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February 3, 2007updated Dec 20, 2023

The 11 Best Restaurants in Washington, DC

By Chris Boyle


Offering everything from fresh organic fare to savory high-end cuisine, DC’s dining scene is as diverse as the city’s population.

Among the capital’s various districts, you’ll find a pleasing selection of award-winning chefs, whose outstanding concoctions add some definitive flavor to Washington’s culinary sphere. Whether you’re after a low-key bite at a charming cafe or a multi-course banquet at a nationally recognized restaurant, you’re sure to find something in DC to suit your taste.


Dining room , the Inn at Little Washington

Cuisine: American

Style / Ambiance: Having twice graced the Forbes List of most expensive restaurants in the United States, the Inn at Little Washington is luxurious dining at its best.

With its sumptuous interior design, award-winning wine list, and inspired, delectable dishes, the restaurant is a Mecca for foodies and wine critics alike. Dine among fellow patrons in the intimate dining room or book a spot at the chef’s table for a more exclusive experience.


Cuisine at the Oval Room

Cuisine: American

Style / Ambiance: A mere block away from the White House, the Oval Room presents American cuisine at its finest.

With a wide-ranging menu and eclectic wine list, the Oval Room has been named by Washingtonian as one of the Top 100 Best Restaurants for three years in a row, and DC Magazine recently branded owner Ashok Bajaj a “dining visionary.” The restaurant’s flair for presenting traditional dishes in a contemporary fashion has attracted some of the biggest names in the area, including former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, and is sure to satisfy diners of all tastes.

Tony Conte, Executive Chef

+1 202 463 8700

800 Connecticut Avenue, North West, Washington, DC 20006



Cuisine: Asian Fusion

Style / Ambiance: A visit to The Source by Wolfgang Puck offers guests the choice between two distinct dining experiences: an informal, izakaya-style meal in a trendy ground-floor lounge, or a chic meal of modern Asian dishes in an elegant upperlevel dining room.

Either experience is sure to delight, for each offers the vibrant atmosphere, gracious staff and sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine that have rendered The Source one of the district’s premier dining destinations. With recent accolades such as “Best Restaurant of the Year” and “Chef of the Year” under its belt, as well as fans including First Lady Michelle Obama.

Rikka Johnson, General Manager

+1 202 637 6100

575 Pennsylvania Avenue, North West, Washington, DC 20001


Cuisine: French and American

Style / Ambiance: The signature Adour by Alain Ducasse restaurant at the St. Regis Washington, DC features contemporary French American cuisine designed with the wine aficionado in mind.

Masterfully combining the freshest seasonal ingredients from supreme American suppliers, Adour’s menu features elegant cuisine, rich textures and new flavors that complement its diverse wine collection. With a décor as sumptuous as chef Ducasse’s exquisite creations, Adour teems with gastronomic decadence.

Shaun Sleeper, Restaurant Director

+1 202 509 8000

923 16th and K Streets, North West, Washington, DC 20006



Cuisine: International

Style / Ambiance: Juniper at the Fairmont is famed for using locally grown, sustainable ingredients to create delicious American comfort food.

While dishes are traditional – Cobb salads, club sandwiches, crab cakes and apple pie all feature on the menu – Juniper’s cuisine is anything but predictable: contemporary artistic presentations make old-time recipes almost unrecognizable, reinvigorating these old favorites with a modern flair. Particularly popular is the weekend brunch menu, which provides a relaxing, hearty start to any big day out in the nation’s capital.

Jason Dalling, Executive Chef

+1 202 457 5020

2401 M Street, North West, Washington, DC 20037



Cuisine: Organic American

Style / Ambiance: Nora is the first certified organic restaurant in the US and is currently enjoying its thirty-second year as an ardent defender of the organic food and lifestyle philosophy.

Over 95% of Nora’s menu is supplied by certified organic and biodynamic growers and producers, ensuring that the restaurant’s fruits and vegetables are devoid of pesticides, and that the meat remains hormone- and antibiotic-free. Fortunately, taste is never forfeited.

Nora Pouillon, Chef and Owner

+1 202 462 5143

2132 Florida Avenue, North West, Washington, DC 20008


Cuisine: International

Style / Ambiance: At J&G Steakhouse, maintaining the prestige of being one of the capital’s top restaurants means infusing traditional dishes with contemporary touches: classic cuts are given a modern makeover by Michelin-star talent, and a simple menu of fresh fish is spiced up.

Unique sauces, creative side dishes and an elegant, vibrant atmosphere make dining at J&G Steakhouse a truly exciting experience.

Philippe Reininger, Executive Chef

+1 202 661 2440

515 15th Street, North West, Washington, DC 20004



Cuisine: American

Style / Ambiance: One of the finest restaurants in the capital, Plume features the unique culinary artistry of award-winning chef Damon Gordon.

The restaurant’s décor provides a stunning setting for guests to enjoy seasonal menus and an impressive vintage wine list. With service as exquisite as its cuisine, Plume is guaranteed to ruffle some feathers.

Damon Gordon, Executive Chef

+1 202 448 2300

1200 16th Street, North West, Washington, DC 20036


Bourbon steak

Cuisine: American

Style / Ambiance: From visiting celebrities to highlevel local politicians, Bourbon Steak has become one of the capital’s premier places to see and be seen.

The Michael Mina power spot in the Four Seasons Hotel has attracted a number of Hollywood and political A-listers with its luxurious cuisine and vibrant atmosphere, offering a sophisticated and memorable dining experience. With an expansive cocktail list and decadent VIP room, Bourbon Steak is sure to please.

Adam Sobel & David Varley, Executive Chefs

+1 202 944 2026

2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, North West, Washington, DC 20007


Cuisine at minibar

Cuisine: International

Style / Ambiance: At minibar, artistic and scientific aspirations fuel the preparation of the restaurant’s award-winning fare.

The innovative tasting menu, which features 30 of chef and owner José Andrés’ fantastic creations, appeals not only to diners’ taste buds, but to their eyes. A meal at minibar is a truly aesthetic experience, and diners are guaranteed to leave with a heightened awareness of the relationship between taste and presentation.

José Andrés, Executive Chef

+1 202 393 0812

405 8th Street, North West, Washington, DC 20004


Cuisine: Asian Fusion

Style / Ambiance: Clean, elegant cuisine, eyecatching interiors and an unparalleled wine and beverage program make Proof one of Penn Quarter’s most stylish destinations.

With a wine list hailed by Food & Wine magazine as the ‘Best Wine Program of the Year’ in 2010 and a head chef recently nominated for the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s ‘Chef of the Year’ award, there is certainly proof that this restaurant is committed to providing an unforgettable dining experience.

Haidar Karoum, Executive Chef

+1 202 737 7663

775 G Street, North West, Washington, DC 20001

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