DC is a foodie’s paradise. When you go to the capital of the United States, you may only think about its relevance in politics, history or the many Smithsonian museums throughout the city. But, DC is also home to a massive range of diverse cultures and a thriving restaurant environment. In fact, it’s thriving so well that it can almost be overwhelming the number of food options you have, from swanky restaurants to hole in the wall eateries that locals crave daily. For someone who’s never lived in or visited DC, it can be a harrowing experience, and making a decision as to where to eat can be difficult based on where you plan to stay or what you plan to do.
Thankfully, pretty much all of the best locations to eat in DC are easy to get to because of the extensive metro system. So easy in fact, the metro is the number one way to get around the city, and out into the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. Take advantage and grab a bite to eat at these amazing restaurants DC has to offer!
1. Founding Farmers
A major DC favorite, located near George Washington University in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, Founding Farmers is a beautiful restaurant that serves up amazing brunches, lunches and dinners. The restaurant is owned in a co-op style fashion, by the North Dakota Farmers Union (a collective of over 47,000 family farmers!). This means every ingredient, wine and liquor is made right in the US by hardworking families. FRESH. You can expect to eat true American comfort food here, with true American portions.
- Website: http://www.wearefoundingfarmers.com/
- Nearest Metro: Foggy Bottom-GWU
2. Le Diplomate
A local hotspot for french cuisine, Le Diplomate is a brasserie with authentic french baked goods and entrees. The restaurant interior is beautiful, and the outdoor patio is a fun place to enjoy good weather while eating and drinking. But really, the food is the best you could ask for. The extensive menu has all sorts of french favorites like fresh seafood, Beef Bourgignon, Steak Au Poivre and Lamb Navarin. If you’re not sure what some of these things are, it’s okay, I didn’t either but it was all delicious. Pair it with a nice french wine, and you’ve got yourself a great dinner to start off your night!
- Website: http://www.lediplomatedc.com
- Closest Metro Station: Shaw-Howard
3. Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill is one of the more famous DC restaurants. Not only is it just across the street from the White House, it’s also the oldest saloon in DC. Originally opened in 1856, this saloon has had many famous guests like President Roosevelt, Grant, Cleveland and Harding. To this day, it’s still a popular location for journalists, theatre goers, politicians and celebrities. The food is very American-oriented, popular and tasty. With such a large menu, it’ll be hard for anyone to not find something they’ll love!
- Website: http://www.ebbitt.com/
- Closest Metro Station: Metro Center
If you’re looking for a nice date night dinner spot, then you should absolutely visit Kinship near Mt. Vernon Square. Although relatively new, this restaurant has been making big waves in the DC culinary scene. The food here is very interesting and unique, with the menu arrangement based on themes like: craft, history, ingredients and indulgence. The chefs here use their traveling experiences to add new takes on American cuisine, and it definitely pays off.
- Website: www.kinshipdc.com
- Closest Metro Station: Mt Vernon Sq
5. Rose’s Luxury
It would be a travesty not to add Rose’s Luxury to this list of DC must eats. Another dinner only restaurant, Rose’s Luxury has been a huge success since it’s conception in 2013. Ever since, you’ll find lines waiting outside the restaurant every evening waiting to reserve a space to eat at this incredible restaurant. At Rose’s, you’ll find contemporary and modern takes on American classics in small-plate tapas form, great for sharing and trying a little of everything. Paired with great drinks and good weather, it’s easy to see why they became such a huge success. Not only that, but they use that success to help feed children through the World Food Program. For every meal you eat at Rose’s, they donate money to the program to give a child a meal (they’ve already donated over $30,000 so far). So, eat up and feel good about it!
- Website: www.rosesluxury.com
- Closest Metro Station: Eastern Market
Author Byline: Kate Howard is a loving mother and wife who has lived in, and visited, DC for years. When she’s not teaching preschool, eating new food or looking up funny animal videos, she’s helping people plan their trip to DC through her and her husband’s website: www.hotelsneardcmetro.com.