Most people think of politics, our much cleaner and less chaotic version of the Subway, and monuments when they hear of my hometown Washington, D.C. What they don't know is that D.C. is a city with up-and-coming chefs and a fantastic mix of backgrounds and ethnicities, making for some very underrated food options. So whether you're a D.C. local or a tourist, enjoy this local foodie's list of the best restaurants in D.C. for all of your favorite foods.
Best Pizza- 2 Amy's
Okay, this is seriously the best pizza I've ever had. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Their style is classic Neapolitan, but they have an extensive range of pizzas with innovative combinations of delicious veggie and meat toppings. Each pie is personal-sized so you don't have to worry about sharing. 2 Amy's is located just outside of Georgetown, making it the place to go if you want to take a quick detour on your way to M Street.
#SpoonTip: When you order, ask them to slice the pizzas for you (this eating experience can get pretty messy otherwise).
Best Cupcakes- Baked and Wired
From one cupcake lover to another, trust me: skip the overrated Georgetown Cupcake experience and come here instead. The moist cake, the rich frosting– holy s--t. And with cupcake names like Pretty Bitchin' and Uniporn&Rainho, literally what else could you ask for? Feel free to bring a good book also, because the store has great vibes and even greater couches to relax on.
#SpoonTip: Pop next door to the coffee shop that is a part of the bakery and order a cup of coffee or tea. I recommend my personal favorite: the Chaider (a chai tea and cider power duo).
Best Sushi- Sticky Rice
To be honest, there are just so many good sushi places in D.C. that this was really hard to narrow down. But the rad artwork in the interior of Sticky Rice and the innovative rolls landed them the top ranking. I would recommend one of the "Best Of..." rolls– you will be pleasantly surprised. My favorite roll is the Godzirra, which perfectly combines contrasting flavors all into one delicious roll.
Best Doughnuts- Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
I'm not sure if it's the flawless doughnut and fried chicken combination, or the unique square doughnuts (it looks so wrong, yet feels so right), but this spot is the stuff of legends. It's also located right near the White House, so make sure to stop in for a quick snack if your family is dragging you on a tour.#SpoonTip: If you're not feeling the fried chicken, try the Maple Bacon doughnut. It's a lighter version of the sweet and savory flavor combo that this eatery has to offer.
Best Seafood- Le Diplomate
Even though Le Diplomate is traditionally known for its upscale French dishes and ~worshipped~ brunch menu, I'm here to tell you that their seafood is what you should really come for. You can order Fruits de Mer during brunch, lunch, or dinner, and every option is fresh and perfectly paired with a seasoning or sauce. But try and make your reservation quickly, Le Diplomate is always hot in demand.
Best Brunch- Founding Farmers
Founding Farmers has every classic brunch dish you could ask for and more. From pancakes larger than my head, to three different kinds of stuffed french toast, to biscuits with honey butter, you're guaranteed to eat yourself into a coma and then need to be resuscitated just to finish your meal. The portions here are large enough to share or to save for leftovers that'll last a week.
Best Grilled Cheese- Ripple
These beautifully crafted masterpieces are some of the best kept food secrets D.C. has to offer. Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 6:30pm and 10:30pm to midnight, you can come to Ripple and order an artisanal grilled cheese at the bar only. There are seven sandwich options on the menu, but you can choose to add different cheeses, additional toppings, and switch the bread type. I recommend the "Rich e Rich"– a traditional grilled cheese sweetened up with pear slices.
Best Café- Little Red Fox
In addition to being a cozy café with extensive coffee and pastry options, Little Red Fox also has soups and sandwiches, as well as a little grocery market to buy from. I had the best chai latte of my life here last summer, and avid coffee lovers have confirmed that their brews are just as delicious. Plus, the coffees are decorated with adorable latte art, making for the perfect Instagram.#SpoonTip: Just a few doors down is one of my favorite book stores in D.C. called Politics and Prose. If you can, try and pop over before you order at Little Red Fox and buy a book to enjoy with your coffee.
Best Ice Cream- Thomas Sweet
This place is a favorite for locals, even Obama himself. Thomas Sweet has countless flavors and an assortment of toppings, ensuring that everyone can find the perfect cone. Since the winters in D.C. get pretty frigid, if you think it's too cold for ice cream (which honestly, if that's the case, we don't need your negativity here), try the homemade fudge selection.
Best Desserts- Bonfire
Bonfire is by far the best spot to head to with your friends if you've already had dinner and are looking for a chic and tasty dessert. The highlights of their menu are the s'mores and campfire skillets, both of which have multiple flavors to choose from. Each s'more comes with two pieces, and the campfire skillets range from gooey cookies to brownies. I recommend splitting a skillet and ordering two s'mores for the table.
Clearly Washington D.C. is the perfect place to find all of the delicious foods you crave. With some of the best restaurants in arguably all of the country, plan your next foodie trip to the Nation's Capital and get ready for your expectations to be wildly surpassed.