Where We Ate in DC

In preparation for our month in DC, I made a list of places and dishes I wanted to eat. Even back when before 14th Street was gentrified, DC was a restaurant town where happy hour and brunch are competitive sports. Making reservations for both brunch and dinner (yes, even on weekdays) are paramount unless you want to dine amongst senior citizens. Blame it on bouncing back from the pandemic after dining at chez home for two years.

Help me help you plan your DC dining. These are the places we ate for breakfast, lunch, and, dinner and every snack in between. Most of these places are time tested, meaning we rarely dined anywhere new to us.


Chef Geoff’s

While I did not dine at the in-house restaurant option to the Hilton Garden Inn on the West End, my husband and son had several plates of pancakes across the two weeks we were in the District. Unfortunately my schedule did not permit sit down breakfasts, but the Pamper Pirate loves his pancakes.

Uptowner Cafe

I did have time to stop at my favorite neighborhood deli for an on-the-go breakfast bagel sandwich. (Did you know that bagels are not a thing in Kazakhstan? I longed for bagels.)


Circa at Foggy Bottom

My love for Circa actually started at the flagship location of Dupont Circle circa my birthday brunch 2008. Unfortunately, that location shuttered some time between 2016 and 2019. Since then, I started dining at the Foggy Bottom and Chinatown locations.

I was able to get reservations for brunch on Easter, for nine people, on the heated patio. If that is not a hat trick…

I have dined at Circa so many times that I cannot recall what I ordered aside from copious bellinis.

Peacock Cafe

Dating back to 2008, Peacock Cafe has been one of my favorite brunch spots in Georgetown. While nothing on the menu is so remarkable that I can recall what I ate save for the bellinis, everything on the menu is delicious.

Note: the patio is not heated.


Martin’s holds a lot of special memories. My work team celebrated several holidays and successful projects over lunch at the iconic restaurant. My husband and I had our second date and the afterparty to our wedding at Martin’s. I have never fell down the stairs at Martin’s, which is nothing short of a miracle.

There is not a bad dish on the menu.

Farmers Fishers and Bakers

Months into the pandemic, I told myself that I would never dine at a buffet again. That was a lie to myself, as we paid a visit to the Farmers Fishers and Bakers brunch buffet.

We used to be regulars but we had not ate there since the very early weeks in my pregnancy in 2019. Even feeling queasy, I enjoyed it.

This time was as delicious as I remembered, maybe more so as I missed it so much. Though I love sharing my favorite dining sports with the Pamper Pirate, dining at a brunch buffet with a toddler feels a bit cumbersome.


Peacock Cafe

While my husband went into the office, his parents, the Pamper Pirate, and I meandered through Georgetown. After letting the Pamper Pirate run loose through Volta Park, we opted for a light lunch at Peacock Cafe. Yes, the same Peacock Cafe that I love for brunch.

The weekdays have a decidedly different vibe than weekends. Along with my BLT, I enjoyed a cold glass of sav blanc. Meanwhile the Pamper Pirate had fruit salad, grilled cheese, and French fries.

On the way out, we ran into Deb Waterman Johns, the founder of Scout. I limited my fangirling to two minutes.

Kafe Leopold

Washing mussel frites and a mug of beer in the Kafe Leopold courtyard was the perfect solution for a slightly overcast day. Not too hot, which is crucial for a restaurant selling German food.

Jaco Taco

We visited Jaco Taco during my takeover of the Georgetown Main Street Instagram stories. We enjoyed tacos (for me and the husband) and a quesadillas (for the Pamper Pirate).

I missed tacos. Kazakhstan doesn’t have tacos. I would have, could have, should have gone for a second serving.

Sushi Aoki

The Pamper Pirate and I found ourselves in CityCenter on our first day out after our arrival stateside. We dropped my wedding band off at Tiffany’s for cleaning, which was expected to take forty-five minutes.

Just two blocks west from Tiffany’s is Sushi Aoki. Over a decade ago and before CityCenter was developed into the behemoth that it is, I worked two blocks north of Sushi Aoki. Ostensibly, I frequented the weekday lunch spot known for both lunch specials and a wicked happy hour. I was at the bar when Snowmageddon circa 2010 descended upon the greater DC area.

World of Beer

While we were staying at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn during our first week back in the Beltway circa 2019 and before I was aware that I was pregnant, my husband and I had several dinners at World of Beer.

Word of Beer, which I understand is a chain, ended up being only a mere three blocks from my office; a teammate and I ended up having my last office lunch there. While there is more beer-friendly food, I opted for a Cobb salad and fruit-forward sour brew

True Food

This restaurant is directly across from my office. The first time I dined here was with my husband’s cousin and the Pamper Pirate’s godmother (aka my soul cousin, Ali) while I was eight months pregnant. I am still thinking about the edamame dumplings, which is what I made the table order during my more recent visit to True Food.

Aside from the dumplings that imposed upon my teammates at work {it was a working lunch}, I ordered a chickpea bowl. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, but everything on the menu is appealing.


Cafe Milano

One of Michelle Obama’s favorite places to eat, Cafe Milano is prime for people watching, It is challenging to get a reservation, and yet I scored one for a table for seven.

We met my husband’s cousins and their significant others for rounds of appetizers, pasta, wine, and cocktails. After not seeing this gang since Thanksgiving 2019, it was so great to see my bonus family that the food was secondary.

