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Platter of food with fried pork, rice, and sauces.
A crispy special from The Game.
The Game/Facebook

Where to Eat and Drink in Adams Morgan

The bar-heavy neighborhood offers some of the city’s most creative cooking

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A crispy special from The Game.
| The Game/Facebook

Once known as a bar-hopping zone, Adams Morgan has stepped up its game in recent years. This is a neighborhood where critically acclaimed spots like Tail Up Goat and sister restaurant Reveler’s Hour sit alongside casual standbys like Julia’s Empanadas and Lucky Buns. Some things haven’t changed, however — this is still where late-night partiers can find gigantic pieces of Jumbo Slice pizza (it’s not quite map-worthy, but Duccini’s is the best of the bunch there). Here are the highlights of Adams Morgan drinking and dining.

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Federalist Pig (Multiple locations)

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Pitmaster Rob Sonderman made it to Netflix fame after his restaurant was name-dropped in the sixth and final season of House of Cards. The Federalist Pig dish in question happened to be the pork ribs: other dishes include smoky goods like pork shoulder, sliced brisket, fried Brussels spouts, and stunty sandwiches.

A barbecue platter from Federalist Pig.
Federalist Pig excels at brisket, sausage, and ribs.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Mama Ayesha's

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As a pioneer of Middle Eastern cuisine in D.C., Mama Ayesha Abraham opened this restaurant in the 1960s. Since then, it has grown into a neighborhood favorite and an icon for its famous presidential mural that features leaders since Dwight D. Eisenhower — minus President Donald Trump — painted on its exterior wall.

Tail Up Goat

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D.C. diners (and Michelin guide inspectors) love the Mediterranean flavors at this relaxed fine dining spot. Menu items change daily, but an order of toast is always a smart move. Dishes could range from a slice of seaweed sourdough with foie gras-roasted foraged mushrooms and Carolina gold rice pudding for dessert. The same team is also behind Reveler’s Hour in the same neighborhood, also excellent.

A busy restaurant scene.
Inside Tail Up Goat.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Taqueria Al Lado

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A lot of care goes into the tortillas at Taqueria Al Lado, where blue and white corn is sourced from Mexico and put through the process of boiling, drying, and grinding in-house. The restaurant devoted to Mexican street food opened in March 2021 from a chef and partner of trusty neighborhood spot Osteria al Volo next-door.

A large front window airs out the space at Taqueria al Lado.
The open front window at Taqueria al Lado.
Evan Caplan/Eater D.C.

Sharbat

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At Azerbaijani bakery Sharbat, the sweets are labor-intensive: pakhlava involves 15 sheets of stacked, super-thin dough. There are cheese- and meat-filled snacks, but cakes are the most popular choice, with flavors including honey, apricot, and raspberry. Owner Ilhama Safarova opened the shop in 2020 to share the flavors of her homeland.

A slice of Sharbat’s honey cake shows of airy layers mixed with a light milk cream whipped on the stove.
Sharbat’s honey cake is a signature item.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Perry's Restaurant

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Perry’s has long been an under-the-radar reliable spot for sushi, and is home to the city’s most popular drag brunch. It got an exciting boost from new chef Masako Morishita, recently of Maxwell Park, who experiments with traditional dishes and brought a sold-out Japanese breakfast service to town.

Julia's Empanadas

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One of D.C.’s most beloved spots for late-night snacks, Julia’s Empanadas began in Adams Morgan. Revelers enjoy coming here until 4 a.m. for empanadas stuffed with chorizo, or served Jamaican or Chilean style, or even filled with fruit.

Elfegne

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This is the new chapter for D.C. Ethiopian mainstay Zenebech; the makeover is a nod to the area where kings and queens were served throughout the country’s history, and the menu has received some updates as well.

Lapis Afghan Bistro

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Expect to feast on dumplings, sauteed pumpkin with garlic yogurt, baked eggplant, and standout kebabs at this charming Afghan restaurant serving home-style dishes and halal meats.

Four entrees atop a decorative table.
Four dishes from Lapis.
Lapis Afghan Bistro

The Grill From Ipanema

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This Adams Morgan mainstay is one of D.C.’s few dedicated Brazilian restaurants; it’s also a favorite for cocktails and caiprinhas.

The Game Sports Pub/Tiki on 18th

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Longtime D.C. bartender Jo-Jo Valenzuela and business partner Oscar Guardado replaced Ventnor Sports Cafe with a Filipino-influenced sports bar that serves satisfying lumpia, sizzling pork sisig, adobo chicken wings, funky sandwiches, and more. Tiki on 18th, the sister tropical bar upstairs, also sends frozen drinks out to the patio on the street; options at both neighboring restaurants often overlap.

