Delicious Destinations: Washington, D.C.

It's east to eat well in a city with nearly endless options for dining.
night view of crosswalk and buildings in Washington, D.C. Chinatow
(Photo: @raim144 via Twenty20)

Welcome to Delicious Destinations, FamilyVacationist’s monthly dining column from food and drink writer Megan duBois. Keep reading for the best family dining spots, top restaurants for solo travelers, and irresistible snack stops in popular destinations around the U.S.

In this month’s Delicious Destinations, we’re traveling to the nation’s capital. Yep, we’re going to Washington, D.C.! This tourist hotspot, business haven, and center for the American government is known for its melting pot of different cuisines and award-winning chefs. Here are my top picks for the best places to eat in Washington, D.C.

MORE CITY EATS: Read all the Delicious Destinations Columns

Best Restaurant for Breakfast in Washington, D.C.: Mark’s Kitchen

Getting the day started in Washington, D.C. often means getting up early to get on the metro to get to work or to the first tour of the day. One place that’s sure to fill you up is Mark’s Kitchen. The locals-type place earns rave reviews for both the bacon-and-eggs-heavy standards and its Korean staples like a Korean fishcake breakfast and a Korean mungbean pancake. For an on-the-go breakfast that won’t blow your daily food budget, consider one of the many breakfast sandwiches, most of which are under $7.

Mark’s Kitchen Must-Have: Mark’s Korean mung pean pancake breakfast.

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Best Family Restaurant in Washington DC: Makan

If you’re traveling with kids who are adventurous eaters you’re going to want to get to Makan, which specializes in Malaysian cuisine. With each plate your family can share an array of house-made dips, sauces, and accompaniments that enhance the flavor of each dish. Don’t worry if your kids aren’t into everything Malaysian yet though because there are also some simpler dishes on the menu like chicken satay with peanut sauce, fried yucca, and savory Chinese pork jerky.

Makan Must-Have: Penang Street Noodle

Best Restaurant for Adults: Maketto

Adults looking for a relaxed evening in a small restaurant should look no farther than Maketto. The 60-seat dining room is simple in its design, but that really just allows diners to focus on the food. Maketto is known for its ambitious fusion of Cambodian and Taiwanese cuisine with a menu that changes seasonally. Sharable small and medium-sized plates allow you to try more, but if you really want to commit to just one thing, there are larger entree-style plates on the menu.

Maketto Must-Have: Crystal shrimp dumplings

Best Washington DC Restaurant for Solo Travelers: Cranes

Solo travelers can find plenty of amazing places to eat at in Washington, D.C., but none are more exciting than Cranes. The Iberian-Japanese fusion restaurant earns rave reviews for its lunchtime bento boxes and full omakase dinner menu. Happy hour at Cranes may be the best deal, though, with discounted offerings ranging from patatas bravas to duck rillette gyozas.

Cranes Must-Have: Six Course Omakase Menu

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Best Spot for a Snack: Rose Ave Bakery

Asian fusion doesn’t stop with lunch or dinner. One of the best spots for a snack in Washington, D.C. is Rose Ave Bakery, where the talented pastry team is whipping up everything from sweet potato brioche doughnuts stuffed with passion fruit curd and Spam musubi croissants to Saigon cinnamon banana cookies and mochi puffs. One bite of any of these sweets will have you wishing you lived close enough to get these every day.

Rose Ave Bakery Must-Have: Saigon cinnamon banana cookies

Best Washington, D.C. Brewery: Atlas Brew Works

When it’s time to take a break from touring the iconic landmarks of Washington, D.C., head to Atlas Brew Works where a cold pint of beer is waiting for you. The brewery has a wide variety of beers, so if you’re unsure about what to order, ask the bartender for advice. And keep an eye out for snacks: Atlas Brew Works often works with local food trucks to bring customers a tasty bite while they enjoy their beer.

Atlas Brew Works Must-Have: Your favorite beer, Atlas-Brew-Works style

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Megan duBois
Megan duBois is a freelance writer who covers theme parks, cruising, food and drink, and family travel. Her work has appeared on Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Insider, Orbitz, FamilyVacationist, The Daily Meal, Family Vacation Critic, TravelPulse, and more. Megan has been quoted as an expert and thought leader on theme parks for Forbes and other outlets.