Top 10 Washington D.C. Restaurants

Top 10 Washington DC Restaurants

It's taken time, but Washington D.C. restaurants are fast catching up with their counterparts in cities like Los Angeles and New York. In recent years, Washington has played host to James Beard award winners, a season of Top Chef, Michelin stars galore and of course, the most powerful diners in the world, President and First Lady Obama.
Because everyone seems to enjoy something different, the following Top 10 Washington D.C. restaurant list focuses on variety, offering a little something for everyone.

Long regarded as one of the most romantic and traditional restaurants in DC, it's one of the few in the country that still requires that gentlemen don a blazer for dinner (don't worry, they'll loan you one if necessary). Located just outside the gates of Georgetown University, this romantic haven has played host to countless proposals, special occasion dinners and anniversaries alike. Order the lamb, the restaurant's most well-known dish.

Eating with your hands is a must when you visit Ethiopian restaurant Etete. Use the spongy Injera bread (more like a big pancake) to sop up dishes featuring lentils, beef, chicken and pungent spices. Ethopian is one of D.C.'s most popular ethnic cuisines -- and this is one of the best places to find great Ethiopian restaurants. Washington, D.C. has the country's largest Ethiopian population outside of Africa.

You may be waiting weeks for a table, but diners tell us it's well worth the experience for a seat at the tiny Minibar inside Cafe Atlantico restaurant. One of several eateries owned by the DC-based TV and cookbook phenomenon Jose Andres, this six-seat DC restaurant specializes in a Latin-American tasting menu. Need something slightly less expensive? How about Jaleo, a tapas-style joint, Oyamel, featuring traditional Mexican favorites, or Zaytinya, offering Mediterranean mezze.

Bourbon Steak
Want to play "spot the celebrity" in a Washington, D.C. restaurant? Look no further than Bourbon Steak, Michael Mina's steakhouse located inside The Four Seaons, Georgetown. The clubby steakhouse features a front bar area with cozy fire pits, plus USDA prime dry-aged meats and local seafood served with spices picked fresh from the on-site herb garden. The prices are high (what else would you expect?) but the top-notch service and to-die-for dishes make it worth the splurge.

Located in Georgetown's Latham Hotel, Citronelle offers one of the finest dining experiences in the United States from Michelin-starred chef Michel Richard. Named by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine as "One of the World's Most Exciting Restaurants," Citronelle is famous for not only their exquisite French food and extensive list of wines, but also for the ability to turn any evening into an experience. For a slightly less pricey DC restaurant option that's nevertheless delicious, try the sister restaurant, Central.

If it's Indian food you're after, there's no better restaurant in Washington, D.C. to visit than Rasika, known for taking a playful, modern approach to contemporary Indian cuisine. Savor lamb "lollipops," chili-rubbed scallops, and traditional tandoori dishes with plenty of fresh naan to go around in an intimate dining room that has long been one of D.C.'s most popular dining destinations.

One bite of Johnny Monis' food and you'll know you're in heaven -- or at least think you are. Washingtonians know that the tasting menu at this intimate hotspot is a must-book for a special occasion. Enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dishes ranging from fresh fish to succulently-prepared meats, with house-made lollipops that arrive with the check at this fabulous DC restaurant.

2 Amys
If it's pizza you crave, 2 Amys is the best restaurant in DC to snag a slice. The Neapolitan-style pies are some of the country's best, fluffy and topped with tangy sauce and the freshest vegetables and meats around. Bring the kids or plan a date night, and don't forget to ask for an order of the house-made doughnuts if you're visiting on a weekend!

It's rare to say this, but one of the top DC restaurants is famous for its burger. But not just any burger -- a mouth watering, juicy burger on a pillowy roll so fantastic that you'll dream about it for weeks to come. Whether you're ordering from the fine dining or cafe menu, this Cleveland Park restaurant makes you feel as comfortable as you would in your own kitchen ... but with much better food.

Founding Farmers
If you're searching for sustainable cuisine with an American focus, you should seek out the popular Founding Farmers for your next meal. Owned by the North Dakota Farmer's Union, this farm-to-table concept restaurant offers fresh fish, meats, and vegetables prepared in simple styles that somehow still come across as sophisticated. Don't miss the red velvet cake for dessert -- it's a house specialty.

Photo: Flickr via amiefedora

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