The cherry blossoms aren’t the only things coming out for spring. Warm weather means that more restaurants are ready to open their doors. Check out the new spots below, as well as our list of freshly reopened bars and restaurants coming out of pandemic winter hibernation.
Bombay Street Food 3
1915 18th St., NW
Restaurateur Asad Sheikh (Bombay Street Food, Butter Chicken Company) has opened a third branch of his popular Indian street food spot, this time in Dupont Circle. A smaller menu is meant for quick dining (indoor, outdoor on a small patio, or takeout). Thali platters—both omnivore and vegetarian—let single diners sample a variety of curries and tandoori specialties.
650 Massachusetts Ave., NW; 1267 Wisconsin Ave., NW
This boutique corner-store chain, which has 10 locations in Chicago and Dallas, recently launched in Georgetown, and it now boasts a second market and cafe in Mount Vernon Triangle. Shoppers are promised delivery in under an hour, or can visit the shops in person for a curated lineup of beer, wine, and local products (i.e. Ice Cream Jubilee, Vigilante Coffee). Cafes with outdoor patios serve eats from chefs like Erik Bruner-Yang. Here, the Maketto chef designed a pork-chili breakfast taco that benefits his restaurant-relief effort, the Power of 10 Initiative.
1124 23rd St., NW
The team behind popular 14th Street Latin restaurant Seven Reasons branches out with another scene-y spot (yes, even in the pandemic) in West End. At this new venture, chef Enrique Limardo draws from Latin America and the Mediterranean for his modernist menus—choose from an a la carte, family-style, or an 11-course tasting menu format. Soon, the Aegean-chic dining room will be joined by an outdoor patio for sipping grapefruit-and-gin-spiked Garden Tonics.
Las Gemelas Taqueria and Cocina Mexicana
1280 Fourth St., NE
The folks behind Shaw’s Espita Mezcaleria and Ghostburger are behind these all-day Mexican restaurants in La Cosecha marketplace, near Union Market. The walk-up taqueria opens early for breakfast tacos and local coffee—as at Espita, tortillas are made from scratch from imported Oaxacan corn—and serves treats like mezcal margaritas and soft-serve mole sundaes later in the day. Neighboring full-service restaurant Cocina Mexicana channels a beach-y vibe with daily brunch, plenty of seafood, and fresh fruit cocktails and juices. Both have patios for outdoor dining.
88 District Sq., SW (3rd Floor)
A luxurious new Japanese restaurant brings another fine dining destination to the Wharf. Chef Lucas Irwin, whose career spans kitchens from Maui to Palm Beach, creates multi-course “neo-Japanese ” menus alongside culinary director and veteran DC chef Kaz Okochi—either meat and seafood ($89) or vegan ($75). Expect whimsical plates like zuke tuna presented in a smoking cloche in addition to sushi, rolls, and luxe add-ons like caviar, truffles, and foie gras “snow.” To drink: a robust list of sakes and creative Japanese cocktails.
1316 Ninth St., NW
The latest chef to jump into the pandemic sandwich boom: Massimo Fabbri, who just launched a daytime Italian lunch shop out of his San Lorenzo in Shaw. Tuscan-style sandwiches can lean classic (a straightforward caprese) to creative (crispy cheese-stuffed squash blossoms with tomatoes and greens). Salads, soups, and Nutella-stuffed dessert panini round out the menu.
Taqueria Al Lado
1792 Columbia Rd., NW
If a taqueria is measured by its masa, this all-day spot is going for gold. Chef Rolando Frias, a partner in Osteria Al Volo next door, imports and grinds blue and white corn from Mexico, nixtamalizes the kernels for masa, and fashions tortillas and doughs from scratch. There’s a large street-style taco menu with options like al pastor, crispy fish, birria, and vegan barbacoa, plus quesadillas, huaraches (masa flatbreads), tetelas (stuffed masa triangles), and ceviches. Head to the rooftop for margaritas in the sunshine.
Tigo’s Peruvian Express
1322 H St., NE
There’s a new destination for Peruvian chicken and Chaufa (Chinese-Peruvian) dishes in the Atlas District, courtesy of owner Fernando Postigo. The menu is small but lets you sample widely. There’s aguadito (chicken soup), ceviche, crispy seafood with criollo sauce, arroz Chaufa (wok-fried rice), and charbroiled chickens available by the whole, half, or quarter.