If you notice an influx of tourists at your favorite restaurants and bars this cherry blossom season, you have Budget Travel to blame. The magazine's April 2011 issue features "The 20 Best-Kept Secrets of Washington, DC," which mostly seem to be on the Hill, dining-wise.
Filed under "Where the locals go when they don't have a dinner reservation" is Barracks Row, a neighborhood which the magazine says represents DC's transformation into a culinary city. The article itself doesn't name names, but an accompanying photo gallery gives a lot of love to Ted's Bulletin and its buttermilk country-fried steak. The magazine's lunch pick is Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian for its buffalo burgers and mesquite piñon cookies. Meanwhile, the Atlas District is DC's "new nightlife king" with bars like the H Street Country Club, Biergarten Haus and Dangerously Delicious Pies for its late-night eats.
But not all these are really secrets, though. Old Ebbitt Grill, which is already a revolving door of White House tourists at lunchtime, shares a nod for best crab cakes with the decidedly more under-the-radar C.F. Folks. And the Fojol Bros. of Merlindia are often the first mentioned when non-locals discuss DC's food truck scene.