Michelin just revealed the first ranking of the 2019 DC guide (officially out September 17). Plan on seeing stars next week, but first: the Bib Gourmands, “restaurants offering exceptional food at moderate prices.” For Michelin that’s $40 for two courses—or small plates, given the abundance of tapas-style spots on the list—plus a glass of wine or dessert (tax and tip not included).
A total of 19 restaurants were added to this year’s lineup—a big jump from last year’s anticlimactic guide, when only three new Bib Gourmands (and two starred restaurants) were included. Among the newcomers are Timber Pizza Co., Toki Underground, and current darling, Maydan. Two restaurants were also omitted: New York-based Boqueria and 2 Amys (which is temporarily closed, though TBD on whether that was a factor).
Per past guides, Michelin’s idea of moderate may seem questionable to those who’re familiar with dining around DC (and, more important, the greater Washington suburbs, which are again not included in the scope of coverage—save for the Inn at Little Washington). While spots like Timber and Toki certainly fit the bill, newcomers like Spoken English (home of the $98 roast duck) or tapas-style spots like China Chilcano are places where patrons must order judiciously to meet the $40 mark. That being said, the list includes more genuinely affordable places than before, such as Millie’s in Spring Valley.
The large influx of Bib Gourmand newcomers may bode well for those hoping for a more dynamic guide—and chefs hungering for stars, which will be announced on Thursday, September 13.
See a full list of 2019 Bib Gourmand restaurants below (* denote new restaurants to the guide)