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The facade at Chercher on Ninth Street NW
The facade at Chercher on Ninth Street NW
Rey Lopez

Where to Eat and Drink in Shaw

One of D.C.’s top dining neighborhoods, Shaw boasts options for French, Ethiopian, Persian, pizza, and bagels

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The facade at Chercher on Ninth Street NW
| Rey Lopez

A lot has changed in Shaw’s dining scene in just a few short years. While the COVID-19 pandemic persists, so too do the high-rises, retail plots, and hotel developments, adding to the hustle and bustle of this historic neighborhood, which lures both locals and visitors. Longtime neighborhood favorites like affordable cocktail bar A&D and Czech cafe Bistro Bohem have shut down. But at the same time, Shaw has gained appealing newcomers like outdoor bar Electric Cool-Aid, Persian stunner Rumi’s Kitchen, Pearl’s Bagels, and Never Looked Better, a cocktail bar with a tongue-in-cheek ’90s vibe in a Blagden Alley basement. Two of the most recent arrivals are El Secreto de Rosita, offering pisco sours and Peruvian food, and Qui Qui, a Puerto Rican kitchen atop the Passenger bar. Here are 22 places to eat and drink, from Florida Avenue NW down to Mt. Vernon Square.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Gogi Yogi

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1921 8th St NW #115
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 525-4167
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One of the only Korean barbecue joints with tabletop grilling in D.C., Gogi Yogi stands out with unconventional meats like New Zealand lamb and spicy baby octopus. Try the “hangover soup,” traditionally called muguk ,with turnips, scallions, and ribeye beef.

Ralph Alswang

2. FishScale

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637 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 780-7886
Visit Website

Chesapeake rockfish burgers, crab cake sandwiches, and jerk salmon cheesesteaks are all draws at chef Brandon Williams’s sustainable seafood restaurant by LeDroit Park. — Gabe Hiatt

WEEKEND:10/20 $20 Diner on FishScale- a new seafood burger joint opened by chef Brandon Williams. He serves only wild caught, sustainable fish, which he processes into burgers. His sister, Kristal, works the front of the house.
A crab cake sandwich from FishScale
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

3. Right Proper Brewing Company

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624 T St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 607-2337
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This D.C. brewpub dishes up macaroni and cheese, fried chicken sandwiches, potato salad, plus traditional bar fare like pretzel bread and bratwurst. The ever-evolving beer menu includes dry-hopped pale ale Raised By Wolves and a highly drinkable Senate Beer pilsner, a recreation of a late 19th-century recipe from the Heurich Brewing Co.

Were We Live: Shaw Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post via Getty Images

4. The Royal

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501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 332-7777
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This neighborhood cafe and bar has a wood-burning grill and a Latin-leaning menu that offers empanadas, arepas, and huevos rancheros throughout the day. Don’t skip the guava pastries.

The coffee bar at the Royal
Photo: Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

5. Electric Cool-Aid

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512 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 921-9021
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This outdoor bar and parking spot for a rotating group of food trucks opened in the gravel lot that used to house the Mr. P’s Ribs and Fish bus. The QR code-enabled menu features spiked slushees and craft beers alongside canned wine, seltzer, and cocktails. An early favorite is the Miami Vice, a strawberry-topped pina colada.

A can of sparkling frose from Electric Cool-Aid
A can of sparkling frose from Electric Cool-Aid
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

6. Dacha Beer Garden

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1600 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 524-8790
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Even without stepping foot in the place, Dacha Beer Garden feels familiar, thanks to an iconic mural of Elizabeth Taylor painted alongside the building. Just as memorable on the inside, the beer garden features pours from near (the District) and far (Belgium and Germany). There’s also weekend brunch which features bagel sandwiches and avocado toast.

7. Zeppelin

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1544 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 506-1068
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In the mood for some late-night karaoke and sushi? Zeppelin is the spot to belt a tune and take down tuna rolls. The downstairs bar, equipped with highball machines, is also a quieter respite for cocktail lovers. The owners also operate busy ramen bar Chaplin’s around the corner.

