Restaurants that D.C. Locals Swear By
Everyone knows about Momofuku CCDC and José Andrés’ Jaleo, but have you tried these restaurants in D.C.? From H Street to Columbia Heights, these neighborhood favorites have stolen the hearts of locals and are ready to steal yours too.
Opened by former DCity Smokehouse pitmaster Rob Sonderman and former chief executive of &pizza Steve Salis, The Federalist Pig smokes the best barbeque in town. From pork belly, ribs, and crispy-fried brussel sprouts to brisket sandwiches, wings, and smoked jackfruit, this restaurant in Columbia Heights satisfies meat-eaters as well as vegetarians. Good news is, if you get too full, you can take a nice post-meal walk around Meridian Hill Park.
This hidden treasure in Adams Morgan sells the most affordable and delicious falafel sandwiches in D.C. where students and neighborhood residents roll through to make to-go orders. Located up a flight of stairs of a seemingly random brownstone, Amsterdam Falafelshop makes fresh-to-order falafels, or fritters made of crushed chickpeas and spices, and has 21 options in the serve-it-yourself topping bar. Don’t forget to order the twice-cooked fries with Dutch mayo!
Influenced by a combination of Korean and Japanese flavors, the steaming hot bowl of Kimchi Ramen at Toki Underground wins “best thing on the menu.” Located on the second floor of The Pug bar on H Street, you can find a typical counter and bar seating with simple wooden decor. You’ll leave feeling satisfied from the chewy noodles, tender pulled pork, and soft-poached egg, but if ramen isn’t your thing, try the fried-chicken bao buns or the vegetarian tsukemen—noodles with a garden’s bounty of veggies and herbs.
Home to supposedly the best Ethiopian food in the city, this homey, brick-walled restaurant serves ethnic dishes with high-quality ingredients as well as various Ethiopian beers and wines. Head to H Street to try the highly recommended kitfo, a traditional beef tartare with housemade spiced butter. They also have great vegetarian options, such as the seven-vegetable combination plate with caramelized string beans, garlicky greens, and split peas.
This Taiwanese-Cambodian restaurant on H Street offers Dim Sum Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., serving a variety of bao buns, Chinese doughnut sticks, and its famous Taiwanese fried chicken. Implementing both indoor and outdoor spaces and blending together restaurant and retail features, the chic design of Maketto heightens the food experience.
If you’re looking for more adventurous dishes with a kick, look no further. Thip Khao specializes in (and leads) Laotian cooking suited for those who are seriously spice-tolerant. Dare to visit this restaurant in Columbia Heights for its “Let’s Go to the Jungle” menu. The menu includes tender alligator with fresh mint and green apple, goat in cilantro-spiced curry, and pork belly with fried shallots.
Le Diplomate, owned by James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr, boasts the longest brunch hours in town. Think brunch starting at 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Serving omelets, steak frites, and the popular Burger Americain, this modern street cafe in Dupont Circle is deemed a classic among locals. Consequently, it stays packed and bustling throughout the week inviting people with its French-themed decor.
Exploring D.C. and eating all this amazing food can be exhausting. The experience would be best if you had a beautiful, comfortable, and convenient place to come home to. Check out our fully furnished, coliving homes in Washington D.C., close to these restaurant favorites and more.
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