Where To Catch Up With Your Friend Who Out-Decembered You

7 places to take your friend who spent December traveling and can’t shut up about it.
Wooden platter with whole fried fish, carribbean soda, and other tropical small plates

photo credit: Reema Desai

Everyone's back from the holidays, and while your days blurred into a sweats-and-rom-coms marathon, your friends were in Ghana partying with Burna Boy and dancing on the beach until sunrise. Now they're back, sun-kissed, and ready to fill you in on how “real” plantains taste. Thankfully, you can take them to any of these fun, trendy spots where the food and drinks are so good, you can drown out their never-ending stories with ease. Here are the seven places that’ll impress your friend who one-upped your December in every possible way.


photo credit: Jide Dirosonmu


Dupont Circle

$$$$Perfect For:Late Night EatsCasual Weeknight Dinner


OpenTable logo
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

The banku might not measure up to what they had in Accra—in fact, the whole dinner will prompt comparisons to the ones they enjoyed while Detty Decembering in Ghana. But you won't even notice, because the food at Swahili Village is just that good—just make sure to throw in a couple of nods and smiles as they drone on. Seasoned jollof rice, sweet plantain, and succulent goat stew will have you savoring every bite while enduring their umpteenth story about the time they saw Davido at the club.

They rented a beach house in Trinidad with an ocean view. And now they pity you when you talk about going to “see the water” at The Wharf. Impressed by their dedication to island life in the dead of winter, you take them to Cane. The Trinidadian spot on H Street serves up incredible doubles, curry goat, and succulent oxtail. Make sure to order the jerk wings—they’re smoked for three hours after luxuriating in a 24-hour marinade infused with scotch bonnet, cumin, and paprika. They're so good, you'll momentarily forget it's 34 degrees outside. 

“Pity you’ve only been to the DC Nobu,” they’ll say. “The one in Los Cabos is to die for.” But hey, you’re here now, alongside the congressional nepo babies and D-league basketball players ready to cosplay a life of luxury. Assuming you’re okay with the price tag (expect your bill to be at least $100), the trendy downtown restaurant delivers an exceptionally good meal. The cold cuts of sashimi, the buttery rockfish tempura, and tender wagyu dumplings are all very good. Not as good as the fish in Los Cabos, maybe, but still great.

photo credit: Dan Swartz



OpenTable logo

You told yourself you’re too cool to ring in the New Year on South Beach, but really those student loan payments re-upping ate up your whole travel budget. Royal Sands is the next best thing. Amidst the faux palm trees, umbrella-shaded tables, and downstairs bar built into a pool, you might wish you were bumming it in a swimsuit instead of DC attire. But ordering a cocktail with a flamingo floatie around it will have to do for now. And just to be clear, you’re coming here to fist pump to EDM in fake Miami, not to eat the salty cubano or mediocre red dragon roll with shrimp tempura. Save your appetite for better choices elsewhere.

Tell your friend who just got back from Morocco to meet you at Medina, mostly so you can give them your best Humphrey Bogart impression before they break out their camera roll slideshow. The Middle Eastern cocktail bar is a complete Bedouin tent filled with sofas (which you need to make a reservation for) and high tops where your friends can give you their spiel about how they bartered for your Christmas present. Take solace in the fact that you don’t have to hop on an eight-hour flight while you sip your Medusa, a smoky drink topped with salty foam.

For the last hour, your friends have been vividly describing the tamales they ate in Mexico City. And while you might not have experienced the taste of fresh masa from a street vendor's loving hands, you can at least convince them you know good food. This modern Mexican restaurant’s steamed sweet corn tamal is drenched in a rich, chunky charred tomatillo, goat cheese, and pecorino sauce that’s guaranteed to elicit wows from your pickiest friends. The restaurant's interior, with oakwood tables, blue-gray walls, and warm corn gold accents, is a cozy escape from Logan Circle, as well as the gross slush you probably had to wade through to get here.

Beach parties aren’t in your near future—not even an early spring getaway—but at Throw Social you can swap your gray sweatpants for short shorts under a cabana. Different DJs spin on weeknights and most of the day on weekends, making it the spot to dance your blues away. Pull up to the bar to grab sugary cocktails that will likely taste better than the watered-down all-inclusive resort drinks your friends keep bragging about. When you need a break from the dance floor and the bar, there are games like giant Connect Four and shuffleboard scattered around the astroturf. You might not be able to beat your friends at winter, but you can still kick their asses in cornhole—and not let them forget about it all night long. 

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

10 Great DC Bars & Restaurants With Games image

10 Great DC Bars & Restaurants With Games

Because sometimes you just want to play.

The 8 Most Fun Dinner Spots In DC image

A night out at one of these restaurants will never be boring.

9 Fun Places For Your Last-Minute Group Dinner image

When you forgot to make the reservation, but don't want to cancel.

7 Great All-Inclusive Brunches So Your Bama Friends Can Just Split The Check image

DC brunches where food and drink are included in the price.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store