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Don’t-Miss Dishes in Washington DC

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Washington DC

Washington DC isn’t just a popular destination for history buffs. Thanks to its diverse neighborhoods and international communities, it’s also home to a wide range of culinary offerings. From Ethiopian platters to hearty Italian fare, from beloved chili dogs to indulgent cupcakes, here’s what you should be sure to sample while visiting the capital.

Chili Half-Smoke

One of DC’s most beloved eateries, located on U Street (an area once referred to as “the Black Broadway”), Ben’s Chili Bowl has been a local staple since the 1950s. President Obama made waves when he visited the restaurant in 2009, and you can follow in his footsteps when you drop by and order a chili half-smoke (chili dog).

Ethiopian Combination Platter

DC’s delicious U Street area is also home to a thriving Ethiopian community. If you’re new to the cuisine, order a combination platter, which typically consists of numerous spice-laden stews, all served atop a round of injera (spongy flatbread that tastes like sourdough and takes the place of silverware).

Cupcakes

If you have a sweet tooth, look out for Georgetown Cupcake, one of the city’s most popular and successful dessert chains. Locations are now found all over DC, though pretty Georgetown is, as the name suggests, where the company got its start. Enjoy classics such as red velvet or inventive flavors including strawberry lemonade and butterscotch waffle cone.

Steak

DC is home to plenty of movers and shakers, and while their politics may differ, there’s one thing most of them can agree on: steak. Consequently, the capital is home to a surfeit of traditional steakhouses. For a lavish dinner out, order a porterhouse or chateaubriand with truffle fries on the side.

Pasta

Italian is among the most popular cuisines in Washington DC, and if you head to vibrant neighborhoods such as Dupont Circle, you can look forward to a decadent introduction to the city’s trattorias and other traditional eateries. Enjoy seasonal pasta dishes, or go off-piste with risotto.

Pupusas

Salvadoran cuisine is a mainstay in DC—often served alongside Mexican food in restaurants—and its signature dish has become a favorite in the capital. Think of pupusas as thick, pancakey tortillas, frequently stuffed with cheese, refried beans, andchicharrónes (pork rinds).

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13 Tours and Activities | All Washington DC Tours

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Shared 3 Hours and 30 Mins Georgetown Walking Food Tour

Shared 3 Hours and 30 Mins Georgetown Walking Food Tour

star-4.5
42
Come hungry for food and for knowledge on this historical and culinary tour of Georgetown, whose roots predate Washington DC. Learn about Georgetown's 250 years of history, from its origins as a working class port city to its current status as a trendy college neighborhood, and stop to sample a broad selection of some of the best food the neighborhood has to offer. Tastings can range from tacos to Korean tapas to French cuisine paired with wine, and all tastings are included in the price.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.51
From
$81.51

Tastes of Georgetown: Food & History Tour

Tastes of Georgetown: Food & History Tour

star-4.5
55
If you are new in town, it can be tricky to avoid the tourist traps and find the best places to eat. This small-group food tour lets you discover the rich history of Georgetown while visiting four of the area’s best eateries for tastings and little-known stories about the oldest neighborhood in Washington DC.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$103.64
From
$103.64
Taking safety measures

Dupont Circle Food Tour

Dupont Circle Food Tour

star-4
1
Immerse yourself in multicultural Dupont Circle on a gourmet food and walking tour to the area’s best eateries. Going with a guide eliminates the hassle of navigating on your own, instead allowing you to relax and enjoy the ambiance of the neighborhood. Over the course of the afternoon, skip lines to sample locally-sourced foods from a range of international cuisines, from Moroccan to Malaysian.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$78.91
From
$78.91

Little Ethiopia Food Tour

Little Ethiopia Food Tour

star-5
4
Expand your palate on a leisurely food tour through Little Ethiopia in the heart of U Street, Washington DC. Going with a guide allows you to skip the research and head directly to the area’s best restaurants, where you sample a variety of complex flavors—from deep-fried lentils to freshly-baked traditional breads. Throughout the tour, listen to stories oven unheard by visitors about the largest Ethiopian community outside Ethiopia.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$71.24
From
$71.24

