The 10 Best Restaurants In Chinatown, Washington DC

Photo of Riley Londres
9 February 2017

Located in the heart of the United States capital, Chinatown is a true melting pot with restaurants from all over the world. These are our 10 favorite places to grab a bite in D.C.’s Chinatown.

©Rey Lopez


Restaurant, Japanese
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Daikaya- Ramen (1F no Reservations) - Izakaya (2F), Washington
Daikaya- Ramen (1F no Reservations) - Izakaya (2F), Washington | ©Eva Ho/flickr
With its equally simple and intricate facade, it can be pretty easy to walk right past Daikaya if the line of people waiting to get in didn’t draw attention to the entrance. This popular restaurant in Chinatown features two separate levels, with the bottom containing a ramen shop. The top has an Izakaya, a Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to pair with the drinks. With casual dining providing delicious and savory Japanese comfort food in an all-purpose setting, it’s great for friendly hang-outs, family meals or business meetings.


Restaurant, American, Mediterranean
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Zaytinya DC restaurant, Washington
Zaytinya DC restaurant, Washington | ©Aude Lising/flickr
The large glass windows that make up the majority of the restaurant allow for sunlight to encompass the restaurant, or for guests to view the night sky or rainy days from the comfort of their seats. Zaytinya is an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant by José Andrés. It features a selection of small sharing plates, great for intimate meals out with family or friends. The restaurant has large communal tables for large groups and provides warm soft pita to the tables for guests to nibble on while they wait for their food.


Restaurant, Japanese
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A bi-level Japanese restaurant located in the heart of Washington’s Chinatown, Momiji is fun and creative. The restaurant provides a variety of traditional Japanese cuisine, from complex hibachi dishes to sushi rolls with names such as Christmas in July, White House Roll or Capitol Roll. Momiji also features a wide variety of handmade cocktails to accompany the meal or enjoy during their popular happy hour.


Charcuterie, Restaurant, American
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A wine-centric establishment, Proof has an extensive selection of wines to pair with their modern American cuisine. This old-world-meets-new-world restaurant features an exposed brick wall and offers international cheeses and charcuterie on their menu, as well as a showcase of local and organic ingredients. Some of the menu options include items such as napoleon of crispy tofu, wild mushrooms and summer vegetables or grilled iron flat steak and potato-leek purée.


Derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘flavor’, Rasika meets its own standards by providing delicious, flavorful Indian cuisine to hungry guests. The establishment features an open kitchen, in which guests can watch the food being prepared on Tawa (griddle) or Sigri (open barbeque). Rasika also offers tandoori and other regional dishes such as chicken masala, or coorgi duck, and a long list of vegetarian options. Guests can chose appetizers and entrees to share, and ask the staff for a wine pairing recommendation.

633 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004 +1 (202) 637-1222


The soothing sounds of jazz are accompanied by pleasant conversation in this new American restaurant. 701 consists of a warm and elegant back lounge with modern decor and an outdoor patio overlooking the bustling streets of Washington. The tables are equipped with candles, providing a sophisticated and intimate setting. Waiters are attentive and won’t hesitate to explain the menu if there is a question. The menu includes entrees such as gourmet burgers, olive oil poached halibut and sunflower seed risotto.

Courtesy of Jaleo


Bar, Spanish, $$$
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Jaleo, Washington
Jaleo, Washington | © Courtesy of Jaleo
An establishment by popular restaurateur José Andrés, Jaleo has a Spanish tapas menu in a casual and festive atmosphere. Guests can choose between smaller dishes to share or decide to share one of the paella options. Those who are planning on grabbing a bite to eat before heading to a show at one of the many nearby theaters can pick from the fixed price pre-theater menu. This consists of three courses (an appetizer, entree and dessert), and provides the full Jaleo experience in a more condensed period of time.


Restaurant, Asian, American
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Zengo is a restaurant that offers a mix of Latin and Asian cuisines to hungry customers. The staff are accommodating and willing to help explain the menu and offer alternatives to allergies. The menu features interesting and flavorful options like buttery lobster grits, chicken empanadas or salt and pepper shrimp tacos. Bottomless brunch and mimosas are also available.


Bar, Restaurant, Italian
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Graffiato, Washington
Graffiato, Washington | ©Vegan Feast Catering/flickr
A two-level Italian restaurant, Graffiato has an upstairs section that includes a ham bar, while the first floor holds the wood oven and bar with domestic wines and beers. Each floor provides an open kitchen, encouraging conversation between guests and the chef, and promotes a friendly, comfortable atmosphere to relax. The food is made with seasonal produce, the ham is locally cured, and the pasta is hand-rolled, guaranteeing freshness and entrees to be eaten with gusto.


Restaurant, Contemporary, American
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Acadiana brings contemporary Louisiana cuisine to the Capitol, offering the finest seafood and premium meats. Each dish is a refined version of a Bayou favorite, such as seafood gumbo with lump crab, shrimp crawfish, oysters, redfish and long grain rice or crawfish étouffée. Be sure to save room for dessert and try their fresh sugary beignets with strawberry rhubarb sauce or the coconut crème brûlée.

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