6 Recent Restaurant Openings in DC You Need to Check Out
A Foggy Bottom sushi stall, heaping bowls of inexpensive pasta, and Nepalese dumplings served with a side of yak.
Staying warm and cozy this winter just got a whole lot easier thanks to six satisfying new restaurants that recently opened in Washington, DC. From hearty bowls of pasta to crispy-fried chicken—there’s even a new beer garden, tequila bar, and some tasty takeout for when temperatures plunge and all you want to do is stay on the couch.
With so many old favorite restaurants in the city plus plenty of new options out there, it can be hard to keep track of the latest spots worth your time, money, and palate. That’s where we come in to help. Read on, and definitely come hungry, because we’ve got six recent restaurant openings you need to check out right now.
2022 is the year of Western Market, a new food hall adjacent to the George Washington University campus. It comes loaded with a bevy of fast-casual options, including Oneki, a Japanese stall with a sleek and modern vibe, serving up exceptional nigiri, plus hosomaki and uramaki sushi rolls. Ferry Huang, who is the owner of Glover Park’s Sushi Keiko, opened this stall to bring a variety of small plates that you can sample at lunch or dinner.
Himalayan Wild Yak
Dip Raj Jarga Magar and Tuk Gurung are former partners from Alexandria’s Royal Nepal Restaurant and recently opened an eatery in Ashburn featuring Tibetan, Mongolian, and Nelapese fare, including succulent momo pork dumplings and cuts of yak. Hence the name Himalayan Wild Yak—a tribute to the bovine indigenous to the Himalayan Mountains. Yak is featured on the first-course menu, served either as sausage or simply grilled marinated in pink salt, olive oil, and cumin. Other entrees include an 18-hour marinated braised goat or lamb curry, butter chicken, classic Chana Masala, and goat Biryani.
The Block food hall has a new addition thanks to chef Paolo Dungca of Pogiboy fame. Dungca’s latest iteration is an Asian take on Italian pasta. And especially for downtown dining, it’s an affordable option. All bowls of pasta are just $8. That includes a wild mushroom pappardelle with shoyu butter and Japanese-style Mentaiko spaghetti with cod roe, nori, and black sesame seeds. It’s the umami-laden pasta you need to get through the winter and it’s available for takeout or delivery.
What was once a kitschy, cozy, and historic tavern, known as Mrs. K’s Toll House, is now a maximalist beer garden and restaurant that caters to a 20- and 30-somethings—a sign that things sure are changing in the suburbs of Silver Spring.
In the gardens, stay cozy at one of the fire pits with elevated pub fare like cheesy crab dip and three-pepper chili topped with melted gouda. Inside, The Tavern offers a moodier escape. It’s an old-school and intimate setting surrounded by stone and brick walls and plays host to a barrel room with an extensive wine menu, plus Maryland craft beers. Did we mention there are s'mores kits to roast over the open flame? Count us in for a Sunday fun day.
One bite into the buttery biscuit served at Honeymoon Chicken, and you’ll be hooked. This new eatery occupies what was once the Formica-countertop diner known as Slim’s. It’s still got plenty of retro-flare, but the menu has changed its tune thanks to Federalist pig pitmaster Rob Sonderman.
Honeymoon Chicken delivers buckets of mouthwatering crispy-fried chicken. Sonderman’s concept channels vibes of “where funky meets fancy,” and it’s definitely mission accomplished with sandwiches like the honey garlic chicken banh mi and a crispy mushroom sandwich that’s veggie friendly.
Salazar is a new Tex-Mex and tequila concept in the former El Centro space on 14th Street, NW. This bar has a heated rooftop and jalapeno margs—sure to keep a Friday or Saturday night feeling extra spicy.
The massive 8,000-square-foot space has four bars across three levels and tequila offers that span the bar shelf and drinks menu. Salazar also provides daily happy hours, bottomless brunches, and a bar game involving hurling an icy shot glass at an oversized bell.