Cocktails by the pool
Jessica Osmond

Dupont Circle Dining: The Best Eats and Treats in Washington, DC

America’s capital is now a dining destination, and one downtown neighborhood is leading the way

Move over, monuments and museums: America’s capital may no longer be best known for its historical offerings. In recent years, Washington, D.C., has experienced a culinary revival, boasting some of the best farm-to-table restaurants anywhere. Fresh and locally sourced ingredients can be found on many menus, offering a truly special experience for diners.

Washington, D.C.’s bustling Dupont Circle is home to the Embassy Row Hotel, nestled between stylish row homes and various national embassies. The Embassy Row Hotel is one of very few hotels in town that offers a heated rooftop pool to guests and locals alike. Unique and stylish interior decor may draw in guests, but the extensive cocktail offerings on the rooftop and tantalizing selections on the dinner menu at Station Kitchen & Cocktails will entice them to stay. The Embassy Row Hotel really hits it out of the park as a trendy urban resort with plenty of activities for all ages.

Located adjacent to the lobby in the Embassy Row Hotel, Station Kitchen & Cocktails serves as the hotel’s on-site bar, restaurant, and coffee shop. Its name nods to the adjacent Dupont Circle underground trolley station, which was operational from 1949 to 1963. In the morning, Station Kitchen & Cocktails operates as a cafe, serving delicious locally made pastries and freshly brewed Compass Coffee from well-known local D.C. roasters. In the evening, the space becomes the hotel’s modern seasonal restaurant. Station Kitchen & Cocktails features American classics and destination favorites, such as burgers, chicken wings, and street-style fish tacos.

The Embassy Row Hotel also serves as a great central location to exploring the rest of the Dupont neighborhood. A short stroll through the neighborhood leads you to Iron Gate, a recently reopened Mediterranean restaurant that originally served guests from 1923 to 2010. Settled on a quiet section of N Street between 17th and 18th, chef Anthony Chittum dishes up small plates where guests can sample or share his truly sumptuous cuisine. Guests can sit indoors, but many choose to dine in the garden. The patio is covered by an earthy lattice adorned with wisteria and makes for a magical dining experience.

Overlooking 14th Street is Black Jack, a casual American restaurant with Southern influences. This same location offers two other restaurant affiliations, the Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Tilt. The former offers many Southern-inspired fish entrées such as seafood gumbo or a fried shrimp po’boy. Tilt is the location’s cleverly decorated speakeasy hidden behind a secret door in Black Jack. Bright and vibrant pinball decor lines the walls and bar, and mixologists serve up flavorful cocktails.

Brasserie Beck, situated on lively K Street between 11th and 12th Streets, is a European-style brasserie that offers casual and affordable fare. Chef and owner Robert Wiedmaier channels his Belgian roots to produce a spectacular menu with many nods to classic European dishes like croque-madame, breakfast tartine, and tuna niçoise salad. Brasserie Beck further sets itself apart from the crowd with its comprehensive Belgian beer list, which must the most complete outside of Belgium — the bar routinely serves up nine or more draught beers and offers more than 100 by the bottle.

For the diner that craves a truly unique experience, Hazel’s chef Rob Rubba delivers just that on Sundays with the weekly “DimSunday” brunch, which nods to the traditional Asian cuisine experience of dim sum where guests feast upon bite-sized dishes. Perched upon V Street NW between Eighth and Ninth Streets, Hazel offers an eclectic collection of small- to medium-sized plates that encourage sharing with friends and family.

Although not an exhaustive list of all the incredible dining experiences available in Washington, D.C., the restaurants of Dupont Circle are proof that good food has arrived and is here to stay. 

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