I had a really nice visit to Washington in Oct 2019. It was my last visit to the States before the Pandemic.
Espita. My friend who lives in Maryland chose Espita. Espita serves Oaxacan food, including Tlayuda, and has some rare tequilas and Mezcals on the menu. I would return.
Texas BBQ at Hill Country (location here and in NYC) . It’s convenient to some of the museums. https://www.hillcountry.com/
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken https://astrodoughnuts.com/
An upscale Southern meal at https://www.succotashrestaurant.com. Succotash feels like a corporate restaurant inside, but the space is grand and memorable. I really enjoyed the food.
I’m in the habit of bringing home bread and pastries, and sometimes granola, from nice bakeries the day I leave a city, often right before I head to the airport.
Seylou had nice stuff. I brought home bread and granola, and some treats. https://www.seylou.com/
The pretty good:
Crab Cake Benny for brunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill . This place felt like a tourist trap to me. It was really popular for brunch. https://www.ebbitt.com/menus/
There are better Crabcakes in town, and Crab Cake Benedicts are a common brunch item across DC, but I didn’t have a chance to try others on this visit.
I had brunch at Boqueria, which is an outpost of Manhattan’s Boqueria. The food is equivalent, and it’s a nice Spanish brunch. Not unique to DC but not that common.
Cocktails on the roof of the Watergate after an event at the Kennedy Centre
The food itself at the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s food court Sweet Home Café wasn’t that great. It’s a neat concept. It’s still better than most museum food courts. The museum is worth visiting, and maybe a light snack to see the food court and how it was laid out. Maybe the food has gotten better, or I ordered poorly. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/two-hungry-reporters-dig-sweet-home-cafe-180960574/
I enjoyed a late night Belgian meal. The place I went to, St Arnold’s, has closed permanently, but that said, it looks like DC had 3 or 4 other Belgian restaurants that are open. (There are no Belgian restaurants where I live)
If you’re taking your kids to the museums, you all might like seeing Julia Child’s kitchen.
DC has more Salvadoran and Ethiopian restaurants than many other American cities, I’d you’re interested in those cuisines.