7 Food Trends We Really Wish Existed in DC

Instead of more poke, poke, poke.

Poke. Yay. Photograph courtesy of Pokeworks.

Pokéworks, a Hawaiian-inspired poke chain out of Midtown Manhattan, announced it’s “setting out to transform Washington’s fast-casual segment” with seven locations planned for the DC area, starting with a branch downtown. To which we say: Seven? Really? That seems like a lot. One seems like a lot. The poke trend peaked sometime last spring with the introduction of poke nachos, then spiked downwards with the invention of sous-vide chicken “poki.

Instead of seven new poke shops hawking poke burritos—Pokéworks claims to have invented them, sorry Buredo—what about something new? Here’s our wish list for seven other food/restaurant trends we’d like to see come to Washington in the near future.


Believe it or not, there’re other kinds of restaurants in Hawaii besides poke shops. Better types of restaurants! Like this udon bar Chiko chef Danny Lee visited in Honolulu, which looks unfrigginbelievable. Still want that raw fish burrito? We didn’t think so.

2. Deep dish pizza 

We want to be this girl. Everyone wants to be this girl. Every day.

3.  Raindrop cakes 

So pretty. So whimsical. Daikaya made a few of these beauties at Washingtonian‘s Best of Washington party and we wish they’d make it onto menus.

4. Real deal delis 

And while we’re being greedy, what about a Russ & Daughters-style smoked fish joint too? We love Ivy City Smokehouse, but could always go for a few more!

5. Smørrebrød

Who doesn’t want to eat beautiful Danish open-faced sandwiches? Or be a beautiful Dane? We’re sure the two are connected. It’s all that healthful rye bread. Mikko Cafe is a good start for now.

6. Penguin bars 

Cat cafes: Boring (and filled with cat people). Japanese penguin bars: Awesome (and filled with penguin people, who are a real mixed bag). Sure, it’s a long shot to open a bar full of aquatic, flightless birds. And I’m sure the animal rights folks have A LOT to say. But one can dream?

7. Real Poke

Hi again, Danny! Don’t mind us, just stalking your vacation. So guys, this is poke (and Foodland, which is an amazing Hawaiian grocery store chain). No mango. No spicy crunchy avocado. No options besides what’s in front of you, made by people who know what they’re doing, and have been doing it for decades. Crazy, huh?

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.