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Ramen from Bantam King on a wood counter with silverware.
Ramen from Bantam King.
Farrah Skeiky/Bantam King

Where to Eat Near the National Mall in D.C.

Dine like a local, not a tourist

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Ramen from Bantam King.
| Farrah Skeiky/Bantam King

Tourists and locals flock to the National Mall every year to take in the cherry blossom blooms in the spring, visit the monuments, explore Smithsonian museums, take part in a school trip, or admire alfresco art at the Sculpture Garden. Here are the best dining options within walking distance of the Mall, all less than a 10-minute stroll from the monuments.

For additional ideas, venture further north into the Penn Quarter neighborhood or downtown D.C., head to the redeveloped Southwest Waterfront area, or check out the various food truck and food court options at L’Enfant Plaza.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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Joe’s has a sense of grandeur, with its former bank building location and solicitous maitre d’s. The restaurant features a selection of stone crab, plenty of steaks, and a generous happy hour (which is back after a pandemic pause). It’s open for dine-in, delivery, and curbside pickup.

A crowded room with a hanging chandelier.
Joe’s D.C. location.
Joe’s Seafood

Immigrant Food

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This fast-casual restaurant with an immigrant-supporting mission serves bowls and sandwiches from chef Enrique Limardo (Severn Reasons) that mash up multiple cuisines. There’s a classic pressed Cuban with pineapple pickles, a banh mi made with adobo chicken, and an Indian-Mexican bowl that mixes spice-rubbed steak with mango chutney. Place online pickup orders here. — Gabe Hiatt

Sushi Gakyu

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An excellent option for lunch or dinner for those looking for high-quality seafood sushi preparations (note that lunch and dinner options are priced the same). It’s also one of the few places people can experience risk-lovers’ fugu (pufferfish) in D.C. Online ordering here.

A colorful assortment of raw fish and garnishes.
Sashimi from Sushi Gakyu.
Sushi Gakyu/Facebook

Bantam King

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Chicken ramen is the specialty of this destination ramen shop in D.C. (the owners also are behind nearby Daikaya ramen shop and izakaya) — but note that if the spicy tantanmen is on the menu, it’s worth a try. Fried chicken is an additional offering here, and they recently released a new spin on chicken and waffles off-menu on Sundays. Pick-up and delivery are available.

Ramen from Bantam King on a wood counter with silverware.
Ramen from Bantam King.
Farrah Skeiky/Official

Astro Beer Hall

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D.C.’s go-to option for fried chicken and doughnuts expanded their downtown location next door into a beer hall and coffee shop a few years back (a second is opening in Shirlington this year). Happy hour means $6 drinks and $1 off appetizers like loaded tots and fried pickles.

A bar interior with lava lamps and black leather seating.
Glowing liquid lamps frame the bar area at Astro Beer Hall.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Old Ebbitt Grill

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D.C.’s oldest restaurant is a tourist favorite and is family-friendly to boot. But locals know the best time to visit is during the raw bar happy hour. Delivery is available through UberEats.

Poached eggs on English muffins with spinach.
Eggs from Old Ebbitt Grill.
Old Ebbitt Grill

Café Riggs

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This posh hotel brasserie is located in a grandiose historic bank building in Penn Quarter. This is a good place to take vegetarians, because there are always a few options, but people with traditional tastes will find whole roasted chickens, steak frites, and duck confit. The bar has an all-day cafe menu with a cardamom bun that’s worth a visit on its own. There’s indoor seating, a sidewalk patio, and a rooftop bar, too. Speakeasy Silver Lyan downstairs has recently hosted some interesting pop-ups, such as a cherry blossom-themed one with NY’s Katana Kitten.

A plate of fish on top of a marbled table.
An arctic char dish with couscous, saffron, and snow peas at Cafe Riggs
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Carmine's Italian Restaurant - Washington D.C.

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After being closed for much of the pandemic, this favorite for large, family-style portions, red sauce dishes, and meatballs galore is back in action in nearby Penn Quarter. It’s a great option for large groups. Takeout available here.

Four platters of pasta at Carmine’s, all doused in red sauce.
Four plates of pasta from Carmine’s.
Carmine’s/Facebook

China Chilcano by José Andrés

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When in doubt, a José Andrés restaurant is a good bet near the mall — the majority of his D.C. presence is clustered around this area. This particular restaurant is an excellent option for Peruvian-Chinese fare, with standout ceviches and chaufa dishes in particular.

The interior at China Chilcano.
China Chilcano.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Art and Soul

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Following a multi-million dollar renovation, Yotel hotel’s lobby-level restaurant with a nice patio surfaced last spring with a heightened focus on Mid-Atlantic ingredients. Plume alum Danny Chavez sends out fried chicken, shrimp and grits, elaborate meat and cheese boards, and lamb ragu fusilli. A midday happy hour on Wednesdays to Fridays pairs sandwiches and draft beer for $22 (noon to 2 p.m.). Pickup and delivery are available in addition to dine-in.

