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Explore the Best Women-Led Restaurants in Washington DC for 2019

March 8th is International Women’s Day. In celebration, we created a list featuring some of the most exceptional women in D.C.’s culinary scene. Though it’s undeniably the most historic and political U.S. city and oftentimes follows traditions, what’s most exciting are all the new ideas bubbling up here. Next time you’re in town, we invite you to celebrate women (and eat something delicious) at one of these top spots.

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The OpenTable Team
Updated January 29, 2021
A photo of Letena Ethiopian Restaurant restaurant

Letena Ethiopian Restaurant

$$$$
Ethiopian
Columbia Heights / Brightwood
4.9
60 reviews
Based in Columbia Heights, Letena offers traditional Ethiopian food with plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians. The spices that give the dishes their unique flavors come all the way from Ethiopia, but all other ingredients are grown locally and organically, when possible. The burrito style wraps are popular, as are Tibs: stir-fried beef cooked in front of the diner. Owner Yamrot Ezineh moved to D.C. in 2006 and was so impressed by local Ethiopian restaurant Madjet that when it closed, she hired one of its old chefs. Ezineh originally comes from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and you can find many of her family recipes on the menu. Talk about tradition!

A photo of Pearl Dive Oyster Palace restaurant

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

$$$$
Seafood
Logan Circle
4.8
1211 reviews
Barbara Black is one half of the dynamic duo running Black Restaurant Group. The group consists of nine top establishments in the Washington area, including Pearl Dive Oyster Palace near Logan Circle. Barbara has over a decade of experience in restaurant ownership, and with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, she knows what she’s doing when it comes to food. This is evident in Pearl Dive’s menus, which offer the highest quality oysters and seafood and always served with a side of Southern-style hospitality.

A photo of Equinox - DC restaurant

Equinox - DC

$$$$
Contemporary American
Downtown
4.7
3194 reviews
Established in 1999, Equinox promises locally-sourced fine dining in the heart of Washington. One of the masterminds behind this simple yet effective concept is Ellen Kassoff Gray. A major mover in Washington’s hospitality scene, Ellen has won Manager of the Year and the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) Golden Fork Award for Front-of-the-House Excellence. Ellen’s New Year’s resolution this year is to make Equinox even more mindful, by reducing waste and repurposing scraps and leftovers in the kitchen. Diners can enjoy classic American cooking such as Louisiana prawns and pan-seared duck.


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Takeout available
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A photo of Filomena Ristorante restaurant

Filomena Ristorante

$$$$
Italian
Georgetown
4.8
14933 reviews
JoAnna Filomena moved from New York to Washington in 1980. At that time, she found eating out in D.C. a rushed affair with no soul. She decided to try and emulate the warmth and hospitality of a New York-style Italian restaurant, and so opened Filomena Ristorante in 1983. She brings memories to life through food, conversation, and good times. That philosophy is now carried on by her descendants, who run this historic restaurant in exactly the same way. These "pasta mamas" are ready to welcome all guests, with Italian classics like seafood cannelloni, gnocchi, and indulgent tiramisu.

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