A couple of years ago, our family had the time of our lives in our nation’s capital. Seriously, it was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken, and we cannot wait to go back. Not only are the historical sites amazing (not to mention FREE), but the food scene was incredible. We thought you might enjoy a post about the best Washington DC Restaurants for foodies. It was super fun to eat our way through the district, and if you travel to DC you’ll see what we mean!
We would be remiss if started a post about the best Washington DC restaurants for foodies at any place other than our family’s favorite – Founding Farmers. Founding Farmers is a restaurant owned by more than 40,000 of our nation’s farmers, and they do a beautiful job of farm-to-table dining. In fact, we loved Founding Farmers so much that we went twice while we were in DC. Everything was so fresh, and each dish was creative and yet classic.
The best appetizer we had was the farm bread topped with brie, crisp apple, and onion jam. It was culinary perfection!
The tomato soup with house made chips and grilled cheese were some of the best we’ve ever eaten (and we’ve eaten this meal a LOT!). Even our picky eater LOVED it. We also enjoyed the slow-braised beef short ribs and the meatloaf and gravy. When we went back a second time, it was for brunch. We enjoyed the breakfast chicken and waffles, Uncle Buck’s beignets, and the eggs benedict with crab. It was even better than it sounds!
We are a sucker for a local place like one you’d see on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. That’s where we found Ben’s Chili Bowl. It’s the kind of place you have be all in on – no timidity here. Burgers, dogs, and chili is all they do, so dive right in with a chili dog. Take your Tums and enjoy having taken part of the local DC food scene.
Probably one of the most historical DC restaurants is Old Ebbitt Grill. From their site, “The Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington’s oldest saloon, was founded in 1856 when, according to legend, innkeeper William E. Ebbitt bought a boarding house. As a boarding house, the Ebbitt guest list read like a Who’s Who of American History. President McKinley is said to have lived there during his tenure in Congress, and Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt and Warren Harding supposedly refreshed themselves at its stand-around bar.” In fact, many of the animal heads hanging above the bar were killed by Teddy Roosevelt. It’s a fascinating place.
Old Ebbitt serves a variety of classic American dishes. We stuck to steaks – the filet for me and the dry aged ribeye for Jonathan. The girls had burgers, and we all enjoyed oysters (which are a specialty for them). They also have a selection of seafood, duck, pastas, and salads. It’s a bit pricy, but a very special place that’s definitely worth the treat.
If you’re a fan of cooking shows, you might be familiar with DC Cupcakes on TLC. The actual cupcake bakery featured on the show is Georgetown Cupcakes. Of course, no trip to DC is complete without seeing it and having a few treats. I advise you to go early in the day, as we waited until just before closing time and there weren’t many cupcakes left. Duh! We should have thought about that. However, you can’t go wrong with any of the flavors. These are fantastic cupcakes! Georgetown Cupcakes is located in the Georgetown section of DC, which is full of shops and restaurants. It’s a terrific place to walk for dinner, and then hop over to Georgetown Cupcakes for dessert.
We stayed in the Foggy Bottom section of DC, and everyday we walked past the coolest burger joint. We finally stopped in one day for lunch, and it was incredible. If you like a good burger, check out Burger Tap and Shake. It’s an orderr at the counter kind of place, and they have a terrific selection of specialty burgers. And as DC joints go, this one won’t break the bank.
After a day of walking around and seeing sites, we found ourselves around the monuments at lunch time. We had a heck of a time finding something to eat around that area, so we made a long walk to District Taco. It’s a build-your-own taco place, and it was a crowd pleaser. We all liked the food, which was fresh and delicious. Now, don’t be from Texas thinking you’re going to get an authentic Mexican taco in DC. It ain’t gonna happen. But if you like a good, solid Tex-Mex, District Tacos is a fun place.
The last time we were in NYC, Carmine’s was one of our favorite eateries. We were excited to see that DC has a Carmine’s as well. Carmine’s is a family-style Italian restaurant, and the food is comfy and superb. The one dish we wanted to be sure to eat again was the chicken scaloppine with lemon and butter. It was just as good as I remembered. The girls ordered spagheti ad meatballs, and everyone was happy for the long walk back to our hotel.
Shake Shack breaks our rule of eating at local places when we travel, but we don’t have one in our area so we made an exception. We walked over to Union Station to check it out, and took a mid-day break at Shake Shack. The burgers were awesome, but the thing we loved most was playing foosball while we waited for our food. It was a fun break in our day of site seeing and history learning.
I’d love to hear if you have favorite DC restaurants and consider yourself a foodie. I’d love to start making my list for the next time we are there!