Why go: Kera Carpenter’s Alice in Wonderland–meets–Anthropologie lounge/restaurant fills two voids: It may be the only place in the region serving Swedish, Czech, and Polish cooking, and it’s one of the few good restaurants in DC’s Petworth.
What to get: Swedish mainstays—thinly sliced gravlax, a trio of sweetly pickled herrings—served with the nubby rye crackers known as knackebrod; a layered salad of shredded beets and carrots and sliced green apples; grilled-cheese sandwich with white cheddar and chilies; raisin-brioche bread pudding.
Best for: A chilled-out date on one of the thrift-store couches; hanging out with your laptop—wi-fi is free—if you don’t mind the indie rock and trip-hop blaring from the house iPod; a soothing, end-of-day repast.
Insider tip: Aquavit looks like vodka but tastes like fire—try a shot of one of the infused versions, such as lemongrass and ginger, before investing in one of the triple-strength cocktails.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, Thursday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch.