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A shrimp burger on a plate.
A shrimp burger with spicy tartar sauce at Brennan’s Bar.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The 15 Hottest New Restaurants Around D.C., August 2022

Where to find roti flatbreads, shrimp fried rice, Roman-style pizza, and more

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A shrimp burger with spicy tartar sauce at Brennan’s Bar.
| 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: Indochen, for curries and chow mein in Old Town; Hawkers, for Asian street foods in an energetic Ballston setting; Rasa, for Indian bowls and spiked lassis in Fairfax; and Brennan’s Bar and Carlyle Room, for surf-and-turf menus set to a bygone backdrop downtown.

Leaving the list: Han Palace, Stellina Pizzeria, Bar Amazonia, Rania

And a stream of anticipated new restaurants are scheduled to open in the coming week, including breakfast taco spot La Tejana in Mt. Pleasant, Mexican-themed Mi Vida on 14th Street NW, Peruvian prix-fixe place Causa in Blagden Alley, and elegant Huncho House in Hyattsville from a Food Network champion.

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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

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

St. James - Modern Caribbean

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While Eater DC’s 2019 Chef of the Year Peter Prime is no longer involved (and now cooking at Bammy’s), his sister Jeanine Prime pushed the long-awaited culinary ode to their native Trinidad past the finish line in May. St. James, named after the bustling district in Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain, breathes life into brick-lined Quarter + Glory’s former home. At 2,800 square feet, the remodeled space with an incoming 14th Street NW patio is almost three times larger than its popular H Street NE sibling Cane, which focuses on Caribbean street foods. A list of rum-forward, floral cocktails like a hibiscus highball comes from Service Bar’s Glendon Hartley, who’s the son of West Indian immigrants. Small and large-format dishes that pay homage to the melting pot port city include West Africa’s callaloo, a stew full of leafy greens, Trini-style Chinese steamed buns stuffed with spicy pork, and curry crab.

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

Boogy and Peel

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Rose’s Luxury alum Rachael Jennings breaks out of the fine-dining world with a new “bastardized Neapolitanpizza place for Dupont. One pie takes tips from McD’s Big Mac, while another cold cut and fontina-topped pizza mimics the taste of the popular G-Man Italian sub at Capitol Hill’s Mangialardo. The eatery’s playful spirit is evident in everything from her pizzeria’s name (Boogy is a tribute to her beloved dog), a 30-seat dining room with bright blue tones and neon signage and squiggles, and the names of the pizzas (one of the pies is her friend’s Instagram handle). Alcohol recently joined the mix, with happy hour from Wednesday to Friday (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

Boogy & Peel’s opening menu focuses in on comfort food pizzas, salad, and wings.
Boogy & Peel

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

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

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 zooms into Ballston on Thursday, August 4, 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

The fast-growing counter for standout Indian bowls in D.C. and Arlington swooped into suburbia in late July with a new color-soaked location for Fairfax’s Mosaic District complex. Owners and Eater Young Guns (’18) Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman import familiar hits like spiked coconuts, vegan soft serve, masala gin and tonics, and chicken tikka-based bowls to go along with a first-ever kid’s menu. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily for pickup, delivery, and dine-in service.

A roll-up garage door lets in a nice breeze throughout the 27-seat space.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Kusshi Sushi Pentagon Row

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The four-year-old Japanese restaurant in North Bethesda added a second area location this summer at Arlington’s Pentagon Row. Along with its namesake Kusshi oysters on the half shell, look for fiery wings, sushi boats (or four-foot “yachts”), udon noodles, grilled yellowtail collar, omakase menus, and one of the biggest sake selections around.

Draper's Steak & Seafood

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A polished surf-and-turf place landed in the center of Fairfax City in May with a catch-all menu filled with dry-aged ribeye, braised pork belly, charcuterie, wedge salads, seared scallops, miso-glazed salmon, and ahi tuna Wellington. Parry Restaurant Group is behind a range of reputable Virginia eateries down in Roanoke and Lynchburg, and Draper’s marks its fine-dining foray into the area.