8. Ivy and Coney

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1537 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 670-9489
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This upstairs dive bar is a home away from home for Midwesterners, welcoming in people with Chicago and Detroit ties for baseball games and Jeppson’s Malört shots. Regulars return for cheap beers and hot dog deals, which can be loaded up Chicago- or Coney-style. Don’t sleep on the Detroit-style pizza, either.

ivy-and-coney-bar Tim Ebner

9. Convivial

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801 O St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 525-2870
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Chef Cedric Maupillier’s French cafe started out as a modern American interpretation of Gallic cuisine, but in the past year it has reverted to a more traditional country approach. That means customers will find steamed leeks in mustard vinaigrette, escargot, cassoulet, bouillabaisse, and gruyere omelets for dinner. Brunch includes almond croissants, hefty cinnamon buns, and pancakes with maple creme fraiche and speculoos cookie crumble.

Rabbit terrine from Convivial
Convivial

10. Maxwell Park (Multiple locations)

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1336 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 792-9522
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This cozy, casual wine bar features more than 50 options by the glass. Each month a different irreverent theme highlights various regions and styles. Masako Morishita just joined the company as an executive chef, bringing on seasonal dishes like okonomiyaki (savory cabbage pancakes), wagyu teriyaki burgers, and a burrata salad with strawberries macerated with tamari and a carved tomato doused in dashi. He food menu is available at Maxwell’s Navy Yard outpost first, and should arrive in Shaw the week of August 16.

11. Nina May

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1337 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 518-3609
Visit Website

Chef and co-owner Colin McClimans opened Nina May just before the pandemic, introducing a stretch of 11th Street NW to an eclectic American menu that prioritizes Chesapeake-area products. An ambitious dinner menu and a busy brunch is available on a streetside patio and a rooftop deck.

12. Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant & Mart

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1334 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 299-9703
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This rowhouse hideaway for Ethiopian food boasts a Bib Gourmand designation from Michelin that speaks to standout vegetarian platters and owner Alemayehu “Alex” Abebe’s discerning standards for beef.

The facade at Chercher on Ninth Street NW
The facade at Chercher on Ninth Street NW
Rey Lopez

13. All-Purpose (Multiple locations)

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1250 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 849-6174
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The name might sound a bit generic, but a menu that includes shareable crocks of baked eggplant Parm, garlic knots in a Parmesan fonduta sauce, and Jersey-style pizzas drizzled in Calabrian chile honey make up for it. Splurge on extra dipping sauces like feta ranch, and wash it all down with an Aperol spritz.

Tom’s first bite review of All-Purpose for June 1 Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

14. Espita

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1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 621-9695
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The high-end Southern Mexican restaurant attracts a big crowd for heirloom blue corn chips and macha salsa, pork adobada tacos, and tlayudas. Mezcal lovers will also want to stop in to sample a large collection. Espita is a popular brunch spot, too, and it’s home to a Ghostburger ghost kitchen that stacks Pat LaFrieda beef patties and an impressive Philly cheesesteak.

Oaxacan-style restaurant Espita welcoms customers in an open patio
Oaxacan-style restaurant Espita welcoms customers in an open patio
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

15. TallBoy

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1239 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 465-4822
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As advertised, this small neighborhood bar serves a selection of tallboy beers alongside a short menu of smoked wings and grilled cheese sandwiches. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m.

16. Never Looked Better

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130 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

Follow the neon lights to this red-hot, ’90s-themed bar that’s transforming Blagden Alley into a late-night destination. The menu has some fun with an entire section dubbed “Not Vodka.” It features drinks like a Paloma, called “Tequila and Grapefruit Has No Business Being This Refreshing,” and a Manhattan, nicknamed “The Power Move.”