Lonely Planet Experiences: DC Food and History Tour on H Street with a Local

Lonely Planet Experiences: DC Food and History Tour on H Street with a Local

star-5
38
Skip the stress of planning and navigating on your own when you book a food and walking tour of historic H Street. As you taste your way through the multicultural neighborhood, listen to little-known and sometimes controversial anecdotes about the construction of the U.S. capital. Your guide eliminates the stress of navigating on your own, which allows you to relax and enjoy views of major landmarks along the way.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$83.87
From
$83.87
Taking safety measures

Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour

Capitol Hill Walking Food Tour

star-4.5
9
Get to know Capitol Hill through its food and culinary culture on this guided walking tour. Listen to a guide's commentary on one of the city's oldest and historically diverse neighborhoods, stopping to sample a variety of dishes such as Anglo-Indian food, Salvadorian cuisine, soul food, and others. This small group, limited to just 12 participants, ensures personalized attention and a chance to ask questions.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$79.18
From
$79.18

Adams Morgan Food Tour

Adams Morgan Food Tour

star-4
3
Immerse yourself in Adams Morgan’s diverse food scene on an afternoon tour of the area’s best eateries. Over the course of the afternoon, sample dishes from a range of cuisines, from Peruvian to Nepalese. Going with a guide eliminates the stress of choosing where to dine on your own, and ensures you walk away with an inside perspective on the neighborhood.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$75.62
From
$75.62

Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle

Washington DC Food Tour: Italian Cuisine in Dupont Circle

star-5
88
Follow a passionate foodie guide on foot to several Italian restaurants in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. You’ll visit local establishments and savor four to five food tastings with a wine pairing during this 3.5-hour tour, which offers various departure times. Learn about regional history, architecture and all things Italian while you walk and discover these culinary gems. Numbers are limited to 16 participants to ensure an intimate experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.95
From
$70.95

U Street: Food, History, and Street Art Tour

U Street: Food, History, and Street Art Tour

star-5
124
Get a taste of Washington DC's historic U Street neighborhood on this guided culinary walking tour. Discover the history and culture of these streets, formerly known as ‘Black Broadway,’ while stopping at multiple local restaurants to sample the foods that make these neighborhoods unique. A portion of every ticket price goes to feed district residents in need.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$103.64
From
$103.64
Taking safety measures

Washington DC Odyssey Brunch Cruise

Washington DC Odyssey Brunch Cruise

star-4
23
Sip champagne onboard a luxurious yacht on a 2-hour brunch cruise along Washington DC’s scenic shoreline. Cast off from Gangplank Marina then enjoy live jazz and a sumptuous brunch buffet. Capture unforgettable images of the DC skyline while relaxing at your private table, then savor coffee or tea as you enjoy views of the capital city’s elegant cityscape.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.27
From
$106.27
Taking safety measures

Spirit of Washington DC Sunset Dinner Cruise with Buffet

Spirit of Washington DC Sunset Dinner Cruise with Buffet

star-4
86
Take in the city skyline during sunset in Washington DC on an all-you-can-eat buffet cruise. Board a luxury boat for a sightseeing cruise on the Potomac River with dinner and dancing while a DJ spins your favorite tunes. Pass by illuminated landmarks such as the Washington Monument and feast on a variety of delicious dishes during the cruise.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$98.29
From
$98.29
Taking safety measures

Spirit of Washington DC Scenic Lunch Cruise

Spirit of Washington DC Scenic Lunch Cruise

star-4.5
114
Enjoy food, fun, and entertainment with a view of Washington DC on this narrated lunch cruise along the Potomac River. Onboard the elegant Spirit of Washington, choose to cruise from three air-conditioned interior decks or the rooftop lounge. Either way, the view is spectacular, there’s a delicious buffet lunch to enjoy and a DJ is spinning the latest Top 40 hits on spacious dance floors. Look and listen as the captain points out DC’s fascinating history while drifting past the Washington Monument, Reagan National Airport and much more.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$79.67
From
$79.67
Taking safety measures

DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting

DC: 'New York Times Journeys' Walking Tour with Beer, Cheese and Wine Tasting

star-5
19
Follow the New York Times’ “36 Hours in Washington DC” on this carefully curated tour based on the newspaper’s popular column. You and your guide will visit the Library of Congress, drink in bars haunted by local pols, taste some of the city’s best food and learn about local politics through guided commentary. This tour accommodates a small group of just 12 travelers or fewer, which ensures each participant personalized attention from the guide.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.00
From
$120.00
Taking safety measures