Skip to main content
search search search search search search


mapit icon close icon
A person in a suit uses a torch to create a smoky effect in a glass decanter, with a bottle of liquor nearby.

17 Unique Dining & Drinking Experiences in Washington, DC

Go beyond the standard night out with these culinary excursions all over the District.

There’s a culinary revolution happening in the nation’s capital and experiential cuisine is at its center. Visitors can enjoy an array of dining and drinking experiences at multiple price points at locations throughout the District. Read on for a bounty of options that include award-winning chefs, blind tastings, chef’s tables, sensory offerings, sushi-making, AI-inspired cocktails and lots more.



A modern, bright kitchen with a large U-shaped counter surrounded by barstools, featuring fresh flowers and elegant place settings.


This 14-seat chef's counter serves an ingredient-focused tasting menu that highlights the best seasonal offerings from around the world across 30 different prep styles. The rotation can include items like wagyu tartar, spring peas, yuzu, foie gras, pears; needless to say, Jônt is eclectic in its approach.
Neighborhood: U Street
1904 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009


Pineapple & Pearls

The Capitol Hill haven offers a fun take on fine dining with a tasting menu composed of several courses along with paired beverages. Every meal comes with a book to peruse, complete with a collection of stories and photographs that explain parts of the course to come. Guests also get entertaining “gifts” that go along with the story of the meal, like handcuffs and beggars' purses.
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
715 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003


Rose’s Luxury

An open kitchen restaurant with a long wooden counter and barstools. Chefs are busy preparing food, and tables are set for diners. The interior features exposed brick and warm lighting.

Rose's Luxury © Nina Palazzolo

Step into one of the most beloved restaurants in DC for a five-course, "choose your own adventure" menu with a travel-the-world vibe. Enjoy private dining at Rose’s rooftop garden with personalized service akin to the terrace at your best friend’s apartment; there’s even a custom-tailored wine pairing by a Master Sommelier.

Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
717 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003


Albi – Hearth Table in the Kitchen

A person in a suit uses a torch to create a smoky effect in a glass decanter, with a bottle of liquor nearby.


Journey through Levantine cooking with a two-and-a-half-hour dining experience. Chef Rafidi's multi-course, semi-improvisational menu from the intimate Hearth Table inside Albi’s kitchen will leave you stunned.
Neighborhood: Navy Yard
1346 4th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003


Imperfecto – The Chef’s Table

A gourmet dish in a black bowl, featuring light green shards, pink and yellow flower petals, and a creamy base.


The Degustación Experience is more than 10 courses from an omakase-style tasting menu with Chef Enrique Limardo of Imperfecto. Guests will travel through South America and into the Mediterranean on Limardo’s mystifying culinary talents.
Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom
1124 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037


minibar by José Andrés

A minimalist gourmet dish featuring a small, cylindrical piece of fish, garnished with yellow spheres, onion petals, and tiny cherry tomatoes on a large white plate against a black background.


One of the most exclusive dining experiences in DC, this theatrical restaurant sits guests inside the kitchen where they witness more than a dozen of DC’s finest chefs working together in a perfectly choreographed dance of culinary preparation.
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown
855 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


El Cielo

A cozy restaurant interior with wooden tables, elegant table settings, and plush chairs. The space features a wall with decorative shelves, plants, and a large window into the kitchen.

El Cielo

Immerse your senses – not just your taste buds – with a tasting menu experience at El Cielo. Your outing includes a visual stunt ideal for the Instagram era called “Chocotheraphy”. Guests “wash” their hands in liquid chocolate to awaken their senses before embarking on the rest of their culinary journey.
Neighborhood: NoMa
1280 4th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002


City Experiences Signature Dinner Cruise

A white riverboat named "Odyssey" cruises on calm waters at dusk with the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial illuminated in the background.

City Cruises

Dine and dance on the Potomac River with views of DC’s iconic monuments and memorials on this casual night out with City Cruises. Enjoy a delicious, chef-prepared buffet and gorgeous vistas of some of the most spectacular architecture in the world.

