Where do you want to fly?


From whole ducks to Impossible Burgers.

Salmon collar at St. Anselm. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Fish collars
Like pork cheeks of the sea, the once-overlooked cut holds luscious, fatty meat.

Fancy tinned seafood
Forget Starkist—cracking a can of Galician cockles or oil-rich sardines is like a mini-trip to Spain.

Caviar everywhere
It always feels like a delightful little luxury.

Whole ducks
The natural progression of the fancy whole chicken trend (and much better in our book).

Roast duck for two with fennel at Reverie. Photo by Scott Suchman.

The ’50s party snack is making a welcome comeback.

’80s kid desserts
Ice cream cake and brownie sundaes are on the menu? Sign us up.   

Fro-yo has nothing on this creamy treat.

Thin, crispy proteins FTW.

Gooey cheese, what’s not to love?

French dips
Leave no jus behind.

The French dip at Woodmont Grill comes sided with both jus and horseradish sauce. Photo by Scott Suchman.

The ancient whole grain lends a wonderful nuttiness to a loaf of bread.

Charred cabbage
The new crispy Brussels sprout.

Tasting menus with flexibility
Hey, sometimes we want two pasta courses.

Reservation confirmations via text
The fewer phone calls, the better.

The death of the “no-reservations” trend
No one actually enjoys standing in line for food.

The line at Bad Saint, one of the most recent restaurants to adopt a reservation system. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Real deal cacio e pepe pasta
Now that the cacio-flavored-everything trend is waning (i.e. Pizza! Ice cream!) we can finally enjoy the traditional Roman pasta again.

Olives in dessert
The salty bitterness balances with sweets in a surprising way.

Bartenders are jazzing up mocktails with this non-alcoholic spirit.

Savory cocktails
Miso and seaweed in your drink? Don’t hate it till you try it.

Low-alcohol highballs
We’ll take five, please.

Cocktail clothespins

Miniature clothespins clasp baby’s breath n this Columbia Room cocktail. Photo by Farrah Skeiky.

Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables
No longer just for vegetarians.

Impossible burgers
They really do taste almost like the real deal.

We prefer a restaurant that looks like a beautiful garden to one that looks like an industrial factory.

All-day restaurants
Because sometimes you want a great meal at 3 PM.

Live-fire cooking
A little smoke and char will unleash your inner caveman.

Live fire cooking at Maydan. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Cheffy fast-casual
The city’s lunch game has been upped considerably.

Who can resist something delicious rolling by?

Small menus
Because you can’t have something (good) for everyone.

Fancy toast
Anyone can make avocado toast. Delicious lobster toast? Not so much.

Pina coladas
Tropical vacation vibes all year long.

Whaley's Rose Garden pina coladaDrink pina coladas under pink umbrellas at Whaley’s Rosé Garden. Photo by Sally Irmer.

A version of this article appears in the 2019 100 Very Best Restaurants issue. 

Anna Spiegel

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman

Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Ann Limpert

Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.