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Cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms
Shutterstock/Orhan Cam

Where to Eat by the National Mall During Tourist Season

A guide for monument visitors and more.

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Cherry blossoms
| Shutterstock/Orhan Cam

The blooming of the cherry blossoms is coming soon (peak bloom dates were just announced as ). The school bus trips are about to start pouring in. Tourist season in D.C. has officially begun.

That means visitors and residents alike may find themselves looking for dining options near the National Mall. This guide isn't meant to be exhaustive — it skips over run-of-the-mill cafeterias, hot dog carts and options without fixed locations, such as food trucks (though odds are, a cluster will be gathered near L'Enfant plaza or in Penn Quarter). But it does aim to reflect a range of price ranges, dining styles and cuisines.

National Mall visitors should note that many restaurants will be offering cherry-themed or Asian-inspired specials around this time of year, due to the Cherry Blossom Festival. Visitors should also note that the National Mall stretches across two miles, meaning that the walk time estimates provided only get visitors to the closest part of the Mall to each restaurant. Diners may be in for a much longer walk depending on whether they're seeing the blossoms, visiting the monuments or touring a museum.

Have another favorite place to dine near the National Mall? Share it in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mitsitam Cafe

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950 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20560
(202) 633-1000
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The place: Mitsitam Cafe at the Museum of the American Indian
The deal: The cafe is the most ambitious restaurant inside one of the Smithsonian's museums. It features a variety of indigenous food items from different parts of the Western Hemisphere. Items rotate seasonally.
Best bets: Fiddlehead salad, cedar plank salmon, fry bread
Go for: A quick, cafeteria-style lunch.
Distance from the Mall: On the Mall
Official

2. Garden Cafe

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National Gallery of Art
Washington, D.C.
(202) 712-7454
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The place: The Garden Cafe at the National Gallery
The deal: The Garden Cafe coordinates its menu to go along with a particular art exhibit at the National Gallery. Previous menus have featured the cuisine of such chefs as Jose Andres and Michel Richard.
Best bets: Coq a vin, the buffet (subject to change)
Go for: An artsy lunch
Distance from the Mall: On the Mall
Official

3. Daikaya

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705 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 589-1600
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The place: Daikaya
The deal: Japanese restaurant Daikaya is a bit of a trek from the mall, but it's worth it for visitors looking for an atmospheric experience, whether they're dining and dashing or in the mood to lounge.
Best bets: Downstairs: vegan or spicy miso ramen. Upstairs: Okonomiyaki brussels sprouts, grilled avocado, Japanese whiskey.
Go for: A quick bowl of ramen or the chance to linger over drinks and small plates.
Distance from the Mall: Half a mile (about a 10 min walk).

4. Paul Bakery

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801 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 524-4500
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The place: Paul Bakery
The deal: This French chain is good for tourists looking for a quick breakfast.
Best bets: Quiche, croque Monsieur, breads
Go for: A quick cup of coffee and a pastry or sandwich
Distance from the Mall: Just over a block (less than five minute walk).
Official

5. Red Apron Butchery

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709 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
The place: Red Apron Butchery
The deal: The Penn Quarter location of this local sandwich chain also has an adjacent restaurant, The Partisan.
Best bets: Tigelle breakfast sandwiches, porkstrami, beef fat fries, a killer hamburger.
Go for: A quick lunch inside or to-go. Meat.
Distance from the Mall: About two blocks (five minute walk).

6. Wiseguy NY Pizza

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300 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 408-7800
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The place: Wiseguy New York pizza
The deal: It will take a short walk, but visitors will be rewarded with one of D.C.'s few by-the-slice pizza options.
Best bets:Meatball pizza, garlic knots.
Go for: A quick lunch, late night eats.
Distance from the Mall: Half a mile (about a ten minute walk).
Official

7. Shake Shack

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800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 800-9930
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The place: Shake Shack
The deal: One of D.C.'s stand-alone Shake Shack locations is near the National Mall. Bonus: it's attached to the Spy Museum.
Best bets: SmokeShack burger, concretes with local ingredients like Astro Doughnuts, the new ChickenShack sandwich, epic specials (like fried pickle hot dogs).
Go for: A fast food lunch that's actually delicious.
Distance from the Mall: About four blocks (less than a 10 minute walk).
Official

8. The Scotch Bar at The Willard Hotel

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Willard Hotel
Washington, D.C.
The place: Scotch Bar at the Willard Hotel
The deal: The Scotch Bar is a tiny bar within the hotel boasting an impressive collection of single malts and an encyclopedic bartender.
Best bets: Single malts.
Go for: Whiskey. Looking for something more substantial? Grab a bite at Cafe du Parc or the Round Robin (a great D.C. bar in itself), both also located within the hotel.
Distance from the Mall: Less than half a mile (about a five minute walk).
Official

