According to the Washington Post, Eater DC and Washingtonian, a small restaurant in Capitol Hill is now the best restaurant in America. Rose’s Luxury opened over the summer, and ever since Bon Appetit claimed it to be the best new restaurant in the country, the buzz about this place within DC’s culinary community has been non-stop. I’ve been excited to try the new spot for weeks, and have tried, multiple times, to grab a table.

Rose’s Luxury doesn’t take reservations and they aren’t open for lunch. The space holds about 100 people at a time and opens for dinner on weekdays at 5:30 and on weekends at 5—so to get a seat at Rose’s Luxury requires a lot of patience. I’ve gone three times, only to be faced with 4 hour wait times.

The first time I had showed up naively around 8 pm. We were told the wait would be about 2 1/2 hours and they would text us when the table was ready. Since we were hungry, we decided to go somewhere else.

The second time, we were prepared. We showed up right when it opened, at 5 on a Friday. The line was shorter and people had already begun eating, but the hostess gave us another 2-3 hour wait. We waited for about two hours until our hunger took over (we did not get a call until 9 pm).

For attempt #3, finally, we had a plan: we showed up at 5 o’ clock hoping the thirty-minute wait for the doors to open wouldn’t be so bad. But by 5 on a Tuesday, the line went about 100 people down 8th St and a police officer was handling crowds. We waited in line for 30 minutes for the doors to open and another 45 minutes just to get to the hostess. She told us there was another 2 hour wait–the food must be that good.

dc no wait

Photograph by Gabby Fonseca

I won’t be going back to Rose’s, not for at least another year. Critics and Yelp reviews claim it to be an amazing restaurant, and I look forward to trying it after the rest of America does.

Luckily for those of you that will find yourself in my shoes when trying to eat at Rose’s Luxury, Eastern Market is filled with great alternative options. While waiting for tables at Rose’s I didn’t anticipate coming across so many surrounding gems, but I’m glad I did. Here are the highlights:

Medium Rare

Medium Rare is a no-fuss steak joint with good food and an even better deal. For $19.95 per person, you get a salad, bread and two servings of steak and fries. The steak, although sometimes a little skimpy on portions, is delicious. They also offer a vegetarian option and a great selection of wines and drinks. They also have a fantastic bottomless brunch on Sundays for $23 where you get a similar deal incorporating their steaks. I definitely recommend it if you’re hungry, spiteful and need a full, delicious meal.


Location: 515 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 11:00am – 2:30pm

Photo by Mel Piskai

Photo by Mel Piskai

Cava Mezze

Cava is a small plates Mediterranean-style restaurant. Located just down the street from Rose’s, they have a great selection of hummus, seafood and meat plates that will definitely satisfy. I recommend the grilled octopus and hummus platter for plates to share. The lamb skewers were also divine.


Location: 527 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Hours: Closed Mondays; Tuesday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:00pm; Monday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 9:45pm; Friday: 5:30pm – 10:45pm; Saturday: 11:30am – 10:45pm; Sunday 11:30am – 9:30pm


Renowned for their happy hour, Nooshi has expanded to another location on H St. This location is less crowded and much more chic than its downtown partner. The wide selection of sushi is pretty good, as are their hot dishes. While enduring our 2-hour wait for Rose’s, we were able to enjoy their notable happy hour: from 12-7pm everyday, all drinks are half off.


Location: 524 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 4:30pm – 10:30pm; Friday – Sunday: 11:30am – 11:00pm

La Lavanga

This Italian spot revels in its farm to table ideology as well as its limited but local menu. Their pasta and meat selection is great, especially for those looking for an elevated Italian restaurant beyond Bertuccis. They also serve brunch on the weekends. While everything is seasonal, I recommend their spaghetti and meatballs as well as their heirloom tomato bruschetta.


Location: 539 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20036
Hours: closed Monday; Tuesday-Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm; Sunday: 5:00pm – 9:00pm; Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am-2:30pm

Other Eastern Market highlights include Ted’s Bulletin, Matchbox and District Doughnut. So don’t fret if you don’t get into Rose’s the first, second or even fourth time because there are other great options all around you, too.


Photograph by Mel Piskai

Rose’s Luxury


Location: 717 8th St. SE, Washington, DC 20003
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 10:00pm; Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm; closed Sundays