News & Politics

Get to Know Washington’s Most Influential People

They like to eat at Rasika, love the Lincoln Memorial—and have very eclectic taste in music.

Photograph by John Brighenti/Flickr.

For our third annual edition of the Most Influential People Shaping Policy, we wanted to get a bit more insight about the influencers’ lives away from their jobs. We already know about their unmatched influence on critical policy issues, but what about their favorite hangout spots or restaurants? While there was a variety of different answers from this year’s 500 influencers, of course, there was a good deal of consensus, too. Here are some of the most popular answers we heard from Washington’s policy-shapers.

It’s probably no surprise that some of their favorite eateries were also some of the most high-end restaurants in town. The one that came up the most? Rasika. That was followed in popularity by Ristorante Tosca and Old Ebbitt Grill. Other highly-favored spots included Le Diplomate, Fiola Mare, and Cafe Milano.

We also asked the influencers to tell us their favorite spots to visit in the city. A vast majority—again, perhaps no surprise—favor historic landmarks and museums. The U.S. Capitol took the number one spot for many of them—possibly because it’s a place they may visit more than most (say, as an expert witness before Congress). For others, the Lincoln Memorial, the National Gallery of Art, Rock Creek Park, and the National Mall were their top spots.

We also asked the influencers which song they would play if they could cue a walk-up song when entering their office, and we were met with an eclectic mix of hip-hop, pop, rock, and even children’s songs. Survivor’s hit single from Rocky III, “Eye of the Tiger,” had the most mentions, while U2’s “Beautiful Day” and Lizzo’s “Good As Hell” were a close second. Alicia Key’s “Girl on Fire,” DJ Khalid’s “All I Do Is Win,” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” were also hits.

Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.