Washington, D.C. Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Historic Destinations in the USA
Credit

Courtesy of Kevin Voelker Photography/Getty Images

What to Eat in Washington, D.C.

As the epicenter for American politics and nonprofits, too, Washington, D.C. attracts a diverse clientele – and the restaurant scene reflects this melting pot of ethnicities and cultures. Wander the streets of Georgetown, Dupont Circle and the U Street Corridor and you'll find plenty of interesting eateries, from white tablecloth restaurants to trendy tapas joints plating everything from zesty Spanish bites to succulent oyster shooters. Additionally, a strip of ethnic restaurants on H Street Northeast in the Atlas District offer Belgian fare, Japanese cuisine and more. For slow sips at one of the capital's swanky cocktail bars, head over to the U Street Corridor of 14th Street, where lively and laid-back bars lure college students, young professionals and visitors.

The city also appeals to gourmands who revel in haute cuisine. For a sophisticated meal at a high-end restaurant, try José Andrés' collection of restaurants, including Zaytinya, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana and minibar by José Andrés. For a traditional taste of D.C., make reservations at tried and true spots like Old Ebbitt Grill and 1789.

For more budget-minded options, grab a stool at the D.C. institution Ben's Chili Bowl, located right next to the U Street Metro stop. Good Stuff Eatery – a premier burger spot spearheaded by chef Spike Mendelsohn – is ideal for creamy milkshakes and flavorful patties topped with interesting toppings like chili and Thai basil. Good Stuff Eatery features locations in Capitol Hill Southeast and Georgetown.

Farmers markets have also become a major staple in the District. On any given Saturday or Sunday, you'll find Washingtonians perusing the stalls for healthy and organic fruits and veggies at colorful markets. Local favorites include FRESHFARM's market in Dupont Circle, Eastern Market, Union Market and the Columbia Heights Farmers Market. At these bustling markets, you can pick up everything from pickles to sweet peaches to buttery pastries, among other items. Breweries and brewpubs have become a popular mainstay in D.C., too, and a trip to the nation's capital isn't complete without enjoying one of the best brunches the city has to offer.

Find the Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

  • #1
    Ambar Capitol Hill
    #1 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1425 reviewsTripAdvisor (1425)
    $ - $$ | Eastern European
    523 8th St SE, Washington DC, DC 20003-2835
    Read More »
  • #2
    Barmini
    #2 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 253 reviewsTripAdvisor (253)
    $$ | Bar
    501 9th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20004-2155
    Read More »
  • #3
    Quill
    #3 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 148 reviewsTripAdvisor (148)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar
    1200 16th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20036-3202
    Read More »
  • #4
    Keren Restaurant
    #4 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 233 reviewsTripAdvisor (233)
    $ | African, Ethiopian
    1780 Florida Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-2658
    Read More »
  • #5
    The Capital Grille
    #5 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1946 reviewsTripAdvisor (1946)
    $$ | Steakhouse
    601 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20004-2601
    Read More »
  • #6
    Lafayette Restaurant
    #6 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 301 reviewsTripAdvisor (301)
    $$ | American
    800 16th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20006-4102
    Read More »
  • #7
    Joe's Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab
    #7 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2063 reviewsTripAdvisor (2063)
    $$ | Steakhouse, American, Seafood
    750 15th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20005-1018
    Read More »
  • #8
    Rose's Luxury
    #8 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 453 reviewsTripAdvisor (453)
    $ - $$ | American, Contemporary
    717 8th St SE, Washington DC, DC 20003
    Read More »
  • #9
    Rasika
    #9 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2629 reviewsTripAdvisor (2629)
    $$ | Indian
    633 D St NW, Washington DC, DC 20004-2904
    Read More »
  • #10
    The Dabney
    #10 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 233 reviewsTripAdvisor (233)
    $$ | American
    122 Blagden Alley North West, Washington DC, DC 20001
    Read More »
  • #11
    Tortino Restaurant
    #11 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 395 reviewsTripAdvisor (395)
    $ - $$ | Italian
    1228 11th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20001-4264
    Read More »
  • #12
    Marcel's by Robert Wiedmaier
    #12 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 657 reviewsTripAdvisor (657)
    $$ | French, European, International
    2401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20037-1730
    Read More »
  • #13
    Kinship Restaurant
    #13 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 170 reviewsTripAdvisor (170)
    $$ | American, Contemporary
    1015 7th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20001-3607
    Read More »
  • #14
    Jack Rose Dining Saloon
    #14 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 229 reviewsTripAdvisor (229)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar, Pub
    2007 18th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-1805
    Read More »
  • #15
    Commissary
    #15 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1198 reviewsTripAdvisor (1198)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar
    1443 P St NW, Washington DC, DC 20005-1907
    Read More »
  • #16
    Baked and Wired
    #16 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 968 reviewsTripAdvisor (968)
    $ | American, Cafe
    1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Washington DC, DC 20007-3813
    Read More »
  • #17
    Zaytinya
    #17 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 4193 reviewsTripAdvisor (4193)
    $ - $$ | Lebanese, Mediterranean, European, Turkish, Greek, Middle Eastern
    701 9th St NW Edison Place, Washington DC, DC 20001-4572
    Read More »
  • #18
    Chez Billy Sud
    #18 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 205 reviewsTripAdvisor (205)
    $$ | French, European
    1039 31st St NW 1035 31st St NW, Washington DC, DC 20007-4401
    Read More »
  • #19
    Bistro Cacao
    #19 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 349 reviewsTripAdvisor (349)
    $$ | French, European
    320 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington DC, DC 20002-5702
    Read More »
  • #20
    sweetgreen
    #20 of 3,804 Places to Eat in Washington DC
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 206 reviewsTripAdvisor (206)
    $ | American, Fast Food
    221 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington DC, DC 20003
    Read More »

Explore More of Washington, D.C.

Recommended

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019

15 Epic Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Across America

Plan an unforgettable trip in your own backyard or on the opposite coast.

Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019

The 30 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Explore the globe in search of these intriguing historic sights.

Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019

The Caribbean Comeback: 12 New and Renovated Caribbean Hotels to Visit

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019