Washington D.C. is known for its architecture, history, and its seat as a political powerhouse. But take a closer look at the city and you’ll find that D.C.’s real local flair centers on its incredible selection of culinary treats. Distinguished chefs are all around the city, serving up incredible flavors for all palates.
In and around the metro area are hundreds of restaurants ranging from Ethiopian to Burmese, to the full range of American fusion dining establishments. Interesting and tasty restaurants and cafes are easy to find, but are much more prevalent in specific neighborhoods.
Many locations offer a wide range of ethnic cuisine as a reflection of D.C.’s melting pot of cultures. Competition for quality flavors is intense. Restaurants that don’t match up to par with fine service and quality flavors tend to close down, only to be quickly replaced by a newer, better restaurant.
Georgetown, Dupont, U Street Corridor, and Bethesda are just a few of the many go-to neighborhoods to grab a bite to eat. Most of these places offer a range in prices and ambiance.
When touring around the busiest tourist destinations, especially the National Mall and its surrounding landmarks, nearby restaurants are more difficult to find. The most convenient places to tackle hunger near the Capitol and Washington Monument are from outdoor food stands or food courts inside the many Smithsonian Museums.
Dining Tips for International Visitors
When dining in U.S. restaurants, there's one thing to keep in mind in terms of budget — the price of a meal is more than the price listed on the menu. That's because:
- A restaurant sales tax of 10% is added to every meal in the District. When dining in Maryland, restaurant tax is 6%, and it's 5% in Virginia.
- A tip of 15-20% is expected at any restaurant where you're served at the table. Factor in at least 15% for average service and 20% for excellent service.
Enjoy your dining experience!