DC hotels entice palates with top chefs and cuisines reflective of the city’s diversity, like Latin Flora Flora, French Le Clou and Japanese Moonraker.
With chillier days upon us, DC’s accommodations are investing in the city’s culinary culture by showcasing top local chefs and a variety of cuisines at their new restaurants.
Why It Matters
As a reflection of Washington, DC’s diverse population, the culinary variety allows visitors to explore top-level, authentic and fresh cuisine near their accommodations – creating spaces as destination-worthy as the properties themselves.
Luxury hotel Pendry Washington DC – The Wharf opened in October, bringing three dining establishments led by executive chef and DC native, Barry Koslow: poolside Latin restaurant Flora Flora, Japanese rooftop lounge Moonraker, and lobby-level cocktail den Bar Pendry.
Brickstones Kitchen & Bar opened inside the Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington DC Convention Center, offering American fare with a twist, featuring seasonal ingredients from local farmers’ markets.
Inspired by Duke Ellington Park, located just across the street, Ellington Park Bistro at The St. Gregory Hotel offers upscale twists on contemporary French classics from veteran Chef Frank Morales.
Opening soon is DC legend José Andrés’ hotly anticipated The Bazaar, inside the newly rebranded Waldorf Astoria Washington DC. Its location is symbolic to Andrés, who is committed to creating an upscale and inclusive environment within the city’s culinary scene.
Executive Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, who claimed Washington DC’s first-ever Michelin Guide star at Masseria, will lead The Morrow Hotel’s three restaurants: Le Clou, a French brasserie, Lobby Lounge, which will offer a champagne trolley, and Vesper, a sultry live music lounge.
The Wharf heats up with the new addition of Hell’s Kitchen. Famed chef Gordon Ramsey brings surf and turf to the second phase of the Wharf in fall of 2022. This is the first Hell’s Kitchen unaffiliated with a casino and will feature Ramsey’s famed Beef Wellington.
Set to open in winter 2022, Gordon Ramsay’s bottomless pizza chain from London, Street Pizza, will open in Penn Quarter as the restaurant’s first-ever U.S. branch.
East Coast hitmaker Stephen Starr (Le Diplomate, St. Anselm) will duplicate New York City’s Meatpacking District’s scene-y bistro, Pastis, in DC’s Union Market in late 2022. The new site will provide a glamorous backdrop for a French menu filled with beef bourguignon, sardines, escargot and weekly specials like decadent dover sole and duck confit.
Originally opened in 1937 in New York City, Minetta Tavern plans to make its DC debut in the latter half of 2022. Now headed by London-born restauranteur Keith McNally, Minetta Tavern has been described as “Parisian steakhouse meets classic New York City tavern.”
In addition to the current vendors at Western Market, there are more culinary opening soon: Alitiko, ExPat, a sports betting bar, Hippo Taco, an Asian-fusion concept, Lucky Danger, which will bring popular Chinese-American options to patrons, and The Bussdown, a Pan-African kitchen.
The popular Dabney team will open Petite Cerise (“little cherry”), an all-day, French-inspired restaurant in Shaw in early 2023. The restaurant will serve a selection of authentic French imports and wine.
Tokyo is the inspiration for a Japanese food hall on Massachusetts Avenue from internationally acclaimed chef Makoto Okuwa and Unconventional Diner co-owner Eric Eden. Love Makoto, located at DC’s Capitol Crossing development, will feature a ramen shop, a Japanese bakery, sushi and a robata grill. It’s expected to open in late 2022.
A taste of sunny Florida will join DC’s Navy Yard neighborhood soon in the form of Royal Sands Social Club. The bar is ideal for groups and features fish tacos, frozen drinks and two stories of seating and entertainment, including hanging chairs, cabana-style tables and shuffleboard.
The groundbreaking Bronze, set to open in fall of 2022, aims to reimagine the history of the African diaspora through the fictional story of Alonzo Bronze, a spice and culinary technique trader of the 1300s. The H Street corridor location will offer a globalized menu representative of his travels.
