The Best Bars for Foodies in Washington D.C.

Few areas in the country are more iconic than Washington, D.C., but America's capital isn't just the hub of politics—it's also home to some of the best restaurants in America. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Whether in the mood for a good old-fashioned, all-American beer, or some sake, this list of best bars in D.C. has you covered.

The OpenTable Team
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

O-Ku - DC

$$$$·Sushi·
Washington
908 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic

O-Ku opened a few years ago and quickly won D.C. over with their commitment to genuine Japanese hospitality. They have a world-class upstairs bar and a full sushi and sashimi bar. O-Ku offers a wide v...

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Le Diplomate

$$$$·French·
Logan Circle
10,773 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

Le Diplomate dedicates itself to genuine French culture. They take extra care to extend this dedication to the drinks, which are steeped in French culture and tradition. The fruits de mer (seafood sa...

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French in Washington, D.C. Area
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The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
2,112 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual

Located around the corner from the International Spy Museum, The Smith in the Penn Quarter is an offshoot of the popular NYC spot that specializes in all-American food and seasonal craft drinks. Draft...

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Dirty Habit

$$$$·Global, International·
Penn Quarter
1,054 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Great for Brunch

The Dirty Habit is another addition to the Penn Quarter district and is steps away from all the major tourist destinations. They pair seasonal drinks with shareable plates, making Dirty Habit a great ...

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SEI restaurant & lounge

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
2,462 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Special Occasion

SEI is in downtown D.C. and specializes in modern Asian cuisine. They also have specialty sushi that puts a modern spin on the classic Japanese dish. SEI, however, got their reputation throughout D.C...

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The Arsenal at Bluejacket

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Navy Yard
947 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
  • Great Beer

The building that houses The Arsenal at Bluejacket was first built back in 1919 and has since been retrofitted to house this bar and restaurant. The Arsenal specializes in “adventurous American eats” ...

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Vibrant Bar Scene in District of Columbia

RPM Italian - DC

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

This division of RPM specializes in Italian-American eats with pasta, seafood, and steaks. They also serve some of the best wines from various Italian regions in the world. At the center of RPM's kitc...

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Macon Bistro - Chevy Chase

$$$$·Southern·
Chevy Chase
810 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Comfort Food
  • Good for a Date

The Macon Bistro and Larder is one of the most unique bars in D.C. because they combine Southern cooking with a French-Creole flair. Best known among the locals, the Macon Bistro and Larder is quickly...

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Brasserie Beck

$$$$·Belgian·
Downtown
4,637 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Groups

Located in the burgeoning McPherson neighborhood, Brasserie Beck is one of the only restaurants serving Belgian food in the area. It has a beer list with over 100 choices, making it a haven for those ...

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BlackSalt

$$$$·Seafood·
Palisades Northwest
6,194 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem

BlackSalt serves sustainable seafood that is typically locally sourced as well. The bar is more of an upscale tavern that complements the high-end dishes that are popular here. There's also a take-out...

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Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area

Iron Gate

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Dupont Circle
2,057 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

The Iron Gate is a swanky spot that offers Mediterranean fare, specifically Greek and Italian fusion dishes. This is a preferred hangout spot in the nicer weather months because they have a full court...

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Mediterranean in Washington, D.C. Area
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Jaleo DC

$$$$·Spanish·
Penn Quarter
9,370 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Tapas
  • Special Occasion

Celebrity chef Jose Andres brings his Jaleo concept to D.C., and the result is a Mexican fusion menu with a rotating selection of cocktails to complement the dishes. Jaleo has great tapas, but the Lom...

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Spanish in Washington, D.C. Area

Matisse

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Tenleytown
1,326 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies

Named after the French painter Henri Matisse, this restaurant specializes in contemporary French-Mediterranean fare. Matisse has an unrivaled wine list that offers a premier selection of both reds and...

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29 people mentioned the Fritz

Café Milano

$$$$·Italian·
Georgetown
3,296 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Hot Spot

This is one of the most casual dining offerings in D.C., which is important in a town that takes the tack of “sun's up, suits on.” Café Milano offers delicious pizzas complemented by even more delicio...

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Hot Spot in District of Columbia
29 people mentioned the Veal Chop

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab - Washington DC

$$$$·Seafood·
Downtown
6,829 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date

With satellite locations in Las Vegas and Chicago, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab has become a D.C. favorite because of their incomparable surf 'n' turf and cocktails. This is also a favorite...

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Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area
640 people mentioned the Stone Crab
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BLT Prime by David Burke

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Downtown
2,050 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date

Located in the Trump Hotel DC, the BLT Prime by David Burke is best known for their top-of-the-line steaks and incomparable appetizers. The selection of cocktails is second-to-none and makes them one ...

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Best Ambiance in Washington, D.C. Area
114 people mentioned the Popovers
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Kinship

$$$$·American·
Mt. Vernon Square
928 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic

Kinship is another place that specializes in new American fare, meaning they do gourmet twists on classics like hamburgers and steaks. Kinship has a chic, minimalist decor, which makes it perfect to e...

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103 people mentioned the French Toast
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RIS

$$$$·American·
West End
3,344 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion

Named after Executive Chef, Ris LaCoste, RIS DC is a neighborhood restaurant located in the heart of the West End district that serves seasonal American fare with a local vibe. LaCoste has received se...

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89 people mentioned the Butterscotch Pudding
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The Source by Wolfgang Puck

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
3,652 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion

Austrian-born celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck first came to prominence in the 1980s, when he opened Spago in Beverly Hills. With restaurants all over the world, his Source restaurant in D.C. specializes ...

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221 people mentioned the Dumplings
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