100 Very Best Restaurants: #48 – Daikaya

Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Upstairs or downstairs? It’s a tough decision. At street level, long waits lead to a buzzy counter serving the city’s best ramen. What makes the steaming bowls so special: springy noodles custom-made in Sapporo, a nuanced 16-hour stock, and wok-finished bean sprouts and ground pork to top it all off. (The vegetarian option is a worthy rival.) Overhead, a Japanese tavern serves sake, whiskey, and fun cocktails using shiso and yuzu alongside a big menu of drinking snacks. We can’t get enough of the silky egg-and-dashi custard with truffled shiitake sauce or the okonomiyaki-style pork-belly-and-Brussels-sprout skewers. Inexpensive to moderate.
Also great: Grilled avocado; enoki mushrooms with miso butter; charred baby corn; crab croquettes; mini donburi with spicy cod roe; wasabi-pea-topped soft-serve.

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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.