Traveling to Washington, DC for a rally, concert, or some other major event? You are definitely going to want to check out the food scene. Although Washington, DC has a plethora of sights and sounds to indulge in, checking out the historical attractions is just part of the journey. Check out one of these top ten amazing restaurants for a flavor experience unlike any other.
1. Thip Khao
If you have never had Laos cuisine, you are not alone. That is why Thip Khao is a great introduction to your taste adventure. Lao cuisine is all about the spices, vegetables, and noodles. Many of the dishes here are gluten-free or vegetarian, but that does not mean meat lovers will be bored either. Of course, weird menu items, like ant eggs, have shown up on the menu, too. Eccentric palates, Thip Khao is calling.
2. Jack Rose Dining Saloon
2687 bottles of whisky on the wall and counting. Jack Rose Dining Saloon brings to you the flavors of the southwest with items like roasted marrow, buttermilk biscuits, steaks, and kettle corn. However, the refinement and sophistication of every single plate is beyond measure. You have a couple experiences to choose from: saloon bar, saloon dining, or the terrace grill. Each has a specialized menu.
Bet you never thought you would find an Afghan bistro in Washington, DC; but that would mean overlooking this fantastic gem of Middle Eastern food. Lapis is modern decor mixed with ancient cooking techniques. All plates feature local, seasonal ingredients and cover a breadth of items like vegetarian (and vegan) platters, meat stew, kebabs, and dumplings. The best part is the reasonable pricing.
4. Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen
When a restaurant is built on the concept of “Not All Who Wander Are Lost,” you know you found a winner. When it also encompasses Bedouin philosophy, you know you definitely have to check it out. Compass Rose is where you find international street food in one mesmerizing place. The menu is broken up into countries. Plate sizes make it easy to order two or three items to send your taste buds on a round-trip adventure.
5. The Dabney
This restaurant makes the list for a multitude of reasons. First, the ingredients are sourced from Mid-Atlantic farmers, and the kitchen utilizes a wood-burning hearth. Second, the dining experience is so organic and unpretentious that you cannot help but have a good time. The extensive menu offers something for everyone at a truly budget-friendly price. As for a recommended cocktail? Try the Absinthe Frappe.
6. The Red Hen
While the name may have you thinking about barns, The Red Hen is a delightful Italian-American experience that blows Italian chain restaurants out of the water. The influences the chefs draw upon come from their own heritage, such as rolling out pasta with their grandparents or working in European cafes. The dinner menu is small, with about 4 choices per section, but everything sounds mouthwateringly delicious. Most of the beer is also locally sourced.
There is something to be said about authentic, rightly done Spanish food. Nothing else compares. Estadio happens to be one of those places that just out does every other tapas bar out there. The main reason is because the dishes are inspired by classic Basque and Catalan recipes; the wine list contains over 250 labels, 90% of them coming from Spain, and “slushitos”; and a stunning interior design of marble, tile, and ironwork. Estadio is as much a feast for the eyes as it is the palate.
8. The DCity Smokehouse
Hankering for some indescribably epic barbecue? Then you need the DCity Smokehouse, known as the best BBQ in town. When this restaurant makes their meats for their sandwiches, they endeavor to make edible art. There are also ribs, sausages, and other meats to choose from. The hearty side dishes, like smoky chili or fried Brussel sprouts complement the amazing sauces and famous smokiness.
Though the word himitsu is Japanese for “secret,” there is nothing secret about how delicious the Asian-inspired menu is here. First, let’s talk about the cocktails, which are seriously works of drinkable art. The use of fine spirits along with juicy fruit, herbs, and spices makes for a masterful medley you have to try.
Next, the food. Asian influences come out in the sushi, noodles, lightly seasoned consommé, and braised Asian vegetables. Light, flavorful, and guaranteed to keep you craving for more.
10. Little Cocos
Although Little Cocos is the second Italian restaurant on this list, it holds its own against the competitor by boasting a pizza so good, you might have to ask to be pinched. That is not all, the Italian cooking is a blend of regional recipes influenced by local sources. Enjoy a fresh aperitivo before diving into the indulgent pizza pies or homemade bowls of pasta.
Bet you are hungry now. When you go to any of these ten amazing restaurants, all with different influences and menus, you are in for a 5-star international taste experience that will make you want to extend the trip.