Rich Report Recommends: Washington DC's 11 Best Restaurants

Rich Report Recommends: Washington DC's 11 Best Restaurants
Courtesy of Tail Up Goat

Washington DC features cuisines from all over the world, unrestricted by ethnic boundaries.

It is best known for its famous half-smoke sausages, a hot dog made of half beef and half pork served in a bun with chilli and sauce, but Washington DC's best restaurants offer much more than that. There are also numerous experiential fine dining destinations in the city, where an evening is more than just food, in addition to its beloved quick eats.

A top Washington DC restaurant offers succulent Mediterranean cuisine and smoky grills, while Waldorf Astoria serves the best sushi, and Colombian cuisine encourages new ways of eating.

Washington plays a large role in housing America’s best restaurants, reflecting the diversity of the country as a whole. Visitors can enjoy everything from Mediterranean and Columbian food to sushi and Italian cuisine of the highest quality. Featuring 24 Michelin-star restaurants, the city has a thriving and elegant gastronomic scene.

It is hard to pick your favorite spot with so much to choose from. It is always a good idea to book ahead at the best Washington DC restaurants, as reservations do not tend to last long, but make sure you leave some stomach room for that half-smoke.

The Inn at Little Washington

Courtesy of Gordon Beall 

It is an unmissable experience to dine at The Inn at Little Washington, the only restaurant with three Michelin stars and a green star in the Washington DC metro area. Although its façade seems typical of an American inn or private country house, the interior is far from typical. The dining room is magnificently romantic with its rich carpeting and wallpaper that are adorned with intricate designs and illuminated by shimmery accents.

The main dining room offers white-clothed tables and springy sofas and velvet chairs for those who wish for an intimate front-row feast.

When there are over 14,000 wines in the in-house cellar, it is never a bad idea to start the meal off with a glass of wine. Even so, a glass is rarely enough; sommeliers can offer guidance and cultivate a prime tasting experience for those ordering three bottles or more.

A great deal of focus is placed on the exquisite dishes prepared by Chef Patrick O'Connell, as the name implies. There is a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and sour in the high-quality Hamachi Crudo atop golden beet pasta with citrus and beet tartare, and in the delicious vanilla pantta with strawberry consommé.


Courtesy of The Vendry

Jônt restaurant, French-ifying the word "jaunt," transports you to the fineries of Japanese cuisine without the hassle of long travels. Even though Ryan Ratino's restaurant opened at the height of the pandemic, it earned two Michelin stars for its gastronomical mastery.

Upon entering Jônt's sister restaurant Bresca, a dimly illuminated staircase leads you away from distracting colour and towards sleek minimalism. There are fourteen seats around a perfectly clean kitchen counter, which illuminates plates of culinary craft with a spot of vibrancy.

As the tasting menu changes with seasonal availability, dishes like the courgette trio of canapés in emerald and pale green, Rohan Duck À La Presse dry-aged in rose, and Homard À La Presse steamed with jade leek and apple slivers in opulent orange paint the taste palate as well.

Pineapple and Pearls

Courtesy of The Washington Post

You didn't expect to be served chips and dip in a two-Michelin-star restaurant, but you're pleasantly surprised when three small boxes of colourfully-loaded chips in Russian doll style unfurl from a large wooden box. A 150-layer lobster and octopus lasagne and a Panna Cotta with grape slithers are just a few of the creatively creamy plates of Sea Bass and lobster that Aaron Silverman and the talented team behind Rose's Luxury have provided as part of an ostentatious tasting menu.

Its festive atmosphere is enhanced by a variety of drinks that ease both mind and mood. Pineapple and Pearl is located just minutes from the Capitol Riverfront, offering an array of boozy and juicy cocktails. The night starts with a sparkling glass of white wine, pausing the way for a boozy and juicy cocktail.


Courtesy of Bruno Calado 

Located near the National Portrait Gallery, minibar showcases José Andrés' culinary abilities in an environment that continues to uphold the area's artistry. An open kitchen is surrounded by seated tables and yellow lights illuminate the interior of this inventive restaurant. Although the rest of the restaurant space is equally lustrous, this seat, where diners are privy to Andrés' chef-d'oeuvre first-hand, is the most coveted.

Its inter-continental fusion gives Andrés' cuisine contemporary excellence that transcends cultural boundaries and tastes, whether it's almond cups filled with Spanish blue cheese, coconut steam buns, or feta ravioli. Aside from being an alchemy brew of fruity and alcoholic mixtures, minibar also astonishes diners with a zesty bite. 

Elcielo D.C.

Courtesy of Elcielo Restaurant

As in Colombian cuisine, this bold take on food is not simply meant to be eaten, but to be lived. Each dish is narrated by an eloquent waiter or chef.

In addition to these vocalized tales, the artful dishes speak for themselves. As a symbol of the lung of the world, the Amazon rainforest, the Tree of Life, a loaf of fresh Yucca bread served on a wire bonsai tree, echoes profoundly during this era of deforestation and climate change.

