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Roasted chicken from Cafe Riggs
Roasted chicken from Cafe Riggs
Cafe Riggs [official]

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

Dine like a local, not a tourist

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Roasted chicken from Cafe Riggs
| Cafe Riggs [official]

Tourists and locals both flock to the National Mall every year to take in the cherry blossom blooms in the spring, visit the monuments, explore Smithsonian museums, or admire art at the Sculpture Garden.

Tourist traffic is looking a little different this year, though D.C. is still receiving some visitors. But it’s not exactly business as usual for all nearby restaurants — well-regarded museum dining rooms such as Sweet Home Cafe are temporarily closed, as well as some destinations that are usually good for big groups like Italian favorite Carmine’s. 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., or check out the various food trucks and food court options at L’Enfant Plaza.

A number of D.C. area restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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750 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 489-0140
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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 on pause at the moment). It’s open for dine-in, delivery, and curbside pickup.

Stone crab claws from Joe’s
Stone crab claws from Joe’s
Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post

2. Immigrant Food

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1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 681-3848
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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

3. Bantam King

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501 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 733-2612
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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. Pickup and delivery are available.

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

4. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

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1308 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 809-5565
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This homegrown brand specializes in both cake and yeast doughnuts (their creme brulee one is a particular favorite), which change seasonally, and crispy fried chicken (which works its way into items like breakfast sandwiches). They’re also testing out a pop-up sandwich spot at this location called Satellite with an emphasis on cheesesteaks. Order pickup and delivery here.

Hands outstretched offering three types of doughnuts, including a seasonal one to the left, a chocolate one in the middle and their creme brulee offering on the right.
Doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts
Astro Doughnuts [official photo]

5. Old Ebbitt Grill

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675 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-4800
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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, at least when before the pandemic, is during the raw bar happy hour. Delivery is available through UberEats.

Eggs from Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill [official photo]

6. District Taco

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1309 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-7359
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This local mini-chain is a good option for quick, casual Mexican fare near the Mall. It’s one of the best options for queso in the city, and the salsa bar offers a variety of heat levels. The company has been experimenting with curbside pickup and delivery during the pandemic, though the F street location does not currently offer the former, and is encouraging online ordering right now.

District Taco food
District Taco [official photo]

7. Café Riggs

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900 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 788-2800
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Patrick Curran, who was the opening chef at Momofuku CCDC, leads the kitchen at this posh hotel brasserie located in a grandiose historic bank building in Penn Quarter. This is a good place to take vegetarians, because there are always a few plant-centric dishes, but people with traditional Continental 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. — G.H.

An arctic char dish with couscous, saffron, and snow peas at Cafe Riggs
An arctic char dish with couscous, saffron, and snow peas at Cafe Riggs
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

8. Art and Soul

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415 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 393-7777
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This celebrity-run restaurant within the Liaison hotel — the “art” in the title refers to restaurateur and Oprah Winfrey’s pal, chef Art Smith — is home to some of the city’s best fried chicken, not to mention a nice patio. It only recently reopened for service during COVID, with pick-up available in addition to dine-in.

9. Central

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1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 626-0015
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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.

Gougeres from Central
Central MR [official photo]

10. Hill Country

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410 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 556-2050
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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 in non-pandemic times. Pick-up is available online.

11. Teaism (Multiple locations)

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400 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 638-6010
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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. The outpost is currently open for pickup and delivery only, with hours somewhat limited.

12. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

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401 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-1005
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There’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to José Andrés restaurants close to the National Mall — there’s tapas restaurant Jaleo, cocktail bar Barmini (currently testing a pilot reopening), high-end cooking temple Minibar (temporaily closed), Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya, and festive Peruvian Chinese restaurant China Chilcano (temporarily closed) — all within walking distance. Oyamel, which highlights Mexican cooking, from grasshopper tacos to mole, is the closest to the Mall. Delivery and pickup info is available here.

13. Red Apron (Multiple locations)

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709 D St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 524-5244
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Red Apron is a local butcher company that produces its own sausages, pates, and a huge variety of charcuterie. The downtown market’s deli counter offers a limited menu right now with its standout cheeseburger, a wagyu beef pastrami sandwich, and meatball subs. Adjoining restaurant the Partisan (temporarily closed) normally offers full plates of food, beers, and glasses of lambrusco. Order takeout and delivery from Red Apron here.

14. Rasika

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633 D St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 637-1222
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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. The restaurant is currently open for dine-in, patio, takeout, and delivery; more here.

