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Must Try - DC (Foggy Bottom)

I am coming to DC for the weekend. What would you consider your must trys? Local favorites? I am looking for a fancy and casual places. I am staying in Foggy Bottom, but wouldn't be opposed to hopping on the metro somewhere. (p.s. Already tried a reservation at Komi and they are booked).

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  1. Sit at one of the four stools at Oohs and Aahs for some great soul food. Located at 10th and U, right at the U St/Cardozo Metro Stop on the Green line. Shrimp, lemon pepper wings, short ribs, turkey chop all go down real well with collard greens and rice with gravy.

    1. Komi's a tough reservation. The best food in the city (high end) is Citronelle (G'town), CityZen, Palena, Equinox, Oval Room, Obelisk. Near your hotel is the old standby Kinkeads for fish or Marcel's for belgian/french, and Vidalia for high class southern food. And one of my personal favorites is Tabard Inn, tucked away on N Street.

      For something more interesting -- less formal/more funky -- Rasika for Indian, Jaleo for tapas, Proof for wine and good bistro fare, Minibar at Cafe Atlantico for a completely nutty tasting menu (foie gras cotton candy, anyone?), Central (Citronelle's less formal sibling). Options abound.

      For something

      3 Replies
      1. re: JRinDC

        Should we add Zaytinya to the list? Turkish meze, located in Penn Quarter.

        1. re: MartinDC

          I have to disagree strongly with this one. I've given them 2 shots and both were very average to bad. I think this is one the most over-rated places in town. I would stick with Jaleo or Cafe Atlantico in the mid-range, in that part of town.

          1. re: MartinDC

            If you do go, make sure to try the Fried Zucchini- amazing! I had a great experience there for RW this week.

        2. Right in Foggy Bottom you have Marcel's and Kinkeads. Both have great bars to sit at with live piano music. Both also have great appetizers to make a meal of, or formal seating in the restaurant. Recommendations: Marcel's: Bar Tart; Kinkead's: Fried Ipswich Clams.


          1. Right in your neighborhood is Dish in the River Inn Hotel. I had a great meal there recently: rockfish with grits and shrimp. Awesome!

            1. Our always-fave is 1789 which is in Georgetown; you can't metro there but it's a short cab ride away. They have an early bird special if you order before 6:45 and the regular menu prices are really no more than many other nice places these days. It's very traditional, right near G'town U, across the street from the steps the priest fell down in the Exorcist -- for a little movie history. Food is great, service top-notch, great wine list and a real DC stalwart. One thing: jackets required for men. Of course they have a supply if you forget...:) And Pino's tiny bar is definitely a real local treasure.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DCDOLL

                I haven't been yet, but I've heard great things about K's on, appropriately, K St.

              2. Kinkeads! For sure, it's within walking distance from foggy bottom and it has some of the best seafood in DC. Also, stay for desert b/c the pastry chef is internationally famous for his deserts. It's a nice rest. and comes in at about $30 a meal without drinks and desert so not cheap but but for the quality of food it's worth it. Fabulous.

                1. While I am at it, if you are looking for another place that is fast and good try Ben's Chili Bowl. It's right off the U street metro, it's a cheap, hole in the wall place that is world famous b/c it is delcious and it is also where Bill Cosby proposed to his wife. Great milkshakes!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: mto

                    Thanks for all the responses, guys. Another question--we'll be at the Holocaust Museum one morning--any ideas near there for lunch? Thanks.

                    1. re: prettypithy

                      There isn't much around there, except perhaps the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (City Zen and a casual rest) that I can think of?

                      1. re: ktmoomau

                        All the rec's are good, except 1789, where our one meal was sub-par. And yes, there is nothing nearby the Holocaust Museum other than the Mandarian -- though I suppose you could walk down to the waterfront. Or walk to the other end of the Mall to the worthwhile cafeteria at the American Indian museum.

                        1. re: Marissa

                          Yeah, the casual restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental is Cafe Mozu. I think that the Mandarin also does dishes in the afternoon in their lobby lounge. You may want to check the hotel's website about that...

                          I actually used to live in Foggy Bottom and it isn't a far walk to Georgetown or Dupont -- probably about 20 mins to both (although walking may bit a bit cold this weekend!). Not too far from Foggy Bottom (at M and 22nd) is Eric Ripert's Westend Bistro -- it opened in November and although is on the more expensive side, it has a great, laidback atmosphere and fantastic food. I went two weekends ago with some friends and we really enjoyed it. Def near the top of our "go back to" list.

                      2. re: prettypithy

                        Walk across the Mall to Central at 11th & Penn. Outrageous lobster burgers, great fried oysters, onion tarts and other good things.

                    2. I'd also say check out Blue Duck Tavern. Not far at all from Foggy Bottom (close to 22nd and M?). They have some great seasonal and local dishes. I've had two great dinners there. The bar is also pretty cool if you just want to grab a glass of wine.

                      1. I second the recommendation for the Blue Duck Tavern . . . I think it's 24th and M, a short walk from Foggy Bottom. I had dinner there last Friday for the first time and loved it. I gave a full review on my blog, FoodRockz.

                        1. I live in West End/ Foggy Bottom and have to say that our neighborhood has become one of the best in terms of good restaurants in the city. West End Bistro is a great place with amazing food in more of laid back atmosphere. Blue Duck Tavern, as others have said, is absolutely amazing. It is a little on the pricey side but you will have a hard time finding a better overall restaurant experience than there. In terms of food, Marcel's is also excellent but has a little bit of formal/stuffy atmosphere if you are looking for a more casual spot.