After living in Washington, D.C. for 5 years, I got to know the food scene pretty well. Sure, it may be lacking and not super exciting, but there are honestly some really great options. From cheaper eats to fine dining, you can likely find whatever you want. Just be sure to coffee up before you eat your way through the best places to grub in Washington, D.C.
I guess I’ll start at the top. This is one of the few Michelin-starred restaurants in D.C. and really contributed to the booming food scene in D.C. Cooking all food pen an open hearth and exposed brick everywhere, The Dabney is one hipster ass place.
A complete 180 degrees away from the Dabney is A. Litteri. This is a market/old school deli tucked away in a small shop near Union Market. A. Litteri is one of the oldest storefronts in D.C. and has maintained awesomeness 1926.
It’s hard to overstate how much I love the spicy pork dan dan noodles, and the ones at Tiger Fork are no exception. They are a life-giving hangover cure that has saved my ass many times. Add in some great cocktails and Tiger Fork is a perfect late-night grub spot in Washington, D.C.
SUNdeVICH, Chaia, Sweetgreen, CAVA
I’ve never been to another city with an array of fast-casual restaurants like D.C. I guess the thousands of interns and federal workers that flock to the city lead to a thriving lunch scene. You can’t go wrong with any of the three above, they are truly fantastic options, and I miss them dearly.
Glen’s Garden Market
One of the most interesting places on the list. Glen’s Garden Market was started by an environmental lawyer who got fed up with the law and opened up a grocery store. Most items here are sourced from suppliers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (including the beer). They have a deli-style counter that has a great array of options. Their pizzas and sandwiches are awesome, oh and all the beer is $4…you won’t find a better deal in the city.
On any given weekend brunch, Union Market will be filled with whatever you call D.C.’s version of hipsters. And for good reason. Union Market is a converted warehouse that is home to a ton of vendors, some permanent and some rotating. You’ll have plenty of options to go with, so if you’re in a big, indecisive group this might be a good option.
A Baked Joint
Amazing baked goods, biscuits, and breakfast sandwiches/toasts. It’s pretty popular on the weekends, so be prepared to stand in a bit of a line.
So I have mixed feelings about this bakery. I don’t think I’ve come across a place that exudes as much pretentious energy as Seylou. But holy shit, do they make the best fucking baked goods I’ve ever had in my life. Oh, they’ll cost you too, $20 and the rights to your firstborn child. But you’ll happily pay it and shove that croissant in your face.
Hands down the best Ramen in D.C., which is saying quite a lot. It might surprise you, but the ramen scene in D.C. is highly competitive. I can safely declare no city in the United States can compare to D.C.’s ramen quantity and quality. And at the top of the list is Daikaya, one of the best spots to grub in Washington, D.C.