Top Restaurants in Washington DC offering Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and Seafood Cuisines

April 16, 2021
jason wolfe
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Washington D.C has a lot to offer, but the city's restaurants didn't have much to offer for decades.

This is no longer the case as in recent years, America's capital has become a bona fide dining destination. It has moved beyond its traditional steakhouses to accommodate new food options such as Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and Seafood. If you have been itching to try out new restaurants in Washington DC, we recommend starting with one of these top restaurants. From focaccia bread, oysters, crab legs, delicious mussels, and mouthwatering pasta, you will be spoilt for choice.

1. Muchas Gracias

Mexican Restaurant in Washington DC that serves Steak Fajitas, Birria Tacos and Burritos.

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Looking to do good while dining at an exquisite location? Visit Muchas Gracias. Image Courtesy of Yelp

5029 Connecticut Ave NW Washington | muchasgraciasdc.com

For a spot that offers excellent Mexican Cuisine, has an incredible drinks menu, a fun vibe, and a cool owner, you can't go wrong with Muchas Gracias. Chef Christian, the owner, started this restaurant to help refugee chefs and other disadvantaged hospitality workers.

In addition to the main restaurant, Muchas Gracias also has a cute makeshift patio in the parking. Do not let this fool you, as the chef-curated meals are expertly crafted, authentic, and finger-licking good. The space has amassed a following for its lunchtime burritos, taco kits, Mexican beans and rice, and tres laches cakes. You can do reservations for brunch and dinner, and they also do takeouts and delivery.

The restaurant will soon offer grocery items

"So so delicious and flavorful. Most definitely will be going back! We got the short rib tacos which were amazing, and the jackfruit tacos, which were very flavorful. Delicious elote and the sweet potato appetizer. So many items to choose from, and we loved all of the salsas and sauces that came with." -Yelp Review

2. Anafre DC

Mexican Seafood restaurant serving Oyster Tacos, Seafood Enchiladas and Mexican Chorizo Torta

A ring of guacamole is topped with lobster and crab at Anafre
A ring of guacamole is topped with lobster and crab.  Image Courtesy Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

3704 14th St NW Washington, DC 20010 | anafredc.com

For a super cute and casual ambiance, your spot is Anafre DC! Inside, this Mexican restaurant is authentic and has a homey vibe.

Anafre boasts of excellent staff and reasonable pricing for generous portions of richly flavored and delicately cooked Seafood. Some of the most popular dishes include a ring-molded Los Cabos guacamole with crab and lobster.

You can order takeaway from Anafre, grab a seat at the patio or sit indoors in the socially distanced restaurant.

"This place is phenomenal! It definitely deserves many more praises than it does currently. I have yet to try anything less than delicious, fresh, and well prepared at this place. From fried oyster tacos to the el pastor pizza, everything in between was delicious. I'm so glad we gave it a shot when we did bc it's for sure a place we'd be going back to all the time." -Yelp Review

3. Grill Fish DC

Washington DC dining spot offering simple grilled fish & other American classics like crab cakes

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Enjoy finger-linking oysters. Image Courtesy of Yelp

1200 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC | grillfishdc.com

Popular for its tremendous and cozy location, reasonable food prices, top-notch service, and great ambiance, you will absolutely looove this place.

Their oysters are to die for, and if you enjoy eating meats and Seafood with sauce, this is your spot.

The Seafood is fresh, and they offer delightful mussels. It is a perfect location for a romantic date, small group meeting, large groups, business meeting, and even a happy hour hangout.

Where do I start? I have been a loyal customer for over 15 years. The Seafood is always fresh. And the drinks are superb. My favorite is the buffalo shrimp pasta. But, practically anything on the menu is excellent. The wait staff is always nice. And the location is quite cozy. They keep the lights dim and it has a calm relaxing atmosphere. - Yelp Review

4. Filomena Ristorante

One of the premier Italian Restaurants in Washington DC

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Enjoy creative Italian dishes in an ambient dreamy location.  Image courtesy of Yelp

1063 Wisconsin Ave NW, Georgetown | filomena.com

If you are looking for great Italian dishes coupled with different creative dishes and old-world recipes, look no more. Filomena Restorante is an absolute dream, with its perfect ambiance for intimate and romantic occasions, as well as small groups.

You will love the gustatory vibe of a family-owned restaurant and the excellence of professional service.

The restaurant features famous delicacies such as fragrant homemade pesto sauce paired with the complimentary focaccia bread. The food portions are very generous, so be ready to have your fill and take the leftovers to go.