9. Poste Moderne Brasserie

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555 8th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 783-6060
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The place: Poste
The deal: This restaurant and bar within the Hotel Monaco boasts one of the city's most beautiful outdoor courtyards.
Best bets: Truffle fries, French onion soup burger, cocktails.
Go for: Outdoor drinks.
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (less than a 10 minute walk).
Official

10. Old Ebbitt Grill

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675 15th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-4800
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The place: Old Ebbitt Grill
The deal: One of D.C.'s most iconic restaurants is a quick skip from the National Mall.
Best bets: Raw bar/oysters, typical American fare.
Go for: Lunch, dinner or late night happy hour, but make a reservation: tourists can overrun the place during the warmer months.
Distance from the Mall: Less than half a mile (5-10 minute walk).

11. Central Michel Richard

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1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 626-0015
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The place: Central
The deal: Michel Richard's last remaining D.C. restaurant is a buzzy, casual bistro.
Best bets: Lobster burger, fried chicken.
Go for: A nice dinner or a classy drink.
Distance from the Mall: Less than a five minute walk.

12. Fiola da Fabio Trabocchi

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678 Indiana Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 628-2888
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The place: Fiola
The deal: Fabio Trabocchi's first D.C. restaurant is a nice place to splurge.
Best bets: Negronis, homemade pastas, roasted seafood.
Go for: A pricey but delicious dinner, lunch at the bar.
Distance from the Mall: Less than a five minute walk.
Official

13. Jaleo

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480 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 628-7949
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The place: Jaleo
The deal: Few places scream "D.C. dining" quite like Jose Andres' original restaurant.
Best bets: Croquetas, tomato bread with manchego, patatas bravas, seasonal specials.
Go for: Tapas, lunch or dinner. Not a fan of Spanish food? Andres' Zaytinya (Mediterranean) and Oyamel (Mexican) are also within walking distance.
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (five minute walk).
Official

14. The Source by Wolfgang Puck

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575 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 637-6100
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The place: The Source
The deal: Wolfgang Puck's D.C. restaurant, adjacent to the Newseum, is overseen by local chef Scott Drewno. It just received a major revamp.
Best bets:Dumplings, hot pot, sushi, spicy items.
Go for: Dim sum brunch and the lounge menu are a good value; dinner is nice for a special occasion.
Distance from the Mall: About a block.

15. Art and Soul

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415 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 393-7777
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The place: Art & Soul
The deal: Art Smith's D.C. restaurant serves up upscale Southern food within the Liaison Capitol Hill.
Best bets: Fried chicken, charcuterie, anything with offal, Southern classics like shrimp and grits.
Go for: Brunch or bar food. Keep an eye out for special events, too, like crab feasts on the patio.
Distance from the Mall: About half a mile (10 minute walk).
Official

16. Teaism

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400 8th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 638-6010
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The place: Teaism
The deal: This longtime Penn Quarter institution serves up pastries, teas and a light Asian-influenced menu.
Best bets: Salty oatmeal cookie, cilantro scrambled eggs.
Go for: A light breakfast or lunch, tea.
Distance from the Mall: A couple blocks (five minute walk).
Official

17. Pitango Gelato

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413 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 885-9607
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The place: Pitango Gelato
The deal: The local gelato purveyor is also a great destination for coffee: both products use local, organic milk.
Best bets: Pistachio gelato, affogato, latte.
Go for: A sweet treat or a cup of coffee.
Distance from the Mall: About two blocks (five minute walk).
Official

18. Carmine's

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425 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 737-7770
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The place: Carmine's
The deal: The D.C. outpost of the New York institution is known for its family-style service.
Best bets: Meatballs, rigatoni with broccoli, chicken scarpariello, giant salads.
Go for: Big portions, private dining.
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (five minute walk).
Official

19. Barmini

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855 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
The place: Barmini
The deal: The bar lab adjacent to the stratospherically priced Minibar combines whimsical cocktails with a classy setting.
Best bets: Classic cocktails, anything with mezcal, Thai Chicharrones, "Foie-ffle"
Go for: Drinks and a snack (reservations recommended).
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (five minute walk).

20. Rasika

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633 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 637-1222
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The place: Rasika
The deal: D.C's best Indian restaurant is steps from the National Mall. The catch: reservations are hard to come by.
Best bets: Black cod, palak chat, dal. Generally, it's hard to go wrong.
Go for: Dinner, with an advance reservation.
Distance from the Mall: About two blocks (five minute walk).

