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Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C. Worth the Hype

July 26, 2014 7:00 AM

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The District is full of restaurants of various cultures, diets, cuisines and whatever else you are looking for, including restaurants run by world famous chefs and reality cooking competition contestants. But with so many restaurants being hyped up by foodies, blogs and press, it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth it. These restaurants are worth the hype.

Daikaya
705 6th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 589-1600
www.daikaya.com

Many people only know ramen as the cheap packages you can find at any convenience and grocery store. The college favorite meal is nothing in comparison to real ramen. It’s like eating a frozen lasagna versus a homemade lasagna from an Italian grandmother. Over the past few years, ramen has become a hot trend. Daikaya opened after a few other ramen restaurants had already staked a claim in the D.C. food scene, but it has quickly become one of the best restaurants in D.C. With imported noodles from Sapporo, Japan, fresh ingredients and a delicious recipe, Daikaya is no Top Ramen.

Founding Farmers
1924 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 822-8783
www.wearefoundingfarmers.com

The first LEED Gold Certified restaurant in Washington, D.C., Founding Farmers is all around environmentally friendly. A farm-to-table restaurant, this farmer-owned restaurant uses the freshest quality ingredients straight from the farms of the owners. The breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus all are made with honest, American ingredients that you don’t have to worry about. Even better, everything is delicious; from the bacon lollies to the macaroni and cheese. This award-winning restaurant is not just hype, it is a must.

Zaytinya
701 9th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 638-0800
www.zaytinya.com

For some people, just hearing that a restaurant is a Jose Andreas restaurant is enough for them to make reservations immediately. His name has become synonymous with the DC food scene. But sometimes a popular name does not translate to a well-executed menu and restaurant. Zaytinya is not one of those cases, Andreas hit it out of the park again. This small plate Mediterranean restaurant transports you to Turkey, Greece or Lebanon. The flavors of the tabbouleh, hummus, lamb and more are authentic and well crafted. And with the pairing of wines only from the Eastern Mediterranean, your meal is complete.

Related: Best B.Y.O.B Restaurants In Washington, D.C.

Graffiato
707 6th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-3600
www.graffiatodc.com

Like Jose Andreas, Mike Isabella is also a big name in the restaurant world. Isabella utilized his Mediterranean and Latin culinary education to create the menu for this small plate Italian restaurant that has garnered great reviews. And with inspiration from his grandmother’s cooking, the food at Graffiato is Italian, but with a twist. You will crave the White House, a pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, black pepper honey, ricotta and taleggio. You can also find gnocchi, hanger steak, New Jersey asparagus, ribs, salads and more, all with Mike Isabella’s special touch.

Doi Moi
1800 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 733-5131
www.doimoidc.com

Waiting weeks for a reservation to a hot restaurant doesn’t appeal to everyone, but sometimes it’s worth it. Doi Moi is not a restaurant you can easily walk in to and get a table, most of the time. This Southeast Asian restaurant offers a menu inspired by Southeast Asian street stands, store fronts and stalls. With options ranging from fried lemongrass-coconut chicken wings to blue crab friend rice. Doi Moi is not another Thai restaurant. It is a piece of Southeast Asia right here in DC.

Related: Best French Restaurants In Washington, D.C.

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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