Favorite Local Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

The OpenTable team

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.

Restaurants:Le Diplomate, Zaytinya, Oyamel
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:French, Mediterranean, Mexican
Neighborhoods:Logan Circle, Penn Quarter

Le Diplomate

$$$$·French·
Logan Circle
9,140 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Brunch
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 wrRead more
94% recommended
French in Washington, D.C. Area
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Zaytinya

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Penn Quarter
15,745 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
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 anRead more
94% recommended
Most Booked in Washington, D.C. Area

Oyamel

$$$$·Mexican·
Penn Quarter
8,831 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
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 tRead more
93% recommended

Unconventional Diner

$$$$·American·
Shaw
1,612 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
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 sprRead more
97% recommended
Great for Brunch in Washington, D.C. Area
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Central Michel Richard

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
7,371 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • 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 particuRead more
88% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Washington, D.C. Area
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China Chilcano

$$$$·Peruvian·
Penn Quarter
2,763 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Fun
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 traditiRead more
91% recommended
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The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
1,925 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Good for a Date
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 simpRead more
84% recommended

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 inflRead more
88% recommended
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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 approacRead more
93% recommended
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Rasika

$$$$·Indian·
Penn Quarter
8,652 reviews
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 comfoRead more
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Farmers & Distillers

$$$$·American·
Mt. Vernon Square
5,969 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Great for Brunch
  • Good for Groups
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 DakoRead more
84% recommended
Most Booked in District of Columbia

Centrolina

$$$$·Italian·
Downtown
1,663 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
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 chitaRead more
96% recommended
Italian in District of Columbia

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 Read more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Founding Farmers - DC

$$$$·American·
Foggy Bottom
29,235 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Casual
  • Great for Brunch
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 pastasRead more
87% recommended
Most Booked in Washington, D.C. Area

The Salt Line

$$$$·Seafood·
Navy Yard
1,280 reviews
  • Waterfront
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Scenic View
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 Read more
91% recommended
Scenic View in Washington, D.C. Area
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Succotash - Penn Quarter DC

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
2,053 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 foRead more
89% recommended
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Iron Gate

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Dupont Circle
1,769 reviews
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
  • Cozy
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 inRead more
94% recommended
Best Ambiance in District of Columbia
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RPM Italian - DC

$$$$·Italian·
Washington DC
3,607 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • 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 versionRead more
94% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Kapnos

$$$$·Greek·
U Street Corridor
1,338 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 eyesRead more
93% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Osteria Morini DC

$$$$·Italian·
Navy Yard
2,068 reviews
  • Waterfront
  • Good for a Date
  • Scenic View
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 alRead more
94% recommended
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