From high-end Italian tasting menus to power dining spots to Filipino food worth lining up for, here are some of the best places to eat in in our nation’s capital.
The National Mall, the Smithsonian museums, the monuments: there’s a lot to see in Washington, D.C. But for decades, the dining scene didn’t hold up in the same way. No longer: in recent years, the nation’s capital has transformed into a bona fide restaurant destination, moving beyond its beloved steakhouses and power lunch spots with a new wave of terrific restaurants popping up in neighborhoods all over the city. Sure, the city has attracted marquee names known for their restaurants elsewhere, but most often it’s home-grown talent overseeing Washington’s hottest tables, which stood out as we created this list. From the iconic classics to the mod brasseries, locally inspired menus to the far-flung (we’ve got fine dining Indian, small North African and Mediterannean, izakaya, and more), when it comes to where to eat in D.C., we’ve got you covered.
Tail Up Goat
Tail Up Goat’s design—and distinctive name–is inspired by co-owner Jill Tyler’s upbringing in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The restaurant’s color scheme consists of marinelike blues and pops of yellow, and there are wood accents throughout. You can’t go wrong with anything bread-based: Einkorn sourdough with chicken-liver mousse, grilled strawberries, pickled mustard seeds, and turnip greens, or focaccia with meatballs, ricotta, heirloom tomato vinegar, and fresh horseradish. Round out your meal with a pasta or an entree like whole fish stuffed with asparagus, aqua pazza, dandelion greens, fennel, and calabrian chile.
Blagden Alley is a hugely buzzy dining destination, thanks in part to Chef Jeremiah Langhorne’s acclaimed The Dabney. Langhorne, who worked for Sean Brock at McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C., for five years, sources ingredients from the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic area, then cooks them over live fire on the hearth. The menu changes constantly, offering dishes like fancified chicken and dumplings, or fried Chesapeake sugar toads (aka tiny pufferfish) with buttermilk dressing and hot honey. It’s hard to resist the skillet cornbread, no matter the season.