clock menu more-arrow no yes
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The 15 Hottest Restaurants in D.C., November 2018

Where to eat right now around the DMV

View as Map

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: “Where should I eat right now?” Restaurant obsessives want to know what’s new, what’s hot, which favorite chef just launched a new project, where to sip the cocktail of the moment. And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering trusted standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the ‘it’ places of the moment. Enter the Eater Heatmap, which will change often to continually highlight where discerning diners are flocking to right now.

There’s been an avalanche of D.C. restaurant openings this year, and Eater has tightened this list to reflect the newest and hottest arrivals at the moment. For now, it’s farewell to Wild Days, Gyu-Kaku, O-Ku, Leon, American Eats Tavern and Guapo’s Georgetown. Welcome in a funky deli that’s drawing enormous lines for bagels; a downtown hotel’s lush dinner spot; Georgetown’s renovated sushi place with a Peruvian twist; a three-floor coastal Italian playground at the Wharf; a retro pasta joint; and a Nordic-tinged global restaurant from one of the city’s fastest-rising chefs.

Find an archive of previous Heatmap restaurants here.

For all the latest Washington D.C. dining intel, subscribe to Eater DC’s newsletter.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Little Beast

Copy Link
5600 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015

The Chevy Chase neighborhood newcomer, which aims to lure the area’s big population of young couples and their kids by offering cocktails, wine, wood-fired pizzas, and roasted vegetables, opens daily at 4 p.m. and will debut a daytime cafe component this month.

Little Beast’s 74-seat cozy interior is joined by a 44-seat colorful outdoor patio.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

2. I’m Eddie Cano

Copy Link
5014 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 890-4995
Visit Website

Chevy Chase newcomer I’m Eddie Cano delivered the once-sleepy neighborhood a mod spot to sample Italy’s greatest pasta hits and down Vespers while a mural has Italian film stars like Sophia Loren watching over diners below. The first-time venture from James Gee and Massimo Papetti (Assaggi Osteria, Cafe Milano), who met while working at East Hampton’s celebrity-packed Cittanuova restaurant in the mid-2000s, encourages diners to say its name three times fast to reveal the phonetic meaning behind the American-meets-Italian respite: Americano. Italian-born Papetti will soon lead “language and linguini” classes inside the throwback 60-seat restaurant.

I’m Eddie Cano chef James Gee’s eggplant parmesan is a certified hit.
I’m Eddie Cano/Facebook

3. Call Your Mother

Copy Link
3301 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

It may be too early to say that Washington’s oft-lamented bagel deficit has been filled, but the self-described “Jew-ish” deli in Park View has generated a tremendous following in a hurry. The shop from the Timber Pizza team of Andrew Dana chef Daniela Moreira was so packed on it’s opening weekend it had to shut down for two days the following to reconfigure the menu, pausing latke production until it can meet the demand and eliminating its plainest sandwiches. So far the za’atar covered bagels and sandwiches stuffed with some wild combinations — like peach jam, cream cheese, bacon, jalapeños, and potato chips — seem to be bringing the crowds back.

Rey Lopez

4. Gravitas

Copy Link
1401 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 763-7942
Visit Website

Gravitas, the passion project chef Matt Baker announced in early 2016, finally opened this summer in Ivy City. His self-styled restaurant — which seats 55 in the main dining room, 16 in a private dining room, and 16 on the patio — serves tasting menus ranging from four courses ($78 per person) to seven courses ($110); optional wine pairings run $40-$70 extra.

Gravitas opened in Ivy City in July.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

5. Pappe

Copy Link
1317 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 888-8220
Visit Website

This colorful addition to Logan Circle is delighting locals who have been pining for an Indian option in the neighborhood. Management woos newcomers with spicy vindaloo (an early favorite), garlicky naan (more, please), and samples of single malt whiskey from India (Amrut is a winner). Meat eaters have their choice of fork-tender lamb, slow-cooked goat, zesty crab cakes, and extra buttery chicken, while vegetarians fill their tables with steamy samosas, peppery cauliflower, smoky eggplant, and cheese dumplings soaked in pulse-quickening sauces. It’s also got a hip new neighbor: underground watering hole Crown & Crow.

