Lavagna - Washington DC

4.6
1272 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Lavagna is a neighborhood gathering place where you'll always find delicious food & the best of company.

The beautiful, Genoan village of Lavagna has long been known for its abundant slate production, quarried in the Capenardo and S. Giacomo mountains nearby. Over the years, "Lavagna" became synonymous with "chalkboard".

The menu at Lavagna portrays our idea that food should be just like a chalkboard: simple, fresh, and innovated often.

Lavagna relies on a network of trusted local farmers for the ingredients that form the basis of our simple, contemporary Italian dishes. Our ever-changing menu reflects the best that the season has to offer.

Voted Best Italian in the 2015 AND 2016 AND 2017 Best of DC Washington City Paper Reader's Poll!
What 1272 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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WF
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don’t know what took an Italian food lover so long to visit Lavagna but we cannot wait to go back! The service and the food were flawless from start to finish. The focaccia was warm and flavorful - great for absorbing some of the generously portioned sauce on the pasta dishes. Highly recommend the lobster bisque and bruschetta to start, and finish off your meal with the tiramisu!

The staff and the restaurant itself were all warm and inviting as well! We loon forward to a return visit for brunch or another dinner!

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OT
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

I thought with a later reservation on a Sunday we would beat the boozy brunch crowd but that was not the case. I had left messages with management that we’d have a baby with us. We were seated upstairs with a very loud table across from us. While our server and management did their best, this wasn’t the most family friendly meal we could have had to celebrate.

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BL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great drinks, awesome staff. Will go again soon!

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c
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Really wanted to like this place. The food however was just OK. The wine list too expensive for a place with not high-quality food. Disappointed. Won’t be back.

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FC
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this place. Great food and service! I will be back.

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, amazing drinks, fun service! Would recommend, would go again.

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L
Washington DC
96 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our first visit and we really enjoyed our meal! Dined on the roasted chicken with polenta (yum!), rack of lamb, pasta with pesto and the barramundi. Our table of 4 were all pleased with our selections. Very pleasant service, too. A cozy restaurant on a very cold winter's night. Looking forward to a return visit in the spring to sit outside. A neighborhood gem!

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BT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and knowledgeable waiters made for a wonder evening.

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PR
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Restaurant week

Great value for the restaurant week promo, one of the best offerings I’ve seen.

Food was very good, and portions are plentiful.

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J
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent place with a wide variety of food options. Very reasonably priced and wonderful service.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Met a friend we hadn’t seen in 15 years. We had to ask the server to order and then she didn’t remember my friend’s soup and ARGUED with him that he didn’t order it! Food was not very flavorful and even without drinks or dessert we spent a hundred dollars... that I wish I could get back.... won’t be going back - they really need to rethink the scene there! Total bummer

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EC
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The ravioli was delicious!! I am looking forward to my next visit there.

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S
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lavagna never disappoints. The food and service is consistently excellent and I am so happy to have it in my neighborhood! The Restaurant Week dinner (especially the half price bottle of wine from their excellent Italian wine list) was all good. Thanks for maintaining the cozy neighborhood feel and wonderful food.

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New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Wine was excellent! I ordered the calamari and that was over cooked but decent flavor. All pastas are hand made which sounds nice but this makes the pasta dishes very heavy which I didn’t enjoy. I order rigatoni. The flavor was pretty basic for me. It definitely had room for improvement. The cheesecake dessert had excellent flavor but the consistency was similar to a melted ice cream. It should have been refrigerated longer to harden. The service was decent but some of the bus/bread delivery staff were for lack of a better word harsh. They slammed things and abruptly grabbed things off our table. Overall I was unimpressed by my experience although the reviews are amazing which is probably why my expectations were pretty high. Happy to have had the experience but I will unlikely return. My friends and I all felt the same about our experiences (food/service) and were overall unimpressed.

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OT
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

Falls into the 'okay' category, but not priced for 'okay.' Too expensive, I thought, for what it delivered. And the space is a little, well, dumpy. Which is all too common for the Hill (and I say that having happily lived on the Hill for 22 years).

