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Mi Vida’s flashy new Logan Circle location opened in August.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The 13 Hottest New Restaurants Around D.C., September 2022

Where to find fresh pastas, breakfast tacos, glistening ceviches, and more

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Mi Vida’s flashy new Logan Circle location opened in August.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Eater writers and editors always get the same question. Friends, family, acquaintances, and randos all want to know, “Where should I eat right now?” That’s where the Eater Heatmap enters the conversation, pointing diners toward the most intriguing or otherwise buzzworthy new restaurants in the D.C. area. This list considers restaurants that have been open for six months or less. For our map of the D.C. area’s 38 essential restaurants, go here.

New to the list: polished all-day cafe Tigerella in Foggy Bottom, breakfast taco spot La Tejana in Mt. Pleasant, Mexican-themed Mi Vida on 14th Street NW, and Peruvian prix-fixe place Causa in Blagden Alley.

Leaving the list: Indochen, St. James, Boogy and Peel, Rasa, Draper’s Steak & Seafood, Kusshi Sushi Pentagon Row

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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J. Hollinger's Waterman's Chophouse

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In May, restaurateur Jerry Hollinger (The Daily Dish and The Dish & Dram) brought downtown Silver Spring a classic American chophouse with a few modern twists. For instance, kimchi accents a chilled seafood platter at the raw bar, while local quail egg yolk-topped wagyu beef tartare comes with homemade chicharrones. There’s also a robust cocktail program, pastas like linguine and clams, and a lengthy section devoted to steak with add-ons like butter-poached crab or jumbo shrimp and sauces like chimichurri or creamy horseradish.

Dining Review - J. Hollingers Watermans Chophouse
Shrimp toast and pork belly at J. Hollinger’s Waterman’s Chophouse.
Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post

La Tejana

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D.C.’s wildly popular breakfast taco pop-up La Tejana opened its first standalone store in August, bringing the upper Northwest neighborhood a true taste of the tiny taquerias its co-founder Ana-Maria Jaramillo frequented growing up in Texas. La Tejana honors Rio Grande Valley’s beloved border cuisine with five opening tacos — all served on homemade flour tortillas — like the “956” with eggs, bacon, potatoes, refried beans, queso, and cilantro ($4.50 each; three for $13; or six for $24). Open Wednesday to Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with drip and cold brew coffee too. 

La Tejana’s opening lineup.
Jason Garza

In Bocca al Lupo

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Hospitality duo Massimo and Carolyn Papetti (I’m Eddie Cano, Italian Bar) recently unveiled a Roman-style pizzeria in the old Arcuri space in Glover Park. The menu centers around “pizza bassa,” or round pies with a crispy, cracker thin crust by pizzaioli maestro Fulvio de Rosa — and Massimo’s cousin — from Salerno, Italy. There’s also bruschetta, cacio e pepe arancini, spritzes, Negronis, and beers and wines on tap. The lively look from Italian-American designer Esther Konrad is an Italian soccer lover’s paradise, complete with green and red banquettes as an ode to the country’s flag.

A ham and cheese pizza with potato croquettes.
In Bocca al Lupo

Mi Vida 14th Street

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The Wharf’s Mexican hotspot expanded to Logan Circle in August with cocktail and tequila flights, dessert tastings, and family-style dinner and brunch options. Mi Vida 14th Street caters to its bar-hopping strip with smaller bites and shareable orders that don’t necessitate silverware or a ton of time. New snacks include miso-marinated tuna taquitos and a section of skewers. A mesmerizing rehab of the old Matchbox space results in two illuminated bars, a life-size faux tree dotted with 75 hand-painted Oaxacan flowers, decorative railings and tiles, starry pendant patterns. Wharf regulars should also feel right at home with its best-selling guac, tacos, and frozen margaritas. Mi Vida comes from Mexico City-born celebrity chef Roberto Santibañez and D.C.-based Knead Hospitality + Design.

