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The Most Anticipated Restaurants in D.C., Winter 2019

The hottest restaurants coming to the DMV

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A rendering of the Quarter Market Food Hall in Ballston
Forest City/rendering

Several high-profile restaurants are scheduled to join the local dining scene in the coming months, including some holdovers over from the fall. Here’s a roster of the most anticipated ventures coming down the pike. Winter officially starts on Friday, December 21, this year, so recently opened venues — like the Taste of Urbanspace food hall at Tysons Galleria and the Rappahannock Oyster Bar at the Maine Avenue Fish Market — didn’t make the list.

The Berliner

What: The incoming 4,200-square-foot beer hall from the owners of critically acclaimed Lapis Bistro in Adams Morgan will feature an events space and a kitchen stuffing sausages in-house. Popal Group, the family-run enterprise from D.C. that’s also behind Cafe Bonaparte, recruited chef Mike O’Brien to craft the Berliner’s meat-heavy menu. O’Brien worked at renowned West Coast sausage outfits like Mikkeller Bar (LA and San Francisco) and the Monk’s Kettle (San Francisco) before returning to D.C. to cook at the Salt Line and Owen’s Ordinary.

Where: 3401 Water Street NW

When: December

*Previous Berliner coverage


What: The Park View newcomer, from the owners of Colony Club next door, plans to bring square-shaped pies and re-imagined Italian-American classics to the neighborhood. The space has seating for 250 people and front and back patio areas, which will include a bar car and leafy palm trees. An adjoining bar and garden, dubbed No Kisses, is also part of the project.

Where: 3120 Georgia Avenue NW

When: December

*Previous Sonny’s coverage


What: The next step in Washington’s Laotian food movement, driven by chefs Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith, her son, will be a casual hangout in Shaw. Named after a daring Buddhist monkey god, Hanumanh will feature bold flavors currently being developed at the family’s first two restaurants, Thip Khao in Columbia Heights and Padaek in Falls Church. Recently opening Sen Khao restaurant in Tysons Galleria might have delayed the Shaw project.

Where: 1604 7th Street NW

When: December/January

*Previous Hanumanh coverage

Coconut Club

What: The island-hopping bar and restaurant from former Barcelona Wine Bar chef Adam Greenberg is starting to take shape near Union Market. The menu will pull heavily from Hawai‘i while offering raw seafood along with dishes — and rum drinks — from across the Caribbean. Greenberg tells Eater he hopes to be service-ready for New Year’s Eve and promises to be open by the second week of January “at the latest.”

Where: 540 Penn Street NE

When: January

*Previous Coconut Club coverage

Urbano 116

What: The team behind Augie’s Mussel House in Alexandria is opening a Mexican restaurant helmed by award-winning chef and Noma alum Alam Méndez Florián of Mexico City. The opening menu is projected to feature zesty quesadillas, assorted tacos, mole-soaked enchiladas, and fresh Oaxacan corn tortillas. Exposed brick and steel will play a part in the design scheme. Look out for a take-out window on King Street.

Where: 116 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia

When: January

*Previous Urbano 116 coverage

Urbano 116
Urbano 116/Rendering

Mama Chang

What: Chef Peter Chang will return to his roots with this “homestyle” Chinese restaurant that will serve from the Hubei, Hunan, and Sichuan provinces in Fairfax, the suburb where the former embassy chef began his American restaurant career 15 years ago. Mama Chang will pay tribute to the feminine influences in Chang’s life, including his mother, wife, and daughter.

Where: 3251 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia

When: January

*Previous Mama Chang coverage

A rendering of the dining room at Mama Chang.
Nahra Design Group


What: Chef Peter Prime, the man behind the menu at Bloomingdale’s retooled Caribbean-inspired smokehouse Spark, is opening his own spot focused on his native cuisine from Trinidad and Tobago. The 40-seat space, which slides into the space formerly occupied by Uni Bistro, will focus on roti rolls — South Asian-influenced Caribbean flatbreads stuffed with potato and meat curries. There will be jerk chicken wings, too, of course.

Where: 403 H Street NE

When: January/February

*Previous Cane coverage

TTT/Buena Vida

What: Restaurateur Ivan Iricanin (founder of Balkan restaurants Ambar and Baba) is going the Mexican route in Clarendon inside the now-defunct La Tasca, replacing it with the same pair of Mexican restaurants he brought to Silver Spring, Maryland, this year: Tacos, Tortas and Tequila (TTT) and Buena Vida. The sister spot is expected to look and feel much like the Silver Spring location on the first two floors. The biggest departure is a third-story rooftop beer garden called Up, which is coming later.

