2016 was a great year for DC food and drink: we saw tons of spicy food, more authenticity in global foods, an explosion in good pizza, and more. Based on what we’ve seen, here’s our list of trends that will surface or continue to grow in 2017.
We’re definitely in the midst of a poke explosion, with many new places opening in the last year. This Hawaiian staple of cubed, seasoned raw fish comes in many combinations at the poke shops — the traditional way over sushi rice, in salads, and even with non-traditional ingredients such as quinoa. Poke is simple, it’s addictive and it’s here to stay. Where to try: Poke Papa or Abunai Poke.
Poke Papa- 806 H St NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 393-7653
Abunai Poke -1920 L Street NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 838-9718
Scroll around on Instagram and you will see a number of photos of “Buddha Bowls”, a mix of nutritious protein, grains, and vegetables in delectable combinations. These are basically rice or grain bowls that that are as pretty as they are delicious. Try the bowl at Seoul Food to know what we are talking about.
Seoul Food – 2514 University Blvd W, Silver Spring, MD, +1 (571) 236-4750
Spices and Aromatics
The popularity of spices and aromatics will continue to rise. They fiind their way into cocktails and unexpected dishes. Turmeric, cardamom, and rose are all flavors that we are seeing in juices, bitters, and coffee. Where to try: Juices at Jrink Juicery, cardamom latte at Compass Coffee.
We are happy to see that the most important meal of the day is getting more representation in DC. This is definitely one trend we want to see grow. The opening of the brick and mortar for Mason Dixie’s biscuit sandwiches, and the Sri Lankan pop-up Short Eats are just a couple of the newly added breakfast options that we are liking.
Mason Dixie -2301 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC, +1(540) 300-6322
Maryland is quickly making a name for itself in the local wine world. There are more than 75 wineries in the state, many within driving distance of DC. Some crowd favorites are the St. Michaels winery in St. Michaels, and Elk Run Vineyard in Mt. Airy. We hope to see more Maryland wines on DC restaurant wine lists soon!
St.Michaels Winery – 609 S Talbot St, St Michaels, MD, +1 (410) 745-0808
Elk Cove – 15113 Liberty Rd, Mt Airy, MD, +1 (410) 775-2513
Street Food-Inspired Dishes
We don’t want this trend to cool down at all, and are hoping to see more street food-inspired restaurants. The newly opened Tiger Fork is already extremely popular for its Hong Kong flavors, Bindaas for Indian street snacks, and there is more coming. No complaints from us!
Tiger Fork – 922 N Street Northwest (Rear), Washington, DC, +1 (202) 733-1152
Bindaas – 3309 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 244-6550
More Food/Drink Apps
Yes, we have a ton of apps already, but we are going to see more delivery options in the city soon, to deliver all sorts of things. We expect to see an increase in restaurant delivery apps (Seamless, Postmates, uberEATS), apps for drinks and cocktail kits (Drizly), office lunch boxes (no more boring desk lunches!) and more. The latest to join the DC market is FreshDirect, a home grocery delivery service. Talk about convenience.
Even in the last couple of years, many DC restaurants have focused on making vegetables the star attractions in dishes, and we’ll be seeing more of this. Good examples of what we are talking about can be seen in the roasted cauliflower sandwich at G, and the mushroom toast at Tredici Enoteca. 2017 can be the year of the vegetable!
G Sandwich shop – 2201 14th St NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 234-5015
Tredici Enoteca – 2033 M St NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 888-2899
Goat meat is not commonly found in restaurants, but we will start to see more of delicious low-fat protein in restaurants, as people get more exposed to cultures that have been eating this for decades. You can find many goat dishes at Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and Indian restaurants already. Try the curry goat Caribbean style at Jam Doung or the goat biryani at Red Toque if you want to see what the fuss is all about.
Red Toque -1701 6th St NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 588-5516
DC now has a thriving community of artisans, and as more people move to neighborhoods that are growing in popularity, food markets and stores are popping up that showcase local vendors and products. Expect to see more stores such as Union Kitchen Grocery and Little Red Fox and stock up on DC products (which also make fantastic gifts).
Little Red Fox – 5035 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC, +1 (202) 248-6346