Mi Vida’s “Fiesta de Botanas” platter can be supersized for parties up to five.
Rey Lopez for Mi Vida

SURA Restaurant

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A family-run underground lounge landed in Dupont with a star cast of Thai talent behind the wheel. Former sushi chef Billy Thammasathiti teamed up his aunt behind the popular Fat Nomads supper club to kick off Sura’s service with a “One Night In Bangkok”-themed residency. Andy Thammasathiti of Baltimore’s Mayuree Thai Tavern whips up passion fruit daiquiris and Sichuan baijiu cocktails to go along with an opening street foods menu full of quail egg wontons, spicy crudo, fiery papaya salads, and spicy beef or pork skewers. The 50-seat newcomer swings open at 4 p.m., with walk-ins welcome but reservations encouraged.

Opening entrees at Sura.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Dovetail

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An indoor-outdoor destination for artfully plated dishes from a tenured chef debuted in May on the first floor of the the posh, 178-room Viceroy Washington D.C., bringing Logan Circle a chic new spot to try trout roe-topped hushpuppies, bright spring asparagus soup poured tableside, grilled Spanish octopus, and plump Roseda Farm burgers. Chef James Gee, who used to feed celebrities at Hamptons hotspot Cittanuova, has amassed an impressive local resume at the helm of Jaleo, China Chilcano, and most recently, I’m Eddie Cano. Dovetail, open for dinner to start, sends out local brews, color-soaked cocktails, and RdV wines from a glossy bar.

Roseda Farm dry-aged strip steak with braised veal cheek, potato fondue, charred leeks, and spring herbs salad at Dovetail.
Scott Suchman/Dovetail

Causa named for Peru’s iconic national dish, sailed into Blagden Alley in August with an ambitious, prix-fixe format that aims to capture the bounty of the South American country in one sitting. The anticipated fine-dining venture makes a fashionably late appearance behind Amazonia, its color-soaked, more casual counterpart that debuted one level above in May. At Causa, six-course menus ($85) send diners on a seafaring voyage along the Peruvian coastline and into the Andes Mountains. The intimate space with just 22 seats lends itself to an immersive, personalized experience led by Peruvian-born chef and co-owner Carlos Delgado.

Causa’s menu is big on Peruvian peppers and its potato-based namesake.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Il Piatto Restaurant

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In June, mega D.C. restaurateur Hakan Ilhan reactivated a glitzy space near the White House that housed fancy French prix-fixe Mirabelle with a more approachable Italian replacement. Naples native and Al Crostino alum Lina Nicolai mans a comforting menu full of homemade meatballs, arancini, fettuccine alla Bolognese, ricotta gnocchi, eggplant parmigiana, and chicken Milanese. Happy hour starts early (2:30 p.m.) at its gold-plated bar, and weekend brunch brings “build-your-own” Aperol spritz kits to the table.

Salmon with roasted potatoes, asparagus, and Salmoriglio sauce. 
Rey Lopez for Il Piatto

Brennan’s Bar & The Carlyle Room

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An art deco-obsessed, two-part venue with separate menus and vibes debuted downtown in July in the 12,000-square-foot space that formerly housed Pennsylvania 6. In the back, white table clothed Carlyle Room revives the Old Town original with a fancy surf-and-turf menu set to live music a few nights a week. Up front, European-style brasserie Brennan’s Bar is a more casual, all-day affair that opens at 11 a.m. daily with bouillabaisse, croque monsieur, lobster rolls, beer-battered fish and chips, crab-topped rarebit toasts, Scotch eggs, and burgers. Cocktails include a whiskey sour and twists on classics like a Guinness-infused Old Fashioned.

A crown roast of lamb over ratatouille is served as a special at Carlyle Room.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Tigerella

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The team behind acclaimed Mt. Pleasant bakery Ellē just unveiled a sun-drenched cafe inside Foggy Bottom’s Western Market food hall. Starting at 8 a.m., stock up on tomato and ricotta danishes, apricot-thyme scones, and coffee drinks made with a sleek Slayer machine, followed by muffuletta sandwiches, dessert, and a full bar until 3 p.m. on weekdays to start. Grandma-style pizzas and fresh pastas made up front join Ellē favorites like a pastrami Reuben and folded omelette-and-cheddar sandwich with brisket. Look for dinner and all-day happy hour to start September 8.