Assorted offerings at Pappe.
Pappe/Facebook

6. San Lorenzo

Copy Link
1316 9th St NW, Washington
DC 20001, United States
(202) 588-8954
Visit Website

There are those who will likely make a habit of only ordering pasta at chef Massimo Fabbri’s new neighborhood restaurant. There’s the iconic rabbit ragu he brought over from Tosca, as well as spaghetti sparked by Calabrian chiles. But Fabbri appears to be having the most fun with other fare, including fried squash blossoms stuffed with creamy goat cheese, grilled calamari layered atop shaved Brussels sprouts and drizzled with chile oil, and marvelous pork ribs with meat that smacks of salt, smoke, and citrus. Fans are only wishing pastas were a little larger.

Cheesecake with black raspberry compote at San Lorenzo.
San Lorenzo/Facebook

7. St. Anselm

Copy Link
1250 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 864-2199
Visit Website

The flashy Northeast restaurant, a joint effort between founder Joe Carroll and James Beard Foundation Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr (perennially packed Le Diplomate), opened for daily dinner service in September with a 120-seat dining room, 13-seat chef’s counter, a 19-seat U-shaped bar, and an 18-seat patio. With “Top Chef” alumnus Marjorie Meek-Bradley leading the kitchen, they recently rolled out brunch service.

8. Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill

Copy Link
in Canal Square, 1054 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 470-6606
Visit Website

Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill, nestled in a huge historic building on the banks of Georgetown’s tree-lined C&O Canal, reemerged from its former life as longstanding Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar into a completely new seafood destination this summer. Along with a smooth 40-foot marble raw bar offering oysters, vodka shooters, and rare cans of tinned fish upon entry, nautical accents across the 200-seat space include sleek blue booths and circular mirrors and lighting fixtures meant to resemble port holes on ships.

Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

9. Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar

Copy Link
1823 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 559-3726
Visit Website

This splashy Peruvian import from Miami brought pisco sours, happy hour, and ceviche to Dupont Circle last month. Centurion Restaurant Group’s 100-seat dining area inside the RL Hotel is joined by a 37-seat outdoor patio, and there’s also two private dining areas, a turquoise-colored open kitchen, and lots of colorful art.

Pisco y Nazca
Pisco y Nazca/Facebook

10. Reverie

Copy Link
3201 Cherry Hill Ln
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 808-2952
Visit Website

The modern American restaurant arrived last month in the heart of historic Georgetown, which is going through a full-blown dining renaissance as of late. Executive chef Johnny Spero’s 64-seat restaurant, two years in the making, features a minimalist design with globally-inspired dishes that draw from his diverse resume (Minibar and Komi in D.C., as well as Copenhagen’s Noma and Spain’s Mugaritz). Despite its high-end feel, dishes ($12 to $30) won’t break the bank.

Reverie opened last month in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

11. Little Sesame

Copy Link
1828 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036

Quick-serve Middle Eastern shop Little Sesame made its standalone debut in September, giving its dense 9-to-5 neighborhood a sun-drenched destination to grab hummus bowls, pita sandwiches, salads, sides, and desserts. Co-owners Nick and David Wiseman, who also operate Hill Prince in the Atlas District, are partners with Israeli native Ronen Tenne on the 1,400-square-foot weekday restaurant. The fast-moving trio just announced plans to open a second location, this time in Chinatown.

Little Sesame
James Jackson/Eater DC

12. Susheria

Copy Link
3101 K St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-2006
Visit Website

Georgetown’s signature sushi restaurant Maté got a new name, menu, and attitude this fall via this replacement, with Ecuadorian entrepreneur Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld behind the wheel. Offerings, which include ceviche and steak-wrapped maki rolls, are an ode to Japan’s longstanding ties with Peru.

Featured offerings at Susheria.
Susheria/Facebook

13. American Son at Eaton Hotel

Copy Link
1201 K St NW
Washington, DC 20005

American Son​ delivers diners an all-day option for inventive dishes from D.C. chef Tim Ma. The scene-y newcomer, an ode to Ma’s experiences growing up as a second-generation Asian American in Arkansas, sits on the lobby level of the months-old Eaton DC hotel. Early hits include the beef cheek with charred peach, a grilled romaine salad, and the potato croquette — a savory spin on a funnel cake. Run DMC was recently represented in the house.

14. Officina

Copy Link
1120 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 747-5222
Visit Website

The three-level coastal Italian palace on the Southwest waterfront is one of the most ambitious projects to land in the city all year. Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli (Masseria) opened his dream project in October, and each sleek floor has something unique to offer. The all-day cafe on the first floor is the place to grab a Negroni, a Roman pizza, or a scoop of gelato. An adjacent butcher shop has raw cuts and salumi. The second-story trattoria holds the main dining room — where the ricotta and spinach agnolotti are served — as well as a vintage salotto with another bar and Stefanelli’s curated Amaro library. The rooftop terraza has view of the water and the classic Maine Avenue fish market, which remains intact despite the development blitz around it.