Central

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This bustling bistro is home to destination fried chicken, as well as a fine shrimp burger. But more ambitious fare, like loup de mer or cote de boeuf, is still a safe bet here. Whatever the mood, an order of cheesy gougeres is always welcome. The restaurant is currently offering delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup.

A basket filled with cheese puffs.
Gougeres from Central.
Central

Hill Country

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When Hill Country first opened, it was one of the few destinations for legit barbecue in the city. Now, competition has gotten much more fierce, but the New York import still makes a good brisket and a stellar sausage. This large location is good for groups. Pick-up is available online.

Teaism (Multiple locations)

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This serene tea shop and cafe has been a favorite for a quick drink or light meal for years. It’s famous for its salty oatmeal cookies, but dishes such as chicken salad and cilantro scrambled eggs are additional options; also find bento boxes here. The outpost has reopened for dine-in, but also has pick-up and delivery available through its website.

Not only a destination near the mall, Rasika is one of D.C.’s best restaurants, period. James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Vikram Sunderam attracts regulars to the fine dining Indian restaurant with dishes such as his memorable palak chat, and keeps them there to sample thoughtful preparations of eggplant, biryani, and crab pepper masala.

A bright orange fish curry dish in a blue bowl.
Halibut curry from Rasika.
Shimmon Tamara Photography/Rasika

Victura Park

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This one stretches the 10-minute walk requirement of the map, but is an essential tip for those near the Lincoln Memorial, where there is little in the way of food options. Keep walking another half mile or so to hang out at the Reach, the complex of green space and stages at the Kennedy Center. Victura Park, a wine and beer garden. Right now on the menu — an assortment of pastries and several banh mi sandwiches.

A sweeping sculpture signifying the Reach.
Victura Park.
Victura Park

Sweet Home Cafe

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This ambitious restaurant within the National Museum of African American History and Culture recently reopened, though with a limited menu at the moment. It showcases the diversity of African American cuisine with dishes like gumbo, shrimp and grits, and oyster pan roast.

A colorful medely of vegetables next to a seared and stuffed fish dish.
A fish dish from Sweet Home Cafe.
Sweet Home Cafe/Facebook

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

A crowded room with a hanging chandelier.
Joe’s D.C. location.
Joe’s Seafood

Joe’s has a sense of grandeur, with its former bank building location and solicitous maitre d’s. The restaurant features a selection of stone crab, plenty of steaks, and a generous happy hour (which is back after a pandemic pause). It’s open for dine-in, delivery, and curbside pickup.

A crowded room with a hanging chandelier.
Joe’s D.C. location.
Joe’s Seafood

Immigrant Food

This fast-casual restaurant with an immigrant-supporting mission serves bowls and sandwiches from chef Enrique Limardo (Severn Reasons) that mash up multiple cuisines. There’s a classic pressed Cuban with pineapple pickles, a banh mi made with adobo chicken, and an Indian-Mexican bowl that mixes spice-rubbed steak with mango chutney. Place online pickup orders here. — Gabe Hiatt

Sushi Gakyu

A colorful assortment of raw fish and garnishes.
Sashimi from Sushi Gakyu.
Sushi Gakyu/Facebook

An excellent option for lunch or dinner for those looking for high-quality seafood sushi preparations (note that lunch and dinner options are priced the same). It’s also one of the few places people can experience risk-lovers’ fugu (pufferfish) in D.C. Online ordering here.

A colorful assortment of raw fish and garnishes.
Sashimi from Sushi Gakyu.
Sushi Gakyu/Facebook

Bantam King

Ramen from Bantam King on a wood counter with silverware.
Ramen from Bantam King.
Farrah Skeiky/Official

Chicken ramen is the specialty of this destination ramen shop in D.C. (the owners also are behind nearby Daikaya ramen shop and izakaya) — but note that if the spicy tantanmen is on the menu, it’s worth a try. Fried chicken is an additional offering here, and they recently released a new spin on chicken and waffles off-menu on Sundays. Pick-up and delivery are available.

Ramen from Bantam King on a wood counter with silverware.
Ramen from Bantam King.
Farrah Skeiky/Official

Astro Beer Hall

A bar interior with lava lamps and black leather seating.
Glowing liquid lamps frame the bar area at Astro Beer Hall.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

D.C.’s go-to option for fried chicken and doughnuts expanded their downtown location next door into a beer hall and coffee shop a few years back (a second is opening in Shirlington this year). Happy hour means $6 drinks and $1 off appetizers like loaded tots and fried pickles.

A bar interior with lava lamps and black leather seating.
Glowing liquid lamps frame the bar area at Astro Beer Hall.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Old Ebbitt Grill

Poached eggs on English muffins with spinach.
Eggs from Old Ebbitt Grill.
Old Ebbitt Grill

D.C.’s oldest restaurant is a tourist favorite and is family-friendly to boot. But locals know the best time to visit is during the raw bar happy hour. Delivery is available through UberEats.

