Cheap Eats 2016: Donburi


Salmon sashimi bowls at Donburi. Photo by Scott Suchman

About Donburi


2438 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
1134 19th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
Best for Carryout

Few things are more satisfying than planting yourself at a restaurant counter, hunkering over a deep bowl, and scooping up every last morsel—and no, we’re not talking about ramen. Donburi, Japan’s lesser-known one-pot meal of rice and savory toppings, is the star of this tiny Adams Morgan restaurant. The space still boasts only 14 stools, but chef/owner James Jang has expanded the menu since opening, adding a section of braised meats—go for shaved brisket gyudon with a runny egg—and more varieties of fish, served sashimi-style over the toothsome grains. More traditional fried items like crispy pork cutlets are worth ordering for the curry sauce alone—a 40-hour brew of caramelized onions, ground beef, and spices, which in our opinion gives the best tonkatsu broth a run for its money.

Also good: Unagidon (barbecue eel with Japanese pickles); shiitakedon (braised mushrooms); lightly cured salmon sashimi with pickled ginger.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

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.