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Philippe Chow welcomes lots of celebs in its glamorous private dining rooms.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Where to Dine Like a Celebrity in D.C.

A running roundup of famous faces spotted out on the town as of late

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Philippe Chow welcomes lots of celebs in its glamorous private dining rooms.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Living in the nation’s capital, it’s relatively common to run into a celebrity at a restaurant (or at least hear about it later online). Whether it’s a security-clad politician or sports pro doing an intimate dinner at Bourbon Steak, supergroups BTS and Coldplay breaking bread at RPM Italian, the restaurant-hopping Bidens putting the Red Hen’s rigatoni on the map, or U2 frontman and philanthropist Bono schmoozing at Seven Reasons, famous people are just like us in the sense that they, too, want to sample some of Washington’s best eats.

Since last spring, Eater’s spotted an evident spike in sightings at a range of D.C. restaurants and bars. And last week’s anticipated arrival of iconic French bistro Pastis — a Manhattan magnet for A-listers since 1999 — ups D.C.’s celebrity cache even more.

Scroll on for the latest places well-known personalities are patronizing, and what they’re ordering, to track if your tastes align. And for a running list of local establishments featured on Bravo’s current season of The Real Housewives of Potomac, go here.

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Balos Estiatorio

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D.C.’s newest place to be seen welcomed top German DJ Zedd soon after opening in December. The Grammy winner was seen dancing to his song and waving a napkin in the air while enjoying Mediterranean dishes such as lobster pasta, spanakopita, lamb chops, and the “Filthy Greek” martini. Actor Ryan Phillippe was also spotted here for his friend Patrick Osuna’s 50th birthday party before heading to downtown newcomer Grazie Mille. Select Real Housewives of Potomac cast members celebrated their annual holiday party at Balos with sparklers, shots, cocktails, and Greek desserts.

Rasika West End

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama was spotted having dinner with a friend at the beloved Indian restaurant’s West End edition in December. While it’s unclear what they ate, the two dined for roughly 2.5 hours. Angelina Jolie and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger have also dined at Rasika, sealing its scene-y status.

Rasika
Rasika’s sleek bar.
All photos by R. Lopez

In town last June for AwesomeCon, Lord of the Rings star and big foodie Elijah Wood was spotted dining solo at Tonari’s upstairs desserts bar.

Union Pub

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Blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the NFL Washington Commanders’s new managing partner Josh Harris was spotted at Union Pub with his son on New Year’s Eve. Word is, he stayed past midnight and chatted with regulars and staff who recognized him, ringing in 2024 with a couple of draft beers and a shot of tequila. Go Commanders.

Commanders owner Josh Harris (top left) celebrated the new year at Union Pub.
Sam Sanchez

Shōtō

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The luxe aesthetic of downtown’s Japanese showpiece screams celebrity hotspot, so it’s not surprising the likes of the Obamas, Alex Ovechkin, and actress and producer Issa Rae have all sat down for a meal at the Eater Award winner for 2022 Design of the Year. Comedian Dave Chappelle hosted a late-night party here after his recent D.C. show and comedian Kevin Hart once bought out the venue to celebrate his wife’s birthday. SHŌTŌ expands the party to the back in February with the arrival of Ākedo, a late-night destination for drinks, snacks, and DJs.

A massive, UFO-like formation hovering over diners is made of hand-strung lava stone taken from an active volcano in Japan. 
Rey Lopez for Shōtō

Chaia Tacos Chinatown

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Latin music legend and hotel/restaurant owner Gloria Estefan made a pit stop at Chai Tacos in October 2023. According to Popville, the eight-time Grammy Award winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient ordered the taco trio, mushroom quesadillas, dark cocoa brownies, and homemade iced hibiscus tea.

Chaia Tacos maintains locations in Chinatown and Georgetown.
Chaia Tacos/Facebook

L'Ardente

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Downtown’s “glam Italian” restaurant, a known date night favorite for the Obamas, welcomed actor Bryan Cranston in July. In support of his Dos Hombres mezcal brand, the Breaking Bad alum played bartender for an evening and served free cocktails to hundreds of fans. His mezcal tour through D.C. also included stops at Service Bar and the St. Regis.