A hefty steak alongside Brussels sprouts at Draper’s.
Draper’s/official photo

Indochen

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The Indo-Chinese restaurant unveiled a follow-up location in June at the foot of an Old Town Hyatt. Chef Ram Thapa sends out samosas, chicken spring rolls, pork belly, orange shrimp, chicken chop suey, veggie chow mein, and shrimp fried rice to go along with butter chicken, family-style biryani, palak paneer, and other Indian staples that pay homage to Indochen’s predecessor London Curry House. A well-stocked bar with 100 types of wine makes a mean barrel-aged Manhattan. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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

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

St. James - Modern Caribbean

While Eater DC’s 2019 Chef of the Year Peter Prime is no longer involved (and now cooking at Bammy’s), his sister Jeanine Prime pushed the long-awaited culinary ode to their native Trinidad past the finish line in May. St. James, named after the bustling district in Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain, breathes life into brick-lined Quarter + Glory’s former home. At 2,800 square feet, the remodeled space with an incoming 14th Street NW patio is almost three times larger than its popular H Street NE sibling Cane, which focuses on Caribbean street foods. A list of rum-forward, floral cocktails like a hibiscus highball comes from Service Bar’s Glendon Hartley, who’s the son of West Indian immigrants. Small and large-format dishes that pay homage to the melting pot port city include West Africa’s callaloo, a stew full of leafy greens, Trini-style Chinese steamed buns stuffed with spicy pork, and curry crab.

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

Boogy and Peel

Boogy & Peel’s opening menu focuses in on comfort food pizzas, salad, and wings.
Boogy & Peel

Rose’s Luxury alum Rachael Jennings breaks out of the fine-dining world with a new “bastardized Neapolitanpizza place for Dupont. One pie takes tips from McD’s Big Mac, while another cold cut and fontina-topped pizza mimics the taste of the popular G-Man Italian sub at Capitol Hill’s Mangialardo. The eatery’s playful spirit is evident in everything from her pizzeria’s name (Boogy is a tribute to her beloved dog), a 30-seat dining room with bright blue tones and neon signage and squiggles, and the names of the pizzas (one of the pies is her friend’s Instagram handle). Alcohol recently joined the mix, with happy hour from Wednesday to Friday (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

Boogy & Peel’s opening menu focuses in on comfort food pizzas, salad, and wings.
Boogy & Peel

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

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

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 zooms into Ballston on Thursday, August 4, 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

RASA

A roll-up garage door lets in a nice breeze throughout the 27-seat space.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The fast-growing counter for standout Indian bowls in D.C. and Arlington swooped into suburbia in late July with a new color-soaked location for Fairfax’s Mosaic District complex. Owners and Eater Young Guns (’18) Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman import familiar hits like spiked coconuts, vegan soft serve, masala gin and tonics, and chicken tikka-based bowls to go along with a first-ever kid’s menu. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily for pickup, delivery, and dine-in service.

A roll-up garage door lets in a nice breeze throughout the 27-seat space.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Kusshi Sushi Pentagon Row

The four-year-old Japanese restaurant in North Bethesda added a second area location this summer at Arlington’s Pentagon Row. Along with its namesake Kusshi oysters on the half shell, look for fiery wings, sushi boats (or four-foot “yachts”), udon noodles, grilled yellowtail collar, omakase menus, and one of the biggest sake selections around.

Draper's Steak & Seafood

A hefty steak alongside Brussels sprouts at Draper’s.
Draper’s/official photo

A polished surf-and-turf place landed in the center of Fairfax City in May with a catch-all menu filled with dry-aged ribeye, braised pork belly, charcuterie, wedge salads, seared scallops, miso-glazed salmon, and ahi tuna Wellington. Parry Restaurant Group is behind a range of reputable Virginia eateries down in Roanoke and Lynchburg, and Draper’s marks its fine-dining foray into the area.

A hefty steak alongside Brussels sprouts at Draper’s.
Draper’s/official photo

Indochen

The Indo-Chinese restaurant unveiled a follow-up location in June at the foot of an Old Town Hyatt. Chef Ram Thapa sends out samosas, chicken spring rolls, pork belly, orange shrimp, chicken chop suey, veggie chow mein, and shrimp fried rice to go along with butter chicken, family-style biryani, palak paneer, and other Indian staples that pay homage to Indochen’s predecessor London Curry House. A well-stocked bar with 100 types of wine makes a mean barrel-aged Manhattan. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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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