A pork belly sandwich from the Game
A pork belly sandwich from the Game
The Game

Grand Duchess

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This low-key cocktail bar that opened in 2017 recently tacked on a menu full of pastas and seafood dishes from a Fiola Mare alum. A vintage jukebox, comfy couch, and candle-lit fireplace pay homage to the space’s former life as a row house. Its Negroni continues to be a top seller.

The Green Zone

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This 18th Street bar serves up cocktails based around the flavors of various countries in the Middle East. Frozen minty lemonade is a must-order, spiked or not. The “Janissary Corps,” made with Green Hat gin, lemon, and pistachio, is another standby. Beyond drinks, find falafel, spicy fries, and DJ nights.

An almost neon green cocktail with Green Hat gin in the background.
A drink from the Green Zone.
The Green Zone

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

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Whiskey reigns supreme at this local favorite, which boasts a high-end dining area and open-air terrace. The menu skews Southern, offering dishes like jalapeno hush puppies with Crystal hot sauce mayo, whiskey wings, pork chops with sorghum mustard, and bourbon pecan tarts. The open-air terrace on top is heated, and there's also a seasonal tiki bar upstairs. The owners also own the nearby Imperial, which houses rebooted basement bar Dram & Grain.

People sit at the bar at Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Jack Rose’s bar boasts one of the most extensive whiskey collections in the country.
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

El Tamarindo

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Since 1982, people have flocked to this Salvadoran-Mexican mainstay at the foot of Adams Morgan for late-night pupusas. But burritos are also a big draw, especially a twin platter that serves chicken and beef wraps smothered in green and red salsas. Regulars also flock here for tacos, bustling brunch service, tasty tequila cocktails, and happy hour that runs all day on Monday. Order online for pickup, with indoor and outdoor dining available too.

Lucky Buns

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Burgers are the raison d’être for Lucky Buns, where diners can top their patties with everything from hatch green chile to pickled beet relish or tonkatsu sauce. There are plenty of chicken sandwich options, too. Don’t skip an order of curry-flavored fries.

A double burger from Lucky Buns.
A double burger from Lucky Buns.
Lucky Buns

Lauriol Plaza

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Food snobs will debate whether uber-popular Lauriol Plaza belongs on a list like this. But there’s a reason this restaurant, with some of the most expansive seating options around, is frequently crowded: reliable Mexican and Salvadoran-influenced dishes (don’t skip the fajitas or carne asada), fresh chips and salsa, speedy service, and boozy margaritas.

Federalist Pig (Multiple locations)

Pitmaster Rob Sonderman made it to Netflix fame after his restaurant was name-dropped in the sixth and final season of House of Cards. The Federalist Pig dish in question happened to be the pork ribs: other dishes include smoky goods like pork shoulder, sliced brisket, fried Brussels spouts, and stunty sandwiches.

A barbecue platter from Federalist Pig.
Federalist Pig excels at brisket, sausage, and ribs.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Mama Ayesha's

As a pioneer of Middle Eastern cuisine in D.C., Mama Ayesha Abraham opened this restaurant in the 1960s. Since then, it has grown into a neighborhood favorite and an icon for its famous presidential mural that features leaders since Dwight D. Eisenhower — minus President Donald Trump — painted on its exterior wall.

Tail Up Goat

D.C. diners (and Michelin guide inspectors) love the Mediterranean flavors at this relaxed fine dining spot. Menu items change daily, but an order of toast is always a smart move. Dishes could range from a slice of seaweed sourdough with foie gras-roasted foraged mushrooms and Carolina gold rice pudding for dessert. The same team is also behind Reveler’s Hour in the same neighborhood, also excellent.

A busy restaurant scene.
Inside Tail Up Goat.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Taqueria Al Lado

A lot of care goes into the tortillas at Taqueria Al Lado, where blue and white corn is sourced from Mexico and put through the process of boiling, drying, and grinding in-house. The restaurant devoted to Mexican street food opened in March 2021 from a chef and partner of trusty neighborhood spot Osteria al Volo next-door.

A large front window airs out the space at Taqueria al Lado.
The open front window at Taqueria al Lado.
Evan Caplan/Eater D.C.