Neighborhood: Southwest/The Wharf

Pier 4, 580 Water Street SW, Washington, DC


Cure Bar & Bistro

A top-down view of various sushi dishes on a wooden table, showcasing a variety of beautifully presented food items.

Cure Bar & Bistro

Head to Cure and you’ll find yourself at the intersection of a modern take on traditional French cuisine and a creative approach to Japanese sushi. The restaurant offers special experiences like sushi-making classes and an interactive chef’s tasting menu on Fridays and Saturdays.
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown
1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20001



A person holding a smartphone, viewing colorful images transposed onto the camera's image of the tall orange cocktail on the bar counter where they are seated


Guests can bring their cocktail to life through augmented reality by scanning it with their mobile device. AR designs change based on the museum's current exhibition.
Neighborhood: Southwest/The Wharf
1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024 ‌


Casa Teresa

a dining table with plates of Italian-style food and a wine glass overlooking a restaurant chef's station

Casa Teresa

From DIY appetizers that pay homage to Spanish chef Rubén García’s abuela Teresa to the family-style entrees of whole fish, pass-the-plate grilled meats and veggie dishes prepared over open flames and oak charcoal, Casa Teresa offers a progressive dining experience unlike anything else in the city. You’ll feel like you’re eating at grandma’s house in the heart of Spain.
Neighborhood: Downtown
919 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20006


Dear Sushi at Love, Makoto

elegant plate of complex omakase sushi pieces and a small plate of soy sauce poured in the shape of a heart

Love, Makoto / Dear Sushi © ShotbyEM

Prepare yourself for an omakase experience that celebrates both traditional and envelope-pushing interpretations of sushi. The deeply personal “Dear Sushi” menu from Chef Makoto Okuwa starts with seasonal snacks, moves into several sushi courses and ends with a show-stopping dessert.
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
200 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 150, Washington, DC 20001



Experience the wood-firing of your dish at your table at dLeña, which serves up elevated Mexican fare in a striking, rustic-chic venue. Ask and you’ll be shown their speakeasy, ROJA Mezcal Lounge, which offers live jazz along with a smokey mezcal and tequila-centric menu.
Neighborhood: Mount Vernon Square
476 K Street NW, Suite D, Washington, DC 20001


Fireclay at Hotel Washington

A luxurious hotel lobby with elegant furniture, including sofas, armchairs, and coffee tables, arranged on a polished marble floor. The space is well-lit with large windows and features a bar area in the background.

Fireclay at Hotel Washington

This whimsical restaurant offers a distinctive dining experience. Shared plates featuring ingredients prepared over an open flame showcase the wondrous creativity of Chef de Cuisine Israel Lopez-Albarracin. The carefully crafted menu pays special attention to seasonal flavors and locally sourced ingredients.
Neighborhood: Downtown
515 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


Drunk Shakespeare at The Sage Theatre

 A lively crowd in a warmly lit venue applauds a performer who is taking a bow in the center of the room, surrounded by shelves of colorful books.

Drunk Shakespeare

In a hidden speakeasy, five classically trained actors assemble for their sacred ritual. One actor takes five shots of whiskey and then attempts to perform a major role in a Shakespeare play. Hilarity and mayhem ensue.
Neighborhood: Downtown
1100 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005


Iron Age Korean Steakhouse

A dimly lit dining table set with metal trays and dishes, surrounded by red chairs in a cozy, intimate setting.

Iron Age Korean Steakhouse

Known for an affordable, all-you-can-eat menu and tabletop grills, Iron Age welcomes you for a fulling, DIY Korean barbecue experience. Get ready to cook a large variety of meat from the steakhouse’s selection. Fret not: the experienced staff will always be there to assist you in your meat-cooking adventure.
Neighborhood: Columbia Heights
3365 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010


Crumbs & Whiskers

A curious orange tabby cat stands on a table in a bright, modern room with blurred background featuring hanging shirts and a person.

Crumbs & Whiskers

Hang out with adorable kittens while munching on Levain Bakery cookies and drinking coffee. The city’s first pet café allows you to play with the cats and even adopt one.
Neighborhood: Georgetown
3109 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007


Don't stop here – accessing award-winning eateries and the District's best dishes is easier than you think. 

Partner Content
Partner Content