1. Martin’s Tavern - 1264 Wisconsin Ave NW
Martin’s makes the list mainly because of its historic significance. This is the place where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie, where many presidents and major political player hashed out deals. Also, the food is absolutely amazing.
2. Le Diplomate - 1601 14th Street NW
Le Diplomate is on our list because it attracts DC politicos and is an excellent place to do some people watching. You will most definitely spot a senator, member of congress or ambassador when you dine at what the regulars refer to as Le Dip.
3. Ben’s Chili Bowl - 1213 U St NW
You cannot make a list about restaurants in Washington DC without having Ben’s Chili Bowl on it. It’s not a place you’ll need to make an appearance at often (unless you really love chili) but it is a DC icon.
4. Jaleo - 480 7th St. NW
Jaleo started the small plate revolution in Washington DC in 1993. While they are not for everyone, if you are someone who loves tapas, then you absolutely need to stop in to Jaleo.
5. 1789 Restaurant - 1226 36th St NW
1789 represents so much of what DC stands for, it’s historic, elegant and intimate. If you really want to get the feeling of a refined night out in Washington DC, put 1789 Restaurant on your list.
6. Rasika - 633 D St NW
Rasika is the most well known Indian restaurant in Washington DC. Executive chef Vikram Sunderam won the James Beard Award in 2014 for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic and continues to ensure that Rasika serves the very best modern Indian dishes in the city. You can visit the original in Penn Quarter or you can check out their sister restaurant in West End
7. Founding Farmers - 1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW
“Farm to table” has become a popular trend in DC and Founding Farmers was the restaurant that started it all. Founding Farmers helped to redefine the idea of fresh and locally sourced food and their menu is absolutely incredible. This place is one of DC’s most popular restaurants and you’ll find out why when you head there for brunch (or lunch or dinner).
8. Graffiato - 707 6th St NW
Graffiato may be best known as being Top Chef winner Mike Isabella’s first restaurant and people absolutely flocked to the restaurant when the doors opened. While the buzz around the restaurant has died down, the food has not. It’s still one of the go-to’s for anyone looking for a memorable Italian restaurant
9. Horace and Dickie’s Seafood - 809 12th St NE
Horace and Dickie is a well known local haunt. For 20 years, it has been the go-to place to find the best fish sandwiches in the district and it continues to remain as the place to go for cozy, down home cooking. Be prepared, this is take away only!
10. Old Ebbitt Grill - 675 15th St NW
Old Ebbitt is classic DC. It’s the oldest restaurant in the city and serves mouth watering meals in an elegant space. Stop in late night and head to the bar to get the authentic experience.
11. Tabard Inn Restaurant - 1739 N St NW
This is one of DC’s most charming restaurants. It’s full of old world charm and is a foodie heaven. It’s also in the back of one of DC’s oldest running hotels so it is full of history. The donuts will be some of the best things you have ever eaten.
12. Churchkey - 1337 14th St NW 2nd Fl
Churchkey has played a huge part in DC’s thriving craft beer scene with over 500 craft brews on tap. They are part of the thriving nightlife in Logan Circle and is worth the trip just to say you’ve been there. Because almost everyone goes to Churchkey at least once.
13. Blue Duck Tavern - 1201 24th St NW
Blue Duck Tavern is a favorite for foodies. Sophisticated ambiance with farm-sourced meals, it is one of those places that never disappoints. It’s a great place for intimate evening.
14. Duke’s Grocery - 1513 17th St NW
Duke’s Grocery is on the list because it’s one of the best places to enjoy a casual but hearty meal. Their burger is one of the best in the city and it’s become the regular Dupont Circle spot for recovering from your hangover.
15. Little Serow - 1511 17th St NW
Hidden, hip and funky, Little Serow has become one of the best places to dine in dc. It serves some of the best Thai food in the city and there is no dining experience quite like it. They don’t accept reservations so be prepared to wait in line here.