Where to Eat in Washington DC
Often misrepresented as a place for politics not play, Washington, DC is bursting with creativity and tasty bites. Here, our local food fanatic – Vina Sananikone – reveals her favourite finds...
Beyond national treasures and historic buildings, the neighbourhoods of Washington, DC buzz with lively cafés and restaurants, rich culture and music. With a host of new boutiques, restaurants and bars opening, and areas like Shaw and Logan Circle rapidly revitalising, there’s another side to the city. Receiving its first Michelin Guide in October 2016, Washington, DC has one of the hottest restaurant scenes in the US, whether you’re fine dining or eating a ‘chili bowl’ at Ben’s – a favourite of the Obamas. Meanwhile, the U Street area attracts a late-night crowd seeking underground dance clubs or industrial-chic spaces serving craft cocktails. And then there’s 24-hour dining in Adams Morgan, performing arts in the Penn Quarter, and exclusive boutiques in Georgetown.
In Capitol Hill – home to the US Capitol and Supreme Court – this wonderful market is a hub for fresh produce, delicious eats and locally made crafts, from jewellery to pottery. The weekend draws a lively mix of locals and tourists.
On my first visit I was dazzled by the neon signage, herbal teas in huge glass canisters and a whimsical pom-pom curtain by a local artist. But it was brunch that set my love affair in stone. Get creamed tofu and Chinese bacon, and don’t miss the ‘Happy Toast’: Hong Kong-style French toast with coconut cream and condensed milk.
New to the Adams Morgan neighbourhood and already the hottest hotel in the district, Line DC is housed in a 110-year-old former church, with Full Service Radio broadcasting live from its lobby daily. Restaurants from renowned chefs include Spike Gjerde’s A Rake’s Progress, where an innovative menu features tantalising sharing dishes such as Next Step grains with maple-grilled sweet potatoes and ember-grilled rockfish with crab fried rice.
Shop Made in DC
With wooden tables, industrial fixtures and red brick, this is a stylish space filled with locally made art, stationery, homewares, food and clothing. This is not just another café-cum-shop in the already convivial Dupont Circle; it’s a place to showcase DC makers, and for visitors to find a unique memento – often with a story to go with it.
Baked & Wired
Located in bustling Georgetown, alongside high-end boutiques, Baked & Wired is a bakery and café creating small-batch goods from family recipes. There’s often a queue, but it’s worth the wait! Try the Tessita, a decadent vanilla cake with dulce de leche filling and chocolate-hazelnut satin icing.
Dacha Beer Garden
Drink German and American craft beers under the watchful gaze of Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor at this all-year, all-outdoor beer garden, which has quickly become something of an icon itself in Shaw. Here, the larger servings come in ‘das boot’ glasses and you can snack on pretzels and brats - or bring in food from elsewhere.
You can tailor any of Flight Centre’s suggested USA Journeys itineraries to include Washington, DC. We’ll ensure your stay is long enough to give you plenty of time to enjoy the nation’s capital at leisure – chat to a Travel Expert to find out more.