Where: 2900 Wilson Boulevard, Clarendon, Virginia

When: January/February


What: The fourth ramen shop from the experts behind Daikaya, Bantam King, and Haikan will bring Sapporo-style noodle soup top Navy Yard. The industrial space at the Boilermaker Building in the Yards development near Nationals Park will feature design nods to a pro baseball team in Sapporo, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Chef Katsuya Fukushima and company hosted a preview pop-up for Hatoba to ring in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game this summer in the District.

Where: 300 Tingey Street SE #170

When: January/February

*Previous Hatoba coverage


What: The featured restaurant at Hilton’s splashy CityCenter hotel, the Conrad, comes from Top Chef alums Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. The brothers, who just celebrated the second anniversary of their eponymous steakhouse inside MGM National Harbor, are tag-teaming for a second time in D.C. with Estuary.

Where: New York Avenue and 10th Street NW

When: February

*Previous Estuary coverage

The super-modern hotel restaurant features lots of marble, wood tones, and pops of red lining the open kitchen.

Quarter Market Food Hall

What: The newly designed 25,000-square-foot emporium, one of the biggest food halls in the D.C. area, will be packed with 18 dining and drinking options such as Timber Pizza Co., Cucina Al Volo, and Ice Cream Jubilee.

Where: Ballston Quarter development

When: February

*Previous Quarter Market coverage

Quarter Market Food Hall
Forest City/rendering

Stellina Pizzeria

What: Italian natives Antonio Matarazzo and Matteo Venini are teaming up to open a new “upscale casual” pizzeria near Union Market with a spin on traditional Neapolitan-style pies. Venini’s kitchen will be influenced by street foods found along the southern Italian coast, including fried seafood and veggies served in paper cones. Also expect pastas and sandwiches integrating pizza dough. A full bar will focus on Italian wines, beers, and craft cocktails.

Where: 399 Morse Street SE

When: Early 2019

*Previous Stellina Pizzeria coverage

*The following restaurants were scheduled to open in the fall but have been held up*

Potomac Distilling Company/Tiki TNT

What: The rum distillery and Tiki bar from mixologist Todd Thrasher is nearly ready to open in a massive complex next to Officina on the Southwest Waterfront. According to Washington City Paper, Thrasher has recruited a handful of big-name buddies — Erik Bruner-Yang, Bryan Voltaggio, and David Guas — to contribute items to a menu overseen by chef Larry Blevins.

Where: 1130 Maine Avenue SW

When: December

*Previous Potomac Distilling Company coverage

Calabash Tea & Tonic

What: The 900-square-foot Brookland shop will feature a large outdoor patio curated with medicinal plants and culinary herbs. Like its sister spot in Shaw, there will be over 50 organic tea blends based on founder Dr. Sunyatta Amen’s Cuban-Jamaican great-grandmother’s formulas. Also expect pour-over coffees, vegetarian vittles, and wellness-focused events.

Where: 2701 12th Street NE

When: December/January

*Previous Calabash coverage

Chop Shop Taco

What: Located in an old auto body shop inside the Madison Collective development, Chop Shop Taco will serve chopped meats roasted on a spit alongside nostalgic snacks, tacos, and Mexican barbecue. The industrial design will feature a full bar with agave-based spirits and a take-out window. Co-founder and chef Ed McIntosh, a Matchbox Food Group alum, was most recently working on self-styled Mexican eatery Tortilladora.

Where: 727 North Henry Street, Alexandria, VA

When: February

*Previous Chop Shop Taco coverage

The Imperial

What: The owners of Adams Morgan whiskey den Jack Rose are moving the basement bar to their next neighborhood gathering place. Dram & Grain 2.0 will remain a subterranean hideout, occupying the bottom of the new three-floor, 5,500-square-foot establishment that also includes a futuristic-looking restaurant and year-round rooftop bar with two tiers. The menu is expected to include seafood and raw bar options, seasonal vegetable plates, and dry-aged steaks and pastas, alongside one of the biggest vintage spirits collections in the region.

Where: 2001 18th Street NW

When: Early 2019

*Previous Imperial coverage

A rendering inside Dram & Grain 2.0.
Gronning Architects/rendering


What: D.C.’s second location of the Barcelona-style tapas bar will serve the brand’s top sellers, like seafood paella, patatas bravas, and charcuterie plates from executive chef Marc Vidal. The new Boqueria is expected to include extensive outdoor seating and dishes exclusive to the Chinatown location.

Where: 777 9th Street NW

When: Early 2019

*Previous Boqueria coverage

Bandoola Bowl

What: The Southeast Asian salad stop will integrate flavors from Burma and surrounding countries at its debut Georgetown restaurant. Expect thinly chopped vegetables and shredded cabbage, as well as roasted, steamed, grilled, or lightly fried proteins. Toss-ins will include fried garlic and shallots, crispy yellow split peas, crunchy peanuts, and sesame seeds.

Where: 1069 Wisconsin Avenue NW

When: Early 2019

*Previous Bandoola Bowl coverage