clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bartaco Adds a Waterfront Location at the Wharf — And More Openings

A weekly roundup of new restaurants around D.C.

Bartaco brings tacos, colorful cocktails, and spirit-free aguas frescas to the Wharf.
Tom McGovern/Bartaco
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Despite lingering challenges posed by the pandemic, lots of exciting dining options continue to pop up all over town. Here’s a running list of recent openings. Other new and notable restaurants are featured here. For the buzziest new bars around town this month, go here.

Know of a spot that should be on this list? Send us a tip by emailing

January 2023

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS—James Wozniuk, the chef-owner behind essential Malaysian eatery Makan and subterranean sports bar Thirsty Crow, adds a spice-rubbed roast chicken takeout called Spicebird on Thursday, January 26. Available for delivery and pickup from Makan’s front door (3400 11th Street NW), the Southeast Asian ghost kitchen stars bone-in chicken blasted with a 15-spice blend and a house “KL Sauce” inspired by the first meal Wozniuk ever had in Kuala Lumpur. Sides include Thai basil fried rice, cold sesame noodles, and pulled chicken with a coconut vinaigrette. Order online.

SOUTHWEST—Beach-y Latin street food chain Bartaco opened at the Wharf on Monday, January 23. Unlike its landlocked D.C. counterpart in Mt. Vernon Triangle, its scenic new spot sports a 40-seat bar overlooking the Potomac. Cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices and bottled and canned beers from DC Brau and Atlas Brew Works join familiar dishes like pork belly and Baja fish tacos, duck birria, guacamole, and street corn. A leafy, year-round patio outfitted with private cabanas sits near an outdoor mural from artist Mark Boomershine depicting local jazz legend Duke Ellington and NASA’s first Black female engineer Mary Jackson. Dine-in hours start at 5 p.m., with lunch, takeout, and delivery starting in a few weeks. Take-home orders include taco packs, margarita kits, and kid’s meals in retro lunch boxes. 645 Wharf Street SW

UNION MARKET—A European-styled takeout shop inside Union Market is the latest act for well-traveled chef Alex McCoy. Bar Boheme opened on Saturday, January 21, with over a dozen paper-wrapped sandwiches packed with nostalgic flavors from England to the Mediterranean. Building blocks made on-site include mozzarella, grilled Thai herbal sausage, and duck confit, plus buttery focaccia, Spanish rustic bread, and multigrain loaves baked fresh every morning. Hours to start are noon to 8 p.m. 1309 5th Street NE

BALLSTON—Silver Diner replaces its closed Clarendon location with a fresh Arlington outpost in Ballston. Daily hours kick off at 7 a.m. and run until as late as 3 a.m. on weekends, with free two-hour parking. 4400 Wilson Boulevard Arlington, Virginia

LEESBURG—Fast-growing Neapolitan pizzeria Pupatella opened its latest area location in a former Pizza Hut. 350 E. Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia

Blank Street Coffee opened on 14th Street NW on Saturday, January 21.
Blank Street Coffee

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS—Moroccan newcomer Alley Cat went live inside the upper Northwest space formerly occupied by Chatter and Chadwicks. Check out the meze-filled menu here. 5247 Wisconsin Avenue NW

14TH STREET NW—Brooklyn-born Blank Street Coffee pushed play on its Logan Circle location on Saturday, January 21. The high-tech coffee chain fueled on private equity dollars and high-volume espresso machines opens with pistachio lattes and seasonal candy cane cold brew, plus baked goods from with local favorites Pluma by Bluebird and Green Almond Pantry. The brand has ambitious plans to balloon to 10 area stores by the end of the year. 1807 14th Street NW

DUPONT CIRCLE—The iconic Washington Hilton hotel unveils a new all-day eatery on Thursday, January 19. District Line Café & Market slings fresh pastries and croissants made on-site, acai bowls, short rib bagel sandwiches, crab chowder, and mumbo chicken sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Local vendors include The Capital Candy Jar, Route 11 Chips, and Truly Good Foods. A portion of opening day proceeds go to the Capital Area Food Bank. Hours are 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; view menu here. 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW

The colorful shop seats 35, plus a patio outside for 24 more.
Rey Lopez/Colada Shop