15. Valor Brew Pub

Copy Link
723 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

Veterans rule at this patriotic tribute bar, staffed by those who have served in the United States armed forces (a trio of leadership roles — GM, beverage director, brewmaster — are filled by Navy vets.) Naturally, the food skews heavily American — a chowder with Old Bay bread crumbs, fried chicken with mambo sauce, a cheesesteak, a cheeseburger. Even the cocktails are vet-themed, with names like Pettey Officer; French press cocktails serve four and go for $40.

R. Lopez

1. Little Beast

5600 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015
Little Beast’s 74-seat cozy interior is joined by a 44-seat colorful outdoor patio.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Chevy Chase neighborhood newcomer, which aims to lure the area’s big population of young couples and their kids by offering cocktails, wine, wood-fired pizzas, and roasted vegetables, opens daily at 4 p.m. and will debut a daytime cafe component this month.

5600 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015

2. I’m Eddie Cano

5014 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
I’m Eddie Cano chef James Gee’s eggplant parmesan is a certified hit.
I’m Eddie Cano/Facebook

Chevy Chase newcomer I’m Eddie Cano delivered the once-sleepy neighborhood a mod spot to sample Italy’s greatest pasta hits and down Vespers while a mural has Italian film stars like Sophia Loren watching over diners below. The first-time venture from James Gee and Massimo Papetti (Assaggi Osteria, Cafe Milano), who met while working at East Hampton’s celebrity-packed Cittanuova restaurant in the mid-2000s, encourages diners to say its name three times fast to reveal the phonetic meaning behind the American-meets-Italian respite: Americano. Italian-born Papetti will soon lead “language and linguini” classes inside the throwback 60-seat restaurant.

5014 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

3. Call Your Mother

3301 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Rey Lopez

It may be too early to say that Washington’s oft-lamented bagel deficit has been filled, but the self-described “Jew-ish” deli in Park View has generated a tremendous following in a hurry. The shop from the Timber Pizza team of Andrew Dana chef Daniela Moreira was so packed on it’s opening weekend it had to shut down for two days the following to reconfigure the menu, pausing latke production until it can meet the demand and eliminating its plainest sandwiches. So far the za’atar covered bagels and sandwiches stuffed with some wild combinations — like peach jam, cream cheese, bacon, jalapeños, and potato chips — seem to be bringing the crowds back.

3301 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20010

4. Gravitas

1401 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Gravitas opened in Ivy City in July.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Gravitas, the passion project chef Matt Baker announced in early 2016, finally opened this summer in Ivy City. His self-styled restaurant — which seats 55 in the main dining room, 16 in a private dining room, and 16 on the patio — serves tasting menus ranging from four courses ($78 per person) to seven courses ($110); optional wine pairings run $40-$70 extra.

1401 Okie St NE
Washington, DC 20002

5. Pappe

1317 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Assorted offerings at Pappe.
Pappe/Facebook

This colorful addition to Logan Circle is delighting locals who have been pining for an Indian option in the neighborhood. Management woos newcomers with spicy vindaloo (an early favorite), garlicky naan (more, please), and samples of single malt whiskey from India (Amrut is a winner). Meat eaters have their choice of fork-tender lamb, slow-cooked goat, zesty crab cakes, and extra buttery chicken, while vegetarians fill their tables with steamy samosas, peppery cauliflower, smoky eggplant, and cheese dumplings soaked in pulse-quickening sauces. It’s also got a hip new neighbor: underground watering hole Crown & Crow.

1317 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

6. San Lorenzo

1316 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States
Cheesecake with black raspberry compote at San Lorenzo.
San Lorenzo/Facebook

There are those who will likely make a habit of only ordering pasta at chef Massimo Fabbri’s new neighborhood restaurant. There’s the iconic rabbit ragu he brought over from Tosca, as well as spaghetti sparked by Calabrian chiles. But Fabbri appears to be having the most fun with other fare, including fried squash blossoms stuffed with creamy goat cheese, grilled calamari layered atop shaved Brussels sprouts and drizzled with chile oil, and marvelous pork ribs with meat that smacks of salt, smoke, and citrus. Fans are only wishing pastas were a little larger.

