Bar at 1789, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

1789

This Washington classic has been serving loyal patrons for over fifty years. Stepping inside the Georgetown institution, with its early-American art and grand fireplace, will transport you in time. The old world feel is complimented by the rich American fare, including sustainable seafood and organically farmed meat and game. Each of the five dining rooms is cozy, making this the perfect place for a romantic dinner or celebrating a special occasion.

Editors' Picks
Food at 2Amys, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

2Amys

It’s cacophonous, packed with kids and usually involves a wait, but for pizza aficionados, the pies at 2Amys are worth it. The restaurant, located in Cleveland Park, has received D.O.C. accreditation for its authentic Neapolitan pizza, which is made in a wood-burning oven with plenty of mozzarella di bufala, Italian plum tomatoes and fresh basil or oregano. Adventurous diners may gravitate to the vongole pie (with garlic, capers, cockles, grana and hot pepper) or the stuffed pizza (with ricotta, grana, salami and prosciutto). There are also small bites, such as polpettine al forno (meatballs) and bruschetta. This is a good lunch option if you are visiting the National Cathedral.

Albi

This Levantine treasure by chef Michael Rafidi is one of the main reasons why the rapidly-developing Navy Yard neighborhood is the dining spot to know in the District. Since its opening in February 2020, Albi has gained widespread recognition, and it earned a Michelin star in 2022. With a warm, welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere and open, wood-fired kitchen (informed by Rafidi's Palestinian heritage) that makes you feel like you are dining in a friend’s home, rather than a restaurant (“Albi” means “heart” in Arabic), Albi serves up delicious plate after delicious plate: Beiruti-style hummus with green garlic; orchard fattoush with mint, pomegranate and pear; grilled lamb belly with radicchio; perfectly crisped puffs of pita...should we go on? Wash it all down with a bottle from the well-curated and creative wine menu, which celebrates vintages from Beirut’s Château Musar, as well as unique finds like an orange wine from Georgia’s Teliani Valley and a cabernet from Slovenia.

Editors' Picks
Food at Baked & Wired, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic - Courtesy Erin Krespan

Baked & Wired

This neighborhood bakery, which sits on a quiet Georgetown side street, is beloved by locals for its cupcakes (don’t miss the German Chocolate Cake version) and caffeinated beverages (the dirty chai latte is a favorite).

Ambience at Black Market Bistro, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Black Market Bistro

You’ll have to venture about thirty minutes north of the capital to experience Black Market Bistro but this gem, located in a former post office, is worth the trek. In the summer, the creaky wooden porch is the perfect place to enjoy brunch, which features such highlights as buttermilk pancakes, barbeque shrimp and eggs Benedict. Don’t let the simple food choices fool you though. Every dish served in this charming Victorian restaurant is cooked to perfection and surpasses expectations. Reservations are recommended, particularly for brunch.

Dinning Area at Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Blue Duck Tavern

A favorite of Washingtonians for a sophisticated dinner, Blue Duck Tavern turns out inventive farm-to-table American fare at the Park Hyatt. Dishes such as the porchetta and braised beef are consistently flavorful and creative. The interiors are rustic and chic and the front patio is a fabulous spot to dine alfresco.

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Bluejacket Brewery

Located in the up-and-coming Navy Yard neighborhood in Washington, D.C., the Bluejacket brewery is a seriously cool restaurant that beer lovers should not miss. Read on for the Indagare Travel review.
Food at Brasserie Beck, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Brasserie Beck

Owned by Robert Wiedmaier, the proprietor of the grand Marcel’s, Beck is a hopping Belgian brasserie with such hearty fare as braised pork belly and lamb sausage with lentils. It’s loud, crowded and tons of fun. It's located in McPherson Square.

Cafe Milano

Centrally located off of Wisconsin Avenue, Cafe Milano is an Italian institution in Georgetown. Frequented by the likes of Katie Couric and John Kerry, the restaurant glows with low lighting and a buzzing energy that attracts celebrities, journalists, politicians and Georgetown locals in equal measure. The food is classic and delicious, with standouts including a pumpkin, gorgonzola and rosemary risotto and wagyu beef tagliata dusted with black lava sea salt.

Warm hospitality, an enticing wine list and eclectic design mingle with an air of Northern Italian glamour to make dining here both comfortable and exciting. Guests can sit at the bar for a casual glass of Barbera and bowl of fresh pasta, while families and business people celebrate milestones with Champagne in the more formal back and upstairs rooms. It is just as pleasant to sit at one of the outdoor patio tables for lunch on a sunny day.

