The 10 Best Restaurants In Cathedral Heights, Washington DC

Jonathan Stern

Cathedral Heights is one of the quieter neighborhoods in all of DC. But don’t be fooled – this is also a fantastic part of town to find great food of all kinds. Read up on the top restaurants in the area right here.

Steak frites

1. La Piquette

Restaurant, French

2 Amys pizza
©Timothy Vollmer/Flickr
La Piquette is a buzzy spot that serves up authentic French food in Cathedral Heights. Executive chef Francis Layrle cooks up a daily menu based on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The restaurant’s name – the French word that refers to second-class wine – is an inside joke according to owner Cyril Brenac. It’s quite obvious that La Piquette is a first-class restaurant. Here patrons can enjoy some delicious seafood or a fantastic steak frites, not to mention mouthwatering reds and whites.

2. Amys

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, Fast Food, Vegetarian

Perhaps the most well-known pizza place in the city, 2 Amys is the place to go for an authentic slice of Naples in DC. The thin-crust pizzas are spectacular and are prepared with strict adherence to the guidelines laid out by the Italian government. Diners cannot go wrong with the simple margherita, which has tomato, mozzarella di bufala and basil. There are a number of other delicious options, though, such as the puttanesca: a spicy pie with tomato sauce, rapini, fresh mozzarella, garlic, anchovy and hot pepper.

3. Cactus Cantina

Bar, Restaurant, American, Mexican

© Jing/Flickr
Cacus Cantina has been a staple of the Cathedral Heights community for years. The buzzy restaurant has been a fun gathering place for the neighborhood since its founding in 1990. Best known for its authentic Tex-Mex cuisine, Cactus Cantina also serves Cuban, South American and Spanish dishes. It’s a great spot to head with a group of friends for some late-night margaritas.

4. Al Dente

Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, Contemporary, American, Fast Food

Beer stein
Al Dente entered the Cathedral Heights culinary scene in 2012. That year, it was selected as one of the top new restaurants in the country by Esquire magazine. Patrons can enjoy fresh pasta, risotto, pizza and other Italian favorites prepared under the direction of executive chef Roberto Donna. This guy is one of DC’s most famous Italian chefs. He is a James Beard award-winner and was twice named “Chef of the Year” in Washington.

5. Old Europe

Restaurant, German

Old Europe is a restaurant with an interesting story that goes all the way back to 1948. The restaurant continues the tradition of serving up authentic German cuisine in DC, which was the original vision for this spot when it was opened by the Lichtenstein family. Old Europe observes many festivals throughout the year. During Oktoberfest, a Bavarian atmosphere prevails, complete with steins full of Bock beers and hearty peasant meals.

6. Cafe Deluxe

Bistro, Cafe, American, Cocktails, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Coffee, Tea

Cafe Deluxe is a popular lunchtime spot that’s located just down the street from the National Cathedral on Wisconsin Avenue. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the joint serves up excellent burgers, salads, flatbreads and a whole host of other entrees, from mussels to tuna tacos. Customers can take advantage of the special on Wednesdays, when burgers are half price all day.

7. Chef Geoff's

Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan

A graduate of Georgetown University in DC, Geoffrey Tracy opened his first restaurant in Cathedral Heights in 2000, before his 30th birthday. The appropriately named Chef Geoff’s is a wonderful neighborhood spot that consistently puts out all sorts of great dishes, from fresh calamari to mushroom ravioli. The patio is the perfect spot for an outdoor meal on a warm, sunny day in DC.

8. Shemali's

Restaurant, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern

public domain
With more than 50 years of experience in the kitchen, Lebanese chef Joseph Chemali has mastered the art of Middle Eastern cuisine. His home-style creations can be enjoyed at Shemali’s, a small cafeteria space that is also part of a grocery store. The menu includes hot sandwiches such as beef or chicken shawarma, lamb gyro and kafta kabob. Vegetarian customers can go for the falafel sandwich served on pita bread.

9. Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Spanish, Mediterranean, European, Wine, Beer

© Alpha/Flickr
A great addition to Cathedral Heights is Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar. This Spanish tapas spot turns out small plates of all kinds, from the more simple to the extravagant. Also, an extensive selection of Spanish and international wines is available to pair with your meal. The restaurant’s interior features sleek furnishings, such as handcrafted steel and walnut shelves.

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