DCGuide

DC's New Restaurant Openings

The latest spots to join the DC food scene.
spread of mexican dishes such as beans, tostada, crudo, tetelas

photo credit: Deb Lindsey

If you tried to keep track of every new restaurant and bar in DC, your head might spin. So just read this list instead. These are the openings that seem like they have the most potential. Although, keep in mind, we make no promises about the places we haven't visited yet. Go forth and be a pioneer—or just keep up with our Hit List to see which new restaurants we checked out and loved.

February

photo credit: Deb Lindsey

spread of mexican dishes such as beans, tostada, crudo, tetelas

Pascual

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This modern Mexican restaurant in Capitol Hill comes from the team behind Lutèce and Lapis. You’ll find grilled vegetables, lamb neck barbacoa, and alaskan rock shrimp all cooked over a hearth. In the spring, they will also open a side window panaderia, Volcán, where you'll be able to get coffee and pastries in the morning.

photo credit: Kimberly Kong

burger with patty greens shallots on a potato bun

La Bonne Vache

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Expect an assortment of specialty burgers and sandwiches at this French bistro in Georgetown, including a boeuf bourguignonne made with red wine braised short rib and smoked bacon.

photo credit: Fun Food Group

colorful interior with plants hanging from ceiling, tiled bar area, velvet banquettes, and marble tables.

Makers Union Cathedral Heights

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Makers Union opens its fourth location in Cathedral Heights. The menu features baked brie, flatbreads, and oven-fried oysters, alongside handmade pastas and on-the-go sandwiches.

January

photo credit: Clarissa Villondo

bar interior with wooden bar, bar stools, and stained glass ceiling

Your Only Friend

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This casual sandwich shop/cocktail bar is open Wednesday-Sunday in Shaw. There are a range of sandwiches, from a spicy fried chicken joint to a vegan cauliflower situation, alongside a mix of alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails.

The NYC-based French cafe is opening another DC location, this one in Navy Yard. Expect the same bakery bites and sandwiches on the menu.

This Latin vegetarian spot has moved from pop-up to brick-and-mortar with its new Shaw location. They’re serving a $150 tasting menu where you’ll find lots of mushrooms and greens.

photo credit: Rachel Paraoan

Large stoneware bowl with fish, greens, sauce and floral garnish

Moon Rabbit

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Moon Rabbit reopens, now in Penn Quarter, after the Vietnamese restaurant by Kevin Tien suddenly closed down last spring. Expect a new menu that includes barbecue spiced cod and duck fat brioche.

New York’s Pastis is open in Union Market. The French spot is known for its traditional dishes, like French onion soup and steak frites.

November

photo credit: Omakase @ Barracks Row

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Omakase @ Barracks Row

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Capitol Hill welcomes Omakase @ Barracks Row. The restaurant offers a $180 21-course sushi tasting menu. Dishes change seasonally, but recent items include fatty tuna hand rolls, smoked corn, and sake ice cream.

photo credit: Scott Suchman

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Casa Teresa

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The downtown food hall, The Square, welcomes Casa Teresa. The sit-down restaurant has a four-course tasting menu that highlights traditional Spanish cuisine and features local vegetables and meats grilled on an open fire. It’s open Monday-Saturday, 11:30am-10pm.

photo credit: Rey Lopez/LeadingDC

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Amparo Fondita

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Joining the ranks of El Presidente, which opened in October, is a new upscale Mexican restaurant in Dupont Circle. Amparo Fondita’s seafood-forward menu includes baja-style oysters and dry-aged whole snapper. For the early-risers, the restaurant is open for breakfast and serves freshly baked conchas, breakfast burritos, and horchata cold brew.

photo credit: Emily Schindler

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Halal Guys

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Halal Guys brings its signature menu of falafel, chicken or beef gyro platters, and sandwiches to Union Station.

photo credit: Deb Lindsey

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Greek

Downtown

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We recently checked out Philotimo and added it to our Hit List.

Philotimo, the downtown Greek restaurant from Chef and restaurateur Nicholas Stefanelli (Le Clou), has reopened. The menu is now a la carte and includes veal dumplings, grilled octopus, and olive oil braised pork belly.

photo credit: Vina Sananikone

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Tonari Cafe

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Tonari, the Japanese-Italian restaurant in Chinatown, introduces Tonari Cafe. The daytime coffee shop serves drinks and grab-and-go treats including miso-honey banana bread, creme-brulee brioche toast and bottega-inspired egg sandwiches. Tonari Cafe is open Tuesday-Saturday 8am-2pm.

October

Medina, a North African cocktail bar from the team behind Maydan, opens in Cardozo. The cocktails here highlight ingredients from places like Tunisia and Morocco. You can also grab food like lamb, vegetable, and chicken tagines.

photo credit: Nina Palazzolo

We recently checked out Mélange Burger and added it to our Hit List.

In the same space as Doro Soul Food, you’ll find new Ethiopian smashburger joint, Mélange Burger. The Shaw restaurant keeps it short and sweet, with four burger (including a vegetarian option) that you can customize with bacon, egg, and avocado. It’s open 11am-8pm Tuesday-Sunday for carryout and delivery.

photo credit: Scott Suchman

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Flora Pizzeria

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The latest restaurant in The Square food hall is Flora Pizzeria. Their 18” whole pies start at $29 a pop and come in classic flavors like margherita and pepperoni. You can also grab slices that’ll run you $5.25-7. Flora Pizzeria is open daily from 11am-8pm.

Ace's Lounge

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This Congress Height lounge has re-opened and is serving light bar bites in an all-black upstairs lounge. Hit Happy Hour from 2-5pm during the week, or head over for a late-night party on the weekends.

Maker’s Union Pub is a gastropub with a lunch and dinner menu that includes everything from steamed trout to “Impossible” kebabs. The Wharf restaurant also has $35 unlimited brunch on weekends, and live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. 

Hiraya, on H Street, is an all-day Filipino cafe. On the menu are silogs—Filipino breakfast plates—alongside classic entrees like adobo. You’ll also find pastries, lattes, and cocktails at the bar. The restaurant is open Tuesday–Sunday from 8am–9pm. 

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