America’s Top Restaurants Survey: DC Dining Trends

By Rina Rapuano | December 3, 2013 By Rina Rapuano  |  December 3, 2013
Photo by: Robert Miller/Rasika West End

DC is a city by no means lacking in strong opinions. Unsurprisingly, that extends to the ever-burgeoning food scene - and the annual Zagat survey of America’s Top Restaurants and dining trends sheds some light on the habits and preferences of local diners.

Tech-savvy Washington beat all other cities surveyed in the number of people who report that the internet is the way they most often make restaurant reservations. DC came in at 69% claiming to favor online reservation systems, while Boston registered at 66% and San Francisco at 68%.

Our restaurant pet peeves include noisy dining rooms (27%) and poor service (24%), with high prices (16%) also making the list. And while DC has never been known for having an ingrained Italian culture like Boston or Philadelphia, Italian food gets the top vote from 18% of us for favorite cuisine. American, French and seafood weren’t far behind.

It turns out that we’re only a tiny bit below the national average of eating out 4.4 meals per week (we come in at 4.3) and of average spend per dinner - $40.53, versus the $39.73 claimed by DC folks. We do our city proud by coming in slightly above average in the tipping department: the national average for gratuities is 19%, and DC residents report tipping an average of 19.2%.

Places Mentioned


IndianPenn Quarter/Chinatown
Food28 Decor25 Service25 Cost$52


GreekDupont Circle
Food26 Decor22 Service26 Cost$176

L'Auberge Chez Francois

FrenchGreat Falls
Food27 Decor26 Service27 Cost$84
Food27 Decor26 Service26 Cost$103


Food22 Decor23 Service22 Cost$33

Clyde's Willow Creek Farm

Food22 Decor23 Service22 Cost$33

Clyde's At Mark Center

Food22 Decor23 Service22 Cost$33

Clyde's Tower Oaks Lodge

Food22 Decor23 Service22 Cost$33

Clyde's of Gallery Place

AmericanPenn Quarter/Chinatown
Food22 Decor23 Service22 Cost$33
Food22 Decor23 Service22 Cost$33


Food22 Decor23 Service22 Cost$33


MediterraneanPenn Quarter/Chinatown
Food27 Decor24 Service23 Cost$40

2 Amys

PizzaCathedral Heights
Food25 Decor17 Service20 Cost$25

1789 Restaurant

Food25 Decor25 Service26 Cost$69

Recommended on Zagat

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