My Favorite Washington DC Restaurants

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I remember when I was in 8th grade, my school took a field trip to DC and I fell in love with the area. The history and the majesty, our capital is a destination that young and old will love. When I go back now, I’m overwhelmed by the museums (I’m a huge history buff) and the dining options.

Go for the View:


Located in the Hay Adams Hotel, one of the best in the city, Lafayette serves amazing food overlooking Lafayette square and the White House. The upscale dining room has American fare from the sea such as Pan Seared Maryland Rockfish and Sauteed Dover Sole, as well as from the land, such as Shenandoah Valley rack of land and beef wellington.

Located along the Potomac River, this two story restaurant provides amazing views of the area. The restaurant is located just outside the Georgetown area, and has a very open and airy dining room. I think the menu is spectacular here. You can get free range chicken with shoestring fries (personal obsession), hanger steak, fish and chips, burgers and a few entrée salads.

Old Hickory Steak House
Located within the Gaylord National Hotel, the restaurant gives diners views of the national harbor. As you would guess, you can order some amazing steak options. They also have fish and chicken options.

Skydome Restaurant
Skydome is a great option for spectacular views of the area. It’s located on the top of the Double Tree Hotel, on the 15th floor. It’s a rotating restaurant, so you’ll get changing views during the whole meal. The restaurant, just south of Arlington national cemetery, is right next to the free way, so there’s easy access. Here you can try a couple risottos, steaks and chops.

Agua 301
Located on the Anacostia river, south of the National Mall, Agua serves modern Mexican.

Family Friendly:


The Diplomate
This is a DC staple and is located a bout a mile north of all the sites. Built in the style of a Parisian brasserie, the Diplomate serves classic Gallic recipes such as Duck breast, beef bourguignon and moules frites.

Founding Farmers
Founding Farmers has a lot of American comfort food in an upscale rustic environment. Here you’ll enjoy dishes like chicken pot pie, chicken and waffles, BBQ Pork ribs and shrimp and grits. The restaurant also serves a variety of burgers and sandwiches, as well as homemade pastas. It really does have a little something for everyone.

Old Ebbitt Grill
Just steps from the white house, the Old Ebbitt Grill has been serving customers since 1856. The warm interior provides a more intimate atmosphere, but still appropriate for family. The menu includes several options. Whether you’re in the mood for a cheeseburger (or turkey burger) or chicken fettucine (gluten free pasta available) or even Chesapeake Bay blue catfish po’boy, you’re going to be happy with what you decide on having.

Carmine’s Legendary Italian Restaurant
Carmine’s is located about 2 blocks north of the National Mall, so very close to all the monuments. The restaurant serves, you guessed it, Italian food! This chain restaurant serves a ton of Italian classics family style, so your family can order a few options and share. The dining room is accented by rich wood, and wine cabinets.

Firefly, located just south of dupont circle, serves local seasonal cuisine. This option is amazing because it has a menu, and then a whole separate gluten free menu, and both are amazing. The corn cakes, shrimp and grits, amish chicken and Atlantic sea scallops are perfect options to enjoy after walking around DC all day. The restaurant also has a nice kids menu, which includes options like crispy fish and cheeseburgers.

Located in Georgetown, Pinstripes offers Italian American fare, with outdoor and indoor dining options. If you’re in the mood for bowling or bocce, you can play here!

Clyde’s of Georgetown
Clyde’s has a variety of American dishes served at its Georgetown location. With the brick walls and dark wood, the restaurant is a neighborhood, pub-style option for families. Some of the classics served here include spaghetti, 6 oz filet, roast beef sandwich and burger options. They have some options for vegetarians and one of the best kids menus I’ve seen, it has 13 options!! 13!! Flipping 13!

Mitsitam is located in the National Museum of the American Indian, which is part of the National Mall. So, yeah, the location is pretty spectacular. The café’s menu features dishes from the different regions of the western hemisphere. For example, you’ll find cedar plank wild salmon, campfire buffalo burger, Bolivian style chili braise pork shanks and maple brined turkey.

Fine Dining:


Fiola is a Michelin-rated restaurant which serves an Italian focused tasting menus. The restaurant is just a block north of the National Mall. Inside, the brick wall and elegant décor make Fiola a wonderful option for a special night out.

1789 is located in Georgetown, set in a two-story, federal-style house. The menu has dishes like bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, Norwegian salmon and English pea and mascarpone ravioli.

Blue duck tavern
The Blue Duck Tavern, located in the Hyatt Hotel in Georgetown, is a Michelin starred rated restaurant. The rustic contemporary style of the restaurant serves American cuisine.

Iron gate
This upscale spot serves a number of Italian and Greek small plates.

A little different, a little fun:


The inn at little Washington
Located about 1 hour and 20 minutes from DC, the restaurant at the Inn at Little Washington is a romantic trip back in time. Set in a colonial town, the restaurant has 30 tables serving some of the best food in the country. You’ll have your choice between 3 different tasting menus. This is an excellent choice for a date night, and you can pair it with a night at the inn.

Odyssey cruises
Take a cruise along the Potomac while enjoying a fantastic meal. The odyssey dinner cruise lasts 2 to 3 hours and provides diners with spectacular views of the city, and several monuments. The glass walls allow for a great view as you cruise, and dance the night away (live band or dj provides the music.) This would be a great options for adults as well as kids.

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