The best time to experience DC’s buzzing food scene? During Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week (January 30-February 5) of course. With over 200 eateries offering 3-course meals for brunch, lunch, or dinner (or sometimes even all three), it can be hard to decide where to go. Here we’ve rounded up some highlights from the spots we think you should try.
As the first Balkan restaurant in DC, Ambar gives diners a taste of authentic cuisine from the Balkan Peninsula. During Restaurant Week, experience unlimited small plates from the restaurant’s popular Balkan Experience menu for dinner, including Spicy Crab with ajvar and cilantro pickled chilies and Urnebes featuring aged cow cheese with ajvar and chili flakes. For the traditionalist, a delicious mushroom pizza with a variety of mushrooms and cheese or Slow Cooked Pork with Yukon smash and cabbage will equally delight. 528 8th St. SE, 202-813-3039
While it might be winter, we can still dream of our favorite summer foods. Chef Todd Gray’s specially curated dinner menu takes us back to warmer months with options like Equinox Crispy Shrimp Toast to start, Cauliflower Tempura with Fresh Pomegranate as a main course, and Pineapple Upside Down Cake with toasted coconut and passion fruit sorbet to top it off. 818 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-331-8118
Not just your typical eggs and bacon, Dirty Habit’s brunch menu offers dishes that are ideal for the adventurous eater. Twists on traditional offerings like Eggs Benedict Tartare with trout roe and sea beans and Grilled Asparagus with poached egg, crab meat, and hollandaise sauce, differentiate the Penn Quarter spot. A taste of their Carrot Cake with fried carrot chips for dessert perfectly finishes this unparalleled meal. 555 8th St. NW, 202-449-7095
Warm up from the cold temperatures with lunch at nopa Kitchen + Bar, featuring delectable creations prepared by Chef Matt Kuhn with seasonal, comforting ingredients. The Celery Root & Parsnip Soup, Pan Roasted Chicken Breast, and Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake dessert instantly warm us up and help fight off Old Man Winter. 800 F St. NW, 202-347-4667
Always authentically Italian and full of oh-so-delectable flavors, Ghibellina’s Restaurant Week dinner menu is sure to please. We’re loving the crispy Riso Al Salto risotto cake filled with prosciutto and topped with tomato coriander sauce as a primi followed by the Tagliatelle Al Ragú with a beef ragú sauce that’s reminiscent of your Italian grandmother’s (we won’t tell if you like it even more). For something sweet, the Panna Cotta to finish is the way to go. 1610 14th St. NW, 202-803-2389
It’s not Restaurant Week without a meal at José Andrés’ Oyamel Cocina Mexicana. Satisfy your craving during lunch with two antojitos (translates to “little cravings”) like the Ceviche Estilo Culiacán with stripe bass and Tamal Verde with shredded chicken, a tangy Chilorio de Res shredded beef taco, and a sweet Flan to taste. If you’re dining with friends, we suggest adding on a pitcher of margaritas to complete the experience. 401 7th St. NW, 202-628-1005