2 Days to Dine in Washington, D.C.


Tuna tartare at Volt Restaurant.

Over the past five years, I have spent a lot of time Washington, D.C.; my sister went to college at George Washington University, two of my friends have lived there, and I’ve accompanied my husband on a few short work trips. It’s a beautiful, clean city and as one would expect, it’s very patriotic. Visiting the monuments, the Capitol, and the Smithsonian institutions is definitely worthwhile, as is seeing the White House from the public front lawn. My other favorite neighborhood is Georgetown, a really quaint area of the city with tons of great shopping and casual restaurants. If sightseeing is your focus, the W Hotel is a great place to stay. It’s located right next to the White House, and just a couple of blocks away from the monuments and Smithsonian museums. If you’d rather be close to Georgetown, I love the Park Hyatt, a modern luxury hotel just a walk away from the heart of Georgetown. Or just across the street from the Park Hyatt, The Fairmont is also beautiful and has more reasonable rates.

Although I’ve visited the city often, I hadn’t really taken advantage of the culinary delights this city has to offer until recently. Even if you only have two days, there are a few places and dishes you have to check out.

Where to Eat:

Good Stuff Eatery: Owned by Spike Mendelsohn of Top Chef fame, this place has the most delicious burgers in the city. My favorite is the Good Stuff Melt, a perfectly cooked burger with a blend of Cheddar and Muenster cheese, caramelized sautéed onions and mushrooms, and Good Stuff sauce. All burgers come on a soft, pillowy freshly baked bun. I also love the fried Vidalia onion petals, and of course, the toasted marshmallow shakes. 

Old Ebbitt Grill: The oldest saloon in Washington, D.C., right across from the White House, this place is historic. There’s a full raw bar menu, plus a very large menu of mostly American classics with a few Italian items thrown in for good measure. I went with some friends, and we tried the Buffalo chicken wings, oysters, crabcakes, and filet; all were great. You can also visit just for a drink at the bar, if only to say you’ve been there (along with Teddy Roosevelt and Ulysses S. Grant; just not at the same time).


Blue Duck Tavern: Located in the Park Hyatt hotel, the Blue Duck Tavern is a sleek, spacious fine dining experience. The tables are organized around an open kitchen with a modern farmhouse feel, and the food lives up to that promise. I’ve had both breakfast and dinner here, and everything I ate was delicious. For breakfast I had a simple yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit parfait; the fruit was farm-fresh and sweet, the granola homemade, and the yogurt was possibly the best yogurt I’ve ever had in America. The dinner menu changes seasonally, but anything with crab in it is a must (right now, crabcakes are on the menu) as the crab is locally sourced from Maryland. I also loved the wood-oven-roasted quail with cornbread, grapes, and truffle jus; the quail was juicy and the grapes complemented it perfectly. And don’t forget dessert — if you order one of their ice creams, it comes in a big glass pitcher with the topping of your choice, and a big wooden spoon.