DC was one easily of my favorite stops last year on my book tour!! Not only because the event itself was incredible but also because the food scene in DC is crushing it!
I’ll be honest, I was shocked! We’ve been a handful of times over the past 15 years and I never remembered the food being anything to write home about. Well guess what, things have changed. It was one of the only cities I visited on book tour that I bookended with 2 days off, which meant a LOT of time to explore and eat. And that I did! I rented a bike and gave myself a tour around the mall to see all the National Monuments, I ALMOST took a tour of the FBI building (which is my dream) but I ended up checking my IG DM’s too late to take a reader up on the offer, and I ate EVERYWHERE.
Here’s the deal – whenever I visit a city and I’m rolling solo (as I did this trip) I follow a few rules. 1: always eat at the bar… you’ll end up make so many new friends. 2: just have a few bites at each restaurant, that way you can restaurant hop for all your meals and cover some serious ground. 3: walk EVERYWHERE. And I did. 30,000+ steps per day plus a few bike rides and a near death experience on an electric scooter. Fairly certain I burned off every calorie I ate and then ate some more! So while I was only in DC for 3 days this time… I’m 100% confident when I tell you that I’ve got you covered!! And I’ll be heading back shortly, so if I missed anything, holler in the comments!
Where to eat:
Maydan – North African & Middle Eastern style food with the best vibe ever!!
Brothers and Sisters – the lobby restaurant at the Line that is perfect for a quick meeting, the best french fries, and lots of other little bites!
Red Hen – you know I’ll find the wood-fired Italian restaurant no matter what city I’m in!! SO GOOD!
Le Diplomate – omg the burger. GO FOR THE BURGER!
Zaytinya – Mediterranean small plates OF MY DREAM! The octopus is truly life altering
Centrolina– super cute cafe / to go spot that rocks lunch V hard!
Rasika – hands down the best Indian food I’ve ever had
Hazel– truthfully I was so full by the time I got to Hazel I only ordered their pita like bread with all the dips and let me tell you – some of the best bites I had the in the entire city. I’m counting the days until I can go back and eat the entire menu!
Maketto – food hall / marketplace vibes where you can grab basically anything you want to eat or drink or wear!
Timber Pizza Company – I mean, obviously. Have I ever included a guide to a city without the best pizza. No. And that will never change!
Rose’s Luxury – some truly incredible pasta and small bites!!
The Line DC – we’ve talked about Brothers + Sisters, but the Line DC has a bunch of other fun places to eat and grab coffee. Bottom line, go. It can’t be missed.
Dolezza – BEST gelato in DC! Truly! So perfect on a hot day after a bike ride around the mall district!
Tail Up Goat – small-ish Mediterranean plates with a few epic main courses. Great for a group and DEF need reservations!
What to do between meals:
Newseum – easily my favorite museum I’ve ever been to! A whole museum dedicated to the news – it’s super fascinating
International Spy Museum – because obviously if I wasn’t in the food world, I’d 100% be a spy.
National Portrait Gallery – I mean, what’s a trip to DC without a quick stop here?!
Renwick Gallery – EVERYONE on instagram recommended this one to me. There is an incredible burning man exhibit and seeing as how I’m not into camping or being dusty for the actual festival, this is as close as I’d ever get to their art installations!
National Museum of African American History and Culture – word to the wise – get your tickets WAY ahead of time. This place is incredible in every sense of the word. The information, the building, the stories… it’s not to be missed. But you have to book ahead of time!
Where to stay:
I am so excited you are making one of my recipes and I would love to see how it turns out. Make sure to share it on instagram and tag me @whatsgabycookin so I can see your masterpiece!