Sharbat

At Azerbaijani bakery Sharbat, the sweets are labor-intensive: pakhlava involves 15 sheets of stacked, super-thin dough. There are cheese- and meat-filled snacks, but cakes are the most popular choice, with flavors including honey, apricot, and raspberry. Owner Ilhama Safarova opened the shop in 2020 to share the flavors of her homeland.

A slice of Sharbat’s honey cake shows of airy layers mixed with a light milk cream whipped on the stove.
Sharbat’s honey cake is a signature item.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Perry's Restaurant

Perry’s has long been an under-the-radar reliable spot for sushi, and is home to the city’s most popular drag brunch. It got an exciting boost from new chef Masako Morishita, recently of Maxwell Park, who experiments with traditional dishes and brought a sold-out Japanese breakfast service to town.

Julia's Empanadas

One of D.C.’s most beloved spots for late-night snacks, Julia’s Empanadas began in Adams Morgan. Revelers enjoy coming here until 4 a.m. for empanadas stuffed with chorizo, or served Jamaican or Chilean style, or even filled with fruit.

Elfegne

This is the new chapter for D.C. Ethiopian mainstay Zenebech; the makeover is a nod to the area where kings and queens were served throughout the country’s history, and the menu has received some updates as well.

Lapis Afghan Bistro

Expect to feast on dumplings, sauteed pumpkin with garlic yogurt, baked eggplant, and standout kebabs at this charming Afghan restaurant serving home-style dishes and halal meats.

Four entrees atop a decorative table.
Four dishes from Lapis.
Lapis Afghan Bistro

The Grill From Ipanema

This Adams Morgan mainstay is one of D.C.’s few dedicated Brazilian restaurants; it’s also a favorite for cocktails and caiprinhas.

The Game Sports Pub/Tiki on 18th

Longtime D.C. bartender Jo-Jo Valenzuela and business partner Oscar Guardado replaced Ventnor Sports Cafe with a Filipino-influenced sports bar that serves satisfying lumpia, sizzling pork sisig, adobo chicken wings, funky sandwiches, and more. Tiki on 18th, the sister tropical bar upstairs, also sends frozen drinks out to the patio on the street; options at both neighboring restaurants often overlap.

A pork belly sandwich from the Game
A pork belly sandwich from the Game
The Game

Grand Duchess

This low-key cocktail bar that opened in 2017 recently tacked on a menu full of pastas and seafood dishes from a Fiola Mare alum. A vintage jukebox, comfy couch, and candle-lit fireplace pay homage to the space’s former life as a row house. Its Negroni continues to be a top seller.

The Green Zone

This 18th Street bar serves up cocktails based around the flavors of various countries in the Middle East. Frozen minty lemonade is a must-order, spiked or not. The “Janissary Corps,” made with Green Hat gin, lemon, and pistachio, is another standby. Beyond drinks, find falafel, spicy fries, and DJ nights.

An almost neon green cocktail with Green Hat gin in the background.
A drink from the Green Zone.
The Green Zone

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Whiskey reigns supreme at this local favorite, which boasts a high-end dining area and open-air terrace. The menu skews Southern, offering dishes like jalapeno hush puppies with Crystal hot sauce mayo, whiskey wings, pork chops with sorghum mustard, and bourbon pecan tarts. The open-air terrace on top is heated, and there's also a seasonal tiki bar upstairs. The owners also own the nearby Imperial, which houses rebooted basement bar Dram & Grain.

People sit at the bar at Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Jack Rose’s bar boasts one of the most extensive whiskey collections in the country.
Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

El Tamarindo

Since 1982, people have flocked to this Salvadoran-Mexican mainstay at the foot of Adams Morgan for late-night pupusas. But burritos are also a big draw, especially a twin platter that serves chicken and beef wraps smothered in green and red salsas. Regulars also flock here for tacos, bustling brunch service, tasty tequila cocktails, and happy hour that runs all day on Monday. Order online for pickup, with indoor and outdoor dining available too.

Related Maps

Lucky Buns

Burgers are the raison d’être for Lucky Buns, where diners can top their patties with everything from hatch green chile to pickled beet relish or tonkatsu sauce. There are plenty of chicken sandwich options, too. Don’t skip an order of curry-flavored fries.

A double burger from Lucky Buns.
A double burger from Lucky Buns.
Lucky Buns

Lauriol Plaza

Food snobs will debate whether uber-popular Lauriol Plaza belongs on a list like this. But there’s a reason this restaurant, with some of the most expansive seating options around, is frequently crowded: reliable Mexican and Salvadoran-influenced dishes (don’t skip the fajitas or carne asada), fresh chips and salsa, speedy service, and boozy margaritas.

Related Maps