Bigoli with cultured butter, tomato sauce, and dollop of ricotta.
Tigerella

Bar Ivy

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Blagden Hospitality Group (Tiger Fork, Hi-Lawn, and Calico) brought cool West Coast vibes to the heart of Clarendon with the June arrival of breezy Bar Ivy. A seafood and veggie-forward lineup with Mid-Atlantic flair includes a crudo dish that changes daily, octopus carpaccio, buckwheat pappardelle with foraged spring greens pesto, and rockfish with roasted fennel. The wine list is big on smaller producers, and a detail-oriented bar makes its own amaro and root beer.

Floor-to-ceiling glass accordion doors fully open to an expansive 125-seat patio at Bar Ivy. 
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Hawkers

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A neon-lit street foods spot that pays homage to bustling night markets in Asia zoomed into Ballston in August with dim sum, pad Thai, Korean twice-fried wings, soup dumplings, tiki drinks, and sake (bombs). The lively location, two years in the making, takes up a 4,380-square-foot corner of the Ballston Exchange complex with an indoor-outdoor bar and sleek patio lined with fire pits. Born in Orlando in 2011, Hawkers made its D.C. area debut at Bethesda Row in 2020. Best-selling Malaysian flat breads with curry sauce and other recipes come from co-founder Allen Lo’s family. The Arlington locale debuts dairy-free soft serve topped with taiyaki, Japan’s beloved fish-shaped waffle confection.

Hawkers Ballston sports a lengthy, industrial-styled bar framed with glowing signage.
Nick Leyva for Hawkers

Bombay Street Food National Harbor

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Indian restaurateur Asad Sheikh, who has two Bombay Street Food locales in D.C., expanded across state lines in June with a bright new outpost for Maryland. Find biryani, vindaloo, and Bombay street food favorites like vada pav (veggie burger) and bhel puri (a puffed rice mix), along with curry platters for two and masala gin cocktails behind the bright bar. A seafood section plays up its proximity to the waterfront with sous vide lobster tail masala and spicy tempura-battered cod with a Kashmiri chili sauce.

The bright space spanning two stories has room for 150, along with 85 outdoor seats spread across two patios.
Andrew Banez/@thedmveater

J. Hollinger's Waterman's Chophouse

Dining Review - J. Hollingers Watermans Chophouse
Shrimp toast and pork belly at J. Hollinger’s Waterman’s Chophouse.
Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post

In May, restaurateur Jerry Hollinger (The Daily Dish and The Dish & Dram) brought downtown Silver Spring a classic American chophouse with a few modern twists. For instance, kimchi accents a chilled seafood platter at the raw bar, while local quail egg yolk-topped wagyu beef tartare comes with homemade chicharrones. There’s also a robust cocktail program, pastas like linguine and clams, and a lengthy section devoted to steak with add-ons like butter-poached crab or jumbo shrimp and sauces like chimichurri or creamy horseradish.

Dining Review - J. Hollingers Watermans Chophouse
Shrimp toast and pork belly at J. Hollinger’s Waterman’s Chophouse.
Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post

La Tejana

La Tejana’s opening lineup.
Jason Garza

D.C.’s wildly popular breakfast taco pop-up La Tejana opened its first standalone store in August, bringing the upper Northwest neighborhood a true taste of the tiny taquerias its co-founder Ana-Maria Jaramillo frequented growing up in Texas. La Tejana honors Rio Grande Valley’s beloved border cuisine with five opening tacos — all served on homemade flour tortillas — like the “956” with eggs, bacon, potatoes, refried beans, queso, and cilantro ($4.50 each; three for $13; or six for $24). Open Wednesday to Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with drip and cold brew coffee too. 

La Tejana’s opening lineup.
Jason Garza

In Bocca al Lupo

A ham and cheese pizza with potato croquettes.
In Bocca al Lupo

Hospitality duo Massimo and Carolyn Papetti (I’m Eddie Cano, Italian Bar) recently unveiled a Roman-style pizzeria in the old Arcuri space in Glover Park. The menu centers around “pizza bassa,” or round pies with a crispy, cracker thin crust by pizzaioli maestro Fulvio de Rosa — and Massimo’s cousin — from Salerno, Italy. There’s also bruschetta, cacio e pepe arancini, spritzes, Negronis, and beers and wines on tap. The lively look from Italian-American designer Esther Konrad is an Italian soccer lover’s paradise, complete with green and red banquettes as an ode to the country’s flag.

