Everyone, everywhere has the one food, or restaurant, that brings them right back home again. Each of these places reminds us of family dinners or trips to the mall with our friends. No other restaurants in any other state will ever take their place. For anyone who grew up in DC, Maryland, or Virginia, these restaurant chains are the ones we miss most when we’re away.
Going too long without Cava should be a crime. “A Mediterranean version of Chipotle” is how it is most often described to newcomers, but Cava is so much more than that. With bowls of warm rice and falafel, or savory lamb and spicy harissa, Cava has something for everyone. If you’re not into the on the go version, or want to slow it down, take a trip to their sit down location where you can get the most amazing grilled cauliflower (yum) or flaming saganaki (anyone else’s mouth watering?).
2. Ledo’s Pizza
New Yorkers fold their pizza, Chicagoans deep dish theirs, but in the DMV, we like our pizza square. Ledos Pizza serves the most perfectly dangerous miniature pieces of square pizza in the galaxy. The word “dangerous” is best used to describe them because you lose track of how many you’re eating and suddenly your entire extra large pizza is gone on the drive home. How we all miss you, little square pizza, while being away from home forces us into triangle conformity.
Founding Farmers is the epitome of home cooking outside the home. Everything is locally grown so naturally the locals love it. Imagine your mothers cooking, but actually made interesting and 100 times better (sorry, Mom). Anyone who has been to Founding Farmers knows that it’s impossible to leave unsatisfied and everyone who’s away from it right now is dying to return.
&Pizza (andPizza) is new to the DMV scene, but has not gone unnoticed. As you walk down the line adding whatever your heart desires to your personal pizza, &Pizza makes sure that it will taste good. They focus on inventive flavor combinations, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever have the same thing twice. And yeah, we know the pizzas look big, but don’t worry, you can finish it by yourself (everyone else does).
Raku is the way to any asian food lovers heart. Whenever going out to dinner is put on the table, Raku is always the answer for the DMV’s sushi fans. Oh, how we miss that Volcano Roll, or a bowl of the best udon noodle soup ever made. Raku is not just another asian restaurant, it is the restaurant destined to cause homesickness and cravings like no other.
6. Mamma Lucia
Just thinking about Mamma Lucia makes your stomach growl. Every once in a while, you get a craving for that perfect garlic bread that just can’t be satisfied anywhere else. Major props to anyone at University of Maryland who has a Mamma Lucia’s right around the corner. Don’t take it for granted for all of us missing it around the country.
Matchbox has a little bit of everything and is a lot of what we all need right now. Their famous sliders with a pile of onion straws taller than your head are delicious. And what about every Maryland residents’ go to dish, the crab cake? With locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, Matchbox is a sure-fire go to. The only downside to Matchbox is that we can’t get it when we are away from home. Hmm, maybe Postmates delivers across states?
Sorry if this list made you homesick, but man, we can’t wait for thanksgiving. See you soon, DMV.