21. Taylor Gourmet

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624 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 652-0145
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The place: Taylor Gourmet
The deal: D.C.'s most famous place for hoagies has a location near the Mall.
Best bets: The Federal Street, the Vine Street Expressway, the Pattison Ave., risotto balls.
Go for: A quick lunch or picnic supplies.
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (five minute walk).
Official

22. 701 Restaurant

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701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 393-0701
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The place: 701 Restaurant
The deal: Ashok Bajaj's elegant restaurant is a spot for power-players.
Best bets: Fish entrees, pastas, interesting desserts.
Go for: A classy lunch or dinner (with reservations).
Distance from the Mall: 0.2 miles (about a four minute walk).

23. China Chilcano

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418 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 783-0941
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The place: China Chilcano
The deal: This new offering from Jose Andres combines Peruvian and Chinese cuisine.
Best bets: Ceviches, chifa.
Go for: Festive dinner (with reservations).
Distance from the Mall: 0.3 miles (a six minute walk).

24. Hill Country Barbecue Market

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410 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 556-2050
Visit Website
The place: Hill Country Barbecue Market
The deal: The D.C. outpost of the New York favorite is a great bet for barbecue.
Best bets: Brisket, wings.
Go for: Happy hour, karaoke, not-too-fussy meal.
Distance from the Mall: 0.2 miles (about a five minute walk).
Eater.com

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1. Mitsitam Cafe

950 Independence Ave SW, Washington, D.C. 20560
Official
The place: Mitsitam Cafe at the Museum of the American Indian
The deal: The cafe is the most ambitious restaurant inside one of the Smithsonian's museums. It features a variety of indigenous food items from different parts of the Western Hemisphere. Items rotate seasonally.
Best bets: Fiddlehead salad, cedar plank salmon, fry bread
Go for: A quick, cafeteria-style lunch.
Distance from the Mall: On the Mall
950 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20560

2. Garden Cafe

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Official
The place: The Garden Cafe at the National Gallery
The deal: The Garden Cafe coordinates its menu to go along with a particular art exhibit at the National Gallery. Previous menus have featured the cuisine of such chefs as Jose Andres and Michel Richard.
Best bets: Coq a vin, the buffet (subject to change)
Go for: An artsy lunch
Distance from the Mall: On the Mall
National Gallery of Art
Washington, D.C.

3. Daikaya

705 6th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The place: Daikaya
The deal: Japanese restaurant Daikaya is a bit of a trek from the mall, but it's worth it for visitors looking for an atmospheric experience, whether they're dining and dashing or in the mood to lounge.
Best bets: Downstairs: vegan or spicy miso ramen. Upstairs: Okonomiyaki brussels sprouts, grilled avocado, Japanese whiskey.
Go for: A quick bowl of ramen or the chance to linger over drinks and small plates.
Distance from the Mall: Half a mile (about a 10 min walk).
705 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

4. Paul Bakery

801 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Paul Bakery
The deal: This French chain is good for tourists looking for a quick breakfast.
Best bets: Quiche, croque Monsieur, breads
Go for: A quick cup of coffee and a pastry or sandwich
Distance from the Mall: Just over a block (less than five minute walk).
801 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

5. Red Apron Butchery

709 D St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
The place: Red Apron Butchery
The deal: The Penn Quarter location of this local sandwich chain also has an adjacent restaurant, The Partisan.
Best bets: Tigelle breakfast sandwiches, porkstrami, beef fat fries, a killer hamburger.
Go for: A quick lunch inside or to-go. Meat.
Distance from the Mall: About two blocks (five minute walk).
709 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

6. Wiseguy NY Pizza

300 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Official
The place: Wiseguy New York pizza
The deal: It will take a short walk, but visitors will be rewarded with one of D.C.'s few by-the-slice pizza options.
Best bets:Meatball pizza, garlic knots.
Go for: A quick lunch, late night eats.
Distance from the Mall: Half a mile (about a ten minute walk).
300 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. Shake Shack

800 F St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Shake Shack
The deal: One of D.C.'s stand-alone Shake Shack locations is near the National Mall. Bonus: it's attached to the Spy Museum.
Best bets: SmokeShack burger, concretes with local ingredients like Astro Doughnuts, the new ChickenShack sandwich, epic specials (like fried pickle hot dogs).
Go for: A fast food lunch that's actually delicious.
Distance from the Mall: About four blocks (less than a 10 minute walk).
800 F St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

8. The Scotch Bar at The Willard Hotel

Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Official
The place: Scotch Bar at the Willard Hotel
The deal: The Scotch Bar is a tiny bar within the hotel boasting an impressive collection of single malts and an encyclopedic bartender.
Best bets: Single malts.
Go for: Whiskey. Looking for something more substantial? Grab a bite at Cafe du Parc or the Round Robin (a great D.C. bar in itself), both also located within the hotel.
Distance from the Mall: Less than half a mile (about a five minute walk).
Willard Hotel
Washington, D.C.

