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Sip and Savor- Tour D.C. Hot Spots

Updated: May 9, 2022

DC has really stepped up their food scene over the last several years and is now a worthy destination for any epicurious traveler. As of 2022, we have 23 Michelin Star restaurants and a melting pot of cuisine to choose from. Whether you are in the mood for a truly high end dining experience or something a bit more simple and less time consuming, we have you covered.

Let's start with the iconic classics of D.C.

  • Old Ebbitt Grill The oldest saloon in D.C. famous for their oysters, clam chowder and burgers. Great for happy hour and is a quick walk from the White House.

  • Ben's Chili Bowl Since 1958, they have been serving Chili, Milkshakes and Half Smokes. Lots to explore in the neighborhood, so be sure to stroll over to to Lincoln Theater, as well as checking out the famous Street Art for a great picture.

  • Cafe Milano This Italian restaurant opened its doors over 25 years ago in the Georgetown neighborhood and serves D.C. power houses; politicians, diplomats, lobbyists, and journalists daily. This is definitely a place to be seen.

  • Off the Record The historic upscale bar in the Hay Adams hotel, serves more than great wine and cocktails. Famous for the tucked away tables keeping the top secret conversation between the politicos out of ear shot. *Incredible views from the rooftop terrace of the White House and D.C.

Now for the 10 new kids on the block...even though they span the globe

  • SHŌTŌ A modern Japanese izakaya with sushi and robata, hottest reservation in town. (Midtown)

  • Dauphine's Seafood forward New Orleans style cuisine. (Midtown)

  • L'Ardente All I have to say is 40 layer lasagna! (East End near Union Station).

  • Dolce Vita Mediterranean, vibrant decor with Insta worthy plating (14th St)

  • London Curry House Indian curry (U street)

  • Oyster Oyster* Jame Beard nominee- Tasting Vegetarian Menu (Shaw)

  • Mariscos 1133 Spanish seafood like the name suggests. (Shaw)

  • The Henri Belgium Bistro featuring a rotating Bonnet Rotisserie. (Downtown)

  • Moi Moi West African and Southern American cuisine (Downtown)

  • Piccoletto Paolo Dungca's Asian-Italian mashup in the Asian inspired Block Food Hall (Lincoln) *Be sure to check out the doughnuts from Rose Ave Bakery while you are there, as well as Hiraya & Pogiboy- featuring former chef Tom Cunanan from Bad Saint.

Best Tasting Menus... Dinner theater for the senses, where the stars are the food.

Michelin Star Rating *

  • Jônt** Chef Ryan Ratino's 14-seat chef's counter highlights incredible ingredients around the world in the 16 course menu. Above it's sister restaurant Bresca* (U St.)

  • MiniBar** Chef José Andrés avant-garde cooking, and as the name suggest it only seats 12. His swanky innovative cocktail bar Barmini is right next door (Pen Quarter)

  • Philotimo Greek fine-dining 5 course menu. The 3 year wait is over, now if you can just get a reservation! (Midtown)

  • Masseria* Chef Nicholas Stefanelli Italian- Chef of Philotimo. (Union Market)

  • Métier* Chef Eric Ziebold French 7course menu Downstairs in Kinship* (Shaw)

  • Xiquet* Chef Danny Lledó Elegent 14 courses Spanish menu

  • Marcel's Chef Robert Wiedmaier serves elegant French-Belgian cuisine. (West End

  • Fiola* Chef Fabio Trabocchi equals sophisticated Italian (Penn Quarter)

  • Rooster & Owl * Husband and wife team Yuan and Carey Tang. Global Cuisine (14th)

  • The Inn at Little Washington*** Chef Patrick O’Connell Venture 90 min. out of the city for an overnight

My Go to Places...depending on what you are in the mood for

  • Chez Billy Sud French Bistro- We prefer eating at the cozy wine bar- (Georgetown)

  • Rasika West Ashok Bajaj's Indian (West End) *recent renovation at Bombay Club

  • Imperfecto* Fine dining, bridging the Mediterranean with Latin America. Even though the name suggests otherwise, I think it's perfect every time...Obsessed!!! (West End)

  • Anju Best Restaurant in 2020 Contemporary Korean. Great Happy Hour (Dupont)

  • The Dabney* Mid Atlantic American, James Beard Award for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic in 2018. Ask for the off menu sandwich (Shaw)

  • Tail Up Goat* Mediterranean Caribbean- Love the yellowfin tuna. (Adams Morgan)

  • Maydan* Middle Eastern family style tasting menu or al a carte (14th St.)

  • Nobu Japanese- Yellowtail Jalapeno, Miso Black Cod, 25th & M cocktail! (West End)

  • Fiola Mare Upscale Italian Seafood and great oysters (Georgetown Waterfront)

  • Tiger Fork Asian- Fun for Late Night modern takes on Hong Kong street food, traditional dim sum, and classic Chinese dishes. (Shaw- Blagden Alley)

Can't wait to try

  • Albi* Chef Michael Rafidi debut restaurant. Bold Middle Eastern flavors. (Navy Yard)

  • Moon Rabbit Chef Kevin Tien's modern Vietnamese (The Wharf)

  • Cranes* Chef Pepe Moncayo Spanish/Japanese offers a ten-course omakase menu

  • Quattro Osteria Modern Italian with a twist. (Shaw)

  • Sticx Southeast Asian barbecue on sticks & Stonz the wine bar upstairs (Georgetown)

As you can see there are a lot of great restaurants to try when visiting D.C. and the list can go on. That being said- look for my second installment about Hot Spots for Brunch, Steak and Cocktails.

Please note most of these restaurants need reservations well in advance.

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