Restaurants in Washington DC

The city's many politicians and their expense accounts ensure that Washington DC has some fantastic dining options to suit every budget and taste. From glamorous upmarket restaurants dripping with style, to roadside stalls and eateries, this city offers many kinds of cuisine for many different budgets.

Fresh seafood, crab, oysters and rockfish are among the most popular choices on restaurant menus, with special emphasis on dishes made with locally-caught crabs, such as crab cakes, blue crabs, crab legs, crab soup and even crab chips, potato chips unique to Washington DC. A popular spice is Old Bay, which is locally made and used to season just about everything from peaches to popcorn.

Most restaurants are centred around the Midtown, downtown and Penn Quarter areas with the very upmarket eateries close to Capitol Hill and frequented by businessmen and businesswomen. Dupont Circle and the West End are also great areas for restaurants. A tip of about 15 percent is expected in restaurants and it is customary to make reservations before dining out.

1789 Restaurant $$$$$ | American
Located in an 18th-century townhouse, the antique setting combined with the food makes 1789 a premiere dining experience. Its menu is contemporary and seasonal, enhanced by the fresh regional ingredients, along with excellent wine pairings. There is also a good-value pre-theatre menu available, as well as an after hours menu. Reservations essential. Open for dinner nightly.

Address: 1226 36th Street NW; Telephone: (202) 965 1789

Zaytinya $$$$$ | Greek

Zaytinya is one of Washington DC's top restaurants, Greek or otherwise. Travellers with adventurous palates can dig into mezze delicacies like goat flatbread, crispy veal sweetbreads and grilled octopus, while vegetarians will find plenty to choose from. There is a reduced-price lunch menu offering sandwiches, salads and shawarmas, and even a brunch menu available until 2.30pm.

Address: 701 Ninth Street NW, Edison Place; Telephone: (202) 638-0800

Belga Café $$$$$ | Belgian

For Belgian cuisine at its very best, look no further than Belga Café. This stylish eatery with tasteful décor is a favourite in Washington DC with locals and out-of-towners alike. Sample its delicious four cheese croquettes or the Lotte mit Jenever, bacon-wrapped monkfish fillet with Jenever beurre blanc. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. Saturday and Sunday brunch and dinner only.

Address: 514, 8th Street, SE; Telephone: (202) 544 0100

Bombay Club $$$$$ | Indian
A favourite dining spot for the Clintons when Bill was in office, Bombay Club is known for its gorgeous setting and regional, gourmet Indian cuisine. Dishes range from fiery green chilli chicken and tandoori dishes, to rogan josh, biryanis, dals and lobster malabar. The Sunday champagne brunch is popular. Lunch Monday to Friday, dinner daily. Reservations essential.

Address: 815 Connecticut Avenue NW (Downtown); Telephone: (202) 659 3727

Capital Grille $$$$$ | Steakhouse
If you're in the mood for a steak, there's no better place to go in Washington DC than the aptly-named Capital Grille. The elegant mahogany-panelled dining room creates the perfect backdrop for the restaurant's famous dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood, accompanied by an extensive wine list with thousands of choices.

Address: 601 Pennsylvania Ave NW; Telephone: (202) 737 6200

Fogo de Chao $$$$$ | Brazilian

Carnivores will be in heaven at Fogo de Chao, Washington DC's top Brazilian restaurant. Waitrons deliver skewers of meat while you tuck into the signature churrascarias beef. The name means 'ground fire' and refers to the gaucho method of roasting meat. Unfortunately, vegetarians will have to content themselves with the salad bar and vegetable sides.

Address: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave NW; Telephone: (202) 347 4668

Birch and Barley $$$$$ | American

Birch and Barley is loved by both locals and tourists for its delicious comfort food, like pan-seared rainbow trout, honey-glazed duck breast and their special bratwurst burger. The brunch menu is equally tasty with offerings that include waffles, French toast and sticky buns, with 555 varieties of beer for drinks. Brunch is served on weekends, dinner daily, but the restaurant is closed on Mondays.

Address: 1337 14th Street NW; Telephone: (202) 567 2576


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