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Good, Fun Restaurants in DC

My family is coming down to DC for my graduation. I was wondering if anyone has heard of or visited any new, fun, and really yummy restaurants in the city recently that you'd recommend for a group? We're all good eaters, but definitely love a good steak, oysters, sushi, etc. Something fun is 100% necessary, since we'll be celebrating my graduation.

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  1. By "fun" do you mean "not stuffy"? Because eating out is basically: sit, drink, eat, pay bill, go home. There isn't a huge amount of variation in the activities themselves. So it would be about the atmosphere? Lively and casual?

    This isn't on your list, but I'd recommend one of the Ethiopian restaurants. If you like oysters, Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle. Fogo de Chao if you like churrascaria (though a total waste if you aren't big eaters). Perry's in Adams Morgan has sushi and a drag show at Sunday brunch. Zaytinya definitely has a buzzing atmosphere.

    None of these are new. The only new place I can think of that might suit is Graffiato.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Just Visiting

      I had a similar question but figure the OP is looking for something "interesting", so maybe Jaleo, though I like your recs, especially Ethiopian or Hanks Oyster bar. I haven't been to Cashion's since the ownership change (yes I know this was a few years ago), but that at least used to be an interesting menu.

    2. Please define "fun." I think it's fun to eat oysters at Maine Avenue Fish Market.others think it's fun to go deaf at Zatinya or eat burnt pizza soup at 2 Amy's. Everybody has a different idea of "fun"

      2 Replies
      1. re: monkeyrotica

        There's a Hard Rock Cafe on E Street. They have beer and I'd stick with the nachos.

        1. re: GraydonCarter

          Definitely bring earplugs. Frenchfries work in a pinch, but they leave a greasy residue.

      2. Something fun would be good music, trendy restaurant, and just really good atmosphere. My family is from Manhattan so they like the more upscale/trendy restaurants.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tmt731

          graffiato or jaleo are good options.

          1. re: tmt731

            Upscale + trendy = Graffiato + Zatinya.

            Yummy = Cava

          2. We took our son and guests for Sunday brunch at Levante's in Dupont Circle a few years ago. Levante's has a Mediterranean-style buffet. Service was a bit slow (warm bread and mimosas are brought to the table), but we had a good time. The atmosphere was lively but not too noisy for conversation.

            We also considered Lauriol Plaza, between Adams Moran and Dupont Circle, another lively restaurant. They offer a brunch menu as well as their usual Spanish and Latin American entrees. Ordering from a menu can be easier than a buffet or some members of a group.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DLynne

              Unless your idea of fun = overpriced, mediocre food that the hordes flock to, please avoid Lauriol Plaza. I can't understand why anyone interested enough in good food to visit chowhound would recommend LP.

            2. Kushi might fit the bill -- sushi and yakitori grill, should be something for everyone.

              1 Reply
              1. re: holdtheline

                Second Kushi. The sushi is nothing special but the grilled items are excellent. Not cheap but you get what you pay for.

              2. I highly recommend Pearl Dive for great seafood - especially oysters. It's very popular and doesn't take reservations - arrive early.

                1. I'd throw Estadio or Saint Ex out there as well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: katecm

                    I would try Lost Society I had a fabolous dinner there last Thursday followed by a night of dancing. They have good music and the atmosphere is cool

                    1. re: Doh

                      You lost me at music. If I notice it during dinner, that means it's either too loud, or just not a style I enjoy.

                      You have a lot of good recs already. I'll add Masa 14 - definitely fun, good food, and I noticed a couple of large parties when I was there. Plus, you're in a good area if people don't want the fun to end. :-) Ardeo Bardeo also - definitely lively, although I haven't eaten there.

                      1. re: Doh

                        Love Oyamel. Eaten there half a dozen times. Always order a lot and new things. favorites: Brussels sprouts, shrimp, scallops.

                        Another favorite is Eat First in Chinatown. The restaurant name is also my mantra.