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Restaurants in Washington D.C.

Washington's restaurant scene has grown increasingly diverse and creative in the past few years. Penn Quarter and neighbouring Chinatown feature creative newcomers Rasika and Proof. Historic Georgetown is home to traditional classics like Martin's Tavern. Check opening hours in advance - many offer lunch menus on weekdays. Reservations are mandatory. Tipping is recommended at 15% to 20%.

Top-end

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  1. 1. Rasika - Top-end: (More than US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Rasika, Washington DC. Courtesy of Michael J Colella

    Rasika in Chinatown takes its flavours from traditional Indian cuisine, updating dishes for modern diners. Favourites include palak chaat, flash-fried spinach leaves served with date chutney, and black cod with star anise and red wine vinegar. Feast in an elegant dining room with a contemporary decor of plush fabrics, silk panels and rich spice colours.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm; Mon-Thu also 5.30pm-10:30pm (Fri & Sat until 11pm)

    Address

    633 D Street NW, Washington D.C. 20004

    Telephone

    +1 202 637 1222

    Transport

    Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter metro

    Website

    Rasika

  2. 2. Blue Duck Tavern - Top-end: (More than US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Blue Duck Tavern, Washington DC. Courtesy of Blue Duck Tavern

    Honey-coloured wood, blue burlap cloth and an open kitchen with wood burning oven lend an inviting feel to Blue Duck Tavern in Foggy Bottom. Glass partitions allow intimate conversation while maintaining the open feel. The contemporary American cuisine features predominantly home-grown ingredients. Favourites include duck fat fries, brulée of foie gras and homemade ice cream.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 6.30am-10.30am, 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-10.30pm

    Address

    24th & M Streets NW, Washington D.C. 20037

    Telephone

    +1 202 419 6755

    Transport

    Foggy Bottom-GWU metro

    Website

    Blue Duck Tavern

  3. 3. Acadiana - Top-end: (More than US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Acadiana, Washington DC. Courtesy of Acadiana

    Contemporary New Orleans is the overriding theme at Acadiana in Penn Quarter. Light floral fabrics, French-influenced furnishings, crystalline chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows create a bright, cheerful feel with great street views. Expect Cajun favourites on the menu, including gumbo stew, turtle soup, New Orleans muffaletta sandwiches, po boy baguettes and lots of fresh seafood.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm; Mon-Thu also 5.30pm-10.30pm (Fri & Sat until 11pm); Sun 11am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-9.30pm

    Address

    901 New York Avenue NW, Washington D.C. 20001

    Telephone

    +1 202 408 8848

    Transport

    Gallery Place-Chinatown metro

    Website

    Acadiana

  4. 4. Palm Restaurant - Top-end: (More than US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Family-run Palm Restaurant in Dupont Circle is the place to see and be seen. Visited by every US president since opening in 1972, it boasts attentive, friendly service. Expect top-quality steaks, enormous Nova Scotia lobsters and Italian entrees. The walls of the newly-renovated dining room feature caricatures of regular famous customers, including celebrities and politicians.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 11.45am-10pm; Sat 5.30pm-10pm; Sun 5.30pm-9.30pm

    Address

    1225 19th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20036

    Telephone

    +1 202 293 9091

    Transport

    Dupont Circle metro

    Website

    Palm Restaurant

  5. 5. CityZen - Top-end

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    The dining room of Washington DC's CityZen is temple-like: cathedral ceiling, dimly lit, with waiters flitting back and forth between tables and kitchen. The entire menu changes monthly, but expect heavenly tastes, such as an amuse-bouche of fried mushroom with truffle butter, cream of artichoke soup, or grilled pork jowl with marinated French green lentils.

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    Cost

    Prix fixe $80 for 3-course menu; 6-course tasting menus $95 (vegetarian) and $115

    Opening hours

    Tues-Sat 6-9:30pm

    Address

    1330 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., USA

    Telephone

    202/787-6140

    Website

    CityZen

Mid-range

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  1. 6. Oyamel - Mid-range

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    José Andrés, the 40-ish Spaniard who has wowed us repeatedly as chef at Jaleo, Café Atlantico, Zaytinya, and Minibar, does it again at Oyamel. With its limited reservations policy meant to encourage spontaneous walk-ins, open-all-day hours, menu of antojitos priced below $12 each (the menu also lists some entrees), hearty cocktails, and exuberant atmosphere, Oyamel serves as the ultimate chill pill for the capital's hungry and stressed-out wonks. 

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    Cost

    Small plates and tacos $3-$12; lunch and dinner entrees $9-$19; brunch entrees $6-$12

    Opening hours

    Sun-Mon 11:30am-10pm; Tues-Thurs 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-midnight

    Address

    401 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C., USA

    Telephone

    202/628-1005

    Website

    Oyamel

  2. 7. Zaytinya - Mid-range: (US$31-US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Zaytinya, Washington DC. Courtesy of Washington DC Convention & Tourism Corporation

    Serving up authentic Greek, Lebanese and Turkish entrées alongside Mediterranean wines, beers and spirits, Zaytinya is located in the Penn Quarter. Having established itself as a favourite dining spot, particularly among vegetarians, it serves small mezze dishes which encourage experimentation and sharing. Try the sarikopite, butternut squash pie with yogurt, rocket leaves and honey.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Sun & Mon 11.30am-10pm (Tue-Thu until 11.30pm; Fri & Sat until 12am)

