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Bindaas's crab dish
A crab dish from Bindaas
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Where to Eat and Drink in Cleveland Park

Everything from pizza by the slice to Indian street food.

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A crab dish from Bindaas
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Cleveland Park has endured plenty of turnover.

When this map was first created in 2017, the neighborhood was having trouble keeping its hospitality scene intact. Critically acclaimed Ripple and longstanding Nam-Viet had recently closed. Well-known Italian restaurant Dino shuttered and was replaced by a 7-Eleven. Critical darling Palena had already left the scene in 2014.

Despite the changes and some lingering vacancies, this old neighborhood’s Connecticut Avenue corridor hosts some bright newcomers — including sibling restaurants for Israeli and Indian street food — and standbys including two of the most trusted delis in the city.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Siam House

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People do not come to Siam House for the décor or the view of the Exxon station across the street. They come for the flavorful menu of Thai standbys and specials, from kaprow to clay pot shrimp. Be prepared for Thai-level spiciness. The chef does not edit the heat down for American palates unless asked.

Siam House [official]

Dolan Uyghur Restaurant

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Dolan specializes in Uyghur cuisine, food from Northwestern China that incorporates a range of Middle Eastern influences. Find dishes ranging from kebabs to stir-fries to goshnan, a Uyghur-style pizza. Dolan’s menu reflects the diversity of this Central Asian community’s role as culinary melting pot.

Indique

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Indique offers a traditional Indian menu with features from the coastal Kerala region in the south. With a menu that includes a mix of street snacks, classic curries, tandoor specials, and a variety of vegetarian dishes, this standby works as a casual date night spot (grab a table on the second floor terrace) or a post-work pop-in. Don’t miss the Kerala fish curry.

Medium Rare (Multiple locations)

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What Medium Rare lacks in menu size, it makes up for in popularity among college group diners, date night couples, and families alike. The local chain has a single prix fixe option priced at $22.95: pain de campagne bread, culotte steak, fries, and a salad. There’s a selection of desserts available for $9.

St. Arnold's Mussel Bar (Multiple locations)

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Moules frites are the most popular dish at St. Arnold’s, but there are plenty of other Belgian classics on the menu as well. That includes hearty stews like waterzooi (chicken in a creamy sauce), and beer-infused beef carbonade. St. Arnold’s features 20 mussel dishes, each served up in steaming cast-iron pots, plus a selection of 60 Belgian beers. Happy hour features $11 mussel pots and other drink and food specials.

Trattoria al Volo

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The Italian duo behind the quickly-expanding Al Volo collection of restaurants oversees a casual menu of house-made pastas — most of which hover around $20 — and more. The restaurant also has a stand-alone counter for buying fresh pasta, and offers frequent cooking classes.

Al Volo Cleveland Park Lisa K. Ruland/For Eater D.C.

Firehook Bakery & Coffeehouse (Multiple locations)

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Come for coffee and a cookie the size of a human head. Stay to enjoy it in the quiet, semi-secret backyard, where stroller moms, laptoppers, retirees, and other locals know to go for a quiet moment under the grapevine-shaded tables and nooks.

Lisa K. Ruland/For Eater D.C.

Fat Pete's Barbecue (Multiple locations)

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The Cleveland Park location of Fat Pete’s was the first for this burgeoning local chain. The restaurant has something for everyone. Pork ribs, pulled chicken, brisket burnt ends, and even tofu go with a large selection of house sauces that represent major barbecue regions including Texas and the Carolinas.

View this post on Instagram

Honey-glazed barbecue spareribs

A post shared by Fat Pete's BBQ (@fatpetesbbqofficial) on

Byblos Deli

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Byblos is one of the few local spots to get a quick bite to eat in the neighborhood. Find all the typical Greek deli items like gyros, shawarma, souvlaki, spanakopita, and falafel. Then dig in under the large, covered front patio.

