1. Mari Vanna1141 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington
2. Carmine's425 7th Street NW, Washington
3. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken1308 G St NW, Washington
4. Co Co. Sala929 F st. NW, Washington
5. DC Coast1401 K St NW, Washington
6. Commissary1443 P St NW, Washington DC
7. Vinoteca1940 11th St NW, Washington
According to a Slavic legend, Mari Vanna was a warm-hearted grandmother known to welcome in hungry travelers for a meal. But who really believes anything Vlade Divac says anyway? Instead, experience her for yourself by chowing down on authentic Russian vittles in what looks like Moscow's version of Antiques Roadshow: dangling chandeliers, plush armchairs, and Russian tchotchkes.
The District incarnation of "NYC's legendary family style Italian restaurant", Carmine's is a sprawling behemoth, with a huge circular bar anchoring a 670-seat dining room covered in 500+ photos (...of old Italian people...), in total 20,030sqft, officially making it DC's largest eatery.
Exactly what it sounds like: donuts and fried chicken that are out of this world.
Co Co. Sala's upscale eatery in Penn Quarter is all about chocolate, whether it's in the form of hand-made candies, cocktails, or other desserts (they even expanded the restaurant to include a full-service chocolate boutique). They even mange to work it into some of their Italian-American fare like mac & cheese with chocolate-covered bacon and crispy buffalo chicken sliders with chocolate nib buns. Where its penchant for decadence really shows, however, is in its stone and gold interior.
This haute-American spot specializes in local (East Coast, that is) and seasonal seafood.
Whether you're looking to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Commissary is a major hit with their full menu of meaty options, salads, pizzas, and sammies. And if want want to slug a few drinks, they also have a full service bar and lounge.
Among U Street's most popular wine hideaways, Vinoteca is the ideal locale for wine connoisseurs and bocce athletes, alike. Complete with a back "plaza" featuring an old-world, brick-enclosed bocce court, an ethereal fountain, and an outdoor bar, there is rarely reason to set foot inside (the heat lamps make it fairly easy to stay put all winter). The enclosed bar and dining room are equally charming, with exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows, and vintage film posters tacked between towering displays of stacked bottles of wine. The food menu boasts an in-house whole-animal butchery program, but the stand-out offering is inarguably the wine and spirits list, featuring an impressive number of inventive house-cocktails, a selection of craft beers on tap, and a seemingly-infinite catalog of available wines.