Lori’s Guide to Food and Drink in DC

This page is devoted to a running list of restaurants, bars, brewpubs, and breweries in the DC metro area that I have visited and enjoyed (or in a few cases, intend to visit, though I will note if I haven’t been there yet). For other DC guides, see the Lori’s Guide to DC page.

Restaurants, Bars, and Brewpubs

Bagel Place – A family-owned and family-run bagel restaurant. The bagels are made from scratch. Great for breakfast or lunch. Yelp reviews here.

Ben’s Chili Bowl – Open since 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl is one of the top “must-go” restaurants when in DC. The food is messy and delicious. Yelp reviews here. My own post about Ben’s here.

Busboys and Poets – A local restaurant and book store. The food is good, so are the cocktails. Yelp reviews for original location here, there’s another location in Hyattsville.

Eggspectations – A restaurant that serves breakfast and brunch all day, as well as regular lunch and dinner entrees. Pretty good happy hour on week days. Yelp reviews here.

Founding Farmers – this restaurant aims to promote sustainable agriculture and celebrate the history of American cooking. There is a very extensive menu and everything I have tried here has been delicious. Besides, how can you turn down a restaurant that has “Bacon Lollis” on the menu? See the menu here and the Yelp reviews here.

Franklin’s Restaurant and Brewery – A local brewpub with pretty good food with a rotating selection of beer. Yelp reviews here.

Hanami – A Japanese and sushi restaurant. Prices are fine and the quality has been good, especially for College Park. Yelp reviews here.

Hill Country BBQ – Texas style BBQ. The BBQ is delicious, and so are the sides. Yelp reviews here.

Irene’s Pupusas – Salvadoran/Central American food. Cheap and delicious. Yelp reviews here.

The Jerk Pit – A Caribbean restaurant (specifically Jamaican). See the yelp reviews here.

Ledo Pizza – A local pizza chain that has been around since 1955. Ledo’s pizzas are rectangular and served on the tray. The crust is flaky and unique – definitely worth a try.

Quarry House Tavern – My favorite dive bar in the DC area. Great beer selection, extensive scotch list, and the best chicken tenders I’ve ever had. They also have deep-fried, double-stuffed oreo sundaes and Guinness floats. See the yelp reviews here.

Ray’s Hellburger Too – This is the Hellburger location that has wait service and seating. This is one of Sam’s absolute favorite restaurants (I’m pretty fond of it myself). The burgers are made from beef that has been aged in house and ground fresh. Burgers are made to order. See menu here and the Yelp reviews here. In addition to one of the best burgers out there, Ray’s onion rings are great and the milkshakes are fantastic.

Ray’s the Steaks – This is probably one of my favorite restaurants in the DC area. The steaks are aged and carved on site. You choose the steak that you want, and it comes with unlimited mashed potatoes (garlic or plain) and creamed spinach. Their crab bisque is to die for, so I always get that. See the menu here and the Yelp reviews here.

RFD (Regional Food and Drink) – A bar with 30+ beers on tap and more than 300 bottles from around the world. They also serve food. Yelp reviews here.

Samantha’s – This is another favorite restaurant. They have the best Mexican food I’ve ever had (though I have not eaten Mexican food in the US southwest, that may be better). The chips and salsa are great, and so are the margaritas. See the menu here and the Yelp reviews here.

Sardi’s – This is a Peruvian charbroiled chicken restaurant. The chicken is delicious (and the shrimp is great, too). Check the website for the menu and see the Yelp reviews here.

Siri’s Chef Secret – Thai restaurant with good prices and tasty food.

Swahili Village – An African restaurant (specifically Kenyan). They don’t have a website, but you can see the Yelp reviews here. They offer a sampler platter, so you can try a little bit of everything. Very flavorful, and a fun experience.

Tiffin – Indian restaurant. Everything I’ve tried here is good. I haven’t tried the buffet yet, but would like to. Yelp reviews here.


Red Velvet Cupcakery – My favorite cupcakes in the DC area. Yelp reviews here.

Tangy Sweet – Frozen yogurt bar, as many toppings as you want for one price. Yelp reviews here.

Brewery Tours (within a day trip)

I have only toured the Dogfish Head and Heavy Seas breweries. However, I’m willing (and want) to tour any of the local breweries.

Heavy Seas – Brewed by Clipper City Brewing Co. Tour is free, but to sample you have to buy a $5 souvenir pint glass.

DC Brau Brewing Company – DC’s first production brewery in almost 60 years. Free tours and tastings most Saturdays.*

Dogfish Head Brewery – Tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday afternoons. Tours are free and include samples. The brewery is located in Milton, DE. The Dogfish Head Brewpub is located in Rehoboth Beach. The brewpub also offers daily tours at 4:30.

Flying Dog Brewery – Tours offered on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Tours are two hours long, cost $5, and include 5 samples.*

*I have not yet visited these breweries, but intend to do so as soon as possible.


3 thoughts on “Lori’s Guide to Food and Drink in DC

  1. Jenelle says:

    You should add Pitango Gelato to your dessert list. It’s in DC off of 7th street between the Chinatown and Archives metro stops. Nothing can beat real Italian gelato, but this gets closer than anything else I’ve had here. They also use organic ingredients.

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