Spices does a big take-out and delivery business for people living along Connecticut Avenue. Its pan-Asian menu boasts a wide variety, offering up Malaysian food, sushi, and Korean fried chicken. Be sure to check out the curry laksa and mee goreng (stir-fried egg noodles).

Coppi's Organic Restaurant

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In 2014, after 20 years on U Street, Coppi’s Organic relocated to Cleveland Park and quickly became a local institution. The Northern Italian restaurant offers pizzas and meats roasted in its wood-burning oven along with seasonal and classics like pappardelle bolognese and mushroom risotto. There’s also an interesting mix of organic and biodynamic wines from around the world.

Nanny O'Brien's Irish Pub

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Nanny O’Brien’s is one of the closest things to a genuine dive bar in the D.C. area. While it may look like a place where Guinness is the only beer on tap, it has a rotating menu of drafts and specialty brews in cans. Don’t sleep on the wings, which come in a variety of styles (nuclear, D.C. with mumbo sauce) and frequently appear on local “best of” lists.

Vace Italian Delicatessen

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Vace has served as Northwest D.C.’s go-to Italian store since the 1970s. This neighborhood deli sells imported cheese and semi-obscure DeCecco pasta shapes (racchette, anyone?). But Vace is best known for is its pizza, a favorite among locals and those grabbing a quick slice before seeing a movie at the historic Uptown theater across the street. Try the plain-looking onion pizza — a sleeper hit.

Prolific D.C. restaurateur Ashok Bajaj opened this casual, modern Israeli restaurant in March 2018 to strong reviews, and its popularity continues apace with next-door sibling spot Bindaas. Sababa features seasonal salatim, extensive small plates, and large plates like kibbeh pie and vegetable bastilla. Stand-out small plates include roasted halloumi cheese and kushari, and Egyptian-style blend of chickpeas, reice, lentils, pasta, fried onions, and tomato sauce.

Bindaas (Multiple locations)

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Bajaj’s Indian restaurant in Cleveland Park, which has sprouted a second location in Foggy Bottom, focuses on street food. The menu doesn’t feature curries, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, find chicken tikka in a kathi roll, or crab in a creamy coconut sauce and idiyappam (rice noodles). The popular rooftop is one of the best in the area. Make sure to reserve in advance in nice weather.

Bindaas's crab dish
A crab dish from Bindaas
R. Lopez

Siam House

Siam House [official]

People do not come to Siam House for the décor or the view of the Exxon station across the street. They come for the flavorful menu of Thai standbys and specials, from kaprow to clay pot shrimp. Be prepared for Thai-level spiciness. The chef does not edit the heat down for American palates unless asked.

Siam House [official]

Dolan Uyghur Restaurant

Dolan specializes in Uyghur cuisine, food from Northwestern China that incorporates a range of Middle Eastern influences. Find dishes ranging from kebabs to stir-fries to goshnan, a Uyghur-style pizza. Dolan’s menu reflects the diversity of this Central Asian community’s role as culinary melting pot.

Indique

Indique offers a traditional Indian menu with features from the coastal Kerala region in the south. With a menu that includes a mix of street snacks, classic curries, tandoor specials, and a variety of vegetarian dishes, this standby works as a casual date night spot (grab a table on the second floor terrace) or a post-work pop-in. Don’t miss the Kerala fish curry.

Medium Rare (Multiple locations)

What Medium Rare lacks in menu size, it makes up for in popularity among college group diners, date night couples, and families alike. The local chain has a single prix fixe option priced at $22.95: pain de campagne bread, culotte steak, fries, and a salad. There’s a selection of desserts available for $9.

St. Arnold's Mussel Bar (Multiple locations)

Moules frites are the most popular dish at St. Arnold’s, but there are plenty of other Belgian classics on the menu as well. That includes hearty stews like waterzooi (chicken in a creamy sauce), and beer-infused beef carbonade. St. Arnold’s features 20 mussel dishes, each served up in steaming cast-iron pots, plus a selection of 60 Belgian beers. Happy hour features $11 mussel pots and other drink and food specials.