Poached eggs on English muffins with spinach.
Eggs from Old Ebbitt Grill.
Old Ebbitt Grill

Café Riggs

A plate of fish on top of a marbled table.
An arctic char dish with couscous, saffron, and snow peas at Cafe Riggs
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This posh hotel brasserie is located in a grandiose historic bank building in Penn Quarter. This is a good place to take vegetarians, because there are always a few options, but people with traditional tastes will find whole roasted chickens, steak frites, and duck confit. The bar has an all-day cafe menu with a cardamom bun that’s worth a visit on its own. There’s indoor seating, a sidewalk patio, and a rooftop bar, too. Speakeasy Silver Lyan downstairs has recently hosted some interesting pop-ups, such as a cherry blossom-themed one with NY’s Katana Kitten.

A plate of fish on top of a marbled table.
An arctic char dish with couscous, saffron, and snow peas at Cafe Riggs
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Carmine's Italian Restaurant - Washington D.C.

Four platters of pasta at Carmine’s, all doused in red sauce.
Four plates of pasta from Carmine’s.
Carmine’s/Facebook

After being closed for much of the pandemic, this favorite for large, family-style portions, red sauce dishes, and meatballs galore is back in action in nearby Penn Quarter. It’s a great option for large groups. Takeout available here.

Four platters of pasta at Carmine’s, all doused in red sauce.
Four plates of pasta from Carmine’s.
Carmine’s/Facebook

China Chilcano by José Andrés

The interior at China Chilcano.
China Chilcano.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

When in doubt, a José Andrés restaurant is a good bet near the mall — the majority of his D.C. presence is clustered around this area. This particular restaurant is an excellent option for Peruvian-Chinese fare, with standout ceviches and chaufa dishes in particular.

The interior at China Chilcano.
China Chilcano.
R. Lopez/Eater DC

Art and Soul

Following a multi-million dollar renovation, Yotel hotel’s lobby-level restaurant with a nice patio surfaced last spring with a heightened focus on Mid-Atlantic ingredients. Plume alum Danny Chavez sends out fried chicken, shrimp and grits, elaborate meat and cheese boards, and lamb ragu fusilli. A midday happy hour on Wednesdays to Fridays pairs sandwiches and draft beer for $22 (noon to 2 p.m.). Pickup and delivery are available in addition to dine-in.

Central

A basket filled with cheese puffs.
Gougeres from Central.
Central

This bustling bistro is home to destination fried chicken, as well as a fine shrimp burger. But more ambitious fare, like loup de mer or cote de boeuf, is still a safe bet here. Whatever the mood, an order of cheesy gougeres is always welcome. The restaurant is currently offering delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup.

A basket filled with cheese puffs.
Gougeres from Central.
Central

Hill Country

When Hill Country first opened, it was one of the few destinations for legit barbecue in the city. Now, competition has gotten much more fierce, but the New York import still makes a good brisket and a stellar sausage. This large location is good for groups. Pick-up is available online.

Teaism (Multiple locations)

This serene tea shop and cafe has been a favorite for a quick drink or light meal for years. It’s famous for its salty oatmeal cookies, but dishes such as chicken salad and cilantro scrambled eggs are additional options; also find bento boxes here. The outpost has reopened for dine-in, but also has pick-up and delivery available through its website.

Rasika

A bright orange fish curry dish in a blue bowl.
Halibut curry from Rasika.
Shimmon Tamara Photography/Rasika

Not only a destination near the mall, Rasika is one of D.C.’s best restaurants, period. James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Vikram Sunderam attracts regulars to the fine dining Indian restaurant with dishes such as his memorable palak chat, and keeps them there to sample thoughtful preparations of eggplant, biryani, and crab pepper masala.

A bright orange fish curry dish in a blue bowl.
Halibut curry from Rasika.
Shimmon Tamara Photography/Rasika

Victura Park

A sweeping sculpture signifying the Reach.
Victura Park.
Victura Park

This one stretches the 10-minute walk requirement of the map, but is an essential tip for those near the Lincoln Memorial, where there is little in the way of food options. Keep walking another half mile or so to hang out at the Reach, the complex of green space and stages at the Kennedy Center. Victura Park, a wine and beer garden. Right now on the menu — an assortment of pastries and several banh mi sandwiches.

A sweeping sculpture signifying the Reach.
Victura Park.
Victura Park

Related Maps

Sweet Home Cafe

A colorful medely of vegetables next to a seared and stuffed fish dish.
A fish dish from Sweet Home Cafe.
Sweet Home Cafe/Facebook

This ambitious restaurant within the National Museum of African American History and Culture recently reopened, though with a limited menu at the moment. It showcases the diversity of African American cuisine with dishes like gumbo, shrimp and grits, and oyster pan roast.

A colorful medely of vegetables next to a seared and stuffed fish dish.
A fish dish from Sweet Home Cafe.
Sweet Home Cafe/Facebook

Related Maps