DUPONT CIRCLE—Fast-growing Cuban cafe and bar Colada Shop opens its fifth area outpost on Wednesday, January 18 in the heart of Dupont. An all-day menu full of familiar favorites like sofrito-based egg skillets, tostadas, empanadas, and pastelitos joins new family-style dishes ($21-$28) like mojo-marinated chicken with arborio rice, sofrito, and tumeric or slow-roasted pork ribs slathered in its guava barbecue sauce alongside yucca fries. The rum-soaked cocktail list includes a piña colada, mojito, and Cuba Libre jazzed up with cascara bitters. Partners Daniella Senior and Juan Coronado debuted Colada Shop in Logan Circle back in 2016. 1900 N Street NW

A pepperoni pie at Pizza Serata.
Pizza Serata

UNION MARKET—Meet Crooked Run and Pizza Serata, a new brewery-meets-pizza place for Northeast. The joint project, opening Wednesday, January 18, comes from Crooked Run Fermentation brewmasters Jake Endres and Lee Rogan and D.C. chef Chris Morgan (Bammy’s, Yasmīne). Pizza Czar cookbook author Anthony Falco, an alum of Brooklyn’s famed Roberta’s, also consulted on the menu. Sandwiches include a next-level grilled cheese, Italian sausage, and mortadella built on homemade focaccia. An opening list of 10 personal pies include the “Hot + Bothered” (spicy Italian sauce, sopressata, mozzarella, pecorino, basil, Calabrian chile oil); kale and ’nduja; mixed mushrooms; Sicilian anchovy; and build-your-own options. Starters include garlic wings, calamari, stretchy stracciatella, salads, and more. The decade-old brewery out of Leesburg, Virginia pours its reliable list of beers, an Italian pilsner just for D.C., natural wines, ciders, and non-alcoholic beverages. 550 Morse Street NE

SOUTHWEST—Kilwins, the nostalgia-inducing ice cream shop and candy store chain largely sprinkled along the East Coast, debuted at the Wharf on Monday, January 16. Confections largely made on-site include fudge, caramel corn, brittle, truffles, caramel apples, and chocolate-dipped Oreos, pretzels, marshmallows, Rice Krispies, and Twinkies. Its first D.C. location opened in Navy Yard in 2021. Founded in Petoskey, Michigan in 1947, Kilwins has ballooned to 150 locations across the U.S. D.C. franchisee and Tap99 owner Jason Cherry plans to open two more shops over the next four years, with a neighborhood wish list that includes Georgetown, Chinatown, and Buzzard Point. 663 Water Street SW

RIVERDALE PARK, MARYLAND—Sourdough startup Manifest Bread has a location to call its own. Prince George’s County’s new neighborhood bakery comes from restaurant vets Rick and Tyes Cook, which started the bread brand in 2018. Swing by for a rotating selection of sourdough loaves, which go through a multi-day process to develop flavor and texture, plus sweet and savory pastries. 6208 Rhode Island Avenue, Riverdale Park, Maryland

South Block just opened its first location in Loudoun County.
South Block

ASHBURN, VIRGINIA—Homegrown juice company South Block unveiled a fresh outpost in One Loudoun on Monday, January 9. The 1,500-square-foot locale—its first in Loudoun County—is South Block’s 13th to date and debuts with a familiar lineup of colorful acai bowls, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices. Two more Virginia stores, one in McLean and another at Amazon HQ2, are up next. For new year, South Block introduced a new line of “skincare” shakes made with trendy sea moss and collagen to encourage gut health and radiant skin, hair, and nails. Use code NEWYEAR23 at checkout for 23-percent off all online juice orders through January 31. 20327 Exchange Street, Ashburn, Virginia

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS—Cult cookie and ice cream company Insomnia Cookies supersizes its D.C. portfolio this week, adding a pair of locations in Shaw and Penn Quarter. Its fourth and fifth DMV stores, both opening Saturday, January 14, sell cookie classics like chocolate chunk, Snickerdoodle and Confetti Deluxe varieties, plus a full slate of vegan options. 1924 8th Street NW; 614 E Street NW

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA—High-tech convenience store and all-day cafe Foxtrot opens its sixth area location in Rosslyn, Virginia on Friday, January 13. Opening day festivities includes music by DJ Throdown, live screen printing, and free food and drinks from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 1771 Pierce Street, Arlington, Virginia

SHAW—Pho House, a new family-run Vietnamese business situated in the old Kiss Lounge space, opens with fresh pork, shrimp, and veggie egg rolls, banh mi on a fluffy baguette, boba and Thai teas, and strong Vietnamese coffee. 634 Florida Avenue NW

SHAW—Spicy Water African Grill debuted for lunch and dinner with chicken kebab sandwiches, all kinds of salad bowls topped with proteins like salmon, beef, and shrimp, grilled mackerel and red snapper, and whole or half chicken combo deals. 2019 11th Street NW