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Falls Church’s elegant Vietnamese restaurant Nue and next-door seafood sibling Chasin’ Tails go all out for Lunar New Year.
Nue

Where to Ring in Lunar New Year With Food and Drinks in D.C.

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with special dinners, mango sticky rice ice cream, and more

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Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Lunar New Year — also known as Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, Tết Nguyen Dan, or Seol-Nal — kicks off on Saturday, February 10, to welcome in the Year of the Dragon. Widely celebrated in countries like Vietnam, China, Korea, and Taiwan, the annual 15-day festival is marked with family get-togethers, dragon dances, and traditional gifts like money-stuffed red envelopes.

On Saturday, February 10, the Smithsonian American Art Museum throws a family-friendly daytime celebration with a special holiday treats from its Courtyard Café. Opening festivities continue the next day with a lively Lunar New Year parade around Chinatown starting at 2 p.m. with performances and a firecracker finale.

Here’s a running list of area restaurants chasing into the Year of the Dragon with dishes, pop-ups, and dine-in or to-go dinners symbolizing prosperity, longevity, and peace for 2024.


Conrad Hotel

950 New York Avenue NW

During the duration of the holiday, head to the hotel’s luxe lobby atrium to soak up a spectacular giant dragon art installation. Chinese architect and artist My Ly plays up the cherished tradition of red envelopes by incorporating them into the mythical creature’s towering spine, tail, and head.

NUE and Chasin’ Tails

944 W. Broad Street, Falls Church, Virginia

From February 1-29, Falls Church’s Vietnamese siblings offer five dragon-themed cocktails representing elements of fire, water, earth, metal, and wood. Guests who spend $202.40 or more at each restaurant will receive a lì xì — a red envelope with “lucky money” prizes totaling $24,000. The Vietnamese tradition represents good luck and prosperity for the new year.


Philippe Chow

635 Wharf Street SW

On Friday, February 9, famed Chinese chef-restaurateur Philippe Chow commemorates his first Lunar New Year at the Wharf with dragon dancers and drummers wowing customers in the dining room starting at 7 p.m.


The Smithsonian American Art Museum hosts a show-stopping lion dance on Saturday, February 10.
SAAM

Bar Chinois

455 I Street NW

The lively Chinese-French fusion spot in Mt. Vernon Triangle celebrates Lunar New Year with a “5 Cups Duck Confit” menu special and a pink peppercorn Sazerac made with Hennessy VSOP. A late-night kickoff party on Saturday, February 10 features a DJ starting at 10 p.m.


Maketto

1351 H Street NE

H Street’s Taiwanese and Cambodian standby enters the Year of the Dragon with the food and drink specials from Tuesday, February 6 to Saturday, February 10.


MGM’s 2023 Lunar New Year Conservatory display.
MGM National Harbor

MGM National Harbor

101 MGM National Avenue, Oxon Hill, Maryland

For Lunar New Year at the National Harbor casino, its soaring central Conservatory is immaculately dressed up for the occasion with a 70-foot dragon display, jade rock fountains, bamboo forest, coin tree, and koi fish from January 26 through March 17, with a lion dance on Saturday, February 10 at 6 p.m. Swing by pan-Asian restaurant Ginger for crispy fried crab claws, shrimp and scallops, golden egg yolk lobster, and more Lunar New Year specials from February 8-18.


Q by Peter Chang

4500 East-West Highway, Bethesda, Maryland

On Sunday, February 25, chef Peter Chang hosts a daytime Temple Fair to ring in the Chinese New Year and its beloved Lantern Festival. The walk-around event includes savory stations from Chang Chang, NiHao, and Chang, alongside bites from Danny Lee and Scott Drewno (Anju, Mandu, Chiko). Tickets are $48 for adults and $25 for children ages 5-17 with entry times at 11 a.m, noon, or 1 p.m.


Tiger Fork

922 N Street NW

Blagden Alley’s lively ode to Hong Kong honors Lunar New Year with lion dancing (Friday, February 9, 17) and themed menu (February 9-18).


Chiko

Multiple locations (Capitol Hill, Dupont, Bethesda, Shirlington)

Chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno’s beloved Chinese-Korean counter honors the annual holiday with the return of its After Dark Series at its original Capitol Hill locale on Friday, February 9. Starting at 9 p.m., guest chefs Roren Choi and Caleb Jang of Magpie and Tiger send out la carte dishes like bulgogi gimbap, giant egg roll with Hainanese chicken rice, and more. Throughout the rest of the week (February 10-17), Chiko rolls out specials like tteokguk (rice cake soup), dumpling classes, a Lucky Package takeout or dine-in meal, themed Super Bowl sets, Valentine’s Day dinner, and a Lunar New Year specialty cocktail. A celebratory Lunar New Year dinner ($95) set for Thursday, February 15, features courses from guest chefs Peter and Lisa Chang, Rose Ave Bakery’s Rosie Nguyen, Ekiben Baltimore’s Stevie Chu, and more. View the full lineup of offerings and events here.

China Chilcano

418 7th Street NW

José Andrés’ Peruvian mainstay in Penn Quarter that pays homage to native Criollo, Chinese Chifa and Japanese Nikkei cuisines has an array of a la carte specials for Lunar New Year ($9-$42). The menu, served February 8-11, includes seared turnip cakes with dried shrimp and Chinese sausage; veggie spring rolls, stir-fried Shanghai rice cakes; steamed whole fish, and more. View the menu here.


Ice Cream Jubilee

301 Water Street SE; 4238 Wilson Boulevard

The local ice cream chain in Navy Yard and Ballston offers four flavors in honor on Lunar New Year. Available in-store by the scoop and pint flavors include strawberry matcha latte⁠, mango sticky rice⁠, red bean almond cookie, and mega mango. Customers can also ship gift boxes of Lunar New Year flavors nationwide via Goldbelly.

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