If you love to eat out in Washington, DC, you have quite a few options. Whether you need a quick and comforting takeout option for a weeknight dinner or a fine-dining experience to celebrate the simple joy of leaving the house, you’ll find something on this list that fits the bill.
Caruso’s Grocery 914 14th St., SE Washington, DC 20003
The self-styled “grocery store and restaurant” mixes old-fashioned ambiance with a contemporary menu. It’s essentially an ample, one-room space with a bar on one side and a picnic table by the window.
The food is characterized by classic European preparations, like the steak tartare with caramelized onions and capers or the bistro-style chicken sandwich with walnuts and gouda. Their draft beer list is also well-thought-out, with international options like an IPA from a brewery in Guinea and local brews from 3 Stars Brewing Company and Old Ox Brewery. Caruso’s Grocery is also a BYOB, so bring a bottle of vino for an extra touch of sophistication.
Daru 1451 Maryland Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002
From the minds behind Lunch Box, the former live jazz bar in Shaw, comes Daru, a new restaurant and wine bar from the same owners. The atmosphere of Daru is also casual but less bar-like than Lunch Box. The wall decorations are more involved, and the booths look more like typical restaurant booths.
Their menu is full of small and large dishes and snacks, emphasizing cheese and charcuterie plates. The space is big enough for a big party, but the intimate booths keep it from feeling cavernous.
Albi 1346 Fourth St., SE Washington, DC 20020
The former home of the legendary Ben's Chili Bowl is now home to Albi, one of Washington's newest restaurants. The space is bright and airy, with an open kitchen and an iconic mural.
The menu they have is small and full of simple, classic Italian fare. However, the portions are significant, and the prices are small so your wallet won't suffer too much after a meal. All in all, Albi's small-yet-elegant space and simple menu make for a great neighborhood restaurant.
L'Ardente 821 Upshur St., NW Washington, DC 20011
L'Ardente is a new wine bar and light French restaurant in Shaw. It's a high-end yet casual eatery that's great for a date night. It's also an excellent place to grab a glass of wine and a charcuterie plate after work.
The menu is updated frequently, so there's always something new to try. The portions are small enough that you could easily order a bunch of different dishes and share them all with a friend.
Philotimo 1821 N St., NW Washington, DC 20036
Philotimo is a Greek restaurant and bar on North Capitol Street. The name translates to "love of honor" in ancient Greek, and that's exactly what the restaurant is about. The food is well-prepared but straightforward, with traditional Greek dishes like moussaka and roast lamb.
The space feels light and open, with an upbeat atmosphere. There's an open kitchen upfront, so you can see your food being made, and a bar in the back with a selection of wines and Greek beers. Overall, Philotimo is a great place to grab a simple and delicious meal while enjoying some classic Greek hospitality.
Honeymoon Chicken 2634 16th St., NW Washington, DC 20009
Honeymoon Chicken recently opened in the former home of Sticky Rice on 16th Street. It's a casual eatery that serves Thai fried chicken and other small plates and desserts. The space is also small and well-lit, so it's an excellent place for a date.
Their chicken is prepared with your choice of a Thai or Korean flavor or a variety of spicy sauces. The chicken is juicy, and the spices are flavorful. There's also a small selection of side dishes, like pork belly ramen, which is inexpensive and an excellent way to fill out the meal.
This article presents only a small selection of the many new restaurants opened in Washington, DC, over the past few months. Many other new restaurants are worth trying, so get out there and start exploring Washington's growing food scene.
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