A melting pot of acclaimed chefs, food aficionados, and sustainability-minded restaurant owners, Washington DC has developed a diverse array of specialties, many of which are borrowed from or inspired by cultures across the globe. Immerse yourself in the capital city’s rich food scene with our recommendations below.
Delve into the multicultural side of Washington DC’s food scene with traditional Ethiopian meat and vegetable dishes and Salvadoran pupusas, staples for many DC locals. For another international favorite, try a Georgian cheese-and-egg-filled pastry boat, known as a Khachapuri.
While you could dine in a “different country” each day of your stay, your trip wouldn’t be complete without sampling the capital’s personal classics. Start with a chili half-smoke (sausage covered in chili) on U Street, then class things up with Chesapeake oysters at one of the many restaurants along the Potomac waterfront. For dessert, don’t miss an excuse to stop by one of DC’s gourmet cupcake shops.
- Explore the history and culinary culture of Capitol Hill on a food excursion that adds an interesting—and tasty—twist to the run-of-the-mill sightseeing tour.
- Dine in the chic Embassy Row–influenced Dupont Circle on a food tour that takes you to the city’s top international eateries.
- Get a feel for dynamic U Street on a tour that leads you to hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian establishments overlooked by most tourists.
- Take in downtown DC’s wine, spirits, and historic sites on a pedicab tour of Penn Quarter and Chinatown, a fun and carefree way to navigate the busy streets.
- Get away from the bustling city and experience a different view of the nation’s capital on a dinner cruise along the Potomac River.