L’Ardente is dressed up with Missoni curtains and curated art.
L’Ardente

1310 Kitchen & Bar

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In town last spring for the celebrity-packed Mark Twain Prize ceremony honoring Adam Sandler, comic Conan O’Brien snagged a solo Sunday seat at the Georgetown mainstay and went with breakfast tacos. He ended up joining a simultaneous celebrity customer — CNN anchor and fellow Ivy League grad Jake Tapper — at his table. Chef-owner Jenn Crovato’s modern American eatery also counts NYT columnist Maureen Dowd as a longtime regular. And celebs are technically always here, with a growing photo gallery of iconic female rockers surrounding the recently refurbished dining room.

1310 Kitchen + Bar’s dual beverage managers (and brothers) Will and Nep Castillo posed with their favorite 6-foot-4 comedian.
1310 Kitchen + Bar

The essential Chevy Chase destination for fish, vegetables, and meats from the American coastline got a surprise brunch visit from mega rapper and business mogul Jay-Z last summer, the same day his equally famous wife Beyoncé wrapped up a two-night concert at Landover, Maryland’s FedExField. After brunch, next-door neighborhood pizza spot Little Beast Cafe & Bistro offered Jay-Z’s entourage a gift box of cupcakes from its Red Velvet confectionary shop.

Jay-Z swung through Opal last summer.
Opal

Le Diplomate

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Ten years in, Stephen Starr’s jam-packed French brasserie continues to be a common go-to pick amongst glitterati in town. Countless names passing through have included everyone from a tipsy Bill Murray hanging out with kitchen staff to a certain Real Housewives of NYC star who made headlines for forgetting to pay her tab. More recently, Arnold Schwarzenegger strolled in for lunch last summer.

RPM Italian

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The polished Mt. Vernon Triangle fixture founded by celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic famously fed superstar groups BTS and Coldplay cacio e pepe and cheesecake back in 2022. Last summer, Grammy-winning rapper Drake fueled up here in between concerts at Capital One Arena. He also carved out time during his tour stop to DJ a set at Dupont’s subterranean nightclub Heist and show up at Versus sibling Ciel Social Club atop the AC Hotel.

RPM Italian
RPM Italian’s chic dining room.
RPM Italian

Philippe Chow DC

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Since opening in June at the Wharf, the Beijing-style destination has welcomed Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckman Jr., boxer Gervonta Davis, and plenty of politicians. Just in December, the gilded eatery hosted Detroit Pistons shooting guard Hami Diallo; D.C.’s own Washington Wizards small forward, Deni Avdija; singer, songwriter and record producer Al B. Sure!; and former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes, who ate the hot and sour soup, honey-glazed spare ribs, and filet mignon. Star sightings at the glitzy, white-tablecloth original in NYC have included actor Forest Whitaker, Nick Cannon, Rihanna, and Adam Sandler.

Balos Estiatorio

D.C.’s newest place to be seen welcomed top German DJ Zedd soon after opening in December. The Grammy winner was seen dancing to his song and waving a napkin in the air while enjoying Mediterranean dishes such as lobster pasta, spanakopita, lamb chops, and the “Filthy Greek” martini. Actor Ryan Phillippe was also spotted here for his friend Patrick Osuna’s 50th birthday party before heading to downtown newcomer Grazie Mille. Select Real Housewives of Potomac cast members celebrated their annual holiday party at Balos with sparklers, shots, cocktails, and Greek desserts.

Rasika West End

Former First Lady Michelle Obama was spotted having dinner with a friend at the beloved Indian restaurant’s West End edition in December. While it’s unclear what they ate, the two dined for roughly 2.5 hours. Angelina Jolie and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger have also dined at Rasika, sealing its scene-y status.

Rasika
Rasika’s sleek bar.
All photos by R. Lopez

Tonari

In town last June for AwesomeCon, Lord of the Rings star and big foodie Elijah Wood was spotted dining solo at Tonari’s upstairs desserts bar.

Union Pub

Blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the NFL Washington Commanders’s new managing partner Josh Harris was spotted at Union Pub with his son on New Year’s Eve. Word is, he stayed past midnight and chatted with regulars and staff who recognized him, ringing in 2024 with a couple of draft beers and a shot of tequila. Go Commanders.

