Food  |  Things to Do

Best of Summer: 20 of Our Favorite Foods in the DMV Right Now

The season's best sandwiches, pick-your-own farms, pies, gazpacho, and more.

Photograph by Jeff Elkins
Best of Summer 2022

About Best of Summer 2022

To help you make the most of this time of year, this Best Of Washington guide highlights our 101 favorite things to do here in the summer. Read on to find out our picks for fun festivals, ways to get out on the water, refreshing cocktails, rooftop bars, pick-your-own farms, tasty pies, and lots more.

It’s an Easy Drive to Pick Fresh Fruit

Lots of farms and orchards with pick-your-own crops are a simple drive from the city—making for a fun day trip. Here are our picks for where to head.

Photograph courtesy of Butler’s orchard.

Best for Peaches and Apples

You’ll find 25-plus varieties of apples and 12 types of peaches at Hollin Farms in Delaplane, Virginia, while Larriland Farm in Woodbine, Maryland, offers 16 peach and 27 apple varieties. Both also grow acres of other pick-your-own crops.

Best for Strawberries

Also known for its fall pick-your-own pumpkins, Wegmeyer Farms has fantastic harvest-your-own strawberries at two locations: the main farm in Hamilton, Virginia, and at Oatlands Mansion in Leesburg.

Best for Overall Variety

Butler’s Orchard in Germantown grows more than 23 types of fruits and vegetables yearly. Family-owned Mackintosh Fruit Farm in Berryville, Virginia, offers a wide array of peaches, berries, apples, and vegetables.

You Can Get a Crab Feast Delivered to Your Doorstep

Photograph by Evy Mages

Twin sisters RaeShawn and LaShone Middleton—who lost their fine-dining jobs at the start of the pandemic—made a quick, brilliant pivot that turned out to have staying power. Their R&L Crab Co. delivers top-quality crustaceans, live or steamed, at competitive prices. The same-day ordering system couldn’t be easier: Choose various sizes of males (easier to take apart) or females (shreddier but sweeter), order them by the dozen or bushel, then add a round of hushpuppies and cornbread. All you need at home are newspapers and mallets.

We’re Now a Pie Town

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Our picks for the best right now:

Chocolate cream at Beeliner Diner in Alexandria

Lemon meringue at Bread Furst in Van Ness

Key lime at Little Red Fox in Van Ness.

Peach cream at Baked & Wired in Georgetown.

Sweet potato at Henry’s Soul Cafe in Oxon Hill.

Coconut/brown-butter at Livin’ the Pie Life in Arlington.

Apple streusel at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in downtown DC.

A World-Famous Chef Makes the City’s Best Gazpacho

There’s gazpacho—our favorite cold summer soup—and then there’s Patricia Andrés’s gazpacho. Famed chef-husband José Andrés adapted her recipe, native to southwestern Spain and distinguished by a few drops of Oloroso sherry vinegar to zing up the sweetness of summer tomatoes. You’ll find “Tichi’s” soup, bracingly cold, at Jaleo in Penn Quarter, Bethesda’s Spanish Diner, and Pepe food truck.

It’s the Summer of Sandwiches (Again)

Washington’s pandemic sandwich boom hasn’t slowed down one bit. Here’s where to score our favorite summertime classics.

Millie’s lobster roll. Photograph of lobster roll courtesy of Millie’s. 

Best Fancy Lobster Roll

The market price can be an eye-popper—$37 when we tried it—but the luscious roll at Millie’s in DC’s Spring Valley is made with loads of claw and tail meat, not just nubs of knuckle.

Best Budget Lobster Roll

Lobster Maine-ia in Chantilly is mostly a fish market, but its to-go lobster roll ($20) is both basic and perfect, the kind you’d find—or at least wish for—at a New England beach shack.

Best BLT

Bayou Bakery in Arlington serves a killer version of the sandwich year-round, thanks to oven-roasting its tomatoes, which amps up their acidity and flavor so they hold their own against salty Benton’s bacon.

Best Shrimp Po’ Boy

The cooks at the District Fishwife seafood shop in Union Market are aces with the fryer and pay attention to the little things, such as housemade rémoulade, high-quality shrimp, and a crusty/pillowy roll.

Best Chicken Salad

At Inn at Little Washington proprietor Patrick O’Connell’s casual Patty O’s Cafe—also in Washington, Virginia—you’ll find treasures like this cool, curried salad on a billowy housemade croissant.

Best Beach Hoagie

It’s not a Rehoboth getaway, but at least you can eat the “8+1” hoagie at the Wharf’s Grazie Grazie on a bench by the water. It’s tightly stuffed with capicola, salami, prosciutto, and provolone, plus the usual Italian-sub fixings.

Icons by Connie Zheng.
This article appears in the June 2022 issue of Washingtonian.