Food

12 Must-Try Classics for DC Winter Restaurant Week

Tried and true institutions for indoor and outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Bombay Club. Photograph by Scott Suchman

This past year has brought new restaurant openings, pandemic-era pop-ups, and ghost kitchens. But many classic DC restaurants are still going strong, and could use their loyal customer support more than ever (especially the ones in hard-hit downtown areas). We’ve loved dining at these time-tested restaurants, and when it comes to Restaurant Week, (now through Feb 7) many, many years of experience can be a bonus.

Bistro Bis
15 E St., NW
Restaurateur Jeffrey Buben brought up a generation of DC chefs at his long-closed Southern restaurant, Vidalia. His classic French technique is on display at his Capitol Hill restaurant with dishes that go beyond the usual bistro fare. Think salmon gravlax, coq au vin, choucroute garnie, and Normandy apple croustade. Lunch and dinner; indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

The Bombay Club
815 Connecticut Ave., NW
Before the Rasika days, restaurateur Ashok Bajaj launched his career with this refined Indian spot. It still makes a grand impression 23 years later. Variety-packed menus are offered at lunch ($22) and dinner ($35 and $55) with plates like mango shrimp, fiery green chili chicken, and lots of vegetarian dishes. Lunch and dinner; indoor dining, heated outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

Equinox
818 Connecticut Ave., NW
Chef Todd Gray opened Equinox in 1999—long before seasonal, Mid-Atlantic cuisine was trendy—but that’s not to say the kitchen is stuck in the past. Gray embraces plant-based cuisine, and the three ($35) or five-course ($55) Restaurant Week menus include creative vegan dishes like navy bean cassoulet alongside omnivorous options such as barbecue shrimp and grits. Dinner only; indoor and heated outdoor dining, takeout, delivery. 

Floriana
1602 17th St., NW
Take a cue from Kamala and stop by this 42 year-old Dupont Italian restaurant for takeout. Like Madam Vice President, who visited earlier this month, you can grab an order of the signature lasagna with beef, bechamel, and homemade mozzarella—or any of the many dishes from the regular menu, offered for Restaurant Week.  Lunch and dinner; Indoor and heated outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. 

Jaleo’s pan con tomate. Photograph by Scott Suchman

I Ricchi
1220 19th St., NW
Before the “casual-chic” trend there was Christianne Ricchi’s upscale-rustic Italian restaurant in Dupont Circle. The $35 Restaurant Week menu looks comforting and filling—think Tuscan ribollita soup, eggplant parmesan, and tiramisu. Lunch and dinner; indoor dining, heated outdoor dining, and takeout. 

Jaleo
480 Seventh St., NW; 2250 Crystal Dr., Arlington
This Penn Quarter tapas house is José Andrés’s first-ever restaurant, though nothing feels dated after 26 years. Get a taste of where the ThinkFoodGroup began with your choice of five tapas, including chicken croquettes, garlicky shrimp, and flan with Catalan cream foam (menus are available here). Wine flights are an additional $25. Its Crystal City sibling is offering the same specials. Lunch and dinner; indoor, heated outdoor dining, and takeout. 

Kaz Sushi Bistro
1915 I St., NW
Chef Kaz Okochi pioneered DC’s sushi scene at his downtown Japanese restaurant, which opened in 1999. You’ll find a number of Kaz classics on the generous Restaurant Week menus for one ($35) or two ($60)—salmon nigiri with mango, tuna with olive, and green tea tiramisu. Dinner; takeout and delivery only.

Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St., NW
Founded in 1856, the Ebbitt is technically Washington’s oldest restaurant (though its changed locations several times). As part of the Clyde’s Group, expect crowd-pleasing American fare. For Restaurant Week, that means options like clam chowder, crabcakes, meatloaf, and bread pudding. The $35 menu also includes a gratis wine or beer. Dinner only; indoor dining and delivery.

Best Pizza DC Virginia Maryland Pizzeria Paradiso
A pie at Pizzeria Paradiso. Photograph by Juliana Molina, courtesy of the restaurant.

Pizzeria Paradiso
Locations in Dupont Circle, Spring Valley, Georgetown, and Hyattsville
Before the pandemic pizza boom—and the last ten years of trendy Neapolitan spots—there was Ruth Gresser’s wood-fired pizza restaurant, which debuted in 1991. The Restaurant Week menu looks like a good deal: a two-person meal ($35) that includes a choice of two appetizers or salads and two pizzas, or a scaled-up four-person option ($55). We’re always fans of the spicy Atomica with salami and olives, or the vegetarian Bosco. Lunch and dinner; indoor and patio dining (varies by location), takeout, and delivery.

Ris
2275 L St., NW
Veteran DC chef Ris Lacoste celebrates “We, the people: the diversity of the American table” for Restaurant Week at her West End spot. That means options like Thai brussels sprouts, tandoori chicken, chile relleno and eggplant-parmesan meatballs—plus some of her comfort classics like a cheeseburger with fries. Lunch and dinner; indoor dining, heated outdoor dining, delivery, and takeout.  

Rocklands
Locations in Glover Park, Arlington, and Alexandria
John Snedden’s wood-smoked barbecue joint launched in DC in 1990 and has been serving up tasty meats and satisfying sides ever since (we love the pea-studded slaw, cucumbers, and mac n’ cheese). For DC’s Restaurant Week, the $35 menu includes a rack of ribs and two pints of sides. For the Alexandria Restaurant Week promo, it’s a rack of ribs, two sides, two slices of pie, and two fountain drinks ($49). Dinner only; heated outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

1789
1226 36th St., NW
This Georgetown mainstay isn’t quite as old as the name suggests, but its home in a Federal-era townhouse gives it plenty of old-school charm (plus, it has been around for over 60 years). New chef Kyoo Eom (formerly of 2941 and the late Poste) serves a $55 Restaurant Week menu that’s more fine-dining than your average offer. Think pheasant ballontine, brioche-crusted halibut, and apple Paris-brest with buttermilk ice cream. Dinner; indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

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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.