Where to find the best eateries in Washington, DC

Exterior shot of Call Your Mother Deli restaurant in Washington, DC. The name of the restaurant is printed in pastel blue and pink colors on a white building.
Check out our list of the best places to eat in Washington, DC. Daniel Diasgranados for Insider

One of the best ways to experience the city’s diversity is by quite literally eating your way through it. Endless dining options abound in all four quadrants of our nation’s capital, including traditional homestyle Ethiopian platters in northwest DC and modern Indian in the northeast.

Keep reading for some of the best restaurant recommendations in Washington.


Located in the heart of DC’s U Street Corridor, this no-frills spot serves some of the best Ethiopian food in the district. Favorites include beef or lamb tibbs, shiro wat (dried chickpea stew), gomen (collard greens), and injera, a fermented flatbread made from teff flour. New to the cuisine? Opt for a combo platter to sample as many dishes as possible. There’s also a market section for you to stock up on Ethiopian staples like injera, coffee, lentils, and spice blends.

Three side-by-side photos of Habesha restaurant in Washington, DC: an exterior shot of the eatery's sign with its name, an interior shot of a table, and a shot of a sambusa.
Habesha offers menu items such as sambusas, seneg karia, and tilapia fish. Daniel Diasgranados for Insider


With dishes like achiote-spiced jackfruit phulka (flatbread) tacos and an overnight marinated nariyal (coconut) lamb shank, Daru has taken DC’s food scene by storm since opening in August. The inventiveness extends to the cocktail menu as well: The Hari Daiquiri, which takes its inspiration from green mint chutney, and the Kali Kooler, a twist on the classic Tom Collins, both come highly recommended.

Side-by-side of two images of Daru in Washington, DC: one shot of the exterior with the restaurant's name and one shot of the outdoor seating area where patrons eat under red umbrellas.
Daru is a prime spot for delicious food and cocktails. Daniel Diasgranados for Insider

Call Your Mother Deli

Satisfy your cravings for New York-style bagels with a classic pastrami, egg and cheese bagel sandwich from Call Your Mother Deli, which has managed to amass a cult following since first opening in 2018. Feeling a little adventurous? Try the Horizon (with smashed avocados, Fritos, and jalapenos on an everything bagel) or the King’s Point (with nacho-jalapeno cream cheese, bacon, and crispy shallots served in a cheddar bagel).

Side-by-side of two images featuring Call Your Mother Deli where diners pick up their orders from a window.
Grabbing a bagel sandwich from Call Your Mother Deli is a must when visiting DC. Daniel Diasgranados for Insider


Anju’s contemporary take on traditional Korean cuisine means you’ll find it consistently ranked on DC’s best restaurant lists. Try menu staples such as the kimchi bokum bap (seafood and vegetable fried rice) and the ori jajang myeon (pan-roasted duck breast with wok-fired noodles in a black-bean paste). Visiting on the weekend? Brunch, and the creative cocktails that accompany it, are not to be missed.

View Insider’s comprehensive guide to visiting Washington, DC.