8 New Dining and Drinking Spots to Try Now

Spend the holiday weekend exploring these recent additions to the scene.
China Chilcano is one of several recently opened restaurants, and brings Peruvian flair to Penn Quarter. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

A number of new restaurants and drink spots have opened this winter, including celebrity chef-driven hotspots, casual neighborhood joints, and Washington’s second modern distillery. Spend the holiday weekend exploring, and finding a fresh favorite.

China Chilcano

418 Seventh St., NW

The hottest opening of the winter thus far is José Andrés’s Penn Quarter Peruvian. The space is vibrant, with fun touches like a live seafood tank and a ceviche bar, and the menu is eclectic. True to Peru’s cuisine, you’ll find plenty of Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish influences in dishes such as dim sum dumplings, sushi-like rolls, and fried rice.

Mango Tree

929 H St., NW

The newest addition to CityCenterDC’s growing dining scene arrives by way of Bangkok, and opens on Thursday with modernized Thai dishes such as lobster pad Thai and seared duck breast over curry. Enter through a sleek, sidewalk-level lounge—the place to sip chili-spiked cocktails or lychee martinis—and head up to the window-walled dining room via elevator.

One Eight Distilling

1135 Okie St., NE

Washington’s second production distillery after Prohibition just opened last weekend. The warehouse-like space is only open to the public on Saturday between 1 and 4, when you can drop by for a free tour and tastes of the initial spirits: a distinct rye-based vodka and white whiskey. A rotating lineup of food trucks provides the eats.

Surfside Dupont

1800 N St., NW

Craving carnitas at 3 AM on Saturday? This spinoff of the popular Glover Park taqueria is on it. The takeout-only taco stand is open 24-7, serving a variety of tacos—grilled fish, Korean-style short ribs—as well as burritos and quesadillas. The 11-to-11 crowd can also order breakfast (or last-call-friendly) options piled with eggs and bacon.

BUL

2431 18th St., NW

The folks behind Adams Morgan noodle joint Sakuramen return to their roots with a restaurant inspired by Korean market stalls and street food. There’s no liquor license yet (it’s coming soon), but in the meantime you can sip local kombucha on draft alongside dishes such as kimchee and pork belly-fried rice, grilled skewers, and hangover-curing fish soup.

The Barbecue Joint at Union Market

Chef Andrew Evans of Easton, Maryland’s Barbecue Joint brings his ‘cue to DC, serving it out of a Union Market stall. Drop by for ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and sides like baked beans and corn bread, which you take to a nearby table along with a cold beer.

Halsa

655 Michigan Ave., NE

Health food fans can check out this fast-casual spot in Brookland, which serves market plates with a choice of proteins such as whole roasted sardines or braised pork shank, grains (quinoa pilaf, kimchee risotto), greens, and seasonal veggies. Other unusual finds include bone broth—part drink, part soup, all healthful—and house tonics.

Crave Bethesda

7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda

A number of new restaurants have opened at the revamped Westfield Montgomery Mall, and this New American/sushi spot is the latest. The location is part of a chain with nine other branches nationwide, all serving a something-for-everyone menu that runs the gamut from burgers and steaks to flatbreads to sushi.

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Anna Spiegel
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.