“Celebrated 3 years with my boyfriend last week at Filomena  If you're looking for some damn good Italian with a mix of creative dishes and old world traditional recipes, look no further  It was the perfect ambiance for the occasion - intimate, romantic, and so beautifully decorated. -Yelp Review

5. 14th St Café Asian Bistro

Casual Dining Spot offering Chinese and a range of other Asian Dishes

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This restaurant is known for its diverse range of Asian cuisine. Image Courtesy of Yelp

1416 14th St NW Washington | 14thstcafe.com

This restaurant is the perfect mix of American Chinese food with authentic Chinese dishes in Washington DC. The spot features a diverse menu, can accommodate both large and small groups, and is reasonably priced.  

The food has deep, complex and diverse flavors. You will be amazed how heavenly even simple fried rice tastes in this place. It is such as excellent neighborhood spot whose staff are friendly and very attentive.

'A neighborhood favorite and one of my "go-to" favorites as well for really good Asian Cuisine and American Chinese Take Out!  In my opinion.....hands-down one of the best "cuuhrrry-outs"....no pun intended, this is D.C. pronunciation for carry-out...in the DMV!!  Lol”- Yelp Review

6. Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

One of Washington’s most beloved Seafood Restaurant

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Choose between the famous Stone Crab and steaks. Image courtesy of Yelp

750 15th St NW Washington, Downtown | joes.net

Joe's has a solid and incredibly historic ambiance, good service, and remarkable Seafood in addition to their steaks. This combination of Seafood, steaks, and side dishes make it the overall American steak restaurant in Washington. The place also has a great drinks menu.

Be sure to try out the King crab legs, the most popular dish at Joe's.  

The place also has fast, efficient, and impressive customer service, both for in-house dining, takeout, and online orders.

"Easily the best Happy Hour Spot in D.C. Half a dozen oysters for $7; all small plates (mac and cheese bites, chicken fingers, Atlantic crab sandwiches, etc.) all $5; and drinks 50% off - this simply cannot be beat.  Especially given the location, atmosphere, quality of food, and its historic presence in D.C.
COVID protocols were absolutely followed. We had a great waiter, all the food came out immediately, and their bread are baskets are delicious. We even saw Paul Ryan walk by. Overall, a happy hour must in D.C.!" - Yelp Review

7. Blacksalt Seafood Market and Restaurant

Creatively Prepared Sustainable Seafood in an upscale tavern.

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Treat yourself to a plate of delicious wood-grilled baby octopus. Image Courtesy of Yelp

4883 MacArthur Blvd NW Washington | blacksaltrestaurant.com

If you are a Washington D.C local and you love good, no great seafood, then BlackSalt is your best bet.  

Offering amazingly prepared Seafood, excellent customer service, great ambiance, great cocktails, this is a spot you can depend on to deliver on your culinary needs. Even right now, in the middle of a pandemic, they are nailing it with date nights, special occasions, happy hours, and holiday dinners.

"A restaurant with a wide variety of Seafood. The fish looked fresh even by my Japanese standards- the menu provides you with a selection of preparations, and you can have the fish of your choice prepared anyway. I had the Branzino, which came with an olive sauce and chickpea fries- I liked the crispy skin as well as the softness of the fish. The lobster was also great- especially the sauce, that goes really well with bread.Indoor seating is strictly socially distanced, and the seats are disinfected every time, making the restaurant a relatively safe choice even during the pandemic." -Yelp Review

8. RPM Italian

A modern elegant Milan-approach to the best Italian Foods and Drinks

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This spot with seductive lighting might end becoming your favorite. Image Courtesy of Yelp

650 K St NW Washington | Mt Vernon |  rpmrestaurants.com

This stylish Mount Vernon Triangle Italian Restaurant serves a mix of modern and red-sauce classics, plus dry-aged steaks, homemade pasta, Crudo, and crustaceans. It offers an intimate vibe perfect for a date with effortless and beautiful décor and seductive lighting. The space has plenty of elbow room, walls of windows, roomy booths, an outdoor patio, and private party settings on request.

Their cuisine is impressive in taste, quality, preparation, presentation (for indoor dining and packaging (for takeout orders).

The space also has remarkable service courtesy of its personable and attentive staff who know their stuff. Not sure what to pick on the menu? Trust them to give you delightful recommendations to choose from.

"By far one of the best meals I've had in a year. The whole experience was amazing. Louis our waiter was out of this world helpful and personable. Such a great guy he made the whole night better. Wagyu carpaccio with truffle aioli was actually the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. It was unreal.  Fried mozzarella, chicken parm, and carbonara were delectable. Everything was so fresh and well portioned. Homemade pasta - hard to eat dried boxed pasta ever again.
You won't be disappointed here. Service, ambiance, food, drinks, and price. It was all 5 star worthy." -Yelp Review:

As seen from the restaurants we have highlighted above, Washington DC's food scene has grown vibrant and exciting. If you're looking for great Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or Seafood in this exciting city, be sure to try out our recommended restaurants. You can also let us know in the comments other great spots you have been to or are planning to visit. We would be delighted to hear from you.

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