Favorite Local Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

There are lots of things to be proud of in our nation’s capital: the rich sense of history, the architecture, the countless landmarks and monuments—and now, even more so than ever before, the food. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. You’ll find everything from neighborhood gems to sprawling French bistros, legendary Indian spots to not-so-classic diners—all vetted by the types of tastemakers who know the best spots around the city. You'll want to follow their lead.

The OpenTable team
Restaurants:Le Diplomate, Zaytinya, Oyamel
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:French, Mediterranean, Mexican
Neighborhoods:Logan Circle, Penn Quarter
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

Le Diplomate

$$$$·French·
Logan Circle
10,799 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

Le Diplomate, a pitch-perfect French bistro in Logan Circle, is undoubtedly one of the greatest spots to brunch in the city. (Ask anyone from DC and they’ll agree.) You can’t go wrong with any of the ...

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French in Washington, D.C. Area
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Zaytinya

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Penn Quarter
16,643 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion

Chef Jose Andres is a DC legend, with restaurants of all types delighting diners around the city. Zaytinya is his Middle Eastern spot, with a myriad of dips and salads and meats and vegetables served ...

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Mediterranean in Washington, D.C. Area

Oyamel

$$$$·Mexican·
Penn Quarter
9,107 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups
  • Special Occasion

Oyamel is one of those restaurants that manages to be elegant, refined, and a whole lot of fun. You’re here for upscale versions of Mexican street food—think tacos, ceviches, and tons of vegetable dis...

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Mexican in Washington, D.C. Area

Unconventional Diner

$$$$·American·
Shaw
1,617 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Comfort Food

Unconventional Diner is, in fact, an unconventional diner; it’s a place you’ll find dishes like “French dip” pappardelle, sriracha-glazed meatloaf, foie-gras PB&J, and shiitake spring rolls. Chef Davi...

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Central Michel Richard

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
7,427 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch

Since it opened 10 years ago, Central Michel Richard has been serving French-American food that is both elegant and low-key, winning accolades from all over the country. We particularly love the steak...

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China Chilcano

$$$$·Peruvian·
Penn Quarter
2,860 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion

China Chilcano is a Jose Andres restaurant specializing in the food of Peru—specifically chifa, the Chinese-influenced Peruvian cuisine, and nikkei, the Japanese-influenced tradition that also permeat...

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Fit for Foodies in District of Columbia

The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
2,123 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies

The Smith in Penn Quarter is the first DC outpost of the Manhattan group of restaurants, serving classic, crowd-pleasing American food in a fun, lively atmosphere. The food is simple, but tasty; the s...

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Arroz

$$$$·Spanish·
Shaw
900 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date

Mike Isabella, a former Top Chef contestant, has amassed quite the restaurant empire here in DC. Arroz is his foray into Spanish cuisine, with hints of Portuguese and Moroccan influences as well. We p...

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Convivial

$$$$·French American·
Shaw
684 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion

At Convivial, chef Cedric Maupillier is cooking American food with a French touch: you’ll find fried chicken alongside leeks dijonnaise, bouillabaisse next to burgers. This approach is especially welc...

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Rasika

$$$$·Indian·
Penn Quarter
8,531 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Hot Spot

There are few people in the country who cook Indian food like James Beard Award–winning chef Vikram Sunderam, and we’re lucky to have him in DC. The atmosphere is upscale but comfortable, with a warm,...

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Farmers & Distillers

$$$$·American·
Mt. Vernon Square
6,862 reviews
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Brunch
  • Fit for Foodies

Farmers & Distillers is a restaurant owned by farmers themselves; it’s a collaboration between restaurateurs Mike Vucurevich and Dan Simons and the 47,000 farmers of the North Dakota Farmers Union. Th...

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Most Booked in Washington, D.C. Area

Centrolina

$$$$·Italian·
Downtown
1,989 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

Tucked into the swanky CenterCityDC development is Centrolina, chef Amy Brandwein’s bright, buzzing Italian restaurant. Here, you’ll find dishes like buckwheat spaghetti alla chitarra with chickpeas a...

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Italian in Washington, D.C. Area
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Ghibellina

$$$$·Italian·
Logan Circle
975 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Vibrant Bar Scene

Ghibellina is a dark, sexy Italian restaurant, a place that’s as enjoyable for happy hour as it is into the wee hours of the evening. Order a few rounds of pizzas, pastas, and any of the antipasti; cr...

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Founding Farmers - DC

$$$$·American·
Foggy Bottom
30,193 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Good for Groups
  • Fit for Foodies

From the same farmer-owned group behind Farmers & Distillers is Founding Farmers, a—you guessed it—farm-to-table restaurant in downtown DC. Expect crowd-pleasing dishes like pastas, burgers, chicken p...

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Most Booked in Washington, D.C. Area

The Salt Line - Navy Yard

$$$$·Seafood·
Navy Yard
1,764 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Scenic View
  • Waterfront

On the waterfront near the Navy Yard you’ll find The Salt Line, a seafood restaurant that celebrates the cooking traditions of New England and the Chesapeake Bay. This means there are excellent lobste...

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Scenic View in District of Columbia

Succotash PRIME

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
2,078 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion

Succotash is a breathtaking restaurant in every which way: the 9,000-square-foot-space is marbled and gilded in every which way, the bronze-plated glass atrium sparkles, and the food—which showcases c...

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Osteria Morini DC

$$$$·Italian·
Navy Yard
2,067 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

Osteria Morini is New York–based chef Michael White’s first foray into DC, and he hits all the marks. This is the kind of neighborhood Italian restaurant that you could frequent all of the time, where...

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Iron Gate

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Dupont Circle
2,059 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

Iron Gate, a cozy, romantic restaurant in Dupont Circle, has a lot going for it: the wood-fired hearth and rotisserie, the red leather banquettes, the wisteria-lined patio. Tuck into a platter of lamb...

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Mediterranean in Washington, D.C. Area
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RPM Italian - DC

$$$$·Italian·
Washington DC
3,611 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic

For excellent Italian food in a sleek, sexy setting, head to RPM Italian, the DC outpost of the Chicago classic. You’ll find delicate crudos, excellent antipasti, and great versions of Italian-America...

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Kapnos

$$$$·Greek·
U Street Corridor
1,337 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups
  • Neighborhood Gem

If you’re not hungry when you walk into Kapnos, you certainly will be once you see chef Mike Isabella’s open kitchen, with spit-roasted meats getting bronzed before your very eyes. Order some of those...

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