14 New Restaurants to Try Now

Plus two more opening on Saturday.

Seared steak tacos at El Rey are among the many new eats to try. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

As you may have noticed—or not, due to the holiday crush—we’ve seen a steady wave of restaurant openings through December and the new year, with more on the way. Spend your long weekend checking out the new options, from brewpubs to swanky seafood spots, neighborhood joints to date-night options. 

Agua 301

301 Water St., SE; 202-484-0301

The Capitol Riverfront saw a burst of restaurant activity this winter with the opening of the Bluejacket brewery and Osteria Morini, plus this Mexican eatery helmed by Antonio Burrell. Go for pitchers of margaritas, tacos, and rib-sticking dishes such as braised mole short ribs. 

Alba Osteria

425 I St., NW; 202-733-4454

Chefs Roberto Donna and Amy Brandwein team up for this Piedmontese Italian in Mount Vernon Triangle. Robust dishes include wood-fired pizzas, pastas, and the option to put foie gras on anything. 


1309 Fifth St., NE; 202-547-0172

Yet another reason to go to Union Market: chef John Mooney’s new restaurant, which will draw from a large rooftop garden come spring. In the meantime look for American fare such as roasted oysters, fried deviled eggs, and “gin and tonic” salmon. 

Catch 15

1518 K St., NW; 202-969-2858

Head to this swanky downtown seafood spot for its raw bar, ceviches, and small plates, plus a fireplace to warm your hands through the winter. 

City Tap House

901 Ninth St., NW; 202-644-9433

A branch of Philadelphia’s beer-centric restaurant brings a large lineup of brews and a hearty menu to Penn Quarter. Think spiced rib eye and bucatini with rabbit Bolognese. 

El Rey

919 U St., NW

A Mexican beer garden built out of shipping containers—why not? The Hilton brothers are the kings of U Street cool, and this place is no different, with its Natty Boh micheledas and late-night tacos. 

Ivy & Coney

1537 Seventh St., NW; 202-670-9489

Chicago and Detroit expats can come together in this Shaw neighborhood joint from the Kangaroo Boxing Club team. The no-frills menu consists of dogs from both cities, cracker jacks, beers, and booze. 

New Town Kitchen & Bar

1336 U St., NW; 202-265-0966

The former Tabaq space reopened as a hybrid nightspot and restaurant. An eclectic menu offers dishes like a pork belly sandwich with kimchee slaw and curried-goat stew. 


6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-3000

Jeff Black and longtime chef Danny Wells team up for a neighborhood spot. Look for Black signatures (a raw bar, Addie’s mussels), plus various vegetarian and vegan options. 

Right Proper Brewing Company

624 T St., NW; 202-607-2337

Former Brasserie Beck beer guy Thor Cheston is one of the many talents behind this funky neighborhood pub/restaurant. Come for the fresh brews and panda murals, stay for the braised beef cheeks over mac and cheese.

Roof Bethesda

7940 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda; 240-245-7663

One of the largest roof decks in the area (max capacity 200) will be a big draw in warmer weather, but you can still head over now for Southern- and French-inspired eats in the window-walled dining room. 


919 Fifth St., NW; 202-290-2233

Former C.F. Folks toque George Vetsch draws from his French and Swiss background for the Mount Vernon Square spot. The bar stays open late for drinkers in the growing neighborhood. 

Southern Efficiency

1841 Seventh St., NW

Derek Brown adds a whiskey bar to his growing Seventh Street empire. Look for a tasty smoked-cola concoction on tap, and down-home eats like pimiento cheese and pulled pork with bourbon-soaked figs. 

The Urban Butcher

8226 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-585-5800

Omnivores have a new home in Silver Spring at this butcher shop/restaurant, which doubles as a coffee spot during the day. Sausages, steaks, charcuterie, and other meaty treats are the focus. 


Den of Thieves

2005 14th St., NW

Brothers Eric and Ian Hilton transform the Hanoi House space into a low-key dive. Asian street fare, drinks priced at $10 and below, and a rotating set of deejays start on Saturday. 

Flight Wine Bar

777 Sixth St., NW; 202-865-6445

Husband-and-wife team Swati Bose and Kabir Amir prepare to open a modern take on a neighborhood wine bar come Saturday. Look for interesting varietals from Greece and the Balkans, and an eclectic menu with dishes like sake-spiked lobster bisque and a Boston baked dinner. 

Medium Rare

515 Eighth Street, SE; 202-601-7136

Barracks Row gets a near-replica of Mark Bucher’s Cleveland Park steak frites joint on January 20. The set menu runs $19.50 (plus seconds on steak), though we recommend splurging on the extra brownie sundae for dessert. 

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.