Taj of India

I have vivid memories of hobbling to Taj of India for takeout after my first half marathon, as my phone was dead from my running app. I left my phone charger at the office that weekend. Therefore, I would not have know when the delivery arrived as I lived in a non-doorman building.

My go-to order dining in or out is the shrimp vindaloo (they take the tails off, crucial) which comes with rice, as well as chaat papri, vegetable samosas, and naan.


I concluded my Georgetown Main Street Instagram takeover with a stop at Susheria. Sushi, and seafood in general, is not anything I ever order in Kazakhstan. To say I was craving it would be an understatement.

We ordered seaweed salad, miso soup, ceviche, and copious sushi rolls, as well as cocktails. Paired with a vegetable food packet, the miso soup was the perfect meal before Pamper Pirate sleepy time as he passed out in my arms.

Das Ethiopian

My husband and I visited Das Ethiopian while I was pregnant over two years ago. It was so delicious that we knew we wanted to return and bring my husband’s parents.

I love the shrimp and bean dishes, although it is served family style that encourages sharing. Aside from being culturally appropriate, I think that is a good approach for an ethnic restaurant. Everything we ordered was delicious. As such, I look forward to returning.


Nobody has ever been able to surprise me, but planning surprises for others is my wheelhouse. During this trip I surprised my mother-in-law (and father-in-law) with her brother (and his wife) who were visiting one of my husband’s cousins (their son and his wife) for Easter.

We planned to surprise them in the hotel lobby and then proceed to Ris for dinner. It was perfect and the staff was not at all freaked out by our big bustling party of nine. Ris is a great option the West End. I ate here for the lunch on the day I discovered I was pregnant with the Pamper Pirate and with Ali, my soul cousin.

The Berliner

We met with the person replacing my husband in the US embassy to Kazakhstan at The Berliner. The restaurant that replaced Malmaison is a beer hall under K Street overpass in Georgetown.

I am not a fan of German food, so I did not eat. While it delivered on sour beer – and I love sour beer – I would not bring the Pamper Pirate back. (I don’t think he is going to be a fan of sauerkraut either.) Not really appropriate for a toddler, but I did not make the plans. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Rasika at West End

Rasika is a DC institution. I used to dine at the Chinatown location for lunch and dinner and restaurant week, as well as delivery. However, something I always struggled with at Rasika – and find this is common amongst other people – is that ordering can be a bit challenging. Sometimes your order what you think is a side of daal and out comes a big-ass platter of beans. Delicious, but what am I supposed to do with all these beans?

Enter the tasting menu. I spied this option on the menu and not only did we go for it, but we also ordered the drink pairings. And vegetarians – there is an non-meat option for you! The tasting menu is genius and takes the guesswork out of ordering.

As we were walking out, my husband unknowingly caught a power cord in the stroller and cause the lights on the patio to flicker. Apologies from our family and thank goodness we did not start an electrical fire.


I originally had reservations for Nobu for hours after our plane landed at Dulles. However, I had a bit of vertigo (maybe from traveling with the Pamper Pirate in the BabyBjorn carrier and a long line through customs) and felt so sick and dizzy. My husband, best friend, and the Pamper Pirate ended up making the reservation, while I laid at the hotel and fell asleep.

A week into our stay, we were able to get my husband’s mom and dad babysit the Pamper Pirate while we went for a late table at Nobu. 9:30 pm is officially too late for us to go out. I was exhausted, despite the two espresso martinis I inhaled.

Happy Hour

Kitchen 1310

I met up with one of my best friends from grad school for happy hour at Kitchen 1310. It was the ideal spot as it there is nearby parking and I was able to head to Susheria for dinner with the family immediately afterwards.

We had not seen each other in person since 2016 but were able to down several cocktails each between getting words in. It was the perfect atmosphere for catching up!

Chef Geoff’s

While the Pamper Pirate was dining on Chef Geoff’s pancakes from brekkie, I was ordering happy hour drinks to bring up to the hotel room. A cold white wine is always a good idea after the temperature hits 75 Fahrenheit.



The Cherry Blossom Cold Brew from Compass Coffee is the best coffee in Georgetown, maybe the entire of DC.

I had one nearly everyday during the summer of 2020 after each of my runs. The drink was there for me during the deepest darkest depths of the pandemic and my postpartum period. Back then, the color was not so pigmented, but I welcome the update of hue.

During vacation, I must have had one at least every other day. The day we left on a jet from Dulles, we even managed to find a reason to be in Georgetown for one last cuppa.

Blue Bottle

The west coast-based coffee purveyor is ideal if you find yourself on west M Street or down by the canal and find yourself in need for caffeine {right now}.

Blue Bottle is not the best coffee place in Georgetown, but it is much better than Starbucks.


Home for the Iced Cream Rose coffee, Philz is not to be missed. Unfortunately, the DuPont Circle location just shuttered and before that, ran out of the rose water which is an integral part of my preferred drink.

After my morning jog through Georgetown into DuPont, picking up a coffee from Philz was part of my vacation routine. After the rose water shortage, I rerouted my running route into Adams Morgan, where the next closest Philz is located.

I discovered another Philz about five blocks from my office. Not only did I stop there on the way out from the District but also at 5 pm.

Patisserie Poupon

Patisserie Poupon is a Georgetown staple. I used my Georgetown Main Street Instagram takeover as an excuse to stop here for a latte.

Patisserie Poupon is home to coffee and breakfast pastries. I ducked in several times a week when my office was located at the top of Georgetown, before the company relocation to Bethesda.

Georgetown Cupcake


Leave a Reply