A ham and cheese pizza with potato croquettes.
In Bocca al Lupo

Mi Vida 14th Street

Mi Vida’s “Fiesta de Botanas” platter can be supersized for parties up to five.
Rey Lopez for Mi Vida

The Wharf’s Mexican hotspot expanded to Logan Circle in August with cocktail and tequila flights, dessert tastings, and family-style dinner and brunch options. Mi Vida 14th Street caters to its bar-hopping strip with smaller bites and shareable orders that don’t necessitate silverware or a ton of time. New snacks include miso-marinated tuna taquitos and a section of skewers. A mesmerizing rehab of the old Matchbox space results in two illuminated bars, a life-size faux tree dotted with 75 hand-painted Oaxacan flowers, decorative railings and tiles, starry pendant patterns. Wharf regulars should also feel right at home with its best-selling guac, tacos, and frozen margaritas. Mi Vida comes from Mexico City-born celebrity chef Roberto Santibañez and D.C.-based Knead Hospitality + Design.

Mi Vida’s “Fiesta de Botanas” platter can be supersized for parties up to five.
Rey Lopez for Mi Vida

SURA Restaurant

Opening entrees at Sura.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

A family-run underground lounge landed in Dupont with a star cast of Thai talent behind the wheel. Former sushi chef Billy Thammasathiti teamed up his aunt behind the popular Fat Nomads supper club to kick off Sura’s service with a “One Night In Bangkok”-themed residency. Andy Thammasathiti of Baltimore’s Mayuree Thai Tavern whips up passion fruit daiquiris and Sichuan baijiu cocktails to go along with an opening street foods menu full of quail egg wontons, spicy crudo, fiery papaya salads, and spicy beef or pork skewers. The 50-seat newcomer swings open at 4 p.m., with walk-ins welcome but reservations encouraged.

Opening entrees at Sura.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

Dovetail

Roseda Farm dry-aged strip steak with braised veal cheek, potato fondue, charred leeks, and spring herbs salad at Dovetail.
Scott Suchman/Dovetail

An indoor-outdoor destination for artfully plated dishes from a tenured chef debuted in May on the first floor of the the posh, 178-room Viceroy Washington D.C., bringing Logan Circle a chic new spot to try trout roe-topped hushpuppies, bright spring asparagus soup poured tableside, grilled Spanish octopus, and plump Roseda Farm burgers. Chef James Gee, who used to feed celebrities at Hamptons hotspot Cittanuova, has amassed an impressive local resume at the helm of Jaleo, China Chilcano, and most recently, I’m Eddie Cano. Dovetail, open for dinner to start, sends out local brews, color-soaked cocktails, and RdV wines from a glossy bar.

Roseda Farm dry-aged strip steak with braised veal cheek, potato fondue, charred leeks, and spring herbs salad at Dovetail.
Scott Suchman/Dovetail

Causa

Causa’s menu is big on Peruvian peppers and its potato-based namesake.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Causa named for Peru’s iconic national dish, sailed into Blagden Alley in August with an ambitious, prix-fixe format that aims to capture the bounty of the South American country in one sitting. The anticipated fine-dining venture makes a fashionably late appearance behind Amazonia, its color-soaked, more casual counterpart that debuted one level above in May. At Causa, six-course menus ($85) send diners on a seafaring voyage along the Peruvian coastline and into the Andes Mountains. The intimate space with just 22 seats lends itself to an immersive, personalized experience led by Peruvian-born chef and co-owner Carlos Delgado.

Causa’s menu is big on Peruvian peppers and its potato-based namesake.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Il Piatto Restaurant

Salmon with roasted potatoes, asparagus, and Salmoriglio sauce. 
Rey Lopez for Il Piatto

In June, mega D.C. restaurateur Hakan Ilhan reactivated a glitzy space near the White House that housed fancy French prix-fixe Mirabelle with a more approachable Italian replacement. Naples native and Al Crostino alum Lina Nicolai mans a comforting menu full of homemade meatballs, arancini, fettuccine alla Bolognese, ricotta gnocchi, eggplant parmigiana, and chicken Milanese. Happy hour starts early (2:30 p.m.) at its gold-plated bar, and weekend brunch brings “build-your-own” Aperol spritz kits to the table.

