Given the eclectic, diverse, and vibrant culture throughout Washington DC, you can find just about every type of food in the capital city.
That’s why it can be helpful to seek the internet to help narrow down which spots you should try out while you’re there.
What Are The Best Restaurants In Washington, DC?
- Bandoola Bowl
- Idido Coffee and Social House
- Calabash Tea & Tonic
- Falafel Inc
- Heat Da Spot
- Paramount Cafe
- Royal Nepal
- Baan Siam
- Silver Spring Wings
- 2Fifty Texas BBQ
- Keren Restaurant
- Pisco Y Nazca
- Little Food Studio
- Tsehay Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar
Whether you just moved to the city, are visiting temporarily, or are simply looking to switch up your spots, here are the 17 best restaurants in DC for 2022.
17. Tsehay Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar
Tsehay Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar on Georgia Ave is one of DC’s best Ethiopian restaurants, given their traditional meals and authentic flavors.
The restaurant is named after and dedicated to Tsehay, who grew up in Harragie, Ethiopia, and learned how to cook authentic Ethiopian dishes from a young age.
Like most Ethiopian restaurants, they have many vegetarian-friendly menu options, as well as consistently flavorful injera, tasty lentil samosas, and highly-reviewed lamb stew.
Beyond the food, Tsehay has a friendly and welcoming vibe with good music, fun happy hours, and well-priced drinks.
16. Little Food Studio
The Little Food Studio on Upshur Street is a highly-rated quaint coffee shop that sells much more than coffee. You can get sandwiches, breakfast items, and deliciously fresh baked goods, all at a very reasonable price for DC.
The sandwiches are pretty large, and the scones are extremely tasty. Additionally, Little Food Studio’s lattes are top-notch, as expected from a successful coffee shop. However, if you’re not a huge fan of coffee, try the lemonade instead!
Finally, get the baked heritage egg with pesto; you won’t regret it!
15. Pisco Y Nazca
Pisco Y Nazca is a significantly popular Peruvian ceviche gastrobar on L street. The restaurant is named after two Peruvian towns, Pisco and Nazca.
People tend to visit this restaurant not only for the flavorful dishes but also for the creative cocktails, wide selection of beer, well-designed dining room, and social atmosphere.
This is an excellent restaurant to go to with friends or coworkers for happy hour after work, given the variety of tasty bites and drinks. Favorite dishes include the lamb shank, sponge cake, and, as expected, ceviche.
Given its popularity, if you’re looking to go during prime dinner time, it’s helpful to make a reservation.
14. Keren Restaurant
DC is known for its sizable Ethiopian population, but there are a notable number of Ethiopia’s neighbors – Eritreans – in the city as well. Thus, you’ll find plenty of delicious Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurants throughout the city, all worthy of giving a try.
Keren Cafe and Restaurant is a fantastic restaurant serving delicious, authentic Eritrean meals for all to enjoy.
It has a cheery vibe, plenty of vegan options, and spicy dishes to satisfy even the biggest pepper fans.
Keep in mind that Karen restaurant is relatively small and very popular, so, although it’s worth the wait, you should try to come early or at an off-meal hour to avoid the delay.
13. 2Fifty Texas BBQ
If you’ve eaten a lot of DC’s excellent ethnic food recently and have a craving for some homestyle, hand-crafted American BBQ, look no further than 2Fifty Texas BBQ.
Texas is seen as one of the best states for BBQ, but if you don’t have it in you to fly over to the Lone Star State, eating at 2Fifty Texas BBQ is your next best bet.
You’ll find all the Texas BBQ classics, such as brisket, spare ribs, sausage links, pulled pork, turkey, beef ribs, and whole smoked chicken. The best sides to go with these wood-fired meats include cornbread, brisket beans, and mac n cheese.
Plus, this spot has a laid-back atmosphere where you can throw back a few beers while enjoying your pork sandwich with your friends and family.
12. Silver Spring Wings
Silver Spring Wings is named after the area it is adjacent to – Silver Springs, Maryland – which is easy enough to get to on the DC metro.
You can get wings in many places throughout the city, especially if the restaurant has a sports-bar feel. But if you’re looking for genuinely delicious buffalo wings with a wide variety of sauces, making your way to Silver Springs Wings will be worth the trip.
The wings are cooked perfectly, with a crispy crunch on the outside and tender meat on the inside. The mumbo and sweet chili Thai are the best sauces.
In addition to wings, they also serve up tasty potato wedges as a salty side.
Superette is not super popular, at least not yet. But it’s one of the best restaurants in DC in 2022 for artisan sandwiches.
There are many restaurants to get your basic BLT in Washington DC. But if you’re looking for ingredients such as roasted garlic aioli, soppressata, Gruyère, this might become your favorite sandwich spot.
Plus, they also serve unique and creative cocktails, including frozen rosé with hibiscus tea and a margarita with jalapeño-ginger.
