Washington, D.C.

Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Every surface is covered in kitchen equipment and accoutrements both practical (tea kettles and mugs) and fanciful (cookie cutters shaped like 49 states, plus the District; sorry Hawaii).

The restaurant rocks out with fine (and sometimes exotic) meats, American craft beer (more than 20 on tap), and a punk roadhouse atmosphere. Every Wednesday, the chef adds a special wild game entrée (kangaroo, snake, ostrich, yak, etc.) to the already adventurous menu.

After the cooks fry the falafel, the patrons take over, topping their handheld sandwiches with any of the 20-plus sauces, salads, pickled items and Middle Eastern dips available at the fixings bar.

The French restaurant serves the best-of bistro cuisine: braised rabbit leg, calf liver, cassoulet, and hanger steak. Dine inside on Gallic country-style wooden tables or outdoors a la Paris cafe.

The National Museum of the American Indian’s Mitsitam Native Foods Café—translated as “Let’s Eat” in the language of the Delaware and Piscataway tribes—prepares traditional dishes from five Native American regions.

The American and sushi restaurant has a number of draws—the rooftop bar, for instance—but its most diva-esque attraction is Sunday drag brunch, now in its 19th year. The “girls” lip-synch and strut around the main dining area, adding extra sizzle to the all-you-can-eat buffet.

The cubicle-size restaurant serves authentic Mexican fare. And while menu items are written in Spanish—tamales de puerco y pollo, rojos y verdas, they are thoughtfully described in English (“pork or chicken tamales with red or green sauce”).

The gelato and sorbet parlor touts all-natural, high-end ingredients and a broad selection of classic and fancy flavors, such as cardamom, black tea, banana, or white grapefruit. Mixing is allowed and encouraged.

Michel Richard, the French-born celebrity chef, brings meatballs to the people with his latest venture in DIY dining.

Like Washington itself, Vidalia serves up sophisticated city flavors colored by a slight but unmistakable Southern accent.

Founded in 1991, Pizzeria Paradiso serves what many consider the best pizza in the city.