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, fantastic service. Great place for brunch as well!

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Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, location was Great, and Justin our server was GREAT! Just kidding, everything was equally amazing. How cute is it that a movie theater is right next door?

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UW
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a lovely friends get together dinner here, enjoying the delicious pastas and wine selections but also was impressed by the mussels on the menu. Great service too on a very snowy DC evening.

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S
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Went there for Saturday brunch- were seated right away! Our whole table did the bottomless mimosas special, service was prompt with refills so we felt we got our money's worth. Food was very tasty and huge portions!

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was excellent, the staff was knowledgeable and the wine was decently priced. Overall, it was a great experience.

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CH
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The spaghetti bolognese was INCREDIBLE! I come from an Italian family that loves to cook, but this bolognese wow’d me.

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RD
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a neighborhood gem. Amazon and comfortable all at the same time. Absolutely a must try on Barracks Row.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for brunch. Staff is always very nice and welcoming. Food is excellent, and they keep the drinks flowing.

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LD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is excellent & the service is great! It one of our go to spots in the neighborhood. Lavagna never disappoints.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 3

Lavagna has been a terrific neighborhood brunch go-to for my family for several years. Unfortunately, this week they started enforcing a policy that everyone in a party must be present for the party to be seated. That’s not unreasonable on its face, but we were in an empty restaurant (literally no one else downstairs) with two moms and two little kids at 10 am, while the husbands in both families were circling the block to find parking. The hostess made a show of requiring us to stand up in the front of the restaurant, in rather than let us and the kiddos sit at literally any of the open seats in the entire place. (It was also pouring down rain and we were holding bags of kid gear, with nowhere to stash it absent a table.) She also grew quite unpleasant with us when we pointed out that no other seats were taken, saying that I “just don’t understand” how other patrons have taken advantage of their seating policy in the past and so they had to enforce the policy across the board even when no one else was there. We love the food (and the fact that no one else is ever there!) and the waitstaff is terrific, but the hostess was so off putting that I’m not sure we’ll return. It’s unfortunate.

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L
Detroit
19 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Attention to dietary requirements very much appreciated.
Enjoyed the quiet time in the early evening.
Hope to return very soon...

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Dallas
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

We were in from out of town - maybe we are spoiled from LA but this place was terrible. Bad food, bad service, much better ambiance at other restaurants in the same street. Bad wine list too. Don’t go!!

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G
Los Angeles
51 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

I was relatively happy with the gluten free offering at this location, but the a few people and my party got sick afterwards. I wouldn't got back.

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RP
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and service. A bit noisy but that’s most likely a reflection of how busy Lavagna was and how much customers were enjoying themselves. The staff is very friendly and attentive. Reservations are strongly recommended.

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c
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Three family members in DC at the same time!

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Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is absolutely amazing. And the service is stellar.

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k
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were amazing per usual, especially the service to our group of 8. Please never change the pancake recipe!

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g
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding all the way around!

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MF
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Decent food, kind of pricy for quite basic italian. Atmosphere leaves something to be desired, a bit older and by 10pm on Friday we were the only ones left in the restaurant...

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TE
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food (and drinks) and service excellent. Love the local and housemade food and drinks!

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G
New Orleans
6 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Fabulous service. Choose the pasta. ANY pasta. Desserts were not remarkable

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Great for dinnrr

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Naples
9 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and delicious food. Great time to meet friends

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S
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

We had fantastic service! The chef remade one of my friend's meals after she had a slight complaint (and did not expect them to make it all over again). They seemed happy to do so.

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HV
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant was nicely filled without being crowded. The wine list--all Italian--was superb. The items ordered by the group included Italian dishes that I had never seen before. All were really flavorful, of good size, and well-plated. There was no happy-hour price on wines by the bottle. Sad, but they have to stay in business. Our waiter, Mario, was efficient and clear. He could explain the items on the charcouterie (salumi) board with pride of place. Outside of a cheese maker, I don't think I had ever seen house-made goat cheese. Great! If I get another group of 6 to take back, we surely will be there again.

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