100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Alegria

Trio of tacos from Alegria. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

One of the best ways to begin a round of small plates at Patrick Bazin’s snug Mexican kitchen is with an order of sweet plantain sopes—fluffy masa cakes stuffed with the soft fruit plus black-bean purée, queso fresco, and an elegant Oaxacan-style black mole. Served with thin tortilla chips, a molcajeteof fresh jalapeño-laced guacamole makes for another good opener. Jalapeño shows up again, pickled this time, in Baja-style, tempura-fried fish tacos with vinegary slaw, one of the star dishes. The one thing that’s unfortunate about the oft-crowded restaurant: the acoustics. One screaming kid can ruin an evening here. Good thing the margaritas are strong. 

Open: Sunday through Friday for dinner, Saturday for brunch and dinner. 

Don’t Miss: Queso fundido; mushroom-and-goat-cheese taquitos; portobello-mushroom tacos with pumpkin seeds; short-rib enchiladas; passionfruit margarita.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
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.