Cuisine: The area’s best Afghan cooking—terrific renditions of steamed leek- and beef-filled dumplings, sweet and subtly spiced rice pallows, and stellar vegetarian stews.
Mood: The hushed dining room feels like the anti-Bethesda restaurant—no banquettes, no trendy light fixtures. Still, reservations are usually a must on weekends.
Best for: Groups; vegetarians; anyone in need of sustenance and sanctuary.
Best dishes: Steamed dumplings known as aushak (with leeks) and mantu (with beef), served with yogurt and mint; bulanee kachalu, lightly fried dumplings filled with ground beef and potatoes; qualibi pallow, raisin-studded rice with tender hunks of lamb; chalow kadu, stewed pumpkin smothered with yogurt; chalow bademjan, a flavorful eggplant stew.
Insider tips: It’s hard to think of an Afghan meal without kebabs, but you can skip them here. They tend to be dry and don’t match the excitement of the vegetarian stews.
Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. Inexpensive.
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