My husband and I spend a couple days in Washington D.C. every summer. I’ve fallen in love with it and it’s become one of my favorite cities. I love the history and beauty of it. It’s quieter than most cities but still has the feel and vibe of a big city. No matter how many times I’m there, I love to walk through the National Mall and all the outdoor parks. And close to the top of the list of reasons why I love Washington D.C. is the food scene. I’m lucky enough to live in central Jersey, which offers a wide variety of restaurants itself, but also happens to be 45 minutes away from both Philly and Manhattan. Needless to say there is no shortage of fabulous restaurants and good food in my neck of the woods. However, I daresay DC’s food scene can rival that of New York and Philly with it’s diversity and quality. Here are my picks for where to eat in DC. Bring on the food porn!
1. Rasika – Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Indian food. I have eaten at some really excellent Indian restaurants both abroad and in the states, and I have to say this one is my favorite. It’s on the pricey side but the food is totally worth it. Rasika has two locations and the food is equally good at both. Although there are many notable appetizers, Rasika is famous for it’s palak chaat, which is a crispy spinach dish topped with yogurt and a variety of chutneys. It might not sound that exciting, but just trust me on this one. It’s delicious. The menu offers a good combination of traditional Indian dishes and dishes with a modern twist. I have never had a bad meal at Rasika.
2. Founding Farmers – DC knows how to do brunch and Founding Farmers is one of the best places to get it. Their chicken and waffles may be the best I’ve ever had. The shrimp and grits are also worth mentioning. Spicy shrimp, creamy grits. Pure comfort.
3. Ambar – I didn’t know much about Balkan cuisine when I ventured into Ambar, but being the number 1 ranked restaurant in Washington DC on Trip Advisor and just around the corner from where we were staying at the time, I had to check it out. Ambar is unique and refreshing. I still dream about their “Popara”, aka cheesy, spicy, delicious Balkan bread pudding. The photo at the top of the page is an open faced breakfast sandwich we ordered at Ambar. It came beautifully presented on that wooden board.
4. Le Diplomate – I definitely overloaded on bread and cheese at this place but I don’t regret it for a second. The mushroom tart is flakey, buttery and topped with tons of glorious cheese. Perfect to share as an appetizer because it’s so rich. The French onion soup as well as the croque madame were also favorites.
5. Commissary – Casual and affordable, by DC standards. Super friendly service and the food is pretty darn good. Their $55 brunch special for two includes 2 coffees, 2 breakfast or brunch entrees and a bloody mary or mimosa pitcher.
6. Ardeo + Bardeo – One year we had the most glorious cheese fries of our lives at Ardeo Bardeo. Their menu does change frequently to reflect what’s in season, and even though those fries are not on the menu currently (sob!), there are definitely other items worth noting. It’s one of my favorite brunch spots in DC. For $29 you can order one item off their small plate section, one item of their large plate section and you get bottomless mimosas. It’s quite the deal. Their garden brunch pasta was really unique and their brunch burger, topped with an egg was so juicy! I’m still hoping they bring back those cheese fries though. Fingers crossed.
7. Tabard Inn – Charming setting with classic food done really well. I love the complimentary bread basket served at brunch which comes with blueberry muffins and parmesan focaccia, among some other delicious breads and pasties. The oysters were my favorite. Briny, fresh and salty. Everything an oyster should be.
8. Logan Tavern – I am obsessed with their crispy chicken paillard, which may not sounds that exciting, but the parmesan grits and the creamy goat cheese in this dish send it over the top. The tart and fruity mango key lime pie is a nice way to finish a dinner there.