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Travel Guide > North America > USA > District of Columbia > Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Restaurants & Eating

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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.

Restaurant Neighborhoods

Georgetown, DupontU 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!

Restaurants in Washington D.C.

Italian Maggiano's
Mmmmmm is something you won't resist saying when you try the many delectable dishes at Maggiano's. The restaurant has a fun yet fancy atmosphere, allowing for meals of any occasion -- casual dining or birthday celebrations... more
Mid Range, Mains from $13-$26, in Washington D.C.
Fusion Masa 14
Masa 14 represents all the best highlights of DC’s food scene. The metro area sets high standards for what people value, which is great brunch, great happy hours and phenomenal food that can please the pickiest of fo... more
Mid Range, Dinner: $6-$11/plate (remember plates are small!), in Washington D.C.
Bakery Baked And Wired
Baked goods here are fun and delightful. The Georgetown bakery is well-loved for its cupcakes and spirited customer service. Light, fluffy cupcakes in flavors like smurfette, menage a trois, chai tea, and cherry blossom ar... more
Low Budget, coffee & pastries under $8, in Washington D.C.
Vegetarian Sticky Fingers Bakery
This yummy bakery and cafe serves everything vegetarian -- including egg and dairy free. Vegetarians in the area can't get enough of their baked goodies, and neither can omnivores. Cupcakes and cookies here are worth a try... more
Low Budget, Food $3-$10, in Washington D.C.
American Old Ebbitt Grill
Since DC regularly introduces bigger, better, newer restaurants to the scene, it's a real challenge to find dining establishment with more than 10, 20, or 30 years under their belt. But Old Ebbit Grill beats the pack with ... more
Mid Range, $15 - $25 average main course, in Washington D.C.
Southern (regional US) Georgia Brown's
Georgia Brown's is a hit location for for all Southerners craving down-home country comfort food. With favorites like gumbo and shrimp & grits, the downtown restaurant feeds a lot of happy diners. One of its more uniqu... more
Mid Range, main course $16 - 25, Sunday Jazz Brunch 3 course $40 - 45, in Washington D.C.
Asian Teaism
A favorite eatery and Asian tea house for the busy working lunch crowd. Also a great resting spot to relax with a nice pot of tea. With such a lengthy selection of black teas, green teas, and tizanes, it'll surely take you... more
Low Budget, $6 - 12, in Washington D.C.
Indian Bombay Club
An elegant Indian restaurant where you might just see some big-name politicians. The likes of Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis have also known to sample the food. The restaurant's medley of traditional Indian cuisine an... more
Mid Range, main course $17 - $28; sides & appetizers $4 - 12, in Washington D.C.
American Barcode DC
As a lunchtime destination, Barcode DC is an easygoing place with bright, natural lighting and a tempting modern-American menu (though technically, almost every dish is actually Italian, with a splash of American fusion). ... more
Mid Range, Main Course $8-$20, in Washington D.C.
Mexican American Lauriol Plaza
This Tex-Mex restaurant is huge in two ways - it's a big crowd pleaser with its moderately priced meals, and it's set in a jumbo-sized building, which comfortably accommodates 330 hungry patrons at any given time. But the ... more
Mid Range, Mains from $9-18, in Washington D.C.
These are just 10 of 91 Restaurants in Washington D.C.. Show more.

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