Where To Eat In DC: A Guide to My Favorite Restaurants

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant


Where to Eat In DC

One of the things that blew my mind when I moved to DC back in 2016 was how impressive the restaurant scene is. Outside of our must see monuments, the restaurant scene in the district gives other tourist attractions a serious run for their money. I’m not kidding - the amount of award winning restaurants in this city is astonishing. Over the last two years I’ve made some substantial culinary strides here in DC, so today I’m sharing a guide to my favorite restaurants. Better grab a fork and knife!

All images in this post are mine unless noted otherwise.


  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant


A Baked Joint

  Source: A Baked Joint Website

Source: A Baked Joint Website

This is my friend groups home away from home. We love grabbing breakfast, sweet treats, and coffee at ABJ. Located between Gallery Place and Mount Vernon Square, our favorite time to visit A Baked Joint is on Fridays for Jazz & Pizza Night. What’s that you ask? It’s the best night ever! Live jazz bands, deep dish pizzas, and lots of fellowship. You won’t want to miss it!


Blue Duck Tavern

  Source: Blue Duck Tavern Website

Source: Blue Duck Tavern Website

I’ll never forget the first time I had the pleasure of having dinner at this Michelin star restaurant. Located on the cusp of where Georgetown and West End meets, Blue Duck Tavern’s market-based menu features local farms and the best ingredients of each season. Nothing on this menu disappoints, but the wood oven roasted bone marrow and pekin duck are my personal favorites.


Bluestone Lane

  Source: Bluestone Lane Website

Source: Bluestone Lane Website

This stylish Australian cafe in West End is one of my favorite places to grab breakfast with friends. The food is as healthy as it is delicious, and the space is absolutely stunning - perfect for your tummy and for Instagram. I usually order the Classic Avocado Smash or the Breakfast Bowl. Check it out mate!


Chaia Tacos

  Source: Chaia Facebook Page

Source: Chaia Facebook Page

I’m not going to lie - the first time that I heard about Chaia I was not interested. I’m an avid meat lover, so the thought of vegan tacos translated to an automatic no for me. The first time that I ended up having Chaia was by accident after a workout class, and I immediately fell in love. The tacos are amazing and the space in Georgetown is super quaint and cute. Perfect for a casual lunch or dinner while in Georgetown.


Daikaya

  Source: Daikaya Website

Source: Daikaya Website

If you’re looking for the best ramen in DC, it’s at Daikaya. When my sister lived in Maryland, we loved grabbing ramen and Sapporos at this Gallery Place hot spot. Word to the wise? Show up early because it can take eons before you’re seated.


Del Mar

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

I felt like the fanciest chick while dining at Del Mar. I had the pleasure of dining here for a work dinner, and I’ve been dying to go back ever since. Nestled on the Wharf, Del Mar provides a stunning view of the waterfront with super sleek interiors. Founded by Fabio and Maria Trabocchi, the menu features coastal Spain flare in celebration of their family traditions.


District Commons

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

I like this place because it’s right in my DuPont Circle backyard - Foggy Bottom! The outdoor seating at this restaurant is my favorite, so I like to visit during the warmer months. The food is wonderful and the vibe is awesome. My favorite items on the menu are the Risotto balls and the Slow Roasted Five Spice Duck. The best part? It’s just a short walk from the Foggy Bottom metro and a leisurely stroll away from DuPont Circle!


Emissary

  Source: Josie Jackson & Charmaine Charmant

Source: Josie Jackson & Charmaine Charmant

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that Emissary is my home away from home. This independent coffee house doubles as a bar at night with a cozy atmosphere featuring exposed brick and amazing food. What I love the most about Emissary is it’s commitment to community and diversity. I have gone to Emissary for first dates, breakfast with friends, happy hour with coworkers, and to get work done during the day. It’s the perfect little spot for any occasion. When I’m there, I usually order the Smashed Avocado Toast, Truffle Popcorn, Chilaquiles, or Smoked Salmon Toast. The seasonal pasta is also amazing!


Farmers Fishers Bakers

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

I absolutely adore Farmers Fishers Bakers. It was one of the first restaurants I visited while apartment hunting in DC before my move! Situated on the Georgetown Waterfront, this restaurant is always super packed and busy, so there’s no such thing as showing up without a reservation. Their farm to table atmosphere extends well beyond the restaurant itself. In fact, the Farmers Restaurant Group is primarily owned by more than 47,000 American family farmers. While I love every meal at Farmers Fishers Bakers, their buffet style weekend brunch takes the cake! You can’t leave DC without paying this restaurant a visit.


Founding Farmers

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

Owned by the same restaurant group that brought us Farmers Fishers Bakers, Founding Farmers is a city favorite. This restaurant is another one that’s always packed and busy. I love coming here for lunch because the wait is usually relatively short with a reservation. The food is always divine and the atmosphere is fresh and upbeat. You won’t regret dining here.