Never Looked Better’s geometric bar is all about squares, circles, and straight lines.
Never Looked Better’s geometric bar is all about squares, circles, and straight lines.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

17. Columbia Room

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124 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 316-9396
Visit Website

A cocktail den that routinely collects national accolades, Columbia Room continues to reinvent itself. The spirits library is always growing, and this summer the bar added a spritz garden. It’s also the home base for Your Only Friend, a ghost kitchen specializing in humble sandwiches constructed with a mixologist’s mentality.

Columbia Room
Columbia Room
Jeff Elkins/Official

18. The Dabney

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122 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 450-1015
Visit Website

James Beard Award-wining chefJeremiah Langhorne remains committed to the Shaw neighborhood with a Michelin-starred restaurant that deploys an open-hearth, wood-fired grill to showcase the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic region. The menu changes frequently, but a side order of cornbread is a must. The dining room runs a four-course prix fixe right now, with a la carte dishes like a fried catfish sandwich on a sweet potato roll available from an a la carte menu at the bar.

The Dabney
The Dabney
Rey Lopez

19. Unconventional Diner

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1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 847-0122
Visit Website

Mom’s meatloaf may have just met its match. As the restaurant’s name implies, Unconventional Diner dishes out homey staples with a dose of haute cuisine, like Sriracha-glazed slices of ground meat served with mashed potatoes in a morel gravy. French chef David Deshaies got his start cooking American comfort food at Central.

A meatloaf dinner with all the fixings from Unconventional Diner
A meatloaf dinner with all the fixings from Unconventional Diner
Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post via Getty Images

20. Supra

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1205 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 789-1205
Visit Website

Khachapuri, a Georgian-style bread boat full of cheese, butter, and eggs, is reason enough to visit Supra. But there are so many other dishes to taste, including khinkali (Georgian-style soup dumplings), and a wine list that focuses on the Caucasus region.

21. Rumi's Kitchen - DC

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640 L St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 900-9106
Visit Website

Iranian-born Chef Ali Mesghali serves up Persian-style hospitality with signature dishes like chicken barg — saffron-marinated chicken breast — and kashk bademjoon — a dip of fried eggplant, cream of whey, crispy onion, and mint oil.

A bowl of ghorme sabzi, and herb stew with beef, kidney beans, and dried lime, from Rumi’s Kitchen
A bowl of ghorme sabzi, and herb stew with beef, kidney beans, and dried lime, from Rumi’s Kitchen
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

22. Pearl's Bagels

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1017 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

At Pearl’s, bagels get a boost from sourdough starter before they’re boiled in honey-sweetened water and fired in a gas-powered deck oven. Light and airy rounds go well with a selection of schmears that include scallion-and-chive, veggie, and strawberry flavors. The coffee and the smoked tuna spread come from shops in Princeton, New Jersey. 

Pearl’s Bagels

1. Gogi Yogi

1921 8th St NW #115, Washington, DC 20001
Ralph Alswang

One of the only Korean barbecue joints with tabletop grilling in D.C., Gogi Yogi stands out with unconventional meats like New Zealand lamb and spicy baby octopus. Try the “hangover soup,” traditionally called muguk ,with turnips, scallions, and ribeye beef.

1921 8th St NW #115
Washington, DC 20001

2. FishScale

637 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
WEEKEND:10/20 $20 Diner on FishScale- a new seafood burger joint opened by chef Brandon Williams. He serves only wild caught, sustainable fish, which he processes into burgers. His sister, Kristal, works the front of the house.
A crab cake sandwich from FishScale
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Chesapeake rockfish burgers, crab cake sandwiches, and jerk salmon cheesesteaks are all draws at chef Brandon Williams’s sustainable seafood restaurant by LeDroit Park. — Gabe Hiatt

637 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

3. Right Proper Brewing Company

624 T St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Were We Live: Shaw Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post via Getty Images

This D.C. brewpub dishes up macaroni and cheese, fried chicken sandwiches, potato salad, plus traditional bar fare like pretzel bread and bratwurst. The ever-evolving beer menu includes dry-hopped pale ale Raised By Wolves and a highly drinkable Senate Beer pilsner, a recreation of a late 19th-century recipe from the Heurich Brewing Co.

