The iconography of America’s capital city is ingrained in all of our minds – white marble monuments, bespoked k street staffers and hard nosed reporters. But there’s way more to DC than what you’ve seen in the movies. For one, DC is one of America’s most European cities, both in design and population. The city was designed by Frenchman Pierre L’Enfant, who created the wide boulevards and grid pattern we recognize today. For another, DC is one of America’s most African American cities, with nearly half of its residents identifying as black or mixed race. This European/African/American cultural history is seen everywhere in the City, including on its plates.
To start, Washington DC is home to nearly 700,000 people – a population greater than Nashville, Boston, Portland, Vegas and Atlanta. So, while Washington DC has the reputation of a commuter city (which to be fair, is somewhat true – Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County Maryland are all part of the Metro DC area), there’s over a half million people in its borders. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, but DC can do it – the city has a wide selection of dining options – everything from fine dining at Michelin starred restaurants to something budget-friendly but delicious.
In fact, between Georgetown, George Washington, American University and Catholic University, DC is also one of the busiest college towns on the east coast. We cover great places to eat in the area when mom and dad are in town and can shell out a few extra bucks, alongside some great budget eats in DC too for the undergrad counting quarters.
Towards the beginning of the City’s history, African Americans were about 25% of the population, the majority of them enslaved. By 1830, most were free people, even before the emancipation proclamation. DC has always been a place where black people were freer to create businesses than elsewhere in the United States. Places like Ben’s Chili Bowl and Georgia Brown’s are iconic DC businesses built on the back of this history, still standing today. Standing on the shoulders of these giants are new up and comers like HalfSmoke on Florida Avenue and Milk and Honey Cafe on H Street.
When it comes to European food, DC may have some of the best French and Italian restaurants in the country. Le Diplomate in DC has been lauded for years in addition to the Michelin starred The Inn at Little Washington. With a number of chefs with Classic French culinary backgrounds, you can get the best French dishes in DC – everything from Steak Frites to Foie Gras to Fruits De Mer. On the Italian end of things, DC has some of the freshest pasta restaurants on the east coast. Filomena has been making pillowy pasta from their front window for years, but you know you can also get hand rolled noodles and more from Sfoglina, Fiola and more.
DC also has incredible options from Latin America, Asia and Africa. DC’s Chinatown is iconic thanks to its Chinese iconography throughout the area, including the Friendship Arch, a traditional Chinese gate installed in 1986. And while there isn’t one Latin American nationality that dominates the area culturally, there is a strong pan-Latino presence, and it’s clearly visible in the Latino cuisine in the area, whether you’re looking for terrific seafood tacos or a mouthwatering mofongo. Finally, DC may be best known for its Ethiopian community – and the incredible dishes passed down from their home countries (check out Zedd’s in Georgetown to start). In fact, 20% of the total number of Ethiopian immigrants in the US live in DC!
When only a slice will do, finding the best pizza place in town can help you satisfy your hunger for the iconic Italian food. So we have rounded up 9 of the best spots to grab some pizza in Washington DC the next time a craving hits!
In a city that is not only rich in culture and heritage, but with a decent sized population of both working class and college-aged citizens, it is no surprise the city holds a handful of notable breweries where one can take a load off and enjoy a few beers with your friends. Whether you’re in search of your next go-to hang out spot or just want to try out some local or national beers, check out our list of the best breweries in Washington DC.
Although George Washington University doesn’t have a defined “campus”, it certainly has its own feel. As you would expect from such a cultural hub, this part of town has an absolutely tremendous restaurant scene. Whether you’re in the mood for an on-campus deli or a Michelin-recognized farm-to-table experience, it’s easy to find the perfect meal for any taste or occasion in Washington D.C.
Navy Yard is an area in DC that is rich in culture, and the region features a number of trendy eateries that offer different types of cuisine. If you’re planning to visit DC soon, or you live in the area and want to try a new restaurant or two, here are some of the best restaurants in Navy Yard, Washington DC to try, no matter what you’ve got a taste for.
Washington DC is home to some of the best seafood restaurants because of the waters around the city that are the source of fresh fish and seafood. The restaurants will serve delicious fresh fish in various locations, and this is our selection of some of the Best Seafood Restaurants in DC.
Washington, D.C. is much more than just the nation’s capitol. The diverse restaurant styles in Washington, D.C. reflect the diversity of the American people. In addition to being home to a wide variety of restaurants, there are many black owned restaurants Washington DC.
A distinct difference between a food court and a food hall is that a food court features primarily fast food and food chain concepts, whereas a food hall mostly features a collection of non-chain, chef-inspired ideas. There are over 220 food halls in the US currently, with more emerging monthly. Here’s a look at our current top picks of food halls in Washington DC.
We visit Washington D.C. to find out what kinds of food fuel the drive and ambition of so many people with big aspirations and even bigger appetites.
Our nation’s capital is known for its grandiose monuments, ceremony, and history; but what about its signature food? Ask any DC resident and they’ll likely answer “it’s the half smoke.” We’ve compiled the best half smokes inside the Beltway to help you experience the taste of the District of Columbia.
Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, organizing a family get-together, or simply unwinding with friends with sundowners, the views afforded by a rooftop restaurant adds a certain ambient charm to the occasion and helps make it memorable. Washington DC’s best rooftop restaurants are no exception and there is a wide range from which to choose. If you are visiting DC and would like to soak in the vibe of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood or Union Market, or take in the sweeping views along the Potomac River, there is a rooftop restaurant that will cater to your taste and needs. The 10 most popular and highly-rated rooftop restaurants in Washington DC, based on ambiance and quality of fare, are listed below.
DC is more than just the nation’s capital; the region is quickly becoming one of the nation’s food capitals as well. Whether you’re visiting the area or live in DC and want to find a new place to dine, check out some of the best brunch spots in Washington DC to experience all the flavors the area has to offer.
When you’re visiting DC, you’ll see beautiful historic sites, breathtaking parks and walking trails, and a variety of award-winning restaurants. The district’s U Street is a trendy part of town that is home to innovative eateries that offer some of the best food in the area. Here are the best U Street DC restaurants to choose from when you’re dining in the district.
You won’t need to look too deeply into our coverage to see that DC is an incredible food city. All of these disparate elements combine – a Western European historical influence, modern immigrant communities, a strong African American history and a vibrant student community – to make one delicious, four-star stew.