Washington, D.C. welcomes people from all over the world so naturally, the district features cuisine from practically every spot on the map. When it came time for 10Best to select the top restaurants, we decided to chose ones that span the culinary globe and offer an unforgettable dining experience.
For those looking for excellent Mediterranean dishes, Komi, serves up modern Greek fare during a multi-course tasting dinner experience. Renowned chef Fabio Trabocchi has two restaurants on the list – Fiola Mare features a seafood market counter and Fiola dishes out contemporary Italian cuisine.
No passport is required to go to Le Diplomate even though you may feel like you are in a Parisian cafe. If it is warm enough, try to grab a seat outside. Rasika puts a modern twist on Indian cuisine while Thip Khao introduces diners to Lao food which is known for it's heat.
Want outstanding American fare? You can't go wrong with Rose's Luxury which features eclectic small and family style dishes. Plume, located inside the luxury Jefferson Hotel, uses seasonal ingredients that the author of the Declaration of Independence would have grown on his Monticello estate.
Whatever your choice, you are sure to find culinary masterpieces awaiting you at these top district restaurants.
With a passion to share her Lao culture and food with the masses, Chef Seng Luangrath opened up this restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in early 2015. Lao food is known for its heat so be sure to check out the 'Let's Go to the Jungle!' menu which showcases meals with ingredients including chili and sriracha sauce. For those whose taste buds prefer tamer fare, this menu offers patrons the option to chose their spice level. Pick mild, medium or Lao hot on such dishes as rice-cured tilapia, crispy fried intestine and grilled beef tongue. A different menu offers starters, soups and salads and large plates. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. METRO: Columbia Heights (202-387-5426)
For a taste of France right here in Washington, D.C., head to this bistro which offers an incredible comfort food menu for brunch, apres midi and dinner. Brunch options include breakfast favorites like steak and eggs and spinach omelette and entree choices including lamb sandwich and trout amandine. Dinner offers succulent hors d'oeuvres, tasty entrees and a full wine and dessert menu. Try to grab a seat outside to enjoy conversations with friends and people-watch. You may even see well-known political figures. First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have all been spotted here. METRO: U Street (202-332-3333)
Named after the sacred fir tree native to central Mexico where monarch butterflies take refuge after migration, Oyamel is emerging as one of the district's top upscale casual dining options. The menu features creative interpretations of modern, urban Mexican food – snacks or small dishes, tacos, ceviches and desserts. The guacamole is even made fresh at your table! You may want to take the Metro here because the drink menu is so enticing. Several different interpretations of the margarita are offered as well as house cocktails, wines and beers. Resident experts will also guide you through tastings of tequilas and mezcals. Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown (2026281005)
With two locations in this district, this restaurant puts a modern twist on Indian cuisine featuring small plates yet big taste. Start off with a dish made off a tawa (griddle) like scallops rasem or ragda patties or head straight to their sigri (open barbeque) menu including selections of mango shrimp and spicy reshmi kebab. The entrees list will have you wishing for a bigger stomach with choices like tandoori chicken tikka and grouper kerala curry. Be sure to make time to check out the artwork throughout the restaurant. Each piece was created by an Indian artist. METRO: Archives/Navy Memorial or China Town/Gallery Place (202-637-1222)
With soft lighting, elegant white d�r, and a ma�e d to greet you, this French and Belgian cuisine venue is epitome of fine dining. Menu items change daily but the high quality of each meal does not. Chose from four, five, six or seven course meals. For those who love to attend shows at the Kennedy Center, be sure to check out Marcel's three course pre-theater dining menu. Some selections to try include the smoke salmon carpaccio, the roasted Berkshire pork loin or perhaps the melting hot chocolate cake. The price tag even includes an executive car service to take you to and from the venue. METRO: Foggy Bottom (202-296-1166)
Opened in 2011, this much buzzed about restaurant is Chef Fabio Trabocchi's first in D.C. With a modern upscale vibe, this venue changes menus every day to reflect the freshest ingredients available for its regional and contemporary Italian cuisine. The menu includes selections of pasta, meat, fish and salads. If you are looking to make more healthy choices, look at the Maria menu Monday through Fridays which offers three courses of Mediterranean style dishes that are low on sodium, calories and fat. The bar offers its own lunch menu called PRESTO! where guests may chose a select beverage and entr�for one price. METRO: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter. (2026282888)
Plume at the Jefferson Hotel
Nestled inside the outstanding Jefferson Hotel is the equally amazing restaurant Plume. Traditional dishes are created using seasonal ingredients that Thomas Jefferson would have grown on his Monticello estate. The menu is small but huge on tasty options like lacquered veal breast, bison strip loin and diver sea scallops. There is a full desert menu complete with coffee and tea options. The wine list is truly remarkable with more than 1,300 labels to select with some dating back to Jefferson's time. The decor evokes a historic elegant ambiance with a working fireplace and crystal chandeliers. With such gorgeously plated, delicious meals, you'll wish they served breakfast and lunch too. METRO: Farragut North (2024482322)
With gorgeous views of the Potomac River and a seafood market counter to evoke a Mediterranean feel, this restaurant can not be missed. Opened in early 2014, this is the third restaurant Chef Fabio Trabocchi has opened in the district and it continues to be must-go destination for foodies. Menus change daily based on fresh ingredient availability so be sure to check out their website before you make a reservation. While this restaurant is great for lunch and dinner, you should also check out their top notch brunch menu which will give you a major reason to get out of bed early on a weekend. (202-628-0065)
This modern Greek restaurant is a foodie's dream come true. A set multi-course tasting dinner begins with small, light dishes and moves toward pastas, entrees and desserts. Since there are no printed menus, you are told of the meal as it is presented to you. Many will add on a wine pairing to the experience. With minimal d�r, the focus goes to the food which is extraordinary. They ask that no photos be taken so your Facebook friends will just have to visualize your dinner or come here to experience it for themselves. METRO: Dupont Circle. (202-332-9200)
Named for Chef Aaron Silverman's paternal grandmother and his desire to provide a warm, casual and hospitable environment for guests, this venue regularly has a long line when its doors open for dinner seating. They do not take reservations for parties with less than six people and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The tapas menu is eclectic and features small and family style dishes. With seasonal offerings, a recent menu included such delicious dishes as beef ribeye tartare, pickled ramps and crispy potatoes, grilled quail with Brussels sprouts, Caesar and apples. For those looking for just a drink, head upstairs to their bar. METRO: Eastern Market ((202) 580-8889)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
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