10 Dishes to Eat When You Are in Washington, D.C.

Ben's Chili Bowl
Ben's Chili Bowl | © SchuminWeb / WikiCommons
Photo of Kirsten Ballard
24 April 2018

Washington, D.C. is well-known for its monuments and cherry blossoms. What you don’t want to miss out on, however, is the amazing food scene. Create your D.C. foodie bucket list with these 10 delicious plates

The half-smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl

Restaurant, American, $$$
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The half smoke originated in Washington, D.C. | The half smoke originated in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is home to the famous half-smoke. This sausage is half-smoked, half-grilled and made from pork and beef. It’s spicier and bigger than a traditional hot dog. Get it covered in chili and dig in!

Crack Pie at Momofuku CCDC

Bakery, Dessert, American, $$$
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This salty-sweet piece of heaven has a rolled oats crust that will leave you wanting more | This salty-sweet piece of heaven has a rolled oats crust that will leave you wanting more

Move over, apple pie. America has a new favorite – and it’s Momofuku’s Milk Bar’s crack pie. It earns its name for its addictive salty-sweet combo that will make you come back for more.

Homemade poptarts at Ted's Bulletin

Diner, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Poptarts: not just for kids anymore | Poptarts: not just for kids anymore
Feel like a kid again with one of Ted’s homemade poptarts. These pastries take the traditional snack to the next level with house-made warm, flaky dough and sugar-sweet filling.

No pho king way.

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Grab a bowl at Pho Viet WDC

Restaurant, Vietnamese, $$$
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This place is pho-real. Pho Viet got a nod from the Washington Post for best bowl of pho around. Try the beef special which has beef eye round, brisket, steak flank, soft tendon and meat balls in a spicy broth for under $10.

Red Velvet Cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes

Bakery, Dessert, $$$
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Hop in line at the popular Georgetown Cupcake (known from the TLC show) for one of their famed red velvet cakes. The cream cheese frosting is to die for and the small heart sprinkle on top is just begging to be Instagrammed.

It is a sin to come to D.C. and not eat oysters @oldebbitt. #oysters

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Oysters at Old Ebbitt Grill

Restaurant, American, Italian, $$$
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D.C.’s oldest saloon, Old Ebbitt, is a must on your foodie journey around the District. Order the fresh oysters, mixing and matching from the coastal waterways. They have a great happy hour deal, so you can have a glass of rosé with your mollusks.

Tots at The DINER

Diner, American, $$$
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The DINER is open 24/7 and serves up the tastiest late night food in the District | The DINER is open 24/7 and serves up the tastiest late night food in the District

This 18th Street icon has perfected the art of late-night dining. Prevent hangovers (or cure them in the a.m.) with an order of breakfast tots: sautéed onions and mushrooms, bacon, cheddar, jalapeños, and two eggs any style on top of tots. Yum!

A Proper Burger at Duke's Grocery

Restaurant, European, $$$
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The Proper Burger at Duke’s Grocery brings a taste of London to the capital. Sorry vegetarians, this delightful dish isn’t for you. It has angus beef, melted gouda, pickles, red onion, and sweet chili sauce all stuffed into a brioche bun.

Green Hat Gin

While not technically a dish, Green Hat Gin is distilled in Washington, D.C. by New Columbia Distillers. The gin offers a crisp and evergreen flavor. Visit the distillery on Saturdays for free tastings and tours and pick up a bottle to take home.

All the Smoked Meats at Federalist Pig

Restaurant, $$$
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Get ready to pig out at Federalist Pig in Adams Morgan. This barbecue restaurant serves up wood-smoked meats and mind-blowing sides. The Pitmaster Special for two is a steal and allows you to try four meats and two sides (we recommend the mac and cheese).