Your guide to dining in DC’s tree-lined, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods
As you explore DC’s Upper Northwest neighborhoods, you’ll discover tree-lined streets and family homes as the city’s urban vibe turns suburban. Cleveland Park, Friendship Heights, Glover Park, Van Ness and Tenleytown can all be found in Upper Northwest, and attractions like Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens and the Washington National Cathedral dot the landscape. And of course, there are plenty of enticing dining options in the area. Hillwood, the former home of Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, houses a lush collection of Russian Imperial art and boasts expansive, gorgeous gardens. The Hillwood Café serves up a lunch menu inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, as well as tea on Sunday afternoons.
Cleveland Park & Van Ness
There are plenty of great places to eat along Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park and nearby Van Ness. Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj's Sababa, which means “cool” in Hebrew, dishes out cuisine from the Land of Milk and Honey and sits adjacent to another Bajaj restaurant, Bindaas. Indian street food is the name of the game at Bindaas, where James Beard Award winner Vikram Sunderam focuses on an affordable menu broken down into savory snacks, wraps, buns and kebabs.
At pasta-first Sfoglina, dig in to seasonal takes like casarecce, a partially narrow tube-shaped pasta served Amalfi-style with lobster and octopus, or classic dishes you’ll only find in Rome, thick tangles of tonnarelli noodles are served with sheep’s Pecorino, black pepper and walnuts. Oh, and pro tip: the ‘G’ is silent.
Nestled on the border of DC and Maryland, Friendship Heights is home to high-end and independent retailers along with great restaurant options. Sushiko is one of the area’s most popular Japanese restaurants, serving fresh sushi in sleek environs. Brothers and sushi chefs Handry and Piter Tjan are in charge, coming up with new sushi roll creations on a regular basis. For a culinary adventure, try the tasting menu at Kobo, the highly regarded restaurant-within-a-restaurant. If you’re in the mood for family-style Italian fare, grab a table at Maggiano’s Little Italy.
Visitors will find the wondrous Washington National Cathedral, American University and a host of satisfying restaurants in Tenleytown. Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza is a Friday night fave for families, churning out Neapolitan-style pizzas and pasta dishes made only from fresh, local ingredients. Le Chat Noir serves French classics in a Parisian-style bistro.