Washingtonians are treated to one of the best international dining scenes in the world. Everyone in D.C. knows where to go for the best Ethiopian (Meskerem), best Scandinavian (Domku), and best Trinidadian (Teddy’s Roti Shop). Tucked into different neighborhoods in Northwest, many of the international restaurants in D.C. are quite affordable.
But when I go home to D.C., my favorite place to eat is the Lebanese Taverna. The staff are affable, the vibe is congenial, and the food is uh-mazing. The shared small dishes always makes a dinner feel more like a party. I try and get a big group together so that we can try different things. I can’t leave without ordering the Foole M’daas (fava beans with garlic and lemon) and the shrimp Arak. Trust me on this one.
The newly opened Kababji Grill, located just south of Dupont Cirlce, is giving the Taverna a little competition. Serving up favorites such as Fattoush and Baba Ghannoug , as well as some surprises (Lebanese wine!), the Kababji puts an emphasis on healthy ingredients and flavorful spices. After your meal, try a glass of Arak, an anise seed-flavored liqueur. If you hate it, just say you did it for science. If you love it, tell them Whitney from T+L sent you!
Whitney Lawson is a photo editor at Travel + Leisure.