Dining and drinking in DC is heating up. The city continues to welcome new restaurants, food halls and bars. Find local favorites and buzzy new spots below.
Drinking and dining in Washington, DC continues to impress. DC restaurants are open at full capacity and offer indoor, outdoor and to-go options. Masks are required indoors unless customers are actively eating or drinking. New to DC, Swingers Crazy Golf offers a food hall and bar paired with mini-golf. Shabu Plus in Adams Morgan offers Japanese Hot Pot with personalized touches throughout the experience starting with tableside selections of sake. Daru in the H Street corridor brings authentic flavors of India to the nation’s capital.
Located downtown and attached to the Eaton Hotel, Michele’s, a French American restaurant, debuts in October. Chef Matt Baker named the spot after his mother. After his smash success at Gravitas, Washingtonians and visitors alike will be delighted by dishes including uni custard with Maryland crab, head and foot-on roast chicken, a raw bar and caviar service.
A modern Caribbean restaurant and sister to Michelin-starred Cane, St. James opens late summer in the U Street corridor. The restaurant offers a large indoor space and limited patio with seating. It’s named for St. James in Trinidad’s capital and will be serving island favorites.
Pennsylvania Avenue may be a famous address in DC, but it’s also a culinary hub thanks to Western Market. Western Market’s modern marketplace is a one-stop shop including more than a dozen of the city’s favorite food and beverage vendors all in one place, such as Duke’s Grocery, Shouk and Elle. Western Market also features mixed-use space for retail and office space and is set to open in Q3 of 2021.
Dupont goes French with Duck Duck Goose, a modern brasserie by Chef Ashish Alfred. With outposts in Bethesda and Baltimore, the DMV favorite features indoor and outdoor seating. Diners find French staples like foie gras, truffles and duck confit.
Bistro du Jour, slated to open this month, aims to recreate an authentic Parisian scene at The Wharf. Offering a French café experience, the location is meant for congregating and grazing over food. Patrons start with coffee and fresh croissants and enjoy a changing menu as the day progresses including steak frites, onion soup and foie gras along with a selection of Champagne and other cocktails.
From the team behind Duke's Grocery, Gogi Yogi and Duke's Counter, Chesapeake brings the region’s favorite shellfish dishes to the heart of U Street. The bar will only serve beers brewed in DC, Maryland and Virginia, alongside a wide selection of spirits and classic dockside drinks like orange crushes.
Specializing in traditional Lebanese cuisine, Ilili opens late September at The Wharf with 5,000 square feet and waterfront views. The menu is Lebanese-Mediterranean traditions with a modern contemporary twist, emphasizing flavorful herbs and spices. The shared plate dining experience is capped off with an extensive beverage menu and can’t-miss helou - sweets.
Luna Hall – Chinatown’s newest resident opens in spring 2022. Helmed by restaurateur Zong Chen, the food hall will feature everything from soup dumplings to ramen to poke and bubble tea.
Dig – The New York-based restaurant is getting a new space in Georgetown with a veggie heavy menu, utilizing “stem to leaf” for a variety of grain bowls, salads, and long list of healthy sides.
Newland – A new American style restaurant from the owners of Beuchert’s Saloon and Fight Club is headed to Capitol Hill, targeting a December opening. The spot will feature Mid-Atlantic staples including crab and pit beef, along with specialty cocktails, wine and beer.
Royal Palm Social Club – A taste of sunny Florida arrives in Washington, DC’s Navy Yard neighborhood. The bar will be ideal for groups and features frozen drinks and two stories of seating and entertainment, including hanging chairs, cabana-style tables and shuffleboard.
Love Makoto – 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. The hall, located at DC’s Capitol Crossing development, will feature a ramen shop, a Japanese bakery, sushi and a robata grill.
Salazar – Opening later this year in the buzzing 14th Street area, a tequila focused, drink forward bar and eatery spans three stories with a rooftop. While there will be a tex-mex menu, drinks are the focus. Catch bottomless margaritas during weekend brunch and the basement space is primed for DJs and dance parties.
Imperfecto – Located in the West End neighborhood, the Latin-Mediterranean luxury dining experience with Enrique Limardo at the helm is anchored in tasting menus. An idea cultivated during the pandemic, Imperfecto features a full-service cocktail bar and private dining space in addition to tasting tables.
De Rhum Spot – A Caribbean kitchen is bringing the dark and stormy along with an extensive rum list to Sherman Ave in Northwest DC. The eatery offers Caribbean street food and a drunken banana bread pudding, to complement rums, cocktails and “other ‘tings.”
Cracked Eggery - What started as a famed food tent at a farmer’s market, is now a brick-and-mortar sandwich shop in Shaw. Devour dishes any time, as the 24-hour menu provides sandwiches served on toasted challah, bowls and sweet or savory tots.
La Collina – A family and wallet-friendly osteria with a walk-up antipasti and panini window in Capitol Hill provides homemade pastas, antipasti, salumi, cocktails and carafes of wine. To help with meal planning, prepared dinners and pasta kits are available to go.
Diablo’s Cantina – MGM National Harbor’s newest restaurant features south-of-the-border dining and drinking with a dash of decadence. Diablo’s offers fresh salsas and guacamoles along with a selection of premium tequilas and signature cocktails. Diablo’s originated on the Vegas strip.
Jane Jane – The southern-inspired bar in the mixed-use development Liz on 14th Street Northwest is anchored by well-crafted classic cocktails, Southern-inspired snacks, and welcoming, inclusive hospitality.
Shabu Plus – An updated version of traditional Japanese Hot Pot with top grade meats, organic poultry, sustainable seafood and delicious broths by Chef Darren Norris and his wife, Candice Wise-Norris now calls Adams Morgan home.
City State Brewing Co. – Located in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, the newly opened and aptly named microbrewery and taproom boast a 20-barrel system and a smaller, experimental five-barrel brewhouse.
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls – After a successful start in Dupont Circle and a few other DC locations, the addition of New England-style seafood restaurant Mason’s to Georgetown is great news for seafood fans.
Chicatana Fine Mexican Cuisine – A cozy family-style spot in Petworth neighborhood delivers authentic Mexican food, a patio and adult beverages.
Daru – Proclaimed spirit-forward Indian restaurant Daru is spicing up the H Street corridor. The bar and restaurant is heavily influenced and inspired by the cuisine, culture and history of India and the menu is based on casual Indian snack foods, dessert and spiced cocktails.
Swingers Crazy Golf – Swingers in Dupont Circle combines mini golf, cocktails and street food. Inside the adults only venue, find two 9-hole mini golf courses, a food hall, multiple bars and no kids allowed. Swingers partnered with local restaurant and hospitality group, KNEAD Hospitality + Design for the creation of the food and beverage program.