Editors' Picks

Chef Jose Andres' Favorite DC Eats

Jose Andres is one of the most acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs in the country, but he still calls DC his home base. Known for his innovative takes on Spanish tapas at Jaleo, as well as forward-thinking favorites like minibar and China Chilcano, the unstoppable chef also rolled out a veggie-centric fast-casual concept called Beefsteak. Here's where you'll find Jose dining on his rare nights off (and in town).

Chaia

TacoGeorgetown
Morphing from farmer's market staple to Georgetown storefront, this taco specialist maintains its veggie focus, offering handmade corn tortillas filled with seasonal, plant-based medleys in an eco-chic two-story space decorated with white subway tiles and exposed-brick walls. Its tidy bar pours beer and wine, making it a happy-hour/rest-break option for locals and tourists visiting the nearby C & O Canal.

Jose's notes: "Chaia is helping to bring more vegetables to people in a new way. Their tacos are amazing and they are really focusing on what is in season. It is great to see them go from a farmer’s market stand to a brick and mortar in Georgetown.” 

Bantam King

RamenPenn Quarter/Chinatown
Poultry rules at this Chinatown storefront from the Daikaya team serving Japanese fried chicken and chicken ramen in a whimsically decorated, crayon-bright space that uses plastic trays as wall covers, with large lanterns bobbing over communal tables.

Jose's notes: “It is so exciting to see my good friend Katsuya Fukushima, who I worked with for so long, growing the ramen scene in DC. I love that I can walk over to Bantam King or Daikaya from my restaurants in Penn Quarter for a quality bowl of ramen – and with the roast chicken and all of the toppings, even better!” 

Restaurant Nora

OrganicDupont Circle
Nora Pouillon’s farm-to-table standard-bearer above DuPont Circle proves that “old diamonds still have great luster”, drawing a well-heeled crowd with “creative organic” New American cooking bolstered by “knowledgeable” sommeliers, a “cozy” rustic ambiance and overall “special-occasion” vibes; although a minority grumbles that the menu's a tad “dated”, it still can please a “picky, uptight NY guest.”

Jose's notes: "Nora Pouillon opened the first certified organic restaurant in the United States, right here in DC, over 30 years ago. She really has championed the farm-to-table movement and her restaurant today is as incredible as ever.” 

2 Amys

PizzaCathedral Heights
Cathedral Heights’ “must-stop for pizzaholics” features “yeasty, chewy” Neapolitan pies served in “bright”, “bustling” quarters “best experienced during off-peak hours”; what’s more, its “cheesy” risotto balls and “superb” antipasti keep many Italian food lovers “focused on the small plates” and the “reasonably priced” wines and craft beers; P.S. grown-ups head for the “nice bar” in back.

Jose's notes: "Today we have so many new pizza places opening in DC, I love it! But 2 Amys has always been one of my favorites – their technique is authentic and the flavor out of this world.” 

Old Ebbitt Grill

AmericanDowntown
“Old boys’ club” decor (antique paintings, a gleaming bar, “funky-yet-charming” taxidermy) is part of the appeal of this “fantastic”, circa-1856 American near the White House, a “classic frequented by tourists and residents” alike; known for its “beautiful” Victorian rooms and “outstanding oyster selection”, it’s “always crowded”, but the “attentive waiters” and “great atmosphere” make this one a “grand favorite.”

Jose's notes: “I love oysters, and there is something special about visiting this DC institution downtown for their amazing selection. The late-night oyster happy hour can’t be beat. If you are living in DC and have never been, what are you waiting for?!” 

Dog Tag Bakery

Georgetown
Disabled military vets turned bakers run the ovens at this nonprofit Georgetown shop specializing in sweet and savory treats like bagels, scones and bread, plus custom cakes. The space features exposed-brick walls and a dramatic dog-tag chandelier.

Jose's notes: “Dog Tag Bakery not only serves good coffee and baked goods, they do it with a purpose. With the partnership of World Central Kitchen, they are bringing culinary training skills to veterans in Washington, DC.” 

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