My Favorite DC Restaurants

Midterm season really has me going. Well, life in general seems to hit at this point in the semester as well. Posts have gotten away from me a bit on the blog. However, I hope you enjoy this one. You’ll notice in my list I’m a bit biased because I really love Asian food. It’s worthy to note that this list does not include cafes or more fast-casual places. I wrote this with dinner in mind. The restaurants here are sit down and stay for a bit kind of places. Ahead of time – I’d like to thank one of my closest friends, Meixi, for taking me to a lot of Chinese places around DC and Virginia that I’ve loved so much.

Daikaya

My favorite restaurant in DC is Daikaya. This restaurant is impeccably decorated (on both floors) and is a different concept. In the building there are two restaurants with menus independent of each other. Downstairs is a ramen place and upstairs is izakaya (small plates). I do love ramen, but frankly I’ve only braved the wait here for ramen once. Izakaya upstairs is what really draws me here. The quality is fairly consistent, although the last time I was there I was a bit disappointed. I’m hoping the next time I’m back they’ve got their A-game on. The pork and brussel sprout skewers and the crab croquettes are not to be missed.

Acqua Al 2

I’ll be frank, I haven’t been here much, but when I went I loved it. I’d never had gnocchi before (gnocchi are small potato dumplings which come in various sauces) and now it is my favorite Italian dish. The gnocchi dish I had at Acqua Al 2 is made with puréed parsley, basil, rosemary, and parmigiano. If you’re ever in the vicinity of the Capitol building or are celebrating a special occasion, Acqua Al 2 is the perfect place to go.  Sadly I don’t have pictures because of how dark the restaurant is. 

Sakuramen

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Adams Morgan has been one of my favorite neighborhoods since I came to DC over 2 years ago now. There are a lot of delicious restaurants there. However, for dinner in the area, I’d say Sakuramen tops my list. Their ramen comes in varied level of spice, if like spicy, you can definitely handle their upper levels of spice. I had their spicy miso. The portion was pretty sizeable, but the place isn’t that expensive. I ate it again for lunch the day after and it was still delicious. The ambiance is great for a date night. It can be a little hard to notice on the street (it is on basement level) but make sure not to pass this place up!

Honey Pig

If you want to start venturing into Virginia, make sure to go to Annandale for Korean BBQ. I’ve been to two KBBQ places in Annandale and I like both, but I’d have to say Honey Pig is my favorite of the two (the other being Kogiya). If you’re out with friends on a saturday night, there’s music blaring and the open space is perfect. If you want to hit up karaoke there’s a place right beside the restaurant. I ordered the prime meats with my friends (there are pre-set options for meats if you don’t want to decide the meats yourselves) and absolutely loved it. This meal will set you back about $20 per person but it’s worth it. Sides (like kimchi) and bowls of rice come with the meal sets.

Il Canale

Il Canale is a staple in Georgetown. My parents always want to go here when they come to visit. They also have pretty good gnocchi, although the sauce is different and I prefer Acqua Al 2’s version. Their pizzas are also delicious to share if you’re coming with friends. There’s outside seating and I would say it is a prime location because of its proximity to M street, the Georgetown waterfront, and the AMC theater.

Mala Tang and Little Sheep 

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This is another place in Virginia I love. If you know me, you know how much I like bubble tea. Mala Tang has the best bubble tea I’ve had at a restaurant like this. Shoutout to my friend Meixi for taking me here for dry pot! Dry pot is a lot like hot pot as far as what’s going in the pot, normally your choice of meats and vegetables. However, as the name implies, you won’t be having to wait for your food to cook inside of any broth with dry pot. If you want hot pot, I’d suggest Little Sheep (which is the picture above) in Falls Church at the Eden Center. Meixi and I also ventured there once, loved the food, and went into food comas post-dinner.

The following restaurants are places I’ve enjoyed going worth a mention. If you like dim sum especially, check them out. The first on the list is located in DC’s Chinatown (which is pitiful relative to NYC’s Chinatown) and I find to be one of the most bang for your buck. I also love it because it reminds me of time in Hong Kong. There’s a place next door to pick up pineapple buns before you leave the area.

zannchi

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