A couple of years ago, we shared our very first mini guide to DC â€“ including some of our favorite restaurants in the District. And with the cherry blossom season only a few weeks away, I thought it might be time to share a little update for any of you planning Spring trips to DC. Now, our dining habits have changed quite a bit in the last two years thanks to Sophie, so most of these are either in our Capitol Hill neighborhood or the nearby H Street corridor â€“ but luckily they’re all really good! And while we might not be the best at keeping up with the trendiest new restaurants, we can offer a few tried-and-true recommendations.
Illustration by Molly Jacques for Oh So Beautiful Paper
Rose’s Luxury: I don’t think I could possibly say enough good things about Rose’s Luxury. This amazing restaurant opened up in our neighborhood just a few months ago and has earned rave reviews from every single food critic in town (examples here and here). We visited Rose’s Luxury shortly after their October opening with Sophie in tow, and it’s easily the best meal we’ve had in recent memory. They also have an amazing drink menu with several seriously delicious cocktails. And if all of that wasn’t enough, the staff was amazing with Sophie â€“ even taking her on a little tour of the restaurant so we could have a few more minutes to enjoy our meal! Go, and you won’t regret it.
Rose’s Luxury via EaterDC
The Red Hen: It’s surprisingly difficult to find good pasta in DC (or good Italian food, for that matter), so we were pleasantly surprised when we visited The Red Hen a few weeks ago. We focused in on the pasta, but based just on our one experience I’d wager that everything on the menu at this Italian-influenced American restaurant is incredible. You’ll also definitely want to save room for dessert: Sophie was a big fan of the maple custard with hazelnut crumble. We saw several other families dining there during our visit, and they even have counter-height high chairs for tiny patrons so you don’t have to wait for a table!
Union Market: Union Market isn’t a single restaurant, but rather a large market comprised of shops, artisan vendors, and multiple casual dining options. It’s one of our favorite spots for a casual lunch or dinner. We’re partial to the sandwiches from Red Apron Butcher, the Korean tacos from TaKorean, and the hummus from DC Mediterranean Corner, but you’re bound to find something you love at Union Market.
Graffiato: Graffiato is probably the only non-kid-friendly restaurant on this list, but it’s worth a special night out. We indulged in our last pre-Sophie night out meal at Graffiato and still talk about it today. We went with the tasting menu, but you can’t go wrong here. Just be sure to make a reservation well in advance: it’s one of DC’s most popular spots!
District Taco: For a casual family night out, we’re big fans of food truck turned brick and mortar restaurant District Taco. Everything is simple, made daily from fresh ingredients, and really delicious. From fish tacos to quesadillas to soft tacos, you can’t go wrong here.
Beuchert’s Saloon: We were so happy when this restaurant opened in our neighborhood last year! A re-imagining of an 1800s saloon and Prohibition-era speakeasy, Beuchert’s devotes equal focus to both its food and drink menus. On the food side, Beuchert’s sources most of its ingredients from local farms and co-ops with delicious results, while the house cocktail menu includes several throwbacks to the restaurant’s long saloon history. So good!
Batter Bowl Bakery: Located along the H Street corridor, Batter Bowl Bakery is one of our favorite neighborhood lunch and brunch spots. The menu includes a variety of breakfast platters and open faced sandwiches, along with a range of freshly baked pastries. If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll love Batter Bowl Bakery: the lattes are some of the best we’ve found in DC yet.
Founding Farmers: Speaking of brunch, we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend brunch at Founding Farmers. You’ll need to make reservations well in advance, but the menu of farmhouse hashes, cast iron skillets, and signature breakfast dishes is well worth the advance planning. We visited with my in-laws just before Sophie’s first birthday, and everyone at the table (Sophie included!) was a big big fan.
p.s. DC is lucky to have two amazing food critics, so if youâ€™re planning a visit to DC youâ€™ll definitely also want to check out both the Washingtonian and Washington Post restaurant sections and even some of the DC foodie blogs like Metrocurean and Eater DC for the latest openings and reviews.