9. Poste Moderne Brasserie

555 8th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Poste
The deal: This restaurant and bar within the Hotel Monaco boasts one of the city's most beautiful outdoor courtyards.
Best bets: Truffle fries, French onion soup burger, cocktails.
Go for: Outdoor drinks.
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (less than a 10 minute walk).
555 8th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

10. Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
The place: Old Ebbitt Grill
The deal: One of D.C.'s most iconic restaurants is a quick skip from the National Mall.
Best bets: Raw bar/oysters, typical American fare.
Go for: Lunch, dinner or late night happy hour, but make a reservation: tourists can overrun the place during the warmer months.
Distance from the Mall: Less than half a mile (5-10 minute walk).
675 15th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

11. Central Michel Richard

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
The place: Central
The deal: Michel Richard's last remaining D.C. restaurant is a buzzy, casual bistro.
Best bets: Lobster burger, fried chicken.
Go for: A nice dinner or a classy drink.
Distance from the Mall: Less than a five minute walk.
1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

12. Fiola da Fabio Trabocchi

678 Indiana Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Fiola
The deal: Fabio Trabocchi's first D.C. restaurant is a nice place to splurge.
Best bets: Negronis, homemade pastas, roasted seafood.
Go for: A pricey but delicious dinner, lunch at the bar.
Distance from the Mall: Less than a five minute walk.
678 Indiana Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

13. Jaleo

480 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Jaleo
The deal: Few places scream "D.C. dining" quite like Jose Andres' original restaurant.
Best bets: Croquetas, tomato bread with manchego, patatas bravas, seasonal specials.
Go for: Tapas, lunch or dinner. Not a fan of Spanish food? Andres' Zaytinya (Mediterranean) and Oyamel (Mexican) are also within walking distance.
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (five minute walk).
480 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

14. The Source by Wolfgang Puck

575 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The place: The Source
The deal: Wolfgang Puck's D.C. restaurant, adjacent to the Newseum, is overseen by local chef Scott Drewno. It just received a major revamp.
Best bets:Dumplings, hot pot, sushi, spicy items.
Go for: Dim sum brunch and the lounge menu are a good value; dinner is nice for a special occasion.
Distance from the Mall: About a block.
575 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

15. Art and Soul

415 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Official
The place: Art & Soul
The deal: Art Smith's D.C. restaurant serves up upscale Southern food within the Liaison Capitol Hill.
Best bets: Fried chicken, charcuterie, anything with offal, Southern classics like shrimp and grits.
Go for: Brunch or bar food. Keep an eye out for special events, too, like crab feasts on the patio.
Distance from the Mall: About half a mile (10 minute walk).
415 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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16. Teaism

400 8th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Teaism
The deal: This longtime Penn Quarter institution serves up pastries, teas and a light Asian-influenced menu.
Best bets: Salty oatmeal cookie, cilantro scrambled eggs.
Go for: A light breakfast or lunch, tea.
Distance from the Mall: A couple blocks (five minute walk).
400 8th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

17. Pitango Gelato

413 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Pitango Gelato
The deal: The local gelato purveyor is also a great destination for coffee: both products use local, organic milk.
Best bets: Pistachio gelato, affogato, latte.
Go for: A sweet treat or a cup of coffee.
Distance from the Mall: About two blocks (five minute walk).
413 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

18. Carmine's

425 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
Official
The place: Carmine's
The deal: The D.C. outpost of the New York institution is known for its family-style service.
Best bets: Meatballs, rigatoni with broccoli, chicken scarpariello, giant salads.
Go for: Big portions, private dining.
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (five minute walk).
425 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

19. Barmini

855 E St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
The place: Barmini
The deal: The bar lab adjacent to the stratospherically priced Minibar combines whimsical cocktails with a classy setting.
Best bets: Classic cocktails, anything with mezcal, Thai Chicharrones, "Foie-ffle"
Go for: Drinks and a snack (reservations recommended).
Distance from the Mall: About three blocks (five minute walk).
855 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

20. Rasika

633 D St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
The place: Rasika
The deal: D.C's best Indian restaurant is steps from the National Mall. The catch: reservations are hard to come by.
Best bets: Black cod, palak chat, dal. Generally, it's hard to go wrong.
Go for: Dinner, with an advance reservation.
Distance from the Mall: About two blocks (five minute walk).
633 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

21. Taylor Gourmet

624 E St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004