Editors' Picks
Food at Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Central Michel Richard

Downtown's Central, which won the 2008 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in the country, is part of a continuing trend in D.C.: top toques—in this case Michel Richard, of now-shuttered Citronelle fame—creating more accessible fare, in terms of both price and preparation. (Another example is Robert Wiedmaier’s Brasserie Beck.) Central’s menu is upscale bistro: bangers and mash, an Ahi tuna burger, Caesar salad with goat cheese and a charcuterie plate with prosciutto, salami and garlic sausage. Casual and almost cafeteria-like in ambiance, it is constantly packed, hugely popular and does get some complaints for being on the loud side.

Editors' Picks
Dining room at Chez Billy Sud, Washington, D.C.,

Chez Billy Sud

Warm, inviting and intimate, Chez Billy Sud is a place to get lost in both atmosphere and food. The Southern French cuisine, hand-crafted cocktails and mostly-French wine list make this Georgetown bistro a cozy and romantic spot.
Food at Compass Rose, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Compass Rose

Owner Rose Previte spent three years traveling across the globe, picking up favorite dishes along the way. At this neighborhood joint in the hot 14th and U Streets area, she serves bites from Greece (grilled calamari with quinoa, toasted pistachio and feta), Lebanon (fattoush with sumac vinaigrette) and Venezuela (arepas with lamb neck) and more from culinary destinations in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The drinks are beloved here, and the namesake libation, made with sparkling wine, pomegranate liquer and rose water, is a particular highlight.

Drinks at Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar

Locals are willing to put up with long waits for drinks at this buzzy Logan Circle wine bar. It has a neighborhoody vibe and hosts frequent wine tastings; check the website for upcoming ones. While the wine list is fun to peruse—Cork has dozens of wines by the glass—the food is equally appealing. Enticing small plates, like asparagus with morels, grilled lamb with chimichurri, and duck confit with mushroom polenta, are also on offer.

Dinning Area at Doi Moi, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Doi Moi

This lively Southeast Asian restaurant on 14th St. boasts an open kitchen that allows diners to see and smell the incredible cooking being turned out. Vietnamese and Thai dishes showcase the techniques and flavors of their regions and the extensive wine list and cocktail menu round out the unique and delicious dining experience.

Bar at Equinox, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Equinox

Run by chef Todd Gray and his wife, Ellen, Equinox is deeply beloved by D.C. foodies—and for good reason. The Grays are firm supporters of local farmers and change their menus frequently to reflect the freshest ingredients. On a recent trip to this Downtown classic, I loved the tangy fried green tomatoes served with a fresh chive mayonnaise, a drizzle of balsamic, shavings of Parmesan and crispy, paper-thin slices of Virginia ham. One dish that is often on the menu is the barbequed salmon, glazed with a sweet and savory sauce and served with a sweet-corn coulis and basil. Presentations are beautiful and the flavors divine.

Food at Filomena Ristorante, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Filomena Ristorante

Filomena is a classic DC institution that serves generous portions of pastas and other classic Italian specialties. Through the restaurant’s street-facing window, you'll see ladies making the pasta by hand, setting the tone for a fresh, authentic meal. The downstairs dining room is richly decorated with velvet seats and dark wood-furniture, and the atmosphere is always busy and boisterous.

Bar at Fiola, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Fiola

It’s taken some time, but renowned Chef Fabio Trabocchi has finally perfected his take on modern Italian cuisine with this Penn Quarter eatery. The rustic but elegant atmosphere serves as the perfect backdrop for the contemporary Italian fare such as Shenandoah lamb roast with red peppers, eggplant and black olives. Cocktails from mixologist Jeff Faile are inspired, including such tipples as the Giuseppe Collins, made with Citadelle gin, Campari and bitter lemon soda.

Bar at Fiola Mare, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Fiola Mare

The stylish younger sister of the famed Fiola restaurant, Fiola Mare fronts the lively Georgetown waterfront and features sophisticated Italian cuisine. The menu focuses on fresh seafood dishes, which are complemented by an extensive wine list. Interiors are elegant and nautical, while sitting alfresco with unparalleled views of the Potomac River is a more casual, buzzier scene.

