13 Fine Dining Restaurants in Washington, DC

Washington, DC serves an exceptionally important role in our nation, housing the very buildings and monuments our country was founded upon. However, beyond being home to the White House and U.S. Capitol, the District also serves a diverse landscape of savory cuisine waiting to be devoured.

Whether you’re in the market for Washington, DC real estate or touring the area, dining out at the many upscale restaurants in our nation’s capital will surely please your taste buds. Here are the top 13 fine dining restaurants in Washington, DC.

1. Le Diplomate

Paying respect to French cafe culture, Le Diplomate provides a comfortable gathering place on the District’s trendy 14th Street. Built out of a historic structure, the entire restaurant perfectly emulates a Parisian bistro in both style and menu. Meals include a variety of Gallic classics, such as escargot, onion soup gratinée, and steak frites. Diners can also order more contemporary favorites as well, such as the house cheeseburger. Complete your meal with a carefully curated wine list or specialty cocktail.

2. Minibar

Photo Courtesy of TimeOut
The brainchild of Spanish chef José Andrés, minibar offers a truly unique experience in dining and serves as a study in avant-garde cooking. Meals at this two-Michelin-starred restaurant are a mixture of art and science. Choose from more than 20 inventive dishes on the tasting menu, each carefully crafted and unlike anything you’ve tried before. Be sure to book your experience online early and plan on spending a few hours dining out.

3. Kinship Restaurant

Created by Chef Eric Ziebold and partner Célia Laurent, Kinship is a Michelin-starred restaurant offering high-quality modern American cooking and an emphasis on hospitality. The à la carte style offerings allow you to pick and choose from different categories to create a unique tasting menu. Favorites include a 75-minute prepared roast chicken and the tempura-fried soft-shell crab. Kinship also provides an enjoyable tasting experience that has earned a devoted following from locals who own Washington DC real estate.

4. Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Joseph “Joe” Weiss and his wife Jennie opened the first Joe’s Stone Crab in 1913 in Miami Beach by setting up a few tables on their front porch. Since then, Joe’s restaurant has moved and expanded to three locations (Chicago, Las Vegas, and Washington DC). Now, more than 100 years later, these restaurants remain a beloved fixture of the community and are widely recognized all over the world. When eating at Joe’s, be sure to try the Florida stone crab and Key lime pie.

5. Rasika

Serving up modern Indian cuisine, Rasika offers an authentic experience and an age-old approach to dining where guests choose from a variety of appetizers and entrees to share with their companions. This Michelin-starred restaurant boasts a laid-back ambience that is perfectly suited for a casual night out with friends or a formal dinner with colleagues. Favorites include the tandoori chicken tikka and the red snapper pollichathu.

6. The Dabney

Chef Jeremiah Langhorne’s Michelin-starred restaurant serves Mid-Atlantic cuisine with ingredients sourced from the Chesapeake Bay. The Dabney offers a rustic dining experience set up inside a former row house featuring an open kitchen and a wood-burning hearth centerpiece. While the menu is always changing, each dining reservation includes a 4-course meal set at a fixed price. Those looking to walk in are welcome to do so at the bar and can choose offerings from a condensed à la carte menu.

7. Lafayette Restaurant

Located in The Hay-Adams hotel, Lafayette offers upscale contemporary American cuisine. The famed Washington, DC restaurant directly overlooks Lafayette Park toward the White House. Enjoy meals from a carefully curated menu in the grand light-filled dining room or book a private dining experience for up to 16 guests. The Lafayette serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch if you want to fill up prior to a full day of looking at homes for sale in Washington DC.

8. Marcel’s

Chef Robert Wiedmaier humbly started his career as a dishwasher and quickly rose through the ranks to own 11 restaurants spread across several states. Marcel’s is one of Chef Wiedmaier’s Michelin-starred restaurants, which serves up French-inspired meals over many courses. Favorites include pan-seared foie gras over duck confit or grilled quail atop an artichoke salad. For dessert, be sure to order the almond financier served with sunflower ice cream.

9. Fiola

Chef Fabio Trabocchi’s Michelin-starred flagship restaurant celebrates beauty and refinement with incredible farm-fresh ingredients and well-paired wines. Fiola was named the number two best Italian restaurant in the world in 2022 by 50 Top Italy for good reason. Enjoy a menu complete with mesmerizing creations and playful twists, such as the grilled New Zealand langoustine. With an elevated farm-to-table aesthetic, this DC powerhouse is equal parts country lodge and retro glitz.

10. BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant

Although part market, BlackSalt is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving up local seafood from a menu that is both approachable and interesting. Favorites include Addie’s mussels dressed in a nicely balanced broth and saffron-tinged Provencal market stew. BlackSalt’s tart Key lime pie is a great way to end your meal and the ideal way to celebrate making an offer on one of the homes for sale in Washington DC.

11. Blue Duck Tavern

Located within the Park Hyatt hotel, the Blue Duck Tavern is a Michelin-starred upscale restaurant that boasts a sleek, sprawling interior and soaring windows. Choose to dine in the plush room or expansive lounge, which features a separate charcuterie and cheese-focused carte. The all-American menu highlights local farms and purveyors and can be paired with wines from their floor-to-ceiling cellar. Favorites include whole-roasted fish and duck leg confit. You’ll also want to peruse their dessert station to end your meal.

12. Tail Up Goat

Tail Up Goat is the product of three restaurateurs who combined their talents to create an easygoing haven of food and drinks. The interior is colorful and the atmosphere is buzzy. However, don’t be fooled by the vibe–the kitchen is cranking out some serious eats. Favorites include lightly toasted zucchini slices topped with squash yogurt and the roasted pork loin served lean but tender. Dessert completes your meal with rainwater Madeira custard with semolina crumble.

13. 1789 Restaurant

Named after the year that Georgetown University was founded, 1789 is a Michelin-starred restaurant featuring six separate dining rooms scattered across three floors of a historic Federal period townhouse. The menu leans heavily on American and French flavors with highlights including a brioche-crusted halibut in saffron-mussel broth. Finish your meal off with an apple Paris-Brest topped with buttermilk ice cream.

When searching for homes for sale in Washington, DC, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the area by checking out local restaurants. The 13 fine dining restaurants listed above are just a few of the many options the District offers. For more recommendations, talk with your experienced Washington, DC real estate agent. If you have yet to find a realtor, reach out to Ryan Tyndall at the Center Circle agency.

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