DC – aka the capital of the United States and one of the most powerful cities in the entire world – has really good food as well. It has to. With all of these senators, congressmen, ambassadors, and visitors – as well as the swarming amount of students and interns – DC has a very hungry belly to fill. While I would also like to mention that lunch here is a beautiful institution, they have some pretty good places for dinner as well.
And if you have only got two days here, and only two dinners, don’t miss these two.
Jaleo by Chef Jose Andres, a Spanish tapas restaurant in Penn Quarter with modern and edgy red decor; this place is a party. The menu is huge and full of small dishes (they recommend 3-4 per person). The Sangria is rich and fruity, and the atmosphere is buzzing. We sampled the cheese and meat plates, which were absolutely phenomenal. The softer, sweeter goat cheese was like a dessert, and the salty meats were thinly sliced and filling. Then we had patatas bravas, a Spanish tapas classic, which were crunchy and not too greasy (better than the one’s I’ve had in Edinburgh). We finished up with the Iberico Pork. It was tender and flavorful, however, it was missing the salt that just makes it pop.
Chef Jose Andres owns a number of restaurants, and is a Spanish Cuisine expert. He even has one in Beverly Hills called the “Grand Bazaar’- we checked out the menu, and it is roughly the same as Jaleo’s but twice as expensive, so basically this place is discount Beverly Hills restaurant, aka amazing. He has another restaurant called Zaytinya focusing in Mediterranean tapas, which is also amazing.
Ben’s Chili Bowl – classic American. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have eaten at this DC institution. And it’s Bill Cosby’s favorite. Hubbed out on U Street, looking like it has for years, the smoked chili hot dogs are a classic. There is also one at the airport.
Photo credit: Samantha Evans