Food at Georgia Brown’s, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Georgia Brown’s

Located across from a park-like square, Georgia Brown’s is well recognized for its upscale Southern cooking. The butter-yellow interiors are comfortable and warmly lit, which matches the homestyle, yet sophisticated cuisine. Beginning with a basket of fresh biscuits and cornbread, meals here offer subtle twists on classic Southern cooking such as buttermilk-fried chicken with collard greens or a deconstructed jambalaya. The spectacular desserts, including a rich red velvet cake and seasonal cobblers, are not to be missed. On the weekends, Georgia Brown’s serves a lavish buffet brunch of generous proportions.

Food at Ghibellina, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Ghibellina

This Italian gastro-pub located on the lively 14th St. corridor serves authentic Tuscan fare inspired by the owners’ days spent living in Florence. Decked out in old wood and brick, the dining room provides a cozy environment for guests as they enjoy pizza, pasta, panna cotta and everything in between. Sister restaurant Sotto, which presents an American-leaning menu along with Cotton Club-era cocktails, is located in the basement.

Dinning Area at I Ricchi, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

I Ricchi

I Ricchi, a well-known Italian restaurant for DC politicos and celebrities, is a sophisticated spot for authentic Tuscan cuisine. The freshly made pastas and perfectly seasoned fish and meat dishes have continued to draw a loyal following to the Tuscan villa–style interiors with vaulted ceilings, hanging ivy and frescos.

il Canale

Down 31st towards the Potomac, directly across the street from the Rosewood hotel, il Canale serves the best Neapolitan–style pizza in Georgetown. It is truly authentic, thin-crust, 00-flour pizza—following the official standards of the Verace Pizza Napoletana association—and Italians themselves are frequent patrons. In addition to a mouthwatering selection of pizzas, il Canale also serves traditional southern Italian cuisine, including antipasti, pastas and meat and fish dishes. The atmosphere is casual but lively; it’s a place for families, first dates and friendly reunions. If you’re lucky, you’ll be welcomed by Joe Farrugio, the Sicilian-born head chef who is small in stature but grandissimo in charisma.

The main dining room is always busy, while the upstairs tables offer more privacy. When the weather is nice, the cozy outdoor terrace and sidewalk seating are also available.

Editors' Picks
Food at Jaleo, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

Jaleo

At Jaleo (the name is Spanish for “merrymaking”), plates are small and flavors are big, bold and altogether mouthwatering. The menu contains more than sixty dishes, including both traditional Spanish tapas such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp sautéed with garlic and guindilla pepper) and more modern selections, like chistorra (chorizo wrapped in crispy potato). I particularly love the butifarra Daniel Patrick Moynihan, homemade pork sausage served with garlicky sautéed white beans (a favorite of the late senator’s), and the rossejat, thin pasta “paella” with monkfish and shrimp. Other treats: fried dates wrapped in bacon, watermelon with goat cheese and pistachios, and a charcuterie plate that includes ibérico ham, from the famous acorn-eating pigs. Because it’s open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, Jaleo, located in Penn Quarter, is a great spot for late-night dinner or drinks. This was the first restaurant in what is now chef José Andrés’ D.C. empire: Minibar, Zaytinya and Oyamel.

Exterior View - L’Auberge Chez Francois, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic

L’Auberge Chez Francois

A favorite restaurant for a special occasion, L’Auberge is set in a French country home in bucolic Virginia with traditional, elegant interiors of wood beams, antiques and chandeliers. The extensive menu is set up prix-fixe style, with classic French specialties like escargot, chateaubriand for two and soufflé for dessert. The private pavilions in the garden are magical for dinner in the summer months, especially with little lights strung up and twinkling. Jacques' Brasserie, serving bistro fare in the wood-panelled downstairs, is a more casual alternative to the formal L’Auberge.

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La Piquette

La Piquette is a cozy and convivial neighborhood bistro, named for the French word for cork, that serves excellent savoir fare. Read Indagare's review
Steak and fries at Le Diplomate, Washington, D.C.

Le Diplomate

Since this French bistro opened in 2013, it has been so popular that it is almost impossible to get a reservation. Locals and visitors alike continue to flock to Le Diplomate for classic French bistro fare like escargot and steak au poivre in a buzzing atmosphere.

Editors' Picks

Leopold’s Kafe & Konditorei

From your morning muesli to your afternoon Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), this Georgetown café will satisfy your cravings. The menu is heavily Austrian—cured meats, smoked fish, spaeztle, bratwurst, plus a wide assortment of pastries. Naturally, there’s a mean Sacher torte, that famous dark chocolate layer cake with a filling of apricot preserves. Out front is an adorable garden overflowing with pots of flowers, with a small fountain and pretty striped umbrellas. Cady’s Alley is located south of M St. and intersects with 33rd St. 

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