ALA Annual 2019

Eating in D.C. #alaac19

While you weren’t looking, Washington DC has become one of the best dining destinations in the country. Celebrity chef Jose Andres has been cooking here to acclaim for years, and relatively new upstarts Rose’s Luxury and Bad Saint have won Michelin stars and the James Beard award respectively. Many of these are an easy walk from the Convention Center. We’ll share those, and also some links to other spots slightly further afield for those looking for further adventure.

Just North of the convention center is the Shaw neighborhood, whose Blagden Alley is home to one of my favorite spots. Tiger Fork has  Asian-inspired small plates and delightful “Chinese medicine” cocktails served in a communal setting. Because so much is made for sharing, this is a fun place for small groups. Also in the vicinity is Sundevich, a sandwich and salad carryout. It’s so much more than that description though – clever ingredients and combinations make this superior to your average corner deli, with lots of vegetarian options to boot.  All Purpose Pizzeria makes the lists of the Best in DC regularly, and bakes what it calls “Jersey style pies” as well as antipasta and an extensive (for a pizza parlor) wine list. They also sell desserts from the Buttercream Bakeshop, a great spot for a quick cupcake or cookie pick-me-up between meetings. For a more intense pick-me-up, Philadelphia based La Colombe has a coffee shop also in Blagden Alley. If you’d rather chill out, try Calabash Tea Company, a comfortable spot with a wide variety of teas to drink there or to take back home with you.

South and West of the Convention center is an outpost of David Chang’s  inventive Asian Momofuku and Milk Bar, his bakery of the famous Compost Cookie and Crack Pie.  Longtime Belgian bar Brasserie Beck is your spot for tasty mussels and a quick beer.

We can’t miss the three Jose Andres restaurants that are closeby the Convention Center, Jaleo, his original Spanish tapas spot, Zaytinya, home for Mediterranean food, and Oyamel, with Mexican food and a great happy hour. I’ve eaten many times at all of these over the years and it never disappoints.

Just looking for some e. very day old fashioned, American food? You can’t beat Clydes, in the Verizon Center. Get yourself a crab cake!

Looking for old school Italian that feels like old DC? I once saw James Carville and Mary Matalin eating in Tosca, and many years later, this classic formal spot is still going strong, which is impressive knowing how dynamic this restaurant scene is.

I could go on forever! But there’s only so many meals in the day. Check out Eater DC for more cuisines, places off the beaten path, and places so new and hot I haven’t even been able to check them out yet.


Today’s guest blogger is Diana Price. Diana wrote this piece as a member of the ALSC Local Arrangements committee .

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