Where To Eat & Drink In Anacostia

Southside restaurants you don’t want to miss.
Where To Eat & Drink In Anacostia image

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

You’ve worked up an appetite roller skating in Anacostia Park, and the only thing on your mind is figuring out where to get a good bite of food. Maybe you just want to grab and go because you are tired. Or, you have plenty of energy to sit at a table with friends and refuel. Either way, here are some of the best restaurants in Anacostia.


photo credit: Nina Palazzolo




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The original DCity Smokehouse is one of our favorite restaurants in the city. The second installment of DC’s best barbecue spot serves the same great food (maybe even better) on Good Hope Road. It’s counter service, just like the Bloomingdale location, and the brisket, brussel sprouts, and fries are the must-orders. Out front, you’ll find a few barrels and red Adirondack chairs where you can sit on nice days. Inside, there are four high-top tables and a counter with five stools overlooking the street.

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDrinking Good CocktailsCasual Weeknight Dinner


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Kitchen Savages brings much-needed fine dining to Anacostia. It’s the kind of place where you can sing along to ‘90s R&B hits, and expect your server to fill your water glass before it’s empty. We love it for a romantic date night or a fun brunch with friends. The menu is filled with American fusion dishes. You'll find jerk lamb chops, lobster mac and cheese, and the Savage fries, which are covered in shrimp, crab meat, and tangy savage sauce, and helped the brand make a name for itself before it opened its brick-and-mortar location.

photo credit: Michelle Goldchain

If you’re looking for some wakye or peanut stew, Open Crumb is the answer to your prayers. The West African takeout spot is run by a mother and son team churning out seriously flavorful stuff—like the Ghanaian peanut soup made with peanut butter and a smoky tomato base. Pair it with the tender (Ghanaian) jollof rice packed with red pepper, curry, and garlic powder, which is our favorite thing on the menu.

Walking into Mama’s Pizza Kitchen is like stepping into an antique store that serves great pizza. Old pans, dishes, and wicker baskets line the pale yellow walls. People are constantly running in and out, mostly to grab jumbo slices that taste good even if you haven’t spent all night in Adams Morgan. Order at the counter or call ahead if you don’t have time to wait. The menu says they only come in cheese and pepperoni, but you can add whatever toppings you want, and they have whole pies, too. There are a few tables and chairs, so you can hypothetically eat here, but we recommend grab-and-go.

Smoothies are a whole meal, and Turning Natural makes some of our favorite ones in the city. The juice bar serves about twenty different smoothies and fresh juices, including the Bob Marley, a tropical smoothie full of papaya, pineapple, mango, and peach. And they can get you in and out in less than 10 minutes. The shop is only open from 9am-5pm though, so don’t plan to come too early or too late.  

Carryouts are the lifeblood of DC, and Tony’s Place is a good one. It’s a straightforward order-at-the-counter operation with no tables, so be prepared to take your food to go. You’ll find staples like all-day breakfast, soul food, half-smokes, and pupusas, and you can get a solid, hot meal for under $10. The pancake platter, which runs about $8, is our favorite dish here because they’re hot, fluffy, and not too sweet. Get them with the pork sausage patty to round out the meal.

There’s no denying that the Anacostia Busboys is one of the major players in the area. The American restaurant is known for its diverse menu and community events, and the Anacostia spot is no different. There’s often an after-work crowd here for Happy Hour, which runs Monday-Friday from 4-7pm, and families grabbing dinner. It’s a great place to go if you’re eating with vegetarians or vegans since there are a lot of options (we’re partial to the falafel sandwich smothered in hummus and tahini sauce and layered with fresh vegetables).

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