This is an open letter to John — who commented on my blog (thanks for reading) — wondering what is the restaurant he shouldn’t miss when he’s in DC next week.
John, I have been contemplating and working on drafting such an entry, so thanks for the prompt.
To sum it up, I don’t think there is just “one” restaurant that is DC. But I do think, depending on your mood and how often you’ve visited, there are some outstanding options. I am keeping the suggestions only to within DC-proper and metro accessible.
With that in mind, here’s the quick personal list (with many more additions to come). But readers, please chime in! Before you chastise me for forgetting a “duh” restaurant, remember I typed this bad boy up in 15 minutes. So it’s seriously a list off the top of my head!
- Cheap but real DC — Ben’s Chili Bowl. Everyone goes here. Anthony Bourdain to Bill Cosby to Bill Clinton. If you go and you’ve never been, must get the half smoke and fries.
- Organic and sustainable — if the environment is your #1 priority or you’re looking for a light but absolutely phenomenal meal, go to Hook. Although Barton Seaver has left so not sure if it’s still as amazing.
- Indian with a twist — Rasika. I haven’t reviewed it because it’s been more than a year since I’ve gone. I’ve been and here’s the review — still love it! They offer this popcorn at the bar which is sweet and spicy and amazing. I loved loved loved that popcorn.
- Authentic Mexican — Mixtec. Simple yet good.
- Cart food — For lunch, I would honestly recommend the Bulgogi cart. Unless you’re from NY, you don’t see a lot of carts with options other than hot dogs.
- Mussels and frites (and beer) — My new favorite place is Brasserie Beck. Seriously. Drool.
- Thick crispy fries, delicious crab cakes, and beautiful atmosphere — Blue Duck Tavern. Between Brasserie Beck and Blue Duck, I’m not sure who has the better fries. It’s definitely a toss-up!
- Pizza — Hands down it’s 2Amys. Not metro accessible (really) but so worth the cab fare.
- Wine bars — I haven’t been to Cork so I don’t know if it’s cool, but I love Veritas.
- Vodka bar — There’s only one (I think) – Russia House.
- Real Greek food — Mourayo, then you can go to Russia House and Veritas after dinner!
- Bagels — I really like So’s Your Mom bagels. Plus their Reuben is delicious.
- Breakfast — If you want to sit down for breakfast, I think The Diner is quintessential DC. You’ll see everything from families to cops to hung over people eating here.
- Sushi — Sushi Taro if you don’t mind the wait, Tono Sushi especially if you want it delivered or want to hit up a sushi happy hour, or Kaz Sushi.
- Caribbean/Trinidadian — Islander Restaurant.
- Grocery store listing — Sometimes, you just want to buy a big gallon of water. To find the closest grocery store to you, visit here.