They don’t have too many options on the menu, presumably to make sure they make the dishes and drinks they serve as close to perfect as possible.
10. Baan Siam
Thai food is a popular option for the DC area, and Baan Siam is one of the best Thai restaurants for authentic, traditional Thai food.
So instead of your classic Pad Thai or “Drunken Noodles,” you’ll have the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try dishes that are harder to find outside of Thailand itself.
You can order tasty dishes in this relaxed restaurant, including the Khao Soi, crispy pork belly, fried lotus salad, and shrimp chili paste fried rice.
Get your taste buds ready for a whole new world of flavor!
9. Royal Nepal
Speaking of exciting and bold flavors, travel to Nepal by heading to Alexandria, Virginia, right outside DC. You’ll find Royal Nepal, a restaurant serving mouthwatering Nepalese and Indian dishes.
Their staple items include dumplings, tikka masala, and roast lamb, but you can go off the beaten track by giving their yak or wild boar meats a try.
You’ll also find meals with other not-so-common ingredients contributing to an overall dynamic flavor, such as okra, radishes, and pickles.
Royal Nepal is a lovely restaurant to visit for a more relaxing night in DC.
8. Paramount Cafe
Paramount Cafe is another Arlington, VA eatery. They serve coffee, tea, and beer but provide various other meals, snacks, and treats.
You can get different bagels and croissants for breakfast; paninis, wraps, cold sandwiches for lunch, and a lengthy list of coffee beverages throughout the morning and afternoon.
However, one of the best aspects of Paramount Cafe is the friendly, sweet, and welcoming atmosphere. This kindness translates into the food, as the sandwiches are made with care instead of carelessly thrown together.
7. Heat Da Spot
Georgia Avenue in NW DC is a trendy and hip area with plenty of cool shops, wine bars, beer gardens, and more.
When you head there, don’t miss out on trying out Heat Da Spot, a super comfy and cozy cafe serving both American and Ethiopian dishes.
You can hang out with friends on their patio in the morning while enjoying their tasty sausage egg and cheese breakfast bagel. And while you’re at it, make sure to ask for their equally delicious spicy green sauce!
Farmbird is what it sounds like – a place where you can get scrumptious, well-prepared chicken.
Chicken is often seen as the “boring” meat, but Farmbird believes it doesn’t have to be. Farmbird is one of the best restaurants in DC for flavorful, healthy, and energy-packed chicken plates.
Sweet potatoes, broccoli, and avocado are just a few of the side ingredients you can combine with your chicken dish for a hearty, well-balanced meal.
5. Falafel Inc
Falafel Inc has two separate locations in DC, one on Potomac St NW and one on Main Ave SW. Buzzfeed voted this restaurant the number one restaurant in DC, perhaps due to rave Yelp and Google reviews.
As the name suggests, they serve delectable falafel, and you can get your falafel in a bowl, salad, or sandwich.
Regardless of which eating style you choose, you’ll be paying a highly affordable price for the city and get to cover your falafel dish with flavorful sauces.
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Being vegetarian and vegan may seem challenging to many, but Indian cuisine makes this lifestyle choice much easier with highly appetizing and flavorful dish options.
VEGZ does an excellent job of serving vegetarian and vegan dishes like curries, dosas, samosas, and spinach chaat.
This restaurant, located in NW DC, also has a very relaxed and low-key vibe, welcoming any and everyone to try out their meals.
3. Calabash Tea & Tonic
If you’ve never been to a tea house, Calabash Tea & Tonic should be the first one you visit.
This exceptionally well-rated restaurant is a jack of all trades. It is a tea house that serves a wide variety of black, chai, herbal, and green teas. They also serve kombucha and coffee.
Additionally, Calabash is a shop providing tonic sprays for various use cases like sleep, memory, and even sexual function. Plus, you can grab spices, superfoods, and different wellness accessories.
2. Idido Coffee and Social House
One of the best things about Idido Coffee and Social House is its inviting atmosphere and friendly staff.
Additionally, this Arlington cafe makes wonderful coffee and delicious pastries, especially their crumb cake. You can also try out their sandwiches, salads, and flatbreads.
Plus, you can get a free cup of coffee if you purchase one of the coffee bean packets.
1. Bandoola Bowl
Just as Farmbird ensures your chicken isn’t dull, Bandoola Bowl ensures your salad isn’t boring.
This restaurant serves Southeast Asian salads with flavors inspired by Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam.
Thus, you’ll find plenty of flavor ingredients on their menu, like shredded ginger, fried shallots, green mango, yellow pepper, crispy garlic, and sweet soya sauce.
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Unsurprisingly, there is a myriad of magnificent restaurants across DC.
We hope this list of 17 of the best restaurants in DC in 2022 helps you narrow down based on location, flavor, atmosphere, budget, and other essential aspects for your next restaurant decision.
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