Top Five Friday #9

Best Meals in Washington, D.C.

There are an undeniable amount of fantastic restaurants in Washington, D.C.  When I started planning my trip, I had a huge list of restaurants I wanted to try.  There was such a large range of cuisines and so many well-liked and much talked about places that it was very hard to choose which ones to go to.  If I could afford it and stomach it, I would have had at least eight meals a day.  However, that isn’t a realistic feat for me, so though I know there are many other great restaurants that very well could have made this list, below are my five favorite restaurants in Washington, D.C.:

  1. Le Diplomate – Scallops Nicoise ($29): This was the first restaurant I visited in DC and it made such a great impression. This upscale French restaurant is gorgeous inside and has dining al fresco as well.  Because this place was a little pricey for my budget, I only ordered an entrée and stuck with water to drink.  They had a very fancy looking wine list though, and had my budget allowed, I would have certainly ordered a glass or two.  They brought out a basket of bread prior to my meal and I counted that as my appetizer; the breads were delicious, especially the cranberry walnut.  The scallops were so damn good, perfectly cooked and very flavorful.  They were served with orzo, tomatoes, onions, peas and pesto.  I could have that meal every night and be so happy.
  2. Ted’s Bulletin – Ted Tart ($3): Let me preface this by saying (again) I do not eat eggs, I don’t like them. So breakfast is always a little bit tricky for me: it’s usually a bunch of side dishes or pancakes.  At Ted’s Bulletin, I ordered hash browns, bacon and a Ted Tart, their homemade version of a poptart.  They had many different flavors (strawberry, brown sugar, lemon something, blueberry cheesecake…) but I chose the salted caramel tart.  It was everything I wanted it to be and more.  I wish I could take a dozen home with me, but I doubt they would have lasted more than an hour in my possession.  The restaurant was really cute and the coffee was decent.  Be prepared to wait for a table if you go on a Sunday morning (unless you go by yourself, like I did!).
    Ted Tart - Ted's Bulletin.jpg
  3. Mandu – Mandu Dumplings ($4 for happy hour) & Chap Chae ($15): I read about Mandu in a Buzzfeed article featuring DC’s best cheap eats. I was instantly interested.  They have a happy hour that’s available 7 days a week and has some great deals.  The servers were really great and capable of explaining any of the Korean dishes you might not be so familiar with.  I had dumplings for my appetizer, trying 2 of each dumpling: vegetable, shrimp and beef & pork.  Chap Chae was my entrée and it was very good.  I loved the Korean condiments (kimchee, pickles, bean sprouts…) that came with it.
  4. Founding Farmers – Strawberries and Cream Waffle ($8) & Pork Sausage ($6): Founding Farmer’s is on a lot of “best of DC” lists so of course I had to try it. It was pretty bustling for a Monday morning, but I was seated right away.  I ordered a latte straight away and was happy when it came in a big, cozy mug.  For breakfast I ordered the strawberries and cream waffle and sausage links.  The waffle was served with a small metal carton of syrup and a large dollop of dense, custard-y cream and fresh strawberries.  The sausage was good as well and balanced out the sweetness of the waffle.  It was a perfect meal and a perfect way to kick off a day of adventuring.
    Strawberries and Cream Waffle 2- Founding Farmers
  5. Momofuku Milk Bar – Crack Pie ($5.50): I knew I wanted to go to Momofuku Milk Bar, but arrived there completely by happy accident. It was my last day in DC and it was pouring and very cold, I rushed into what I thought was a cute bakery and didn’t realize until I was fully inside that it was THE cute bakery.  I ordered the Crack Pie, a treat they’re famous for, and stood at the counter to enjoy it with my coffee while I watched the rain.  The Crack Pie was mouth-wateringly good.  It was caramel-y and sweet and rich and was the cure for my rainy day mood.

Crack Pie - Milk Bar.jpg

I know there are a ton of other great DC restaurants that I probably missed, which are your favorites?

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