ice cold cornflakes but the cookies and the cake truffles are delish!
The Penn Quarter
Originally, we were on our way for some sandwiches at Smoked & Stacked but we ended up at Zaytinya because it was on the way to our next sightseeing stop. Not a bad little detour at all! If it was being rated on its service alone though, I might have said otherwise or maybe I’m just getting used to the lovely Southern hospitality down here in Texas. The menu is Mediterranean mezze style food so we ordered Tzatziki, Soujouk Pide (flatbread), Fattoush (salad) and the Biftek Muhamara (sirloin steak) to share. Everything comes as it’s ready, which meant the tzatziki was first out of the kitchen shortly followed by the Fattoush, and both were crisp and delightful when paired with their freshly baked pita bread. The Soujouk Pide was our favorite dish, with the spicy soujouk sausage giving the flatbread a perfect kick of heat.
Pictures from the left: Biftek, Soujouk Pide and Tzatziki @ Zaytinya.
Another stop in this area was The Smith @ Penn Quarter since we were craving some American eats from the capital of the U.S.A. The place was modern and cleanly decorated, with a fully stocked bar and a great atmosphere, which finally made us feel like we were in the middle of a busy capital city. The service was fast and friendly, and the food didn’t disappoint either… but somewhere with mac & cheese as a starter is always a winner in my eyes. Here, you’ll find everything from steaks and burgers, to salads and classic bistro entrees.
Pictures from the top left: Salmon, Chocolate Pot and Skillet Mac and Cheese @ The Smith.
After cycling and sightseeing on our last morning, we stopped at Cafe DuPont for Sunday brunch. Set off to the side of DuPont circle, the conservatory seating makes you feel like you’re sat in a French brasserie on a quiet Parisian street. It serves all the usual breakfast and brunch dishes, plus a few signature French fares as well. If it’s in your budget, the hotel would be an exquisite pick too.
Eggs Benedict and Croque Madame @ Cafe DuPont
If you’re venturing further away from Downtown, you’ll find some great food choices on 14th Street. And hidden in a row of D.C. townhouses, is a small and eclectic little eatery called Compass Rose, offering street food from around the world, with craft beer, fine wines and a sample of global cocktails. Even when our Uber dropped us right outside, the place was easy to miss but don’t be fooled by its exterior, this restaurant is definitely a must try. The market fried cauliflower is the tastiest I’ve ever had, the lamb kefta was divine and don’t skip over the Khachapuri from Georgia. The cheese-filled bread may not be the healthiest option on the menu but it is definitely worth the calories!
Pictures from the top left: Khachapuri, Lamb Kefta and Fried Cauliflower @ Compass Rose
On the list but no time to try:
- Amsterdam Falafel
- Toki Underground
- Ted’s Bulletin
- Buffalo and Bergen
- Tail Up Goat
- Smoked & Stacked
- Alta Strada
- Le Diplomate
- Rose’s Luxury
- The Pig/The Bird
Stay tuned for more insights from our trip to Washington D.C., they’re coming to the blog soon!
Thanks for reading!