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Discover the Best New Restaurants in Washington D.C.

Best known as the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. forms the hotbed of political action in the United States. This historical city has grown into one of the country’s cultural meccas. D.C. thrives when it comes to museums, arts organizations and sports. With so many attractions, residents and visitors can find no shortage of food options from around the globe, ranging from mom-and-pop shops and authentic ethnic eateries to haute cuisine establishments with Michelin stars. A new restaurant opens up every week in D.C., so how do diners choose? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. We’ve looked at thousands of restaurants and bars across D.C. to find the favorite places among OpenTable’s expert, seasoned diners. Diners who want a delicious, unforgettable meal should try the best new restaurants in D.C. today. Good luck choosing just one!

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The OpenTable Team
13 Restaurants
Updated 23 October 2019
Restaurants:Estuary at the Conrad DC, Zeppelin, Punjab Grill
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Unspecified, Sushi, Indian
Neighborhoods:Penn Quarter, Shaw
A photo of Estuary at the Conrad DC restaurant

Estuary at the Conrad DC

$$$$
Unspecified
Penn Quarter
4.5
425 reviews

The Conrad is one of the nicest hotels in D.C. It is also home to one of the best new restaurants in D.C.: Estuary. This stylish, bright eatery features floor to ceiling windows and white and bright red interior touches, so the space feels airy and energized. The menu focuses on seafood, so anyone who loves a coastal meal will enjoy dining here. Diners can eat dishes like tuna tartare, cedar planked scallops, or grilled flounder. For more adventurous eaters looking for an experience, come for the chef’s menu, and let the head of the kitchen prepare his favorite delights.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Zeppelin restaurant

Zeppelin

$$$$
Sushi
Shaw
4.7
420 reviews

Zeppelin is one of the best new restaurants in D.C. and also one of the best Japanese restaurants in the area. This particular take on Japanese food features Yakitori, as well as sushi. Zeppelin has a dark lounge-y atmosphere, and it is a fun place to go for a cocktail at night. Zeppelin also has karaoke after dinner service, so come to show off any singing skills. The restaurant is in the heart of Logan Circle.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Punjab Grill restaurant

Punjab Grill

$$$$
Indian
Penn Quarter
4.7
833 reviews

For some of the best Indian food in the D.C. area, head to Punjab Grill. This gourmet Indian eatery features a menu of Indian dishes whose recipes are from the khansaamas, the Punjabi royal chefs. When diners come to Punjab Grill, they can try dishes like Patrani Spiny Lobster Tail with onion & tomato masala, banana leaf wrap, thayir sadam, or Malabar Machhi, which is chilean sea bass, jaggery cumin glaze, brussels sprout thoran, and kokum coconut sauce. In addition to an outstanding food menu, Punjab Grill gets celebrated for its extensive wine list. Punjab Grill is convenient in the heart of Downtown D.C., just steps from the white house.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of CUT by Wolfgang Puck restaurant

CUT by Wolfgang Puck

$$$$
Contemporary American
Georgetown
4.8
260 reviews

CUT is a chain of restaurants by Wolfgang Puck. This new D.C. outpost of the celebrated restaurant does not disappoint when it comes to steak and many consider it to be one of the best new restaurants in D.C. Located in the heart of the town’s trendy neighborhood, Georgetown, CUT features a menu of items like Wild Mediterranean Trout, Grilled Maine Diver Scallops, Japanese Pure Breed Wagyu Beef, and Grilled Sonoma Lamb Chops. The restaurant has dark wood, handsome décor with beautiful parquet floors and comfortable plush banquet seating. Diners should consider it for a business meal, a date night, or a celebratory evening on the town.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Boqueria - Penn Quarter restaurant

Boqueria - Penn Quarter

$$$$
Spanish
Penn Quarter
4.6
404 reviews

There are two locations of Boqueria in D.C.: one in Dupont and one in Penn Quarter. Both feature Spanish tapas and are excellent spots to go out for a festive evening with friends. The tapas menu is wide and varied. Find a selection of vegetables, cheese, charcuterie, seafood, meat, and more. Visitors who come to Boqueria rave about the cocktails and the dimly lit and sleek with minimalist interior.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sushi Hachi restaurant

