100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Daikaya

Photo by Scott Suchman.

Even weekday lunch involves a waiting list at Daikaya’s shoebox-size Sapporo-ramen shop, a testament to the springy noodles and complex broths. Deeply satisfying soups make for a quick feast—we particularly love the nutty mugi-miso or roasted-vegetable shio brimming with Brussels sprouts and mushrooms. The lantern-lit izakaya above is built for a more leisurely meal or a night of drinking. Chef Katsuya Fukushima creates small yet flavor-packed plates that pair perfectly with the many sakes, whiskeys, and innovative cocktails (try a seasonal draft mule such as shiso-watermelon). Many of the tasty new snacks riff on comfort fare—we’re addicted to the sausage-stuffed shishito poppers with hot mustard and to morsels of fried Maryland catfish dunked in pickled-ginger tartar sauce. Inexpensive to moderate.

Also great: Yakitori-style chicken skins; grilled oysters; tuna poke; udon cacio e pepe; dai-drop cocktails (spherical sake bombs).

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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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.