Where to Eat in Washington DC Right Now
New Mt. Pleasant pizzeria, Korean BBQ takeout, and more outdoor seating.
Making a decision about where to eat these days is a serious ordeal. On top of the normal analysis paralysis of what you’re in the mood for, there are the added COVID-19 considerations. Are they still open? Do they deliver here? Can we eat outdoors? What’s their menu now?
If all of that is actually making you lose your appetite, we’re here to help. We have updated our restaurant bible for pandemic times, featuring a few brave newcomers for 2021, plus our never-fail favorites that have been chugging along these past five years. Whether you need quick and comforting weeknight takeout or a safe place to go where you can still experience a sense of occasion, you’ll find something on this list that fits the bill.
The gist: The menu is a global array of flavors, and the restaurant supports nonprofit causes channeling donors, volunteers, and groups that support immigrants.
The food: Vice President Kamala Harris, if you’re listening, we have a dish for you. In advance of the Biden-Harris Inauguration, Immigrant Food rolled out a winter-themed menu that includes a Madame VP’s Heritage Bowl, blending flavors from her family’s lineage from India and Jamaica. Think coconut-milk curried chicken, chickpeas, potatoes, pineapples, plantains and hints of spicy peppers, served over turmeric rice and baby spinach. The location, adjacent to the White House, also makes this spot a likely lunch pick for Harris.
The cost: Sandwiches, bowls, and sides at this fast-casual restaurant range from $8-15 each.
How to order: Order online for pickup or delivery. First-come, first-serve outdoor seating is available.
The Red Hen
The gist: Need the comfort of some carbs? The Red Hen is serving hearty bowls of pasta, plus one of the best dessert dishes in DC—a roasted maple panna cotta.
The food: The Red Hen recently rolled out new pop-up-themed menus including an “Under the Tuscan Sun” spread and an Italian aprés ski option. The menu features garganelli pasta with Tuscan duck ragu, prosciutto, red wine, rosemary, tomato and breadcrumbs. Italy’s Piedmont, Lombardy, Alto Adige, and the Valle d’Aosta regions are also part of the inspiration for the wine list. And there are negroni and Aperol spritz kits to-go.
The cost: Dishes range from $6-28.
How to order: Order online for takeout or delivery beginning at 5 pm.
The gist: With a sprawling heated patio and brunch in a bistro-like setting, Mintwood remains a mainstay on Columbia Road NW.
The food: Happy hour is not cancelled at Mintwood. Executive Chef Harper McClure and his team have created a special comfort food winter warm up “happy hour package.” This deal is available seven days a week, from 5-6 pm. The package includes Harper's giant and perfectly fried chicken sandwich, plus two cocktails, chicken liver parfait, housemade ricotta, and chocolate bon-bons.
The cost: This happy hour deal is priced at $40, and a la carte dishes range from $10-29 each.
How to order: Order online for pick-up or delivery, or make a reservation for outdoor dining.
The gist: Bring the flavors of a succulent Korean barbecue straight to your home with a new takeout option.
The food: SeoulSpice is now offering at-home diners the unique opportunity to purchase a table-top Korean BBQ gas grill complete with all the quality ingredients for a family feast at home. Designed to feed four people and priced it includes the grill top plus the fixings, two pounds of brisket, plus rice, banchan, and sauces.
The cost: Designed to feed four people, this Korean barbecue feast is priced at $99 for a new BBQ grill plate, or $60 for brisket, rice, banchan, and sauces.
How to order: Order the feast by emailing email@example.com. Pickup is available at all three locations: College Park, NoMA, and Tenleytown.
The gist: The second location of Taco Rock is now open in Alexandria, and it’s serving up spicy birria-style tacos to help keep you warm and full this winter.
The food: This fast-casual concept is adding some spice to winter thanks to its menu of Mexican-style tacos with playful touches such as the massive Birria Crunch Wrap Supreme (like you might find at Taco Bell), tortas bigger than your mouth, and a taco pizza topped with pico de Gallo, jalapenos, and crema.
The cost: Dishes range from $3 for tacos to $10-13 for bowls and nachos.
How to order: Taco Rock is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers takeout and delivery. Order online.
The gist: Nothing will fill you up more this winter than hearty Georgian cuisine, and the new winter menu at Supra now has Georgian-style lasagna and cheesy, buttery khachapuri.
The food: The come-as-you-are vibe and budget-friendly menu makes Tabla an all around winner. It’s also a choice spot for breakfast or brunch with a new breakfast khachapuri, adding roasted root vegetables and cheese topped with a fried egg. Also new is the achma, sometimes referred to as Georgian lasagna. It’s a traditional dish made with khachapuri-dough noodles, cheese and butter, and the kitchen at Tabla adds caramelized onions.
The cost: Dishes range $6-15. Add any bottle of wine for $30-60.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery online. To make same-day reservations, call 202-291-3227.
The gist: Salvadoran immigrants are smoking the best version of Texas-style barbecue in the DMV at this charming pithouse in Riverdale Park.
