UrbanTurf Reader Asks: What DC Neighborhood Has the Best Food?

by Mark Wellborn

In this installment of UrbanTurf Reader Asks, an up-and-coming chef who is moving to DC from the West coast wonders what DC neighborhoods have the widest range of quality restaurants. I am a young chef who will be moving from Los Angeles to DC at the beginning of December. I don't really know much about the restaurants in the DC area, but want to buy a home/condo in an area where I can walk to both good, cheap local favorites as well as higher end restaurants where I can sit and enjoy a meal for the majority of the evening. Any thoughts will be appreciated. I am also doing some research of my own. Post your thoughts in the comments section. If you would like to submit a question for UrbanTurf Reader Asks, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/urbanturf_reader_asks_what_dc_neighborhood_has_the_best_food/1405


  1. LookingtoBuy said at 11:50 am on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    There aren’t that many high-end options, but I love U Street for food. Dukem for Ethiopian, Marvin (slightly high-end)for mussels and other Belgian fare, Busboys and Poets for quick, good American, Ben’s Chili Bowl for the short-order fare and late night at Ooohs and Ahhhs.

  1. Jumpy said at 1:26 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    Barracks Row holds its own. Cava, Matchbox, Lola’s and Banana Cafe. I feel for you, though. DC restaurants can’t really hold a candle to the selection in LA.

  1. W. said at 2:27 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:


    I’m all with you on Cava and Matchbox, but would not recommend Lola’s or Banana Cafe at all.  I would recommend Monmarte, Good Stuff, Eastern Market Lunch Counter, Sonoma, & Belga Cafe in the Eastern Market area.  Or a little bit north on H St. NE, Taylor, Granville Moore, Napa 1015, Sidamo, HSCC, and Sticky Rice.

  1. Michael said at 2:43 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    Do not move to Eastern Market/Barracks Row if you want good food.  Lots (yes, lots) of mediocre to bad restaurants on those streets.  Gallery Place has best restaurants (and no I don’t mean Clyde’s), but more expensive than cheap eats around Adams Morgan perhaps or U St.  U St is probably best combo of price and good food.

  1. B.G. said at 5:30 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    South of U and north of P, between 11th and 16th would put you close enough to U Street, the restaurants on 14th (Cork, Posto, St Ex, the new Masa - could be good, who knows?), within walking distance to Komi, Hanks Oyster Bar and Sushi Taro (new and improved) on 17th, and a decent walk/short cab ride to the higher end, more business oriented restaurants down town, in a generally pretty area with varied housing stock.

  1. Matt T. said at 6:34 pm on Tuesday October 13, 2009:

    Annandale! But, then again, I love Korean food.  Although, “walkable” is a stretch with Annandale…

  1. Salmaan T. said at 12:00 am on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    People are going to laugh or roll their eyes but Shaw around Howard U has some gems.

    Habesha is an Ethiopian place on 9th and S(?), there is a great Pakistani halal place (Food Corner and Rotisserie) on Georgia Avenue on Howard’s campus and right beside Food Corner is a good Jamaican place. A block from the 930 club is Tropicana Eatery (Jamaican), Thai X-ing is at 5th and Florida and then Italy’s Pizza is at 7th and Florida.

    Best of all, these places aren’t pricy but still very tasty. Most meals at these places are around $10 or less and lunch is even cheaper.

  1. Tom A. said at 9:53 am on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    The chef is looking for “good, cheap local favorites as well as higher end restaurants where I can sit and enjoy a meal for the majority of the evening.”

    I’d suggest he by somewhere on the hill half way between H street and Barracks Row to increase dining opportunity within walking distance.  It’s hard to believe that H street IS better than barracks row for for right now.  It’s pretty shocking, actually.  I’m not sure what the fuss is over Matchbox.  The food was fine wasn’t bad, but I won’t ever wait 45 minutes to eat there again. I suppose it’s “trendy,” so people go for that reason, and are willing to wait an hour.

  1. Ashley said at 11:02 am on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    I also agree that although it’s not ‘walkable’ Annandale has the best food. If you want Korean, Peruvian, Pho, a Steakhouse, Greek and Indian all in one day, route 236 through Annandale has it all. *I’m a bit biased though, I grew up there.

  1. RL said at 11:11 am on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    The H street area is great. Most of the bars are also restaurants. And if you live in the 20002 area code they have discount nights…

  1. PW said at 11:38 am on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    Gallery Place is the LAST place I would ever go for good food. Zaytinya is the only good thing over there.

    Overall, the Hill has the most options.

  1. charli said at 2:20 pm on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase neighborhoods have the best restaurants, chains Cheesecake Factory, Clydes, Maggianos, and the newest Capitol Grille, also Mei Wah, Indique Heights, Chadwicks, Rock Creek and many more. Plus great dining a short distance away in Bethedsa and on the Pike.

  1. Michael said at 2:21 pm on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    when I said Gallery Place, I was shorthanding for all the places like Oyamel, Proof, the place near the Spy Museum (Zola?), and Rasika that are nearby…

  1. monkeybizness said at 4:33 pm on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    it doesn’t quite scratch the itch for the cheap part, but gallery pl/penn quarter is great for the fine dining part:  central, fogo de chao, rasika, proof, zatinya, oyamel, minibar (!), jaleo, the source, oceanaire…

  1. dc said at 6:59 pm on Wednesday October 14, 2009:

    definitely take a look at gallery place. hop a bus to h street ne. metro up to columbia heights.
    walk to faragut and dupont. its a very central hood.

    from gallery place, you can walk to the cheaper establishments in shaw.
    but you can hit finer dining places like ones mentioned above, plus others.

    its weird how pople just pimp out their own hoods. friendship heights and the chains that exist there are not culinary adventures. dont move there. im a dc advocate and you’d be better off in bethesda than friendship heights. the hill is one of the more beautiful hoods in the city, but the food options are not numerous. you’ll tire quickly. h street is my favorite hangout but there are about 4 places worth eating. ( and horace and dickies is totally one of them)

    ananndale? please.
    don’t move all the way to dc to just live in annandale.

    u street is great but not fine.

  1. cheapguy said at 3:30 am on Thursday October 15, 2009:

    my vote is for u street.  also check out http://www.ueatcheap.com for cheap places to eat

Comments are closed.

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