Over-the-top Southern comfort food will reign at Uncaged Mimosas, an all-day brunch spot in Truxton Circle by innovative chef and DC-native Damian Brown. Visitors can get excited for boozy slushy machines and mimosas showcasing Black-owned alcohol brands. The menu includes salmon cake Benedict on a tater tot waffle.
A New York City art-nouveau-styled brasserie, La Grande Boucherie, is opening an outpost in the historic Federal-American National Bank building near the White House. The New York City location was featured recently on the Sex and the City reboot and exhibits authentic French dishes with an emphasis on seafood. Restauranteur Emil Stefkov, of The
Group NYC, will also open a Japanese restaurant called Washoku Room and an indoor/outdoor Italian trattoria called Olio é Piu at the same location.
An ambitious 25,000-square-foot culinary marketplace is on the way to downtown DC. The Square (1875 I Street, NW) is inside International Square, the complex above the Farragut West Metro station. Unlike a traditional food hall with individual vendors, it will be collaborative, with the in-house butcher and bakery furnishing several stalls and shops.
Opening a new location at The Wharf, Milk & Honey Café is a New Orleans-style eatery serving a Southern brunch that features award-winning shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, Rum Chata French toast, and other slow-cooked, mouth-watering favorites.
Casa Kantuta will open later this winter as a long-term pop-up speakeasy in the basement level of sPACYcLOUd in Adams Morgan, showcasing a Bolivian cultural immersion experience as the first Bolivian cocktail bar in the nation.
Shouk is projected to open its fifth location in Georgetown in early 2023, bringing an Israeli menu of plant-based, certified kosher street foods that are sustainably delivered.
From the mind behind Maxwell Park, Pop will be a new wine bar devoted to all manner of bubbles, from champs to crémant, cava, lambrusco, beer, cider, spritzes and more.
Two locations of Brooklyn, NY-based Blank Street Coffee opened in October, one in Dupont and one is Shaw. This small-format coffee shop is built around the idea that great coffee should be priced and located in a way that makes it part of every day.
Neighborhood Restaurant Group reopened the popular powerhouse restaurant, Birch & Barley, in Logan Circle, after being closed for the last two-and-a-half years. The restaurant highlights classic culinary influences while incorporating local and regionally sourced products.
Vagabond in Dupont Circle boasts beach season year-round, with a coastal-themed bar and restaurant with a global menu of popular surf locations like Mexico, Portugal and Hawaii. The venue includes a revamped roof deck and speakeasy-style basement bar accented with a Patrick Swayze mural.
Panamanian coffee shop and bar, Café Unido, opened a location in Shaw in early November, where the 69-seat café and large patio will offer an all-day menu and bar featuring natural wines, coffee-infused cocktails and wallet-friendly dishes with Panamanian ingredients, like a coffee-rubbed burger.
Famed Chinese chef Peter Chang opened Dupont Circle restaurant Chang Chang in October 2022, a two-in-one concept split between Szechuan takeout (Chang-out) and an upscale Chinese dining room (Chang-In).
Inspired by nightlife in Spain’s Basque Country, Chef Johnny Spero’s eponymous restaurant Bar Spero joined other newcomers at DC’s Capitol Crossing near Penn Quarter this summer. It features open hearth cooking and seafood, like a whole turbot for diners to share.
Miami’s taco-and-tequila haven Hoja Taqueria recently opened in Dupont Circle’s hostel, Generator. The menu of traditional Mexican food offers homemade heirloom corn tortillas, Oaxaca cheeses, and chiles imported from Mexico for quality.
Casey Patten, owner of hoagie restaurant Grazie Grazie, and Bammy’s chef, Gerald Addison, opened Grazie Nonna at Midtown Center featuring in autumn 2022, which features thin-crust pizzas and pasta with “grandma-approved” Sunday gravy.