624 T St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

4. The Royal

501 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The coffee bar at the Royal
Photo: Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This neighborhood cafe and bar has a wood-burning grill and a Latin-leaning menu that offers empanadas, arepas, and huevos rancheros throughout the day. Don’t skip the guava pastries.

501 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

5. Electric Cool-Aid

512 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
A can of sparkling frose from Electric Cool-Aid
A can of sparkling frose from Electric Cool-Aid
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This outdoor bar and parking spot for a rotating group of food trucks opened in the gravel lot that used to house the Mr. P’s Ribs and Fish bus. The QR code-enabled menu features spiked slushees and craft beers alongside canned wine, seltzer, and cocktails. An early favorite is the Miami Vice, a strawberry-topped pina colada.

512 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

6. Dacha Beer Garden

1600 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Even without stepping foot in the place, Dacha Beer Garden feels familiar, thanks to an iconic mural of Elizabeth Taylor painted alongside the building. Just as memorable on the inside, the beer garden features pours from near (the District) and far (Belgium and Germany). There’s also weekend brunch which features bagel sandwiches and avocado toast.

1600 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. Zeppelin

1544 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

In the mood for some late-night karaoke and sushi? Zeppelin is the spot to belt a tune and take down tuna rolls. The downstairs bar, equipped with highball machines, is also a quieter respite for cocktail lovers. The owners also operate busy ramen bar Chaplin’s around the corner.

1544 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

8. Ivy and Coney

1537 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
ivy-and-coney-bar Tim Ebner

This upstairs dive bar is a home away from home for Midwesterners, welcoming in people with Chicago and Detroit ties for baseball games and Jeppson’s Malört shots. Regulars return for cheap beers and hot dog deals, which can be loaded up Chicago- or Coney-style. Don’t sleep on the Detroit-style pizza, either.

1537 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

9. Convivial

801 O St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Rabbit terrine from Convivial
Convivial

Chef Cedric Maupillier’s French cafe started out as a modern American interpretation of Gallic cuisine, but in the past year it has reverted to a more traditional country approach. That means customers will find steamed leeks in mustard vinaigrette, escargot, cassoulet, bouillabaisse, and gruyere omelets for dinner. Brunch includes almond croissants, hefty cinnamon buns, and pancakes with maple creme fraiche and speculoos cookie crumble.

801 O St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

10. Maxwell Park (Multiple locations)

1336 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

This cozy, casual wine bar features more than 50 options by the glass. Each month a different irreverent theme highlights various regions and styles. Masako Morishita just joined the company as an executive chef, bringing on seasonal dishes like okonomiyaki (savory cabbage pancakes), wagyu teriyaki burgers, and a burrata salad with strawberries macerated with tamari and a carved tomato doused in dashi. He food menu is available at Maxwell’s Navy Yard outpost first, and should arrive in Shaw the week of August 16.

1336 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

11. Nina May

1337 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Chef and co-owner Colin McClimans opened Nina May just before the pandemic, introducing a stretch of 11th Street NW to an eclectic American menu that prioritizes Chesapeake-area products. An ambitious dinner menu and a busy brunch is available on a streetside patio and a rooftop deck.

1337 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

12. Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant & Mart

1334 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
The facade at Chercher on Ninth Street NW
The facade at Chercher on Ninth Street NW
Rey Lopez

This rowhouse hideaway for Ethiopian food boasts a Bib Gourmand designation from Michelin that speaks to standout vegetarian platters and owner Alemayehu “Alex” Abebe’s discerning standards for beef.

1334 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

13. All-Purpose (Multiple locations)

1250 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Tom’s first bite review of All-Purpose for June 1 Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The name might sound a bit generic, but a menu that includes shareable crocks of baked eggplant Parm, garlic knots in a Parmesan fonduta sauce, and Jersey-style pizzas drizzled in Calabrian chile honey make up for it. Splurge on extra dipping sauces like feta ranch, and wash it all down with an Aperol spritz.

