The Best Restaurants in DC
From consistently hot plates by reigning champs to explosive new flavors from exciting newbies, these are the capital's 9 best restaurants.
The inspiration behind Maydan’s menu–which, the restaurant likes to say, reaches from “Tangiers to Tehran and Batumi to Beirut”–was curated over a five week, five country trip in which chef Rose Previte cooked with grandmothers in each destination. The outcome is the rustic, Middle Eastern-inspired Compass Rose, where dishes like carrots with harissa and dukkah-dusted halloumi are standouts.
[js_image attachment_id="4460" full_width="1" /]courtesy of Jennifer Chase
Last year Himitsu landed on both Eater and Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant list, and for good reason. A modern Japanese number that dabbles in untraditional sushi preps, this no-resy spot in Petworth packs long lines for its regularly-changing pan-Asian flavor mashups like savory rice cake “gnocchi.” JS Tip: Grab a seat at the U-shaped bar for a list of curious libations that shows a keen interest in sherry.
[js_image attachment_id="4461" full_width="" /]courtesy of Greg Powers
James Beard-nominated Centrolina–the spic and span gourmet market and restaurant started by chef Amy Brandwein in 2015–continues to earn praises for its regional and seasonal Italian cooking. Crowdpleasers include Piedmontese wood-fired veggies with bagna cauda, and Tuscan chestnut pappardelle with rabbit and nebbiolo.
Contemporary Indian cuisine shines at fan favorite Rasika, the upscale restaurant with two DC outposts run by chef Vikram Sunderam and restaurateur Ashok Bajaj. Think classic and not so classic plates of black cod with dill, cheddar, and star anise, and crispy baby spinach drizzled with yogurt and tamarind. Don’t miss the spice-inflected cocktails.
[js_image attachment_id="4465" full_width="" /]courtesy of Greg Powers
Some of D.C.’s best dim sum can be found at chef[ ]()José Andrés’ vibrant China Chilcano– the Michelin-recognized Penn Quarter boîte that celebrates the myriad cultures which define Peruvian cuisine, including China, Japan, and South America. Plates of handmade crab and pork soup dumplings are served alongside ceviches and traditional Peruvian skewered proteins. The bar honors Peru’s national spirit, with one of the U.S.’s largest Pisco collections.
Long lines are a guaranteed rite of passage at Rose’s Luxury, the Capitol Hill fixture that, even after nearly five years, is still as buzzy as ever. Chef Aaron Silverman is the vision behind the funky converted townhouse’s ever-changing fusion-y New American plates, which have earned him countless accolades, in addition to a James Beard award.
Top Chef alum Bryan Voltaggio’s burgeoning restaurant empire was partially built on the success of Range–his much lauded American restaurant within Chevy Chase Pavilion. The brightly-lit, modern space still sets the tone for well-made pizzas baked in Voltaggio’s wood-fired oven, plus sambal-fried chicken and a rich serrano-laced cheeseburger.
Tail Up Goat
Vets Jon Sybert, Jill Tyler, and Bill Jensen from DC’s popular Komi and Little Serow are behind Adams Morgan hit Tail Up Goat, the hip Mediterranean neighborhood bistro that, though just a year old, has already reeled in one Michelin star. Come in for a slew of inspired plates, like smoked fermented cabbage-spiked smoked potato ravioli, and Iamb ribs with tahini and harissa. Cocktails are a strong point too, culling inspiration from the Caribbean.
[js_image attachment_id="4475" full_width="1" /]courtesy of Farrah Skeiky
When New York Times critic Pete Wells cast a glowing three star review of Bad Saint, it certainly didn’t help the 24-seat restaurant’s already snaking lines. Chef Tom Cunanan has been cooking a collection of classic and regional Filipino plates from his home country since the kitchen’s opening in 2015. The menu changes constantly, so you never know what you’re going to get. But rest assured it’ll be worth the wait.
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