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
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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 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.

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


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.

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.

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


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.

Dinning Area at Minibar by José Andrés, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic - Courtesy Ken Wyner

Minibar by José Andrés

Minibar was formerly upstairs at the shuttered Café Atlantico, and now lives in a new location adjacent to the International Spy Museum, where chef José Andrés tests every new culinary concept for his expanding empire. But Minibar’s exclusive erstwhile essence remains: a space with room for just sixteen diners who pay $225 for a meal that has roughly thirty courses—each just one bite and prepared in front of you. It’s a little like sitting at a sushi bar, except the chefs are creating dishes that are startling in their originality. A Spaniard and a former protégé of Ferran Adrià, chef Andrés was one of America’s first proponents of molecular gastronomy, the mixing of science and culinary art. (Another bright light in the movement is Grant Achatz, of Chicago’s Alinea.) It’s fascinating to see all the tools of the trade in action. Tip: You will have a better chance of getting off the wait list if you are flexible about your date. Also visit the newest addition to Andrés’ portfolio, Barmini–the drinks lounge adjacent to Minibar that serves more than 100 artisanal cocktails. Set aside several hours for dinner

Editors' Picks
Entrance at Rasika Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic - Photo Courtesy : Michael J Colella

Rasika Penn Quarter

Run by chef Vikram Sunderam, Rasika is beloved for its modern Indian fare: lamb kebabs with garam masala and mint chutney, chili garlic calamari, tandoori trout with Kaffir-lime leaves, and garlic naan. Dim lighting and cozy banquettes contribute to the seductive atmosphere at this Penn Quarter eatery. A second outpost is located in the West End (1190 New Hampshire Avenue, NW; 202-466-2500).

Food at Rose’s Luxury, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic - Photo Courtesy : Victoria Milko

Rose’s Luxury

The hottest seat in town is at Rose’s Luxury, the foodie favorite spot in DC that everyone is raving about. Owner Aaron Silverman boasts quite the resume, having worked for some big culinary names, among them Sean Brock (of Charleston’s Husk fame) and David Chang (owner of New York City’s Momofuku). In this endeavor, he creates small and family-style dishes for the table to share, and the oft-changing menu can include such specialties as crispy pig's ear salad with mango and cabbage, and hand-cut pasta with caramelized cauliflower.

The restaurant famously doesn't take reservations, and many begin lining up for a table around 5pm. But if you take any local's word for it—or Bon Appetit magazine's—the food is worth the wait.

Editors' Picks
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Fabio Trabocchi, known for Michelin-starred Fiola and Fiola Mare, has opened Sfoglina, a chic trattoria focused on pastas. Read Indagare's review.
Food at Zaytinya, Washington, D.C., Mid-Atlantic


This ever-popular José Andres restaurant is one of DC’s best Mediterranean eateries, great for a sophisticated dinner or bountiful brunch. The soaring, all-white interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows create an airy and chic atmosphere that compliments the fresh seafood and vegetable-centric dishes.

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