100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Bad Saint

The best seat at Bad Saint gives solo diners a front-row view of the wok action. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Is any meal really worth waiting outdoors for hours? Talk to the nightly crowd outside this Filipino gem and regulars argue yes. (We agree.) What makes line-standing bearable are two things: the genuinely warm service once you’re placed at one of 24—mostly counter—seats and the fact that chef Tom Cunanan is making some of the best Filipino food in the country. You don’t need to know pata from pancit to be wowed by the oft-changing menu. Start with a sherry cocktail and ceviche-like kinilaw of tender octopus with olives and potatoes, or a stunning salad of shredded coconut and nasturtiums. Daring is rewarded in dishes such as inky squid adobo stew laced with long peppers, but don’t pass over crowd pleasers: Glazed pork tocino with a runny egg and garlicky rice is as comforting as the welcome. Moderate.

Also great: bitter-melon salad; whole fish; palabok (noodles with shrimp, crab, and pork skins).

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
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 Logan Circle.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.