Sushi Hachi

$$$$
Sushi
Capitol Hill
4.6
157 reviews

For one of the best new restaurants in D.C. and arguably the best sushi in town, head to Sushi Hachi. The concept behind Sushi Hachi is to blend the modern styling of D.C. area restaurants with the quality of fish in classic Asian eateries. The sushi here is incredibly fresh and the menu is large. Visitors can choose from a selection of sushi, sashimi, nigiri, and rolls. There are other Japanese bites on the menu, including snapper miso ceviche, chicken kara-age with onion and zucchini, and grilled octopus poke tuna. Sushi Hachi is between Capitol Hill and the Navy Yard in Central D.C.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of North Italia - Washington DC restaurant

North Italia - Washington DC

$$$$
Italian
West End
4.5
832 reviews

One of the most exciting new spots for Italian food in D.C. is North Italia. This small chain of Italian restaurants offers fresh Italian dishes made from scratch, including pasta, pizza, protein entrees, and more. The chefs hand-make the pastas here daily, and there is a daily chef-special pizza, in addition to an Italian-focused brunch menu. Diners will find the meals here to be hearty and rustic, so it is a good place to come when comfort is the craving. North Italia is on Penn Ave, in the heart of downtown.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Matchbox - Penn Quarter restaurant

Matchbox - Penn Quarter

$$$$
American
Penn Quarter
4.2
313 reviews

For a warm, inviting, neighborhood-feeling café, D.C. folks can now flock to Matchbox: one of the town’s most welcoming new restaurants. The menu here has something for everyone, including burgers and fries, salads, appetizers and more. Consider this to be a place for more upscale bar food, where the servers are friendly and always know the regulars’ names.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of CIRCA at Navy Yard restaurant

CIRCA at Navy Yard

$$$$
American
Navy Yard
4.6
813 reviews

At the Navy Yard is another new exciting restaurant: Circa, which is an American restaurant that rotates its menu seasonally. The location of CIRCA is convenient to serve both visitors and locals alike, close to Audi Field, the Capitol Riverfront, and the Nationals Park. The menu here has options like spinach and artichoke dip, petite filet sliders, and fuji apple shrimp salad. The bustling atmosphere here is family-friendly so bring everyone along for a meal.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Casta's Rum Bar restaurant

Casta's Rum Bar

$$$$
Cuban
West End
4.3
411 reviews

There’s a new Cuban joint in town, and many people report that it’s one of the best new restaurants in D.C. This restaurant is both lively and fun—a good place to go for an entertaining night out—and impressive with its menu, so it’s a good spot to visit for any diner who enjoys Cuban food. The menu has small plates including empanadas, yuca fries, and croquetas. There are also sandwiches, soups, and desserts. The restaurant has a beer garden and a great long rum cocktail list. So, hardworking locals and visitors can kick their feet up and unwind outside on a nice, temperate D.C. night. Casta’s is just steps from George Washington University.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mazi restaurant

Mazi

$$$$
American
Downtown
4.5
432 reviews

For casual dining in a cute and trendy environment, visitors should head to Mazi. This new American restaurant in the heart of Downtown serves lunch and dinner nightly, and they also have a popular happy hour. When diners come here, they can sample dishes like the New York Strip, chicken kebab, or penne pasta prima. There are also vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, so it may be a good place to take any herbivore friends. Mazi bills itself as family-friendly so don’t hesitate to bring the little ones along to dine.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Terrain Cafe - Bethesda restaurant

Terrain Cafe - Bethesda

$$$$
Contemporary American
Bethesda / Chevy Chase
4.3
351 reviews

Terrain Café is technically in Bethesda Maryland, but it is one of the best new restaurants in D.C. and its surrounding suburbs. Terrain has a greenhouse café that offers visitors the opportunity to feel like they are eating outdoors, no matter the season. The restaurant has brunch, lunch, and dinner, and the chefs are careful to focus on only the freshest, seasonal local ingredients. For some of the most popular dishes at the restaurant, diners can try the Cape May Scallops with butternut squash & ginger puree, charred leeks, apple cider reduction, pumpkin seed, or they can sample the cider-braised pork belly, with castle valley grits, parsnip, carrot, toasted almond, and pomegranate molasses.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Julii restaurant

Julii

$$$$
Mediterranean
Bethesda / Chevy Chase
4.7
1354 reviews

Another one of the best restaurants in North Bethesda is Julii, a French restaurant with a Mediterranean twist. Founded by the masterminds behind Cava, a chain of popular fast-casual restaurants that people love in the D.C. area. Julii serves breakfast lunch and dinner, and the menu has a distinct French bent. Find items like lamb shank tagine, filet mignon, crispy trout, and scallop risotto. Many diners rave about the atmosphere, which is bright and airy, with floor to ceiling windows in the dining room.


At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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