1316 9th St NW, Washington
DC 20001, United States

7. St. Anselm

1250 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002

The flashy Northeast restaurant, a joint effort between founder Joe Carroll and James Beard Foundation Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr (perennially packed Le Diplomate), opened for daily dinner service in September with a 120-seat dining room, 13-seat chef’s counter, a 19-seat U-shaped bar, and an 18-seat patio. With “Top Chef” alumnus Marjorie Meek-Bradley leading the kitchen, they recently rolled out brunch service.

1250 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

8. Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill

in Canal Square, 1054 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill, nestled in a huge historic building on the banks of Georgetown’s tree-lined C&O Canal, reemerged from its former life as longstanding Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar into a completely new seafood destination this summer. Along with a smooth 40-foot marble raw bar offering oysters, vodka shooters, and rare cans of tinned fish upon entry, nautical accents across the 200-seat space include sleek blue booths and circular mirrors and lighting fixtures meant to resemble port holes on ships.

in Canal Square, 1054 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007

9. Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar

1823 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Pisco y Nazca
Pisco y Nazca/Facebook

This splashy Peruvian import from Miami brought pisco sours, happy hour, and ceviche to Dupont Circle last month. Centurion Restaurant Group’s 100-seat dining area inside the RL Hotel is joined by a 37-seat outdoor patio, and there’s also two private dining areas, a turquoise-colored open kitchen, and lots of colorful art.

1823 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036

10. Reverie

3201 Cherry Hill Ln, Washington, DC 20007
Reverie opened last month in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The modern American restaurant arrived last month in the heart of historic Georgetown, which is going through a full-blown dining renaissance as of late. Executive chef Johnny Spero’s 64-seat restaurant, two years in the making, features a minimalist design with globally-inspired dishes that draw from his diverse resume (Minibar and Komi in D.C., as well as Copenhagen’s Noma and Spain’s Mugaritz). Despite its high-end feel, dishes ($12 to $30) won’t break the bank.

3201 Cherry Hill Ln
Washington, DC 20007

11. Little Sesame

1828 L St NW, Washington, DC 20036
Little Sesame
James Jackson/Eater DC

Quick-serve Middle Eastern shop Little Sesame made its standalone debut in September, giving its dense 9-to-5 neighborhood a sun-drenched destination to grab hummus bowls, pita sandwiches, salads, sides, and desserts. Co-owners Nick and David Wiseman, who also operate Hill Prince in the Atlas District, are partners with Israeli native Ronen Tenne on the 1,400-square-foot weekday restaurant. The fast-moving trio just announced plans to open a second location, this time in Chinatown.

1828 L St NW
Washington, DC 20036

12. Susheria

3101 K St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Featured offerings at Susheria.
Susheria/Facebook

Georgetown’s signature sushi restaurant Maté got a new name, menu, and attitude this fall via this replacement, with Ecuadorian entrepreneur Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld behind the wheel. Offerings, which include ceviche and steak-wrapped maki rolls, are an ode to Japan’s longstanding ties with Peru.

3101 K St NW
Washington, DC 20007

13. American Son at Eaton Hotel

1201 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005

American Son​ delivers diners an all-day option for inventive dishes from D.C. chef Tim Ma. The scene-y newcomer, an ode to Ma’s experiences growing up as a second-generation Asian American in Arkansas, sits on the lobby level of the months-old Eaton DC hotel. Early hits include the beef cheek with charred peach, a grilled romaine salad, and the potato croquette — a savory spin on a funnel cake. Run DMC was recently represented in the house.

1201 K St NW
Washington, DC 20005

14. Officina

1120 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

The three-level coastal Italian palace on the Southwest waterfront is one of the most ambitious projects to land in the city all year. Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli (Masseria) opened his dream project in October, and each sleek floor has something unique to offer. The all-day cafe on the first floor is the place to grab a Negroni, a Roman pizza, or a scoop of gelato. An adjacent butcher shop has raw cuts and salumi. The second-story trattoria holds the main dining room — where the ricotta and spinach agnolotti are served — as well as a vintage salotto with another bar and Stefanelli’s curated Amaro library. The rooftop terraza has view of the water and the classic Maine Avenue fish market, which remains intact despite the development blitz around it.

1120 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024

15. Valor Brew Pub

723 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
R. Lopez

Veterans rule at this patriotic tribute bar, staffed by those who have served in the United States armed forces (a trio of leadership roles — GM, beverage director, brewmaster — are filled by Navy vets.) Naturally, the food skews heavily American — a chowder with Old Bay bread crumbs, fried chicken with mambo sauce, a cheesesteak, a cheeseburger. Even the cocktails are vet-themed, with names like Pettey Officer; French press cocktails serve four and go for $40.

723 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

Related Maps