I eat out a lot in the DC area. My husband and I go out for a meal. I meet girlfriends for brunch, dinner or a drink. I have family and friends visit. I go out for work. Between my eating adventures, the research that goes into where I go, and my diverse network in the area I am confident I am hitting some of the best places in the area. Some are well known by all. Some are off the radar. Here are my favorites based on the 93 meals at 62 different places I ate out in the DC area in 2022.
Drinks: Off the Record at the Hay Adams
Where I go because I cave something specific: Mia’s in Old Town for Carbonara; Jyina for Ramen; and Lebanese Taverna for Artichokes and Hummus
Where I go again and again: This was a surprise, but in 2022 I went to Matchbox 6 times over the year. They have 3 DC / Pentagon City locations that are all convenient for meeting a group. They are reasonably priced, have a good happy hour, and are easy to work with for a large but informal gathering (i.e never quite sure who is going to show up and when). They have a menu that works for most people, and I love their apple pear walnut salad.
Where I take visiting friends and family: Old Ebbits Grill – I’ve spoken about this many times in the past, but I love their location, history, ambiance and food.
Where I go because it has parking: Cooperwood Tavern in Shirlington.
Meal & Entertainment: JoJos, but I also really loved my one experience with Profs and Pints. I need to do that again in 2023.
Favorite Coffee Shop: St Elmo’s in Del Ray, especially to sit outside. And their fall apple cider is some of the best I’ve ever had.
Best Pizza: I am going to say Piece Out in Del Ray but really I need to sample more places and get you a better recommendation in 2023.
Outdoor Dinning: Ada’s by the River has beautiful outdoor dining on the Potomac river. I also love their menu.
Something for Everyone: Busboys and Poets…Vegan, Vegitarian, Glutten Free, Turkey, Fish, and a good old Burger with Fries
Best Breakfast: Ted’s Bulletin
Best Brussel sprouts: DC comedy loft and Bier Baron (they do theirs with a chili sauce) and Circa (theirs has a blue cheese sauce)
Best DC brunch: Ambar or Boqueria. But I also love the Greenhouse at the Jefferson hotel for a quiet elegant breakfast.
Best Wine bar: Cork
Best Rooftop: Watergate Hotel – be prepared for it to be windy but it has a great view of the city.
Best Italian: Italian is my go-to. I always love Mia’s and I tried Tosca for the first time. Both are solid recommendations.
Best International Food: Ottoman Taverna
Best dessert: Jenin’s baklava is the best I’ve had outside the middle east. It also keeps for a couple of days. I’ve never had it go stale – but also, I gorge on it the minute I get some in the house!
I wanted to give you a best meal overall but nothing in particular stands out from this past year. I’ll do better in 2023! Also in 2023 I will be on the lookout for places to go with girlfriends, dog friendly and definitely Italian gems.