Hill East Burger opened in October in Capitol Hill, turning out tallow-washed cocktails and smoked burgers – popular in Texas – using local Roseda Farm’s grass-fed aged beef. They aim to source whole cows down the line.
Coastal American restaurant Opal opened in Chevy Chase in October 2022. Graced with a wood-burning oven and 1930s row-style building, the cozy spot offers diners a wide variety of coastal options from across the American coastline - from small plates of tequila-chili butter roasted oysters to bone-in short ribs with salsa verde.
Nama Ko is a Japanese-inspired restaurant and craft cocktail bar along the U Street Corridor by James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schlow and executive chef Derek Watson, featuring honored Japanese techniques alongside innovative twists. The menu offers sushi, soft serve ice cream and sorbet from pastry chef Alex Levin, and a collection of Japanese whiskeys and sakes.
The all-you-can-eat dim sum arrived in Barracks Row this autumn at Han Palace Capitol Hill, where restauranteur Chris Zhu offers two unlimited daily tasting menus and free-flowing mimosas on the weekends.
Irregardless, a wine bistro from hospitality professionals Ian and Mika Carlin, opened on H Street in autumn 2022. The two-story 1,600 square-foot restaurant features a six-course seasonal tasting menu from chef Ben Browning, who highlights Mid-Atlantic produce and producers. Tasting menus are offered alongside two optional beverage pairings, one of which exclusively focuses on Virginia wine and spirits.
Silver Diner Navy Yard is a unique two-story location featuring Silver Diner downstairs and Silver Social, a 21+ terrace lounge upstairs, located next to Nationals Park. Family-friendly diner classics are available, plus healthier options like vegan, gluten-free, and items less than 600 calories. The menu is sourced from local farms and purveyors to serve the freshest, seasonal ingredients.
Authentic Indian Street food is made from scratch at Bindaas Bowls & Rolls, created by James Beard Award Winning Chef, Vikram Sunderam. The new Penn Quarter carry-out concept allows diners to customize popular dishes found at the original Bindaas location in Cleveland Park.
Gordon Ramsay Fish and Chips opened at the Wharf in October 2022, bringing elevated spins on the classic English street food to DC’s newest waterfront district alongside Gordon’s signature shakes Sticky Toffee and Biscoff.
Plant-based cuisine reigns at Italian American DC Vegan Deli in Dupont Circle, with a Botanical Bar and fine-casual sandwiches committed to cruelty-free and sustainable values.
Home cooking of DC classics comes alive at Hen & Fin in Petworth opened recently featuring a fry-centric menu of family recipes like meaty wings with mumbo sauce and Aunt Deb’s mac and cheese.
Monster-themed Kaiju Ramen in Capitol Hill serves $66 Wagyu ramen but also turns out budget-friendly small plates like savory mochi. Ingredients are sourced both locally and direct from Japan, and broths are simmered for 10 hours in-house daily.
Chef Amy Brandwein has expanded her all-day café, Piccolina, at CityCenter DC by adding 1,200 square feet, a space that allows them to now offer a total of 70 seats. The café features a menu cooked over a wood fire, alongside a variety of freshly baked bread inspired by the chef’s travels through Italy.
Owner Mike Bramson has opened a second Rebel Taco storefront, this time in Mount Vernon Triangle, where guests can enjoy specialty tacos and an expansive drink menu.
The first brick-and-mortar location of a popular breakfast taco spot La Tejana opened in August 2022, bringing Northwest Washington the taste of Rio Grande Valley’s beloved border cuisine.
Yasmine, a Lebanese-inspired kabab and cocktail shop with a robust non-alcoholic program (including an Arak service), is the creation of Maydan alums Co-Exec. Chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan and GM Said Haddad. Opened in October inside Union Market, Yasmine's menu includes perfectly grilled meats and kebab, thinly shaved shawarma, crisp falafel, and innovative sauces.