Halibut Curry from Rasika
Shimmon Tamara Photography/Rasika

15. Victura Park

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2700 F St NW
Washington, DC 20566

People venturing west to the Lincoln Memorial can keep walking another half mile or so to hang out at the Reach, the recently installed complex of green space and stages at the Kennedy Center. Victura Park, a wine and beer garden run by D.C. bar owners the Hilton brothers and chef/restaurateur Erik Bruner-Yang, has already hosted a few pop-ups. Right now, an Oktoberfest theme carries on with a short menu full of sausages and soft pretzels with beer cheese. — G.H.

1. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Stone crab claws from Joe’s
Stone crab claws from Joe’s
Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post

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 on pause at the moment). It’s open for dine-in, delivery, and curbside pickup.

750 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

2. Immigrant Food

1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

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

1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006

3. Bantam King

501 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
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. Pickup and delivery are available.

501 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

1308 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
Hands outstretched offering three types of doughnuts, including a seasonal one to the left, a chocolate one in the middle and their creme brulee offering on the right.
Doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts
Astro Doughnuts [official photo]

This homegrown brand specializes in both cake and yeast doughnuts (their creme brulee one is a particular favorite), which change seasonally, and crispy fried chicken (which works its way into items like breakfast sandwiches). They’re also testing out a pop-up sandwich spot at this location called Satellite with an emphasis on cheesesteaks. Order pickup and delivery here.

1308 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20005

5. Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Eggs from Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill [official photo]

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

675 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005

6. District Taco

1309 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
District Taco food
District Taco [official photo]

This local mini-chain is a good option for quick, casual Mexican fare near the Mall. It’s one of the best options for queso in the city, and the salsa bar offers a variety of heat levels. The company has been experimenting with curbside pickup and delivery during the pandemic, though the F street location does not currently offer the former, and is encouraging online ordering right now.

1309 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

7. Café Riggs

900 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
An arctic char dish with couscous, saffron, and snow peas at Cafe Riggs
An arctic char dish with couscous, saffron, and snow peas at Cafe Riggs
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Patrick Curran, who was the opening chef at Momofuku CCDC, leads the kitchen at this posh hotel brasserie located in a grandiose historic bank building in Penn Quarter. This is a good place to take vegetarians, because there are always a few plant-centric dishes, but people with traditional Continental 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. — G.H.

900 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

8. Art and Soul

415 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

This celebrity-run restaurant within the Liaison hotel — the “art” in the title refers to restaurateur and Oprah Winfrey’s pal, chef Art Smith — is home to some of the city’s best fried chicken, not to mention a nice patio. It only recently reopened for service during COVID, with pick-up available in addition to dine-in.

415 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. Central

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
Gougeres from Central
Central MR [official photo]

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.

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

10. Hill Country

410 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

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 in non-pandemic times. Pick-up is available online.

410 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

11. Teaism (Multiple locations)

400 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

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. The outpost is currently open for pickup and delivery only, with hours somewhat limited.

400 8th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

12. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

There’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to José Andrés restaurants close to the National Mall — there’s tapas restaurant Jaleo, cocktail bar Barmini (currently testing a pilot reopening), high-end cooking temple Minibar (temporaily closed), Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya, and festive Peruvian Chinese restaurant China Chilcano (temporarily closed) — all within walking distance. Oyamel, which highlights Mexican cooking, from grasshopper tacos to mole, is the closest to the Mall. Delivery and pickup info is available here.

401 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

13. Red Apron (Multiple locations)

709 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Red Apron is a local butcher company that produces its own sausages, pates, and a huge variety of charcuterie. The downtown market’s deli counter offers a limited menu right now with its standout cheeseburger, a wagyu beef pastrami sandwich, and meatball subs. Adjoining restaurant the Partisan (temporarily closed) normally offers full plates of food, beers, and glasses of lambrusco. Order takeout and delivery from Red Apron here.

709 D St NW
Washington, DC 20004

14. Rasika

633 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004
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. The restaurant is currently open for dine-in, patio, takeout, and delivery; more here.

633 D St NW
Washington, DC 20004

15. Victura Park

2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566

People venturing west to the Lincoln Memorial can keep walking another half mile or so to hang out at the Reach, the recently installed complex of green space and stages at the Kennedy Center. Victura Park, a wine and beer garden run by D.C. bar owners the Hilton brothers and chef/restaurateur Erik Bruner-Yang, has already hosted a few pop-ups. Right now, an Oktoberfest theme carries on with a short menu full of sausages and soft pretzels with beer cheese. — G.H.

2700 F St NW
Washington, DC 20566

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