    Address

    701 9th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20004

    Telephone

    +1 202 638 0800

    Transport

    Gallery Place-Chinatown metro

    Website

    Zaytinya

  3. 8. Martin's Tavern - Mid-range: (US$31-US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Meeting place for Washington and Hollywood celebrities since 1933, Martin's Tavern, at the heart of historic Georgetown, is where JFK proposed to Jackie Kennedy. Its cosy yet smart interior resembles an English pub, with a friendly bar perfect for a beer and menu offering colonial Brunswich Stew, Welsh Rarebit, pasta, steaks and locally-caught seafood.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 10am-1.30am (Fri until 2.30am); Sat 8am-2.30am; Sun 8am-1.30am

    Address

    1264 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington D.C. 20007

    Telephone

    +1 202 333 7370

    Transport

    Foggy Bottom-GWU metro

    Website

    Martin's Tavern

  4. 9. Old Ebbitt Grill - Mid-range: (US$31-US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Popular with politicians, Old Ebbitt Grill, located steps away from the White House in the Penn Quarter, was established in 1856. A long-standing favourite among US presidents, it has a Victorian interior featuring mahogany and velvet booths and antique beer steins. Expect pasta, steaks and arguably the best oyster and raw bar in the city.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 7.30am-12am; Sat & Sun 8.30am-12am

    Address

    675 15th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20005

    Telephone

    +1 202 347 4800

    Transport

    Metro Center metro

    Website

    Old Ebbitt Grill

  5. 10. Proof - Mid-range: (US$31-US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Proof, Washington DC. Courtesy of Washington DC Convention & Tourism Corporation

    Just steps from Chinatown, Proof boasts a specialist range of wines, with glistening bottles decorating nearly every wall of the dining room. A hip, professional crowd gathers here to enjoy fine wines and an eclectic menu, including everything from charcuterie and cheese boards to sushi-style beef sashimi, Hawaiian prawns, gnocchi and Alaskan halibut.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 5.30pm-10pm (Thu until 11pm, Fri & Sat until 12am); Mon-Fri also 11.30am-2pm

    Address

    775 G Street NW, Washington D.C. 20001

    Telephone

    +1 202 737 7663

    Transport

    Gallery Place-Chinatown metro

    Website

    Proof

  6. 11. Clyde's of Georgetown - Mid-range: (US$31-US$50 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Clyde's of Georgetown, Washington DC. Courtesy of Washington DC Convention & Tourism Corporation

    Clyde's is a Washington DC favourite, with 13 restaurants across town. Georgetown is where it all began with Clyde's of Georgetown still the most popular restaurant, serving staple food in a sophisticated way. Families, friends and businessmen enjoy burgers, salads, omelettes, pasta and seafood in a sprawling historic building. Clyde's crab cakes are famously delicious.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 11.30am-10.30pm (Fri until 11pm); Sat 4.30pm-11pm; Sun 9am-10.30pm

    Address

    3236 M Street NW, Washington D.C. 20007

    Telephone

    +1 202 333 9180

    Transport

    Foggy Bottom-GWU metro

    Website

    Clyde

Budget

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  1. 12. Sticky Fingers - Budget: (Less than US$30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Sticky Fingers in Columbia Heights has made a name for itself as a vegan bakery making sweet treats for allergy sufferers and those with special diets. Their cookies, cakes and sweet breads are entirely free of animal products and cholesterol. Take a seat inside to enjoy one of their famous walnut cinnamon buns.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 7am-7pm (Fri until 9pm); Sat 8am-9pm; Sun 9am-6pm

    Address

    1370 Park Road NW, Washington D.C. 20010

    Telephone

    +1 202 299 9700

    Transport

    Columbia Heights metro

    Website

    Sticky Fingers

  2. 13. Ben's Chili Bowl - Budget: (Less than US$30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington DC. Courtesy of Washington DC Convention & Tourism Corporation

    Ben's Chili Bowl, located in U Street, is famous for its delicious chilli hotdogs. Loud R&B music fills this friendly, unpretentious diner, which attracts people from all walks of life, looking for simple, great-tasting food. Try the Chili Half-Smoke (Bill Cosby's favourite), a grilled smoked sausage served on a bun with chilli, mustard and onions.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 11am-2am (Fri & Sat until 4am); Sun 12pm-8pm

    Address

    1213 U Street NW, Washington D.C. 20009

    Telephone

    +1 202 667 0909

    Transport

    U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo metro

    Website

    Ben's Chili Bowl

  3. 14. Teaism - Budget: (Less than US$30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Washington DC's oldest teahouse, Teaism in Dupont Circle serves 50 kinds of tea in a building filled with tea accessories and local artwork. The restaurant also offers a good selection of hearty breakfast items as well as lunch and dinner entrées baked in a tandoor oven: kebabs, Japanese bento selection boxes and Thai curry dishes.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 8am-10pm (Fri until 11pm); Sat 9am-11pm (Sun until 10pm)

    Address

    2009 R Street NW, Washington D.C. 20009

    Telephone

    +1 202 667 3827

    Transport

    Dupont Circle metro

    Website

    Teaism

  4. 15. Café - Budget: (Less than US$30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Located in the elegant atrium of downtown Corcoran Gallery, Café des Artistes serves sandwiches, salads and hot and cold entrées. Enjoy a lunchtime snack sat at contemporary white tables and chairs, surrounded by gleaming white Beaux Arts style columns. The Pizza Nouveau, with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, chopped olives and spinach, is a favourite.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon, Wed & Fri-Sun 10am-5pm; Thu 10am-9pm

    Address

    Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20006

    Telephone

    +1 202 639 1786

    Transport

    Farragut West metro

    Website

    Cafe

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