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 standbys like Julia’s Empanadas, Lucky Buns, and Donburi. The blocks along 18th Street are destinations for everything from Mexican street food to Korean fried chicken or Middle Eastern cocktails. 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).Read More
19 Places to Eat and Drink in Adams Morgan
The bar-heavy neighborhood is known for some of the city’s most creative cooking
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 stunt-y sandwiches.
The team at Mediterranean-minded Tail Up Goat branched out with this (slightly) more casual spot, which is all about excellent wine, pasta, grilled entrees, and comforting fare like garlic knots or gelato.
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.
Chef Opie Crooks took charge at The Line back in 2021, debuting hotel restaurant No Goodbyes with a thorough focus on flavors and products from the Chesapeake region. That means homemade potato chips dusted in the restaurant’s own crab spice or a bacon steak with pork from Virginia farms. There are also biscuit sandwiches and carrot cake oatmeal for breakfast.
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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.
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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.
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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 recently got an exciting boost from new chef Masako Morishita, recently of Maxwell Park.
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.
Decades-old Ethiopian restaurant Zenebech jumped neighborhoods in 2017 to land in Adams Morgan, serving up classics like kitfo (raw beef) and doro wot (chicken stew) and fresh injera.
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.
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.
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.
Chef Darren Norris, formerly of Kushi and Perry’s, rolled out a three-piece complex devoted to Japanese food and drinks through the course of the pandemic. At the bottom, Shibuya Eatery serves a takeout-friendly mix of sushi, sashimi, hot or cold noodle bowls, small plates, and grilled kushiyaki (skewers). There’s also Shabu Plus, a high-end option for hot pot and kaiseki-style dishes, and cocktail bar Death Punch on the top floor.
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 promising “the hottest Arabic and Middle Eastern jams west of Beirut.”
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 hushpuppies 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.
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.
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.