The food: You’re here for the wagyu brisket, pulled pork, ribs and sausage links. It’s also strongly encouraged that you order in advance or else risk the inevitable sell outs that happen on these dishes daily. Our favorite dish, by far, is the brisket pupusa, which seamlessly blends two cooking traditions together—El Salvador and American-style barbecue.
The cost: Brisket starts at $12 per half-pound, a full rack of ribs are $27, and pulled pork by the pound is $13.99.
How to order: Get your order in early, and preferably online, because meats do sell out quickly. The restaurant is takeout only, and there is outdoor picnic table seating for walk-in customers.
Glover Park Grill
The gist: A new eatery opens in a Glover Park hotel with a massive patio deck that’s celebrating the winter season.
The food: Chef Hamilton Johnson is treating diners in Glover Park to a three-course dinner menu with a variety of appetizers to choose from, including jumbo lump crab cake, fire-grilled wings or pastrami smoked salmon with deviled egg aioli. Enjoy classics like cavatelli, braised beef short rib, mountain trout and so much more for your entree, and then indulge in one of Chef Alex Levin's decadent desserts such as the dark chocolate banana bread pudding with vanilla ice cream. And the patio is rolling out a Winter Wonderland apres ski theme with socially distanced tables and s'mores that come served with mini personal bonfires to keep you toasty.
The cost: Menu items range from $9-32. A cafe serves coffee, cookies, and bagels from $3-10.
How to order: Order online for takeout or delivery via Tock. Reservations for the Winter Wonderland patio available on Eventbrite.
The Duck & The Peach
The gist: The family-style dinners center around roasted meats, plus savory sides sure to fill you up this winter.
The food: The latest addition to Eastern Market is the super stylish eatery The Duck & The Peach. The menu leans heavily on American comfort food and most of the dishes are sourced around local ingredients, celebrating flavor and local farms. During the day the space is a cafe with patio or to-go service. And at night, bring The Duck & The Peach serves all-in-one meals that will feed the entire family. The braised lamb served in a creamy polenta with orange zest is both fragrant and flavorful. And don’t skimp on the sides—the goat cheese brussel sprouts are a must-order dish.
The cost: Family dinners range from $50-75 and feed two to four people. The cafe has a variety of sandwiches, pastries, and salads that range from $3-12
How to order: Order on Tock for contactless dinner pick-up, or order ahead and walk-in for cafe service. Patio seating available during the day.
Service Bar DC
The gist: For tasty cocktails batched and ready for delivery, or a taste of Peruvian cuisine, look no further than Service Bar on U Street.
The food: Service Bar has teamed up with the former China Chilcano chef Carlos Delgado for a pop-up restaurant serving up Peruvian comfort dishes, such as lomo saltado and octopus ceviche. Those dishes pair nicely with Service Bar’s new cocktail delivery and shipping program, which allows you to send cocktails to anyone in the country by mail or locally for DC door-to-door delivery.
The cost: Entrees range from $10-26. Dinner pack for two is $60. Cocktails to-go are $54 for a six-box set.
How to order: Order dinner for pick-up here, and drinks for shipping or delivery here. Service Bar has an outdoor heated streetery with Resy reservations required.
Your Only Friend
The gist: Sandwiches and cocktails pair perfectly at this pop-up inside Columbia Room. Chef Paul Taylor’s recipes are all about combining unexpected flavors, adding in a healthy dose of nostalgia.
The food: From a riff off a Big Mac to fully loaded Italian cold cut, Your Only Friend is styling sandwiches that are both classic and completely new. Try the “Philly Special,” a vegetarian-style hoagie with eggplant cutlet, braised broccoli rabe, provolone, parmesan, pickled red peppers, and garlic aioli (made with Duke's Mayonnaise) on a soft roll. Cocktails, like a Basque-style Kalimotxo, come in glass bottles and make for the perfect accompaniment at lunch or dinner.
The cost: Sandwiches range in price from $14-16.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery on Tock.
The gist: After a winter break, Albi, a Levant inspired restaurant, reopened for outdoor dining on January 15. Meanwhile, next door is the sister bakery and cafe, Yellow, which has remained open and serves flaky pastries, pita sandwiches and a tahini caramel brownie for a sweet tooth craving.
The food: The style of the menu is called sofra, which in Arabic translates to “a set table.” You’ll pay a price-per-head fee for a spontaneous menu highlighting seasonal ingredients. Much of the food comes from the coals of the hearth, like prawns with harissa garlic butter and smoked chicken with corn succotash and pepper tahini. There’s also Turkish-style Manti dumplings, as well as a selection of Middle Eastern wines and cocktails, like the Jaffa Orange—a citrus-based drink with vodka, orange juice, Don Ciccio & Figli Mandarinetto, and orange blossom.
The cost: The sofra dinner is priced at $95 paper person, with an optional $55 beverage pairing.
How to order: Make a reservation for outdoor, greenhouse dining or order takeout on Tock.
