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  3. Washington DC's Most Iconic Restaurants

Washington DC's Most Iconic Restaurants

A photo of Red logo
by The OpenTable team
Updated February 26, 2020

Seasons change, trends come and go, but these restaurants have withstood the test of time—and have become integral parts of the Washington, D.C. dining scene. Here are Washington, DC’s OpenTable Classics: the places that continue to excel after 10+ years. There’s a reason they’re still around: they keep giving us a reason to come back.

A photo of Zaytinya - DC restaurant
4.7
4.7 (18671)
$31 to $50
Mediterranean
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
Chef Jose Andres is a DC legend, with restaurants of all types delighting diners around the city. Zaytinya is his Middle Eastern spot, with a myriad of dips and salads and meats and vegetables served family-style in a bright, clean, airy space. We love it as much for brunch as we do for dinner.
Top review
James
Dined 4 days ago
This was such a good spot. Good, service and location were amazing!
A photo of Oyamel restaurant
4.7
4.7 (9360)
$30 and under
Mexican
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
Oyamel is one of those restaurants that manages to be elegant, refined, and a whole lot of fun. You’re here for upscale versions of Mexican street food—think tacos, ceviches, and tons of vegetable dishes—all served in a laid-back atmosphere, with plenty of margaritas to go around.
Top review
Goodeats
Dined 6 days ago
Enjoyed everything we ordered!! Margaritas were tasty, enjoyed several apps, delicious Caesar and an assortment of tacos. Would def go back. Also loved Jose’s other restaurant a few days ago Zaytinya.
A photo of Central Michel Richard restaurant
4.6
4.6 (7544)
$31 to $50
American
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
Since it opened 10 years ago, Central Michel Richard has been serving French-American food that is both elegant and low-key, winning accolades from all over the country. We particularly love the steak au poivre, rotisserie chicken, and French onion soup.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 2 days ago
Overall excellent. Cheese puffs outstanding as always. Fries were delicious. Soft shell crab sandwich was great but I wouldn’t add slaw and pickles to it, that just hides the crab. Ice cream was fine, I think you should offer just one scoop not require me to buy three.
A photo of Jaleo - DC restaurant
4.7
4.7 (10577)
$31 to $50
Spanish
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
Chef Jose Andres is an integral part of the Washington, DC food scene, and with Jaleo—a modern tapas bar in the Penn Quarter—it’s easy to see why. Couple the top-notch food with impeccable (and unpretentious) service and you’ve got one of the most fun spots to dine in the city. Chef Jose Andres is an integral part of the Washington, DC food scene, and with Jaleo—a modern tapas bar in the Penn Quarter—it’s easy to see why. Couple the top-notch food with impeccable (and unpretentious) service and you’ve got one of the most fun spots to dine in the city.
Top review
TedS
Dined 4 days ago
The food and drinks were delicious and service was excellent!
A photo of Bombay Club restaurant
4.8
4.8 (5188)
$31 to $50
Indian
Downtown
About the restaurant
It’s hard to believe that Bombay Club has been around for thirty years; the food at this posh Indian restaurant still feels exciting and new. Don’t miss dishes like the green-chili chicken, Goan crab masala, and duck kebabs—and even meat-eaters should check out the vegetarian section, with exemplary versions of paneer makhni, gobi matar, and kale-spinach kofta.
Top review
Saravip
Dined 4 days ago
The Bombay Club never disappoints. The food consists of excellent versions of standards, plus a few more "creative" offerings. There is no shortage of professional staff which means the service is outstanding. The ambience is "higher end" (this is not a "curry house") and the atmostphere tends to be quiet, at least during the earlier part of the evenings. This is a top choice for me whenever I want to share a good meal with friends -- you can actually talk to your tablemates without having to raise your voice! An increasing rarity these days, and something I appreciate greatly.
A photo of Tosca restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4438)
$31 to $50
Italian
Downtown
About the restaurant
Tosca Ristorante is where the power-lunch-and-dinner types come for delicious Italian food, served in a handsome, stately room. The pastas, in particular, are excellent, as well as the appetizers; don’t miss the spaghetti with clams, pappardelle with wild boar ragu, and the crisp-fried squash blossoms.
Top review
NoahM
Dined 4 days ago
If I could give six stars I would, especially for service. I’ve never been to a restaurant where they offered me a drink menu, I told them I was under 21, and they come back and offer me a mocktail. The food was like no other Italian restaurant I’ve been to. Absolutely phenomenal.
A photo of Old Ebbitt Grill restaurant
4.8
4.8 (28836)
$31 to $50
American
Downtown
About the restaurant
There are few restaurants in DC as entrenched in the political scene as Old Ebbitt Grill, where politicos of all stripes come to hang out and unwind. You’ll find a menu of American classics such as oysters Rockefeller, New England clam chowder, and bacon-horseradish-glazed meatloaf, and if you’re caught at the office, not to worry—much of the menu is available late into the night.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Great first time experience visiting DC. Whole family was happy with options and and selections.
A photo of BlackSalt restaurant
4.7
4.7 (6629)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Palisades Northwest
About the restaurant
For a night of gorging on some of the freshest seafood in the city, head to BlackSalt, a DC institution in the Palisades neighborhood. We particularly love the clam chowder, crab cakes, and low country seafood stew—and if you’re feeling fancy, go for the caviar service.
Top review
KLKWDCvip
Dined 5 days ago
Blacksalt continues to be my favorite restaurant experience in DC. The food is amazing, but the long term staff are even better. It makes all the difference.
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