Trattoria al Volo

Al Volo Cleveland Park Lisa K. Ruland/For Eater D.C.

The Italian duo behind the quickly-expanding Al Volo collection of restaurants oversees a casual menu of house-made pastas — most of which hover around $20 — and more. The restaurant also has a stand-alone counter for buying fresh pasta, and offers frequent cooking classes.

Al Volo Cleveland Park Lisa K. Ruland/For Eater D.C.

Firehook Bakery & Coffeehouse (Multiple locations)

Lisa K. Ruland/For Eater D.C.

Come for coffee and a cookie the size of a human head. Stay to enjoy it in the quiet, semi-secret backyard, where stroller moms, laptoppers, retirees, and other locals know to go for a quiet moment under the grapevine-shaded tables and nooks.

Lisa K. Ruland/For Eater D.C.

Fat Pete's Barbecue (Multiple locations)

The Cleveland Park location of Fat Pete’s was the first for this burgeoning local chain. The restaurant has something for everyone. Pork ribs, pulled chicken, brisket burnt ends, and even tofu go with a large selection of house sauces that represent major barbecue regions including Texas and the Carolinas.

View this post on Instagram

Honey-glazed barbecue spareribs

A post shared by Fat Pete's BBQ (@fatpetesbbqofficial) on

Byblos Deli

Byblos is one of the few local spots to get a quick bite to eat in the neighborhood. Find all the typical Greek deli items like gyros, shawarma, souvlaki, spanakopita, and falafel. Then dig in under the large, covered front patio.

Spices

Spices does a big take-out and delivery business for people living along Connecticut Avenue. Its pan-Asian menu boasts a wide variety, offering up Malaysian food, sushi, and Korean fried chicken. Be sure to check out the curry laksa and mee goreng (stir-fried egg noodles).

Coppi's Organic Restaurant

In 2014, after 20 years on U Street, Coppi’s Organic relocated to Cleveland Park and quickly became a local institution. The Northern Italian restaurant offers pizzas and meats roasted in its wood-burning oven along with seasonal and classics like pappardelle bolognese and mushroom risotto. There’s also an interesting mix of organic and biodynamic wines from around the world.

Nanny O'Brien's Irish Pub

Nanny O’Brien’s is one of the closest things to a genuine dive bar in the D.C. area. While it may look like a place where Guinness is the only beer on tap, it has a rotating menu of drafts and specialty brews in cans. Don’t sleep on the wings, which come in a variety of styles (nuclear, D.C. with mumbo sauce) and frequently appear on local “best of” lists.

Vace Italian Delicatessen

Vace has served as Northwest D.C.’s go-to Italian store since the 1970s. This neighborhood deli sells imported cheese and semi-obscure DeCecco pasta shapes (racchette, anyone?). But Vace is best known for is its pizza, a favorite among locals and those grabbing a quick slice before seeing a movie at the historic Uptown theater across the street. Try the plain-looking onion pizza — a sleeper hit.

Sababa

Prolific D.C. restaurateur Ashok Bajaj opened this casual, modern Israeli restaurant in March 2018 to strong reviews, and its popularity continues apace with next-door sibling spot Bindaas. Sababa features seasonal salatim, extensive small plates, and large plates like kibbeh pie and vegetable bastilla. Stand-out small plates include roasted halloumi cheese and kushari, and Egyptian-style blend of chickpeas, reice, lentils, pasta, fried onions, and tomato sauce.

Bindaas (Multiple locations)

Bindaas's crab dish
A crab dish from Bindaas
R. Lopez

Bajaj’s Indian restaurant in Cleveland Park, which has sprouted a second location in Foggy Bottom, focuses on street food. The menu doesn’t feature curries, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, find chicken tikka in a kathi roll, or crab in a creamy coconut sauce and idiyappam (rice noodles). The popular rooftop is one of the best in the area. Make sure to reserve in advance in nice weather.

Bindaas's crab dish
A crab dish from Bindaas
R. Lopez

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