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6 James Beard Restaurants in Washington, DC Everyone Should Experience at Least Once

Washington Monument on the Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC, USA at dawn.

6 James Beard Restaurants in Washington, DC Everyone Should Experience at Least Once

A trip to Washington, DC, typically brings with it a visit to the Capitol or the various monuments and museums — all of which are worthy. But you’d be remiss to overlook the thriving food scene while there, which is filled with a hefty roster of both Michelin-rated and James Beard Award-winning eateries and chefs running the kitchens. Next time you’re in the nation’s capital, treat yourself to some of the area’s finest fare at any of these James Beard Award-winning and nominated restaurants.

Oyster Oyster

Stuffed Kohlrabi - sweet potato, totsoi, sesame, bread miso-onion broth at Oyster Oyster

©Courtesy of Rachael B. via Yelp

Chef Rob Rubba took the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef for this revered DC establishment. Oyster Oyster features a vegetarian/vegan menu with a local oyster. Look for spectacular dish presentations (such as with the stuffed kohlrabi, pictured) and an unmatched beverage program.

Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse

Pear Chicken Salad at Annie's Paramount Steakhouse

©Courtesy of Doug B via Yelp

Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse took home the James Beard gold in the “America’s Classics” category, which is appropriate as this beloved local establishment has been serving up just that — the classics — since 1948. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, look for everything from a Western omelet to a crabcake sandwich to a classic pear chicken salad (pictured). And don’t overlook the beverage and happy hour menus.

The Dabney

Wagyu beef, morel mushrooms and ramps at The Dabney

©Courtesy of Becca H. via Yelp

The Dabney‘s owner and chef Jeremiah Langhorne won the Best Chef Beard Award, and for anyone who has ever enjoyed an experience in his space, you’ll see why. Every exceptional dish is created from the finest locally sourced ingredients, and great care is taken to showcase the diversity of the mid-Atlantic region’s purveyors. Look for items like the Wagyu ribeye from Black Hawk Farms (pictured), smoked Chesapeake catfish, and the freshest Maryland lump crab.

Bread Furst

Bread Furst, a DC bakery

©Courtesy of Alessandra C. via Yelp

For an exceptional bakery experience, head to Bread Furst, where owner Mark H. Furstenberg won a Beard Award for Outstanding Baker back in 2017. There you’ll find an impressive selection of baked goods — from baguettes and brioche to cakes and croissants. Rotating flavors are featured on the menu — it’s the Chef’s whim, which is always the most exciting.


Tortita Norteña at Causa

©Courtesy of Vivian Z. via Yelp

Causa may not have won the Beard Award, but a nomination for Best New Restaurant isn’t too shabby. This local treasure will take your tastebuds on a Peruvian journey led by  Chef Carlos Delgado. The space’s exotic exterior is just the start. Head indoors and enjoy a menu overflowing with flavors. Two nightly seatings and a six-course prix fixe menu is an experience you won’t soon forget. (Pictured: Tortita Norteña)


centrolina Tagliolini Pasta

©Courtesy of Felicia L. via Yelp

While not a winner, Centrolina’s Chef / Owner Amy Brandwein was a 2022 nominee for Best Chef. Take a glance at the menu, and you’ll see why. Her flair for exquisite Italian cuisine is unmatched, as showcased on both the lunch and dinner menus, where guests can select from classic dishes with a modern mid-Atlantic twist.

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