Top ChoiceAmerican in Logan Circle, U Street & Columbia Heights

Ben’s Chili Bowl

Ben’s Chili Bowl

Ben’s is a DC institution. The main stock in trade is half-smokes, DC’s meatier, smokier version of the hot dog, usually slathered with mustard, onions and the namesake chili. For 60-plus years presidents, rock...

Top ChoiceAmerican in Downtown & Penn Quarter

Dabney

Chef Jeremiah Langhorne studied historic cookbooks, discovering recipes that used local ingredients and lesser-explored flavors in his quest to resuscitate mid-Atlantic cuisine lost to the ages. Most of the...

Top ChoicePizza in Upper Northwest DC

Comet Ping Pong

Proving that DC is more than a city of suits and corporate offices, Comet Ping Pong offers a fun and festive counterpoint to most of the city's eateries. On offer are ping-pong tables, an industrial-chic interior...

Top ChoiceCafe in Logan Circle, U Street & Columbia Heights

Busboys & Poets

Busboys & Poets is one of U Street's linchpins. Locals pack the place for coffee, boozy brunches, books and a progressive vibe that makes San Francisco feel conservative. The lengthy, vegetarian-friendly menu...

Top ChoiceFrench in Dupont Circle & Kalorama

Bistrot du Coin

The lively and much-loved Bistrot du Coin is a neighborhood favorite for roll-up-your sleeves, working-class French fare. The kitchen sends out consistently good onion soup, classic steak-frites (grilled steak...

Top ChoiceInternational in Logan Circle, U Street & Columbia Heights

Compass Rose

Compass Rose feels like a secret garden, set in a discreet townhouse a whisker from 14th St's buzz. The exposed brick walls and sky-blue ceiling give it a casually romantic air. The menu is a mash-up of global...

Top ChoiceIsraeli in Downtown & Penn Quarter

Shouk

Fast and casual, Shouk creates big flavor in its vegan menu of Israeli street food, served with craft beer and tap wines. A crazy-good burger made of chickpeas, black beans, lentils and mushrooms gets stuffed...

Top ChoiceAmerican in Capitol Hill & South DC

Rose's Luxury

Michelin-starred Rose's is one of DC's most buzzed-about eateries. Crowds fork into worldly Southern comfort food as twinkling lights glow overhead and candles flicker around the industrial-chic, half-finished...

Top ChoiceCafe in Downtown & Penn Quarter

A Baked Joint

Order at the counter then take your luscious, heaped-on-housemade-bread sandwich – perhaps the smoked salmon and scallion cream cheese on an open-faced baguette, or the fried green tomatoes on buttered griddled...

Top ChoiceJapanese in Adams Morgan

Donburi

Hole-in-the-wall Donburi has 14 seats at a wooden counter where you get a front-row view of the slicing, dicing chefs. Donburi means 'bowl' in Japanese, and that's what arrives steaming hot and filled with, say,...

Top ChoiceBalkan in Capitol Hill & South DC

Ambar

Ambar buzzes, especially at happy hour, when the convivial, European-style restaurant slings heaps of small plates. Roasted pepper and eggplant, smoked trout and jalapeño, mushroom pilaf, lamb prosciutto,...

Top ChoiceThai in Dupont Circle & Kalorama

Little Serow

Set in a cavern-like green basement, Little Serow has no phone, no reservations and no sign on the door, and it only seats groups of four or fewer (larger parties will be separated). Despite all this, people line...

Top ChoiceMediterranean in Adams Morgan

Tail Up Goat

With its pale-blue walls, light wood decor and lantern-like lights dangling overhead, Tail Up Goat exudes a warm, island-y vibe. The lamb ribs are the specialty – crispy and lusciously fatty, served with...

Top ChoiceAsian in Capitol Hill & South DC

ChiKo

ChiKo stands for Chinese and Korean, and it fuses the cuisines with low-key style. Dishes such as pork and kimchi potstickers and chilled acorn noodles wow the foodie masses: it's high-brow fare at a budget...

Top ChoiceSeafood in Georgetown

Fiola Mare

Fiola Mare delivers the chichi Georgetown experience. It flies in fresh fish and crustaceans from Maine and Tasmania daily. The yacht-bobbling river view rocks. The see-and-be-seen multitudes are here. It's DC at...

Top ChoiceBakery in Georgetown

Baked & Wired

This cheery cafe whips up beautifully made coffees, bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits and enormous cupcakes (like the banana and peanut-butter-frosted Elvis impersonator). It’s a fine spot to join university...

Top ChoiceJapanese in Logan Circle, U Street & Columbia Heights

Pom Pom

Pom Pom gets heaped with praise by foodie tastemakers (Bon Appétit magazine, James Beard Foundation) and no wonder. It's hard not to fall for panko fried oysters with smoked onion soubise and Korean-chili-glazed...

Top ChoiceChinese in White House Area & Foggy Bottom

Sichuan Pavilion

Many Chinese come to this few-frills restaurant to feast on fiery, aromatic Sichuan classics. Around the world, piquant Sichuan (or Szechuan) cuisine is often toned down for Western customers, but these guys keep...

Top ChoiceSandwiches in Dupont Circle & Kalorama

Bub & Pop's

A chef tired of the fine-dining rat race opened this gourmet sandwich shop with his parents. Ingredients are made in-house from scratch – the meatballs, pickles, mayonnaise and roasted pork. Congenial mom Arlene...

Top ChoiceModern American in White House Area & Foggy Bottom

Equinox

Chef Todd Gray has long eschewed imported ingredients in favor of meat, fish, fowl, vegetables and fruit sourced from farms in the Shenandoah Valley and Chesapeake Bay, and the food served at this stylish...