The 10 Best Restaurants On Capitol Hill, Washington DC

Jonathan Stern

It’s been hard to keep up with all the changes in DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood over the past few years. Included in those changes is an ever-evolving restaurant scene, bringing with it a wealth of new and dynamic dining options. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Lychee salad, coconut cream, pork sausage

1. Rose's Luxury

Restaurant, American

© T. Tseng/ Flickr
Rose’s Luxury has been causing quite the stir on 8th Street – the no-reservation policy results in waits of more than an hour to be seated. Good things come to those who wait though, and at Rose’s they are in the form of delicious and creatively-prepared dishes, such as spaghetti with spicy strawberry sauce and the infamous pork sausage with habanero and lychee salad. Don’t forget to order a drink or two: the bartenders at Rose’s whip up one seriously mean cocktail.

2. Hank's Oyster Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American, European

Courtesy of Matchbox
Hank’s Oyster Bar is headed by Jamie Leeds, one of Washington’s most distinguished chefs. The restaurant specializes in coastal fare and New England beach favorites, like lobster rolls, daily fish specials and lightly fried popcorn shrimp and calamari. The ice bar, consisting of raw oysters, tartar and ceviche, is the highlight. Stop by during Happy Hour for drink specials and $1.25 oysters at the bar!

3. matchbox

Pub, Restaurant, Pizzeria, American, Pub Grub

Medium Rare
Courtesy of Medium Rare
This trendy restaurant features serves brick-oven pizza. With an eye towards sustainability and green initiatives, reused materials and the restoration of the building’s original architecture are hallmarks of matchbox’s design. Stop by for a beer and some truly fantastic pizza pies.

4. Ambar

Restaurant, Vegetarian, Vegan, European

Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown
Courtesy of Good Stuff Eatery
Ambar‘s Balkan-style cuisine is influenced by the culinary traditions of such countries as Greece, Turkey, Austria and Hungary, making it unique to the Capitol Hill restaurant scene. Small plates are the thing here, so ordering a variety to share with the table is the way to go. The Balkan kebab satisfies the meat lover’s cravings as it features pork and beef, as well as roasted pepper and aged cheese. There are a number of vegetarian options, too; try the roasted mushroom crepes or leek croquettes.

5. Acqua Al 2

Restaurant, Italian

The Acqua Al 2 is a popular Italian restaurant. The mainstays are the house-made pastas and the steaks, one of which is topped with a special blueberry sauce.

6. Bistro Cacao

Bistro, Restaurant, French

New Years brunch at Teds Bulletin
© Lukas Eklund/Flickr
Set in a classic Capitol Hill rowhouse, Bistro Cacao offers diners bistro-style French cuisine that melds old with new. The restaurant’s cozy setting is romantic, thanks to its antique decor, red-curtained booths and the rose petals that adorn the tables. On the menu, you’ll find French classics served with modern flair, including everything from seared duck breast to filet mignon.

7. Ted's Bulletin

Diner, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan

Be prepared to be transported back in time at Ted’s Bulletin, a restaurant designed in the mold of an old school diner. At Ted’s, breakfast is served all day, so patrons can enjoy favorites like the breakfast burrito, corned beef hash, or a stack of pancakes. More traditional lunch and dinner options include meatloaf, country fried steak, and “the sloppiest joe”. Then, a home-made pop tart or shake is sure to satisfy the sweet spot for dessert.

8. Montmartre

Market, Restaurant, French, European, Vegetarian

Named after the hill that provides incredible views of Paris, Montmartre is a casual French restaurant located down the street from Eastern Market – DC’s foremost food and arts marketplace. The patio out front allows customers to enjoy the neighborhood’s charming atmosphere; inside, the setting is light and airy. An excellent option for brunch on the Hill, Montmartre serves a bountiful eggs Benedict with salmon. To drink, there are peach and mango mimosas.

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