The gist: The chefs who opened Maydan set their sights on a new project inspired by their travels through the Caribbean.
The food: The offerings draw from the chefs’ experiences in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados. The namesake dish is a Jamaican staple—a cassava root flatbread marinated in coconut milk and fried until golden brown. It’s perfect for soaking up the vibrant flavors on your plate, like goat curry, stewed chickpeas, jerk sauce, and collard greens in coconut milk. And from now until Super Bowl Sunday, Bammy's is offering to-go party packages that feed four. The feast includes 20 jerk chicken wings, jerk pork belly, jerk BBQ, and four Jerk chicken sausages, plus Martin's potato hot dog buns, coleslaw, and macaroni pie.
The cost: Dishes range from $5-20, and the football party pack is $100.
How to order: Make a reservation for outdoor dining on Resy or order takeout and delivery on Toast.
The gist: After years of planning, this forward-thinking, plant-centric restaurant and bar is finally a reality, changing the DNA of a kitchen and a menu, all with sustainability in mind.
The food: Mid-Atlantic vegetables take center stage, with a now famous cheesesteak that’s made from mushrooms. Chef Rob Rubba honors producers who share an ethos of environmentally friendly farming and ingredients that are sourced and foraged locally. The cheesesteak, along with pizzas (vegan and vegetarian options) are not only plant-based, but they’re also packaged in compostable containers. Pair it all with organic and biodynamic wines.
The cost: Entrees range from $16-20. Wines range from $22-65.
How to order: Order takeout on Tock.
The gist: This Michelin Bib Gourmand-recognized restaurant showcases Caribbean street food by Trinidadian siblings.
The food: Cane’s menu has tried and true favorites from the chef’s former venture, Spark, as well as new specials. Think jerk wings and a whole fried snapper, plus an oxtail pepper pot and paratha tiffin boxes, which are stacked stainless steel tins filled with assorted curries and flatbread. Doubles are the ideal street food snack, consisting of bread topped with cumin-spiced chickpeas.
The cost: Dishes range from $6-45.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery online.
The gist: This all-day café comes from the Paisley Fig baker and is situated in the former Heller’s Bakery space.
The food: Pre-pandemic, Ellē offered an inventive dinner menu, but for now it’s focused on daytime offerings—coffee, quiche, sandwiches, salads, and a unique selection of sweet and savory pastries and breads, from scones and hand pies to country sourdough and caraway rye loaves. The cafe also has grocery and retail offerings like pickled, cured, and fermented foods.
The cost: Food and coffee ranges from $2-32.
How to order: Order takeout on Square.
The gist: Philadelphia’s Vedge Restaurant Group sprouted a new concept in DC that’s all about plant-based cooking.
The food: With influences from both Vedge and V Street, the Fancy Radish menu features unique preparations that elevate produce, like rutabaga fondue with a soft baked pretzel or dan dan noodles with spicy sesame sauce, Sichuan peppercorn, and five-spice glazed mushrooms. The bar offerings include vegetal cocktails (the cucumber gimlet is refreshing for summer) and natural wines.
The cost: Dishes range from $9-16. Cocktails are $10-12.
How to order: Order takeout on MobileBytes.
The gist: A fresh culinary team is breathing new life into this fiery Michelin-starred restaurant that showcases the flavors of the Silk Road.
The food: Maydan is currently offering a prix-fixe “Tawle” experience. Meaning table in Arabic, this family-style menu is intended to be shared with a group. It features spreads, small plates, vegetables, and meats from the hearth, as well as a center plate choice of whole grilled fish, ribeye, or lamb shank. Everything pairs beautifully with the assortment of spice-laden condiments and fresh Georgian bread.
The cost: The menu is $65 per person. Drinks range from $7-15.
How to order: Make a patio reservation or order takeout on Tock.
Rooster & Owl
The gist: The farmers’ market dictates the menu at this build-your-own tasting menu restaurant where sharing is encouraged.
The food: The offerings change based on what’s in season, but each guest gets to choose their courses for the tasting menu from a selection of vegetable-forward dishes. Right now, highlights include watermelon with green curry and herbs, ravioli with grilled corn and lemon beurre fondue, seafood paella, and a cornflake bakewell tart.
The cost: The tasting menu is $75 per person with add-ons and beverage pairings available.
How to order: Make a reservation for indoor and outdoor dining on Resy or order takeout and on Tock.
The gist: The mother-daughter team formerly behind Toli Moli is continuing its mission to share Burmese food and culture at their new full-service restaurant.
The food: The food draws from Burmese family traditions. The winter menu includes roasted rice soups, signature house made naan and spicy panko fried shrimp.The restaurant also offers a limited menu of dinner box sets and meal kits, as well as offerings from pop-up partners. Check out the BIPOC pantry and box sets for condiments, plus beer and wine options that your fridge is missing.
The cost: Dishes range from $10-16 and pantry boxes range from $50-63.
How to order: Order takeout on Toast.