1250 9th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

14. Espita

1250 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Oaxacan-style restaurant Espita welcoms customers in an open patio
Oaxacan-style restaurant Espita welcoms customers in an open patio
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

The high-end Southern Mexican restaurant attracts a big crowd for heirloom blue corn chips and macha salsa, pork adobada tacos, and tlayudas. Mezcal lovers will also want to stop in to sample a large collection. Espita is a popular brunch spot, too, and it’s home to a Ghostburger ghost kitchen that stacks Pat LaFrieda beef patties and an impressive Philly cheesesteak.

1250 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

15. TallBoy

1239 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

As advertised, this small neighborhood bar serves a selection of tallboy beers alongside a short menu of smoked wings and grilled cheese sandwiches. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m.

1239 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Related Maps

16. Never Looked Better

130 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
Never Looked Better’s geometric bar is all about squares, circles, and straight lines.
Never Looked Better’s geometric bar is all about squares, circles, and straight lines.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Follow the neon lights to this red-hot, ’90s-themed bar that’s transforming Blagden Alley into a late-night destination. The menu has some fun with an entire section dubbed “Not Vodka.” It features drinks like a Paloma, called “Tequila and Grapefruit Has No Business Being This Refreshing,” and a Manhattan, nicknamed “The Power Move.”

130 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

17. Columbia Room

124 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
Columbia Room
Columbia Room
Jeff Elkins/Official

A cocktail den that routinely collects national accolades, Columbia Room continues to reinvent itself. The spirits library is always growing, and this summer the bar added a spritz garden. It’s also the home base for Your Only Friend, a ghost kitchen specializing in humble sandwiches constructed with a mixologist’s mentality.

124 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

18. The Dabney

122 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001
The Dabney
The Dabney
Rey Lopez

James Beard Award-wining chefJeremiah Langhorne remains committed to the Shaw neighborhood with a Michelin-starred restaurant that deploys an open-hearth, wood-fired grill to showcase the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic region. The menu changes frequently, but a side order of cornbread is a must. The dining room runs a four-course prix fixe right now, with a la carte dishes like a fried catfish sandwich on a sweet potato roll available from an a la carte menu at the bar.

122 Blagden Alley NW
Washington, DC 20001

19. Unconventional Diner

1207 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
A meatloaf dinner with all the fixings from Unconventional Diner
A meatloaf dinner with all the fixings from Unconventional Diner
Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Mom’s meatloaf may have just met its match. As the restaurant’s name implies, Unconventional Diner dishes out homey staples with a dose of haute cuisine, like Sriracha-glazed slices of ground meat served with mashed potatoes in a morel gravy. French chef David Deshaies got his start cooking American comfort food at Central.

1207 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

20. Supra

1205 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Khachapuri, a Georgian-style bread boat full of cheese, butter, and eggs, is reason enough to visit Supra. But there are so many other dishes to taste, including khinkali (Georgian-style soup dumplings), and a wine list that focuses on the Caucasus region.

1205 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

21. Rumi's Kitchen - DC

640 L St NW, Washington, DC 20001
A bowl of ghorme sabzi, and herb stew with beef, kidney beans, and dried lime, from Rumi’s Kitchen
A bowl of ghorme sabzi, and herb stew with beef, kidney beans, and dried lime, from Rumi’s Kitchen
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Iranian-born Chef Ali Mesghali serves up Persian-style hospitality with signature dishes like chicken barg — saffron-marinated chicken breast — and kashk bademjoon — a dip of fried eggplant, cream of whey, crispy onion, and mint oil.

640 L St NW
Washington, DC 20001

22. Pearl's Bagels

1017 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Pearl’s Bagels

At Pearl’s, bagels get a boost from sourdough starter before they’re boiled in honey-sweetened water and fired in a gas-powered deck oven. Light and airy rounds go well with a selection of schmears that include scallion-and-chive, veggie, and strawberry flavors. The coffee and the smoked tuna spread come from shops in Princeton, New Jersey. 

1017 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Related Maps