There are 22 courses on the menu that guide you through many such journeys. With orality and physical immersion alone, one travels to the golden beaches of Cartagena and to the depths of the Amazon rainforest. In addition to reflecting Colombia's liberal naturalness, the restaurant's airily simple interior is surrounded by foliage.


Courtesy of Masseria

Located in Washington DC, Masseria, Nicholas Stefanelli serves the finest Italian cuisine. Entering the restaurant is a magical experience with an outdoor lounge with fire pits and fairy lights hidden behind a large wooden fence. A bubble chandelier floats from the ceiling in the dining room, while veined marble counters accentuate exposed industrial walls.

Diners are encouraged to dress to satisfy others, but to eat to satisfy themselves. The restaurant emphasizes comfort as its ambiance emphasizes comfort: Dress to satisfy others, but eat to satisfy yourself. It's not just about satiety to indulge in this finery. You'll enjoy playing with your plates as they are displayed in metal cans or treasure chests. To create striking edible art, traditional dishes are plated with unusual colors, blending purples with browns and oranges with greens. This popular diner's dish, swirling linguine with XO sauce, enhances our understanding of pasta and is also mouth-watering.


Courtesy of Maydān

Maydān brings you not only the best Middle Eastern grills, but also the best clay-oven-baked bread that stands at the centre of each table. Marcelle Afram brings diners together through his Tawle menu option and clay-oven-baked bread. By using bread as a utensil, diners are immersed in Middle Eastern culture and encouraged to break bread together. Your nose is filled with familiar mingled aromas as you navigate your way through flavourful condiments, including garlic, parsley, saffron and smoked paprika.

An exposed red brick wall, hardwood floors, and mahogany tables with glass covers refract light from the open fire complement this smoky savouring experience. Afram's culinary prowess is demonstrated with classic dishes cooked fresh from the fire. A selection of succulent and savoury hearth-roasted vegetables are complimented by pomegranate molasses-sweetened chicken shish taouk, halloumi that's seasoned with nutty dukkar and enhanced with wildflower honey.

Sushi Nakazawa

Courtesy of The Washington Post

With its Tokyo-style sushi counter and modernist interior design, Sushi Nakazawa is located inside the Waldorf Astoria hotel. A monochrome kitchen counter with planked, dark-wood walls creates a sophisticated dining environment that reflects their high-end Omakase menu.

There are 20 courses on the tasting menu, covering all that seafood has to offer. Among the dishes are premium bluefin tuna, salmon, Vancouver spot prawns dotted with lime pearls, and golden-eye snapper that is crisped with a flame and delicately seasoned with lemon and salt. Having the opportunity to watch Daisuke Nakazawa make these beautiful Nigiri pieces is definitely worth the $30 extra.


Courtesy of Xiquet

A new restaurant in Washington's Observatory Circle, Xiquet serves Spanish cuisine accompanied by warm, Mediterranean hospitality. As diners prepare to ascend to the top floor dining room, they can sample canapés and appetizers from the Chef's Counter, review the tasting menu and sample canapés and appetizers from the evening's menu.

Its dining room, filled with sofa seats and auburn cushions, is flooded with sunlight during the day and warmly lit at night. The simple décor gets your attention when you gaze at the glass-enclosed kitchen.

At taste, the anticipation built up while watching Xiquet's culinary team climaxes. From an elaborate tasting menu, a zingy Meyer lemon tart with earthy lemon sage sorbet and a wagyu strip lion paired with meaty porcini are just a few top picks. Served with Kaviar Kristal caviar and drizzled with smooth walnut sauce. 

Imperfecto: The Chef’s Table

Courtesy of Imperfecto

As an upgrade over Seven Reasons, this restaurant has a seventh heaven-like interior. Imperfecto is a modern reversion to calm that juxtaposes the bustling streets of Washington with naturally-lit, minimalistic furnishings located in the heart of West End. The intimate dining tables and low ceiling lights further facilitate conversation and enjoyment.

You will be kissed by Enrique Limardo's unapologetic platters of Imperfecto, as if your partner believes their imperfections make them perfect. Moussaka Cigars are made with smoked eggplant, lamb, pine nuts, and goat-manchego cheese cream packed in phyllo dough. A fluffy Falafel is infused with cardamom and fruity sumac, and salmon tartare is infused with Latin toum and trout caviar.

Tail Up Goat

Courtesy of Tail Up Goat

It is a beautiful and worthwhile commute to dine in Tale Up Goat, which is located in Washington DC's historic Adams Morgan neighborhood. It radiates the feeling of togetherness and friendship that makes this restaurant one of the best in Washington DC because it is run by husband and wife Jill and Jon, along with Bill their friend. Four chairs surround intimate tables, while cushioned booths line the walls with nautical lighting that complements the emerald blue wallpaper of the sea horizon.

Due to its bread-filled menu, this dining experience is satisfyingly hearty. Seaweed sourdough with pickled fennel is one of the breakfast favorites at this restaurant, as is sophisticated dandelion greens topped with almond brittle and anchovies. This goat lasagne is a customer favorite, so flavourful and intricately layered that your tail will be wagging with delight.

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