Commanders owner Josh Harris (top left) celebrated the new year at Union Pub.
Sam Sanchez

Shōtō

The luxe aesthetic of downtown’s Japanese showpiece screams celebrity hotspot, so it’s not surprising the likes of the Obamas, Alex Ovechkin, and actress and producer Issa Rae have all sat down for a meal at the Eater Award winner for 2022 Design of the Year. Comedian Dave Chappelle hosted a late-night party here after his recent D.C. show and comedian Kevin Hart once bought out the venue to celebrate his wife’s birthday. SHŌTŌ expands the party to the back in February with the arrival of Ākedo, a late-night destination for drinks, snacks, and DJs.

A massive, UFO-like formation hovering over diners is made of hand-strung lava stone taken from an active volcano in Japan. 
Rey Lopez for Shōtō

Chaia Tacos Chinatown

Latin music legend and hotel/restaurant owner Gloria Estefan made a pit stop at Chai Tacos in October 2023. According to Popville, the eight-time Grammy Award winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient ordered the taco trio, mushroom quesadillas, dark cocoa brownies, and homemade iced hibiscus tea.

Chaia Tacos maintains locations in Chinatown and Georgetown.
Chaia Tacos/Facebook

L'Ardente

Downtown’s “glam Italian” restaurant, a known date night favorite for the Obamas, welcomed actor Bryan Cranston in July. In support of his Dos Hombres mezcal brand, the Breaking Bad alum played bartender for an evening and served free cocktails to hundreds of fans. His mezcal tour through D.C. also included stops at Service Bar and the St. Regis.

L’Ardente is dressed up with Missoni curtains and curated art.
L’Ardente

1310 Kitchen & Bar

In town last spring for the celebrity-packed Mark Twain Prize ceremony honoring Adam Sandler, comic Conan O’Brien snagged a solo Sunday seat at the Georgetown mainstay and went with breakfast tacos. He ended up joining a simultaneous celebrity customer — CNN anchor and fellow Ivy League grad Jake Tapper — at his table. Chef-owner Jenn Crovato’s modern American eatery also counts NYT columnist Maureen Dowd as a longtime regular. And celebs are technically always here, with a growing photo gallery of iconic female rockers surrounding the recently refurbished dining room.

1310 Kitchen + Bar’s dual beverage managers (and brothers) Will and Nep Castillo posed with their favorite 6-foot-4 comedian.
1310 Kitchen + Bar

Opal

The essential Chevy Chase destination for fish, vegetables, and meats from the American coastline got a surprise brunch visit from mega rapper and business mogul Jay-Z last summer, the same day his equally famous wife Beyoncé wrapped up a two-night concert at Landover, Maryland’s FedExField. After brunch, next-door neighborhood pizza spot Little Beast Cafe & Bistro offered Jay-Z’s entourage a gift box of cupcakes from its Red Velvet confectionary shop.

Jay-Z swung through Opal last summer.
Opal

Le Diplomate

Ten years in, Stephen Starr’s jam-packed French brasserie continues to be a common go-to pick amongst glitterati in town. Countless names passing through have included everyone from a tipsy Bill Murray hanging out with kitchen staff to a certain Real Housewives of NYC star who made headlines for forgetting to pay her tab. More recently, Arnold Schwarzenegger strolled in for lunch last summer.

RPM Italian

The polished Mt. Vernon Triangle fixture founded by celebrity couple Bill and Giuliana Rancic famously fed superstar groups BTS and Coldplay cacio e pepe and cheesecake back in 2022. Last summer, Grammy-winning rapper Drake fueled up here in between concerts at Capital One Arena. He also carved out time during his tour stop to DJ a set at Dupont’s subterranean nightclub Heist and show up at Versus sibling Ciel Social Club atop the AC Hotel.

RPM Italian
RPM Italian’s chic dining room.
RPM Italian

Philippe Chow DC

Since opening in June at the Wharf, the Beijing-style destination has welcomed Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Odell Beckman Jr., boxer Gervonta Davis, and plenty of politicians. Just in December, the gilded eatery hosted Detroit Pistons shooting guard Hami Diallo; D.C.’s own Washington Wizards small forward, Deni Avdija; singer, songwriter and record producer Al B. Sure!; and former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes, who ate the hot and sour soup, honey-glazed spare ribs, and filet mignon. Star sightings at the glitzy, white-tablecloth original in NYC have included actor Forest Whitaker, Nick Cannon, Rihanna, and Adam Sandler.

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