DC Better Dining than NYC?!?

Although I adore New York, I'm still a Washington DC girl at heart – I like political talk shows, unnecessarily aggressive driving and despite their ranking, the Nats. As for the restaurant scene? It has come along way since the politico's taste for classic French and steakhouse ruled the scene. The quality and diversity can't compare to New York, but DC is host to some gems that are (gasp) even better than restaurants in Manhattan. Accuse me of running with the Washington herd, I don't mind.

Top tier, high end establishments like Cityzen, Restaurant Eve and Citronelle aside, there are a few joints I always visit when home. I have yet to find their equivalent in NYC, so try to visit the following whenever I'm inside the beltway.

Moby Dick House of Kebab

(mult. locations; http://www.mobysonline.com)

There was a summer I lived on Moby Dick kebabs, or "Dick House" as we fondly called it. Now a series of 14 restaurants in the DC area, they all serve the tastiest charcoal grilled morsels of meat I've encountered. There's nothing fancy about the food or the digs. But at entrees hovering between $7-12 for a heap of fragrant rice, tangy yogurt sauce, flatbread, grilled vegetables and sumptuously marinated meat, you don't miss the white tablecloths. My staple is the Moby Combo II ($12), juicy chunks of chicken and zestily seasoned ground sirloin with all the accompaniments. There's no false advertising – it's "a whale of a kebab!"


(4883 MacArthur Blvd Washington, DC 20007; (202) 342-9101


There's no worrying about the freshness of seafood at this Palisades hotspot. Half restaurant, half fish monger, Black Salt serves and sells some of the best fin fare in Washington. The contemporary, seasonal menu changes with the day's catch, but there are a few staples. One standout is the Belgian Mussels, a pile of plump bivalves cooked in Chimay Ale, lemon fumet and leeks. If an Asian-inspired fish stew or wood grilled sardines don't catch your eye, just point to one of the seafood items on display. The kitchen is always eager to create a special dish out of their market, or prepare it to your liking.

Ristorante Tosca

(1112 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20004; (202) 367-1990


Ok, New York Italian restaurants rival Italian Italian restaurants, and DC Italian doesn't come close. The one exception is Ristorante Tosca, an upscale eatery in the trendy Penn Quarter. The kitchen shows a talented hand with both seasonally driven meat and fish entrees, but I have difficulty straying from two particular items. One is a composed salad of radicchio, pears and gorgonzola cheese, the other tender folds of carrot pappardelle with rabbit and thyme. Whether you stop in for a bowl of pasta or the chef's tasting menu, you won't be disappointed.

Peking Gourmet Inn

(6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church VA 22041; (703) 671-8088


This old school Chinese duck house isn't technically a DC restaurant, located in an unassuming strip mall in Fairfax, Virginia. But if you're a lover of peking duck, it's worth the trip out of the city. The restaurant serves the dish exactly as it should be – the meat is moist and tender, the skin cracklingly crisp, all carved table side by an expert server. Other dishes like shrimp with garlic sprouts are also delicious for those not down with the duck.


(2434 18th St NW Washington, DC 20009; (202) 462-4100


We may not have much of a Little Italy, but our Little Ethiopia in Adams Morgan/U St may rival Africa's Ethiopia. Yes, Washington DC is home to the largest Ethiopian population in the US, and as a result, many authentic restaurants. It's a transporting experience to sit at one of the low basket tables at Meskerem and scoop flavorful lamb watt (stew) with injera, a spongy Ethiopian bread/edible version of silverware. It's a particularly fun date spot, because a variety of items are served together on a shared platter. Just don't joke about how you're surprised to discover they actually had food in Ethiopia.


(1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004; (202) 626-0015


I briefly mentioned Citronelle, Michelle Richard's landmark restaurant. It's truly an experience, but this James Beard Award winner is a definite special occasion destination. For a fix of Richard's cooking on an average weeknight, there's Central. The French bistro menu is more conventional than Citronelle's whimsical offerings, but the dishes still have the perfectionist Richard touch. In particular, there are two must-gets: a perfectly seasoned steak tartar, and the lobster burger – a patty of lobster bound with scallop mousse on a brioche bun. Both are devilishly rich and entirely addictive.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits