Before you actually question everything you thought you knew, no, the Department of Motor Vehicles does not sell food. In fact, I believe if they sold anything, it would be customizable license plates and self hatred. The real DMV is made up of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, best known for our nationally acclaimed traffic, humid summers, and kickass food.
17. Sweet Leaf
Sweet Leaf is where you go when your mom is on the verge of disowning you over deciding where to eat lunch. They offer typical lunch fare, i.e. sandwiches and salads. I had the Fresh Stack sandwich while I was home and it was delicious, definitely not the throwaway veggie choices vegetarians are used to. Their “smoothies” are also basically fruity milkshakes and that is just fantastic.
The superior sibling to DMV chain Founding Farmers, Farmers Fishers Bakers has the same “all natural” idea going but, you know, is actually really good food. Also, there is a tiki bar and it’s right near Washington Harbor so the atmosphere is great. Enjoy a cool beverage on a humid summer day in DC from their outdoor bar or in the comfort of your own home.
15. Blue Jacket
I actually really recommend heading to the Navy Yard to enjoy some time by the water while you’re in D.C. While there, my dad and I went to Blue Jacket for brunch, which was a really attractive restaurant with pretty good food.
Pictured is the Spring Vegetable Croissant sandwich (which I thoroughly enjoyed), but the true stars of this show were the chips on my plate and the slightly blurry hash browns right behind. The hash browns looked like door stoppers and tasted like fried potatoes, which is really all I look for in brunch food. If you’re like me but healthier, these healthy sweet potatoes might be more up your alley.
14. Bethesda Bagels
Everyone I know in the DMV is fiercely loyal to a single bagel place, and Bethesda Bagels has quite the following. I mean just take a long, romantic look at that bagel: it’s gorgeous. Bethesda isn’t my personal go-to bagel spot, but even the second best bagel is better than a lot of things.
13. Bar Civita
Out of everything I ate while home, I had by far the best meal at Bar Civita. I love pasta and this was pasta heaven with a side of cannolis; it was a dream. I had the gnocchi (make your own with some leftover sweet potato) and I don’t want to talk about it and honestly I hate myself for writing about it here because now all of you know about it.
If we could all turn our attention to the spelling of the word doughnut here, I think we, as a nation, could learn a lesson. Doughnut is not spelled donut. Doughnut. Even if Astro made soggy doughnuts and burnt chicken, its spelling skills alone would be enough to mention it on this list.
Fortunately for everyone, though, Astro is a delicious snack for Washingtonians with a passion for the deep fryer. If you’re a west coaster with a passion for a deep fryer, you too can indulge in doughnut heaven.
True Food Kitchen is a pretty trendy place; their menu works around the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, which tells you all you need to know about the trendy-ness of this place. Fortunately though, all of that trendiness had the last laugh because everything was really delicious and the staff was super nice.
Also, I normally hate eating salads as a whole meal, but this Mediterranean quinoa salad and honeydew and ginger soda were super satisfying. If you’re a baller on a budget, you don’t need to eat out for tasty salads and sodas when you can try these recipes instead.
10. District Taco
I would consider myself ride or die Chipotle if we’re talking fast casual Tex-Mex restaurants. I was so skeptical upon my first District Taco trip but it is so good. Make sure to go at an off hour, because those restaurants are stuffed to the brim during lunch. If lines aren’t your thing, make your own Tex-Mex feast at home.
Ted’s Bulletin is a popular spot for the Sternberg clan, and I think that can be attributed to Ted’s classic diner dishes with a twist. You know there’s going to be something for everyone. They also offer their breakfast options at all hours, so in my book, that makes for a perfect dining establishment. You can also eat breakfast at all hours at home with all of these pancake variations.
Ask anyone if who has been to Rasika and they will gush over how much they love eating here. It’s definitely not a cheap meal, but if you have a chance to go definitely take it. If you do end up going, order the Palak Chaat; everyone else does and you should too. Yes, I am peer pressuring you. If you manage to overcome my peer pressure, here’s some more help to figure out your order.
7. Union Market
Union Market has become pretty popular over the past couple of years and there this smoked egg salad sandwich has something to do with it. Come try a smorgasbord of DC’s finest offerings including this smoked egg salad sandwich and TaKorean.
#SpoonTip: They often host events on the second floor so check out their website to find out more on that.
We went to Brasserie Beck for Mother’s Day and it was just grand. Everything from the bread, to the blinztes, to the asparagus salad I ate was delicious. It was like taking a culinary trip through Belgium; a journey only interrupted by the heinous amount of neon being worn in DC on Mother’s Day.
5. Beard Papa’s
Beard Papa’s sells cream puffs exclusively, so if you like cream puffs, I imagine that that will just delight you. If I had to describe these puffs in two words, those words are creamy and portable. If those two things are important to you, then this snack will be too.
A truck filled with delicious mac and cheese sounds like a childhood fantasy come to life. A mac and cheese truck honestly sounds fake, but I am here to tell you it is not, it’s very real. Keep your eyes on Food Truck Fiesta to see when CapMac will be near you. If you don’t live in DC and it’s never near you, mac and cheese is never too far away.
My mom had sushi burritos twice on a trip to New York and has loved them ever since so obviously these things are pretty darn good. And since all sushi lovers really want is more sushi and sushi burritos are exactly that, then I think we found ourselves a winner. If you’re a sushi beginner though, start your training by reading this.
2. Le Diplomate
After your sushi burrito, walk up 14th to get to Le Diplomate, one of DC’s most popular restaurants. I would be surprised and impressed if you got in without a reservation, but go ahead, take the risk. You’re young and wild. Do it. Be bold. If you succeed you’ll have accomplished a great food adventure.
1. Silver Diner
Silver Diner is a fan favorite, and their veggie sausage tastes surprisingly meaty. I EGGressively recommend this for anyone in Virginia, Maryland, and super randomly Cherry Hill, New Jersey. If you have a similar passion for diners like I do, check out this guide to every diner I must now visit.