Salmon with roasted potatoes, asparagus, and Salmoriglio sauce. 
Rey Lopez for Il Piatto

Brennan’s Bar & The Carlyle Room

A crown roast of lamb over ratatouille is served as a special at Carlyle Room.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

An art deco-obsessed, two-part venue with separate menus and vibes debuted downtown in July in the 12,000-square-foot space that formerly housed Pennsylvania 6. In the back, white table clothed Carlyle Room revives the Old Town original with a fancy surf-and-turf menu set to live music a few nights a week. Up front, European-style brasserie Brennan’s Bar is a more casual, all-day affair that opens at 11 a.m. daily with bouillabaisse, croque monsieur, lobster rolls, beer-battered fish and chips, crab-topped rarebit toasts, Scotch eggs, and burgers. Cocktails include a whiskey sour and twists on classics like a Guinness-infused Old Fashioned.

A crown roast of lamb over ratatouille is served as a special at Carlyle Room.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Tigerella

Bigoli with cultured butter, tomato sauce, and dollop of ricotta.
Tigerella

The team behind acclaimed Mt. Pleasant bakery Ellē just unveiled a sun-drenched cafe inside Foggy Bottom’s Western Market food hall. Starting at 8 a.m., stock up on tomato and ricotta danishes, apricot-thyme scones, and coffee drinks made with a sleek Slayer machine, followed by muffuletta sandwiches, dessert, and a full bar until 3 p.m. on weekdays to start. Grandma-style pizzas and fresh pastas made up front join Ellē favorites like a pastrami Reuben and folded omelette-and-cheddar sandwich with brisket. Look for dinner and all-day happy hour to start September 8.

Bigoli with cultured butter, tomato sauce, and dollop of ricotta.
Tigerella

Bar Ivy

Floor-to-ceiling glass accordion doors fully open to an expansive 125-seat patio at Bar Ivy. 
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Blagden Hospitality Group (Tiger Fork, Hi-Lawn, and Calico) brought cool West Coast vibes to the heart of Clarendon with the June arrival of breezy Bar Ivy. A seafood and veggie-forward lineup with Mid-Atlantic flair includes a crudo dish that changes daily, octopus carpaccio, buckwheat pappardelle with foraged spring greens pesto, and rockfish with roasted fennel. The wine list is big on smaller producers, and a detail-oriented bar makes its own amaro and root beer.

Floor-to-ceiling glass accordion doors fully open to an expansive 125-seat patio at Bar Ivy. 
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Hawkers

Hawkers Ballston sports a lengthy, industrial-styled bar framed with glowing signage.
Nick Leyva for Hawkers

A neon-lit street foods spot that pays homage to bustling night markets in Asia zoomed into Ballston in August with dim sum, pad Thai, Korean twice-fried wings, soup dumplings, tiki drinks, and sake (bombs). The lively location, two years in the making, takes up a 4,380-square-foot corner of the Ballston Exchange complex with an indoor-outdoor bar and sleek patio lined with fire pits. Born in Orlando in 2011, Hawkers made its D.C. area debut at Bethesda Row in 2020. Best-selling Malaysian flat breads with curry sauce and other recipes come from co-founder Allen Lo’s family. The Arlington locale debuts dairy-free soft serve topped with taiyaki, Japan’s beloved fish-shaped waffle confection.

Hawkers Ballston sports a lengthy, industrial-styled bar framed with glowing signage.
Nick Leyva for Hawkers

Bombay Street Food National Harbor

The bright space spanning two stories has room for 150, along with 85 outdoor seats spread across two patios.
Andrew Banez/@thedmveater

Indian restaurateur Asad Sheikh, who has two Bombay Street Food locales in D.C., expanded across state lines in June with a bright new outpost for Maryland. Find biryani, vindaloo, and Bombay street food favorites like vada pav (veggie burger) and bhel puri (a puffed rice mix), along with curry platters for two and masala gin cocktails behind the bright bar. A seafood section plays up its proximity to the waterfront with sous vide lobster tail masala and spicy tempura-battered cod with a Kashmiri chili sauce.

The bright space spanning two stories has room for 150, along with 85 outdoor seats spread across two patios.
Andrew Banez/@thedmveater

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