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1. Compass Rose 1346 T St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Logan Circle)

Compass Rose’s culinary muse is, simply put, the globe. Its menu of sharing plates synthesizes street and market food from around the world, conflating Danish smorrebord with house-cured steelhead, dill-caper remoulade, troute roe, rye bread, and flowers with Indian bhel puri chaat, a dish of baby kale, puffed rice, sev, potato, tomato, peanuts, mango, mint, and tamarind chutney. Going to Compass Rose without trying the Georgian khachapuri is like going to Moscow and skipping the vodka -- it’s simply unthinkable. Resembling an almond-shaped eye, the delicacy has a crusty, bready lid, a bubbling, cheesy retina, and, best of all, an egg yolk pupil in the center of all the action, staring right at you.

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2. Sona Creamery & Wine Bar 660 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003 (Capitol Hill)

This bistro that prides itself on its cheese selection and the decadent mac and cheese that you can either enjoy as a side or stuffed into the Bruno's Big Kid sandwich. If you go the side route, opt for the Sona burger as your main and thank us after you've bitten into a creation with caramelized onions, Scharfe Maxx, aioli, and bibb lettuce. We'll wait.

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3. STK DC 1250 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)

Expect a velvet rope experience when you step to this steakhouse that's replete with white leather lounges, DJ, and moody club lighting. Possibly seated by the glassed fireplace, you'll enjoy the steaks and even drinks like the Sterling Silver (Patron, St. Germain, fresh lime) or Green Intensity (Belvedere Vodka, fresh lime, and jalepeños), and try experimenting with sides like the Shrimp Rice Krispies or Parmesan Truffle Fries.

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4. Soi 38 2101 L St NW, Washington, DC 20037 (West End)

If you're wanting real, authentic Thai food, this is the place to be -- chowing down under a mural of creatures created by Baltimore street artist Gaia. The sweetness of Thai-American cuisine is spared here to give you the powerful Thai found on Bangkok's Sukhumvit Soi 38 avenue in dishes like kor moo yang (grilled pork neck in lime and chili sauce) and tom yum kradook moo (spicy lemongrass soup with bone-in spare ribs and chili).

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5. Lyman's Tavern 3720 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010 (Columbia Heights)

Sliders, dogs, and tacos are the main staples at this Columbia Heights dive bar. Here you will find pinball machines, PBR on draught, local beers like DC Brau, National Bohemian, and Atlas Brew Works, and a good number of domestic bottles. If it gives you any idea of what the atmosphere is like, the casual bar features stuffed jackalope heads, cross-stitched signage, and retro decorations. Now with the addition of an outdoor patio space, hot dogs aren't the only dogs welcome at Lyman's ... in other words, bring your pooch.

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6. G Street Food 1030 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

If you've been a fan of their Montreal-style bagels and banh mis, you'll be happy to know G Street's McPherson Square location does dinner as well. The dinner menu features rabbit stew and Singapore Chili Crab, keeping up with the international injections of the other location's menus.

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7. TKO Burger 2350 Washington Pl NE, Washington, DC 20018

Brought to you by the man behind Carolina Kitchen, TKO Burger is filled with boxing memorabilia and tasty options like the Mac 'N Cheese Burger (featuring Carolina Kitchen's amazing mac), a soft shell crab burger, and the sweet potato tot-paired BBQ cheddar hot dogs.

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8. Dino's Grotto 1914 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Shaw)

Dino's Grotto is the kind of cozy Italian restaurant that breeds regulars. Its first location in Cleveland Park ran for nine years before closing in 2014. Shortly thereafter, the owners reopened Dino's 2.0 in Shaw. The menu is full of original crowd favorites like wild boar papparadelle, duck bolognese lasagna, and lump crab fettuccine. Though there are protein-based mains like duck breast and Tuscan pan-fried chicken, pasta is definitely Dino's speciality, so if you aren't avoiding carbs, the pasta-centric prix fixe dinner should be on your radar.

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9. Handsome Cock 1334 U St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

Besides having a name that caused a spat with the building's landlord (which is why you won't find the full name of this bar outside on any signage), this bar is a sweet, welcoming dive. Boardgames like Taboo, Monopoly, and Yahtzee help pass the time while you down cheap cans of PBR. Don't expect fancy cocktails, because you won't find them.

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10. Toro Toro 1300 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Penn Quarter)

Take a culinary tour around Latin America at this steakhouse, where the sea bass is Chilean and the ribeye comes carved table side like they do in most Brazilian joints. A big fireplace and plush seating mean that it might take you a while to get up once you've settled in and loosened your buckle. Start your meal with crisp plantain chips dipped in smoked swordfish dip.

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11. City Burger 7015 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20815 (Bethesda)

The owners of Food Wine & Co. and Fish Taco have now set their hands on a classic: the hamburger. In this 15-seater they hand churn their own custard, and serve up patties with pineapple and ham (Hawaiian), or cheddar, pepper relish, onion, smoked bacon and BBQ sauce (Pit Stop). Make sure to grab the Rooftop Fries sprinkled with sea salt and rosemary.

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