Once viewed as a dining desert, D.C. has morphed into a new frontier for foodies. New eateries pop up all the time in both established and up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Local favorites and iconic food
You can’t leave Washington without trying at least one classic crab cake, the signature dish of both D.C. and Maryland, thanks to the nearby Chesapeake Bay. They’re a staple at the Old Ebbitt Grill, established in 1856. The grill says it’s the oldest saloon in D.C. and also claims to have the largest selection of oysters in the city. For farm-to-table meals at affordable prices, head to lively Founding Farmers, whose fried chicken salad and craft cocktails are to die for.
Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street in Shaw is a D.C. legend, with former presidents and celebrities dining there. Famous for their chili half-smokes, the restaurant offers a surprising number of vegetarian options. For more D.C.-insider flair, try. For politician-spotting, try the Monocle, a legendary seafood and steak restaurant on Capitol Hill. African American luminaries are among the aficionados of the Sunday jazz brunch at Georgia Brown’s downtown. It’s a celebration of South Carolina Low Country cuisine — peel-’n’-eat shrimp, Carolina gumbo, fried catfish and stone-milled grits — along with stone-cool jazz. You can make return trips to a buffet, and do as regulars do and have your entrée packaged to go.