Five Must-See Restaurants in DC


By Ally and Joy.

1. Busboys and Poets

Location: 2021 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

Phone: 202-387-7638 (POET)

Hours:  Sunday 9:00 AM – 12:00 Midnight;  Monday-Thursday 8 AM – 12:00 Midnight; Friday 8:00 AM – 2:00 AM; Saturday 9:00 AM – 2:00 AM

Cuisines:  American; Coffee House

Price Range: $$$$


Busboys and Poets is a restaurant, coffeehouse, bookstore, lounge and theater that encourages progressive and tolerant thinking.  The food served is American with southern influences, reasonably priced and good  but not excellent.  Although food is offered at the restaurant, the space is more about noticing the people, books and the art around you. It’s about the interface between cultures to creates a tolerant, open and forward thinking space. Owner Anas “Andy Shallal,” an Iraqi-American artist, activist, and restauranteur, opened Busboys and Poets in 2005, with the intention of using food as a way to attract people and to create a safe and welcoming place where modern ideas can flourish.  The space has an chic, open design and is full of couches and round tables that encourage conversation with neighbors. The shelves of Busboys and Poets, unlike mainstream bookstores, are full of literature written by and about people of color. We shouted cheers of delight when the Memoir section was headlined by African-American feminists.The staff is diverse and interesting, and help to create the warm and inviting atmosphere that makes Busboys and Poets such a great space.  Although a short hop from the metro and a quick drive from DuPont, it’s absolutely worth the effort. We recommend grabbing a cup of coffee, a drink during happy hour, or a generously sized burger  (or crab cake!) and soaking in all that Busboys and Poets has to offer.


2.  Alero Mexico 

Location: 1724 Connecticut Ave NW (between N R St & N S St)

Washington, DC 20009

Phone: (202)-234-8100


Cuisines: Tex-Mex, Mexican

Price Range: $$$$


Alero Mexico serves bona-fide Mexican food, and it’s perfect for taking a break from the DC heat in a casual, reasonably priced restaurant.  The space is small, dark and stuffy, and the service is not exceptional, but the quality of the cuisine is bang-up considering the price. For foodies on a budget, this one’s for you.

3. Lauriol Plaza

Location:  1835 18th St NW Washington, DC 20009

Phone: (202) 287-0035

Hours:  Mon-Thurs 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM; Fri-Sat 11:30AM – 12:00 AM; Sunday 11:00 Am – 11:00 PM; Sunday Brunch 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Cuisines: Latin American, Spanish, Tex-Mex

Price Range: $$$$


Lauriol Plaza is an Adam’s Morgan staple and serves tasty and well seasoned Peruvian-Latin American food.  The service is fast considering how busy the restaurant gets during lunch hour. Though the many tables in the nicely decorated restaurant are covered in white tablecloths, the food is reasonably priced, and the vibe is casual and fun.  Because Lauriol Plaza is multileveled, you can get a drink on the porch or a full meal inside. It’s a delicious piece of urban eating. Try the mango-strawberry margaritas on the rocks and make sure to order the guacamole!

4. Zorba’s Greek Cafe 

Location: 1612 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Phone: (202) 387-8555

Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:00 AM – 11:30 PM; Sunday 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM

Cuisines:  Greek

Price range: $$$$


Zorba’s Greek Cafe (the same name restaurant from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, so you know it must be worth trying) is a top choice for grabbing some speedy authentic Greek good.  The location is right near the Dupont Q street metro entrance and has great outdoor seating for sunning yourself with gyro in hand. The Greek music they play adds to its upbeat vibe. Trust us, any no good-very-bad-day can be made instantly better with pita bread and baklava.


5. Sushi Taro  

Location: 1503 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Phone: (202) 462-8999

Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:30 PM – 10:00PM; Saturday 5:30PM – 10:00PM; Sunday Closed

Cuisines: Japanese

Price range: $$$$


Sushi Taro is a diamond in the Adams Morgan rough. Almost hidden from the street with a walkway that leads one to the top floor next to a CVS pharmacy, Taro is a place meant for those seeking an authentic slice of Japanese cuisine.  The open, beautiful Japanese-style interior decoration comes as a surprise when first entering the restaurant, as it looks like a hole-in-the-wall from the outside. Often frequented by Japanese businessman in the know, Sushi Taro provides their patrons with the freshest fish for their sushi. Their octopus nigiri are world class and their sashimi bowls are tough to beat. That said, it’s an expensive date. Be careful what you order because their sushi is made with the highest quality money can buy. And sometimes interns minus expendable cash wind up ordering real-crab California rolls…

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