Lonely Planet Writer

Washington DC’s first-ever Michelin Guide lays out the best eateries in the capital

The first-ever Michelin Guide for Washington DC was released last week, making it the fourth US city to earn its own edition of the French dining guide.

The guide gave three restaurants in the city two stars: Minibar was praised for its “particularly avant-garde and innovative cuisine in the form of a tasting menu featuring whimsical and fun dishes”; Pineapple & Pearls is home to “perfectly-flavoured dishes” from a range of influences; and The Inn at Little Washington, run by celebrity chef Patrick O’Connell, offers classic and eclectic French cuisine. There are only 20 other American restaurants with two stars.

Lima beans, reminding us in texture of green almonds.

A photo posted by minibar by José Andrés (@minibarbyjose) on Sep 20, 2016 at 4:14pm PDT

In addition to the two-star restaurants, there were also nine restaurants awarded one star: Blue Duck Tavern in the West End; The Dabney and Kinship in Shaw; Fiola in the Penn Quarter; Masseria in NoMa; Plume in downtown DC; Rose’s Luxury on Barracks Row; Sushi Taro in Dupont Circle and Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan. There were also 19 restaurants awarded with a Bib Gourmand, which acknowledges exceptional food at moderate prices.

“The arrival of Michelin brings more exposure to our world-class restaurant inventory,” said Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC in a statement. “It is also an expression of DC’s unmatched cultural landscape. The Shaw neighbourhood has welcomed upwards of 20 restaurants in the past 18 months. In the last few weeks, we’ve celebrated the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, re-opening of the National Gallery of Art’s East Building and a number of luxury hotels. Many more have been refreshed in advance of the Presidential Inauguration. There’s never been a better time to plan a trip to Washington, DC.”

The tourism group notes that the city was recognised by Bon Appétit magazine in August at the “restaurant city of the year” and the food scene is driven by talented chefs, gracious service and more and more independent neighbourhood restaurants.