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Villa Yara

The Best Places to Eat in Georgetown

Your guide to the most delicious restaurants in DC’s historic Georgetown neighborhood

Your guide to the most delicious restaurants in DC’s historic Georgetown neighborhood

The spires of Georgetown University’s classic buildings set the scene for DC’s oldest neighborhood, which attracts a cross-section of visitors, including pastel-loving preppy college students, Washington’s old guard and young professionals who want to unwind at the neighborhood’s waterfront restaurants. Gourmands in search of great dining will find that high-end options abound in this thriving neighborhood. 

Waterfront Dining

Georgetown’s location along the Potomac River makes it one of the prettiest places to dine in all of DC. A picturesque view of the Kennedy Center along the banks of the river accompanies diners at restaurants like Sequoia, Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place and Nick’s Riverside Grill, all serving up delectable seafood (and all extremely popular for outdoor happy hours in the summer).

Fiola Mare, a favorite waterfront spot from local chef and restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi, continues to make waves with its to-die-for seafood and power list of diners, from Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Oprah Winfrey to a former James Bond in Pierce Brosnan. Farmers Fishers Bakers (from the minds behind the uber-popular Founding Farmers) also has an address at Washington Harbor. All of their menus are fantastic, but it’s the extensive brunch buffet that has guests clamoring for weekend reservations. Trust us—don’t miss the cinnamon buns.

Elite Eating at Hotel Restaurants

Georgetown’s luxe hotels house some of the city’s top epicurean experiences. Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons features James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina’s famed butter-poached steaks; you can also get your red meat fix at celebrity super-chef Wolfgang Puck's CUT by Wolfgang Puck in the luxe Rosewood Washington, D.C. The “nose-to-tail” section of the menu lives up to its name with selections including a 40 oz. tomahawk ribeye and even Japanese Wagyu.

There's also The Alex, which is tucked inside a high-end hotel at The Graham Georgetown. Named for one-time Georgetown resident Alexander Graham Bell, the intimate restaurant features a cool “Steam-Punk” aesthetic spearheaded by local fine artist Maggie O’Neill.

Classic DC Dining

Georgetown predates the city itself by 40 years and while the neighborhood’s top-notch dining establishments haven’t been around quite that long, many of DC’s classic see-and-be-seen restaurants are concentrated in this tiny zip code.

For more than two decades, DC notables have been making reservations at Café Milano, a cozy restaurant serving up southern coastal Italian cuisine, while 1789—a restaurant in one of Georgetown’s classic Federal-style rowhouses—has been welcoming distinguished diners with its all-American menu and historic decor since 1960. Martin's Tavern is a can’t-miss on any list of Georgetown icons, established in 1933 and the setting of JFK’s proposal to Jackie O.

Filomena Ristorante has been dishing out fresh, handmade pasta (you can watch the restaurant's famous "Pasta Mamas" prepare the day's feast from scratch) and classic Italian dishes to celebrities and presidents for more than three decades. The in-demand restaurant scene also includes Chez Billy Sud, a tiny jewel box of a dining room that requires reservations well in advance (thanks to fan and foodie Michelle Obama's putting it on the map). 

Collegiate Connoisseurs

A person serves a slice of pie from a display at a bakery, with a variety of baked goods under glass domes lined up on a marble counter in a cozy, well-lit setting.

Baked & Wired

Georgetown’s sophisticated student body has helped make the neighborhood a gourmet oasis with their thirst for trendy and delicious dining. You’ll find stylish college students packing the bars and booths at many of G-town’s coolest restaurants, including The Tombs, legendary university hotspot and the inspiration for the bar in the Brat Pack film St. Elmo’s Fire. Catch students getting their caffeine fix at Blue Bottle on Potomac Street, and find those in the know enjoying some of the city’s finest espresso, cupcakes and myriad baked goods at the ever-hip Baked and Wired.

Memorable Lunch Dates


Georgetown is loaded with beloved lunch spots. If you’re looking for a quick bite, hit up Shouk for wildly delicious plant-based fare, Good Stuff Eatery (owned by Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn) for decadent burgers and milkshakes, Stachowski’s for out-of-the-box butcher sandwiches or Chaia for plant-based tacos. There's also Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls, renowned for their authentic take on the classic New England dish. 

Georgetown Gone Global

Olivia Macaron Cherry Blossom Flavors

It’s no secret that Georgetown is a hub for Francophiles thanks to the longevity of spots like Chez Billy Sud and La Chaumiere, the artistry of patisseries like Olivia Macaron, Ladurée and Boulangerie Christophe and the popularity of the annual French Market

To prolong your Parisian promenade, Brasserie Liberté has perfected the art of brunches and happy hours on their corner patio on Prospect Street. Visit La Bonne Vache, or “The Good Cow,” for an approachable French-style burger (beef OR fish) created by Rob Aikens of Le Diplomate fame. On a quiet stretch of P Street, diners can wander over to Apéro for a cozy French coffee, relaxed meal or evening of caviar and champagne. For a more exclusive experience, venture to the second floor of the historic home to try out Apéro’s “quirky” counterpart La Bohème

Georgetown’s restaurant scene has incredible offerings to transport you beyond la métropole, too. At Villa Yara, sample colorful Lebanese mezza and cocktails in an equally exquisite patio oasis, complete with a running fountain and patterned tile. If you’re in search of another hidden treasure, duck into Cady’s Alley for Kyojin, where each sushi offering is a small work of art.

At Richard Sandoval’s El Centro D.F., experience authentic Mexican fare (and mezcals!). The Sovereign, from local beer legend Greg Engert, focuses on Belgian food and drink served in a tavern-chic dining room (see the chandeliers featuring brass deer heads).

exterior of the sovereign: bright red double doors and a few steps with a blue facade

The Sovereign © Leading DC

Kafe Leopold + Konditorei also serves sophisticated fare and creative cocktails that make for a good start to a long night on the town, evoking the best of a Vienna cafe. Check out the pastry counter with desserts like the Kaiserschmarrn mit Zwetschkenröster, a pancake with plum and currant compote.

Come “this way, habibis” per the sign, to YELLOW, a Levantine spot that has been such a hit it now offers dinner service too. Take your pick of a zaatar and labne croissant, a baklava latte, a pita sandwich or a “(not)pizza.” Just down the street is il Canale, if you’d like a Neapolitan-style pizza to compare.