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant


Ghibellina

  Source: Ghibellina Website

Source: Ghibellina Website

I would live in this Logan Circle restaurant if I could. The interiors are so chic and the pizza is undeniably delicious. My favorite place to sit is at the bar. The marble counter top and high chairs are insanely picturesque. Not sure what to drink? Order some of that sangria babe!


Jinya Ramen Bar

  Source: Jinya Facebook

Source: Jinya Facebook

Also located near Logan Circle is Jinya Ramen bar. This LA based Japanese franchise is one of my favorite places to grab ramen in the city. My favorite dish at this establishment is the Tonkotsu Black ramen. Next time you’re in the area, check it out!


Kith & Kin

  Source: Kith & Kin Website

Source: Kith & Kin Website

I visited Kith & Kin for the first time on a blind date, and have been back a million times since. If you follow me on Instagram, you’re already familiar with my Caribbean heritage, so it probably comes as no surprise that I’m always excited when I find good Afro-Caribbean cuisine outside of NYC. Located on the Wharf, this upscale restaurant features a stunning waterfront view with a beautiful airy interior with gold accents. As someone that grew up in a Caribbean household, I will say that the spices are definitely toned down to accommodate a wider range of palettes. My menu favorites are the Braised Oxtails, Jerk Chicken and Goat Roti.


Ladurée

This French luxury bakery is world renowned for baked goods - particularly macaroons. Ladurée’s Georgetown location is the perfect place to grab sweat treats in the District. They also have a pretty awesome brunch! Fun fact - I went on a few dates with the former second chef and he made me and my friends the beautiful chocolate desserts photographed below. I don’t miss him much, but I do miss the free treats!


La Vie

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

I want to throw a party at La Vie. My first introduction to this gem was for a Grand L’Esprit launch party. As soon as I got upstairs, I fell in love with the interior design. Talk about glamour! Nestled on the edge of the Wharf, this restaurant provides stunning views of the waterfront. There are three separate rooms with three distinct feels - each one more lavish than the previous. It’s like a dream. Oh right, the food is amazing too.


Le Diplomate

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

This restaurant is at the top of my list for dining out in the district. Thinking of planning a date night? Look no further than Le Diplomate for booking a reservation. This french brasserie is the best restaurant on one of DC’s most popular streets - 14th. I love their duck à l’orange and the wine is amazing. I can’t wait to visit again.


Modern Market

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

My favorite place to grab lunch during the week is at Modern Market. With a location in Bethesda and another one Downtown DC, this farm fresh eatery features a wide range of delicious and vibrant dishes crafted from scratch. I love that Modern Market restaurants operate within a network of farmers, ranchers and suppliers who use sustainable practices. I always leave feeling satisfied, happy, and energized to seize the second half of my day.


Momofuku CCDC

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

My first taste of Momofuku was at the NYC location, so I already knew that the one in DC would not disappoint. Opened in 2015, Momofuku CCDC’s menu is constantly evolving as the Executive Chef and his team create amazing seasonal menus centered around Asian fare. I love the airy atmosphere of this restaurant. With floor to ceiling glass windows, high ceilings, and exposed industrial beams, Momofuku CCDC provides a sleek and modern vibe.


Oohh’s & Aahh’s

If you like soul food, you’ll like this no frills black owned establishment. I literally left a happy hour at the Wet Dog to grab a quick bite from this spot. I wish I was lying, but I’m dead serious. The fried chicken is bomb, the greens are lit, and the mac n cheese hits! The next time you find yourself on U street, be sure to check them out.

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant


Peacock Cafe

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

The next time you’re in Georgetown, make sure you set some time aside to visit Peacock Cafe. It’s the perfect place to grab brunch or lunch before hitting up the shops on M Street. I plan on taking my mom and aunt here for brunch the next time that they’re in town.

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant


Po Boy Jim

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

I went to Po Boy Jim for a blogger lunch earlier this year and immediately fell in love. The music was amazing, the drinks were strong, and the po boys were huge! Just like I like it. Located on H Street corridor, this black owned restaurant continues to bring the culture for the culture and friends!


RPM Italian

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant

RPM Italian is amazing. I love their Carbonara. I love their dark interiors. I love their Spiced Pineapple No Proof Cocktail. If you’re feeling fancy for dinner, book a reservation here.


The Smith DC

 Source: The Smith Website

Source: The Smith Website

I’ve been a fan of the Smith since living back home in NYC. The signature black and white color scheme and outdoor seating of this casual American Brasserie feels like home. With two locations in the District, one on U Street and another in Penn Quarter, it’s been easier for me to get a quick taste of home. If you’ve never been to the Smith, you won’t be disappointed.

  Source: Charmaine Charmant

Source: Charmaine Charmant


Bon Appétit!

There you have it! My favorite DC restaurants all in one place - give or take a few. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments. Until next time babes!

xoxo Charmaine