The 5 Best DC Neighborhoods for Foodies

Posted on Jun 07, 2021

The rise of “foodie” culture has led to America's cities offering more culinary options than ever before. A once-a-month drive to Applebee's is no longer the go-to option for young couples and retirees alike: instead, living within walking distance of a good restaurant or cafe is now high on the “want” list when people are searching for a new home, and a new neighborhood.

DC might be America’s political capital, but it’s arguably a taste-making capital as well. Not only does it have 20 Michelin-star restaurants, but it is home to a variety of eclectic and experimental cuisine options that lend themselves to an exciting evening out. 

What Washington DC neighborhoods are ideal for foodies? Here’s where you should be looking to live.

Best DC Foodie Neighborhoods: Adams Morgan

Adams Morgan is an undeniable hotbed of DC energy. The neighborhood gained prominence in the 1950s when local residents called for desegregation, and today, it’s a diverse, thriving area of the city. The area is well-known for bar hopping and nightclubs and this may sometimes overshadow the amazing, affordable food options there. 

Although this neighborhood allows for easy access to downtown, there are so many good eating options you might rarely find yourself leaving once the workday is done. Swing from customized soup options at Sakuramen to the retro vibes of The Diner, which serves up delicious boozy milkshakes. 

  • Housing market: Rowhomes, apartment buildings, newer lofts
  • Median sales price: $636,250 (via Redfin)

Taste Test:

Best DC Foodie Neighborhoods: Shaw

The Shaw Neighborhood has all the makings of an up-and-coming trendy neighborhood, complete with deep historic roots. Locals are buzzing about the food scene here, and there are plenty of options available for exploratory diners. Walkability is a central feature of this neighborhood.  

The Shaw is a smorgasbord of culture and it’s easy to appreciate the mix of families who have been there for generations and new residents who are eager to become a part of this vibrant community.

  • Housing market: One-bedrooms are common here; condominiums and townhomes make up the majority of the housing stock
  • Median sale price: $775,000

Taste Test:

  • Dacha Beer Garden (dog friendly): Chicken schnitzel sandwich
  • San Lorenzo (Tuscan Italian): Fettuccine alla maremmana
  • The Dabney (Michelin star, hyperlocal sourcing, open-fire cooking): Grilled black bass
    Courtesy of San Lorenzo

Best DC Foodie Neighborhoods: Silver Spring/Takoma

For those who crave a more suburban lifestyle, Silver Spring MD is a good place for foodies. Year after year, downtown Silver Spring has continued to attract top restaurants and entertainment, and the foodies have followed. 

While this neighborhood may be considered the Washington DC suburbs, it’s really formed a reputation of its own thanks to its walkability, vibrant downtown culture, and small-town feel. Here you’ll find everything from a dog-friendly local brewery that serves amazing Brussel sprouts (Denizens Brewing Co.) to a coffee shop by day/rooftop club by night (Kaldi’s Social House). In other words: there’s something for everyone here.

  • Housing market: single-family homes are the norm here, with new condo buildings adding variety to the existing housing stock
  • Median sales price: $485,000 (Silver Spring) $610,000 (Takoma)

Taste Test:

  • Mandalay (Burmese): Gyinn Thoke ginger salad 
  • Cielo Rojo (Mexican): Drunken mushroom Enchilada with mole
  • Big Greek Cafe (Greek): Big Greek Feast
    Courtesy of Denizens Brewing Co.

Best DC Foodie Neighborhoods: Penn Quarter

If you’re looking for an action-packed neighborhood, Penn Quarter is for you. This high-energy slice of the city is home to plenty of contemporary cuisine options and there’s a place for everyone, whether you’re looking for the crème de la crème or a budget-friendly five-star option. This neighborhood borders DC’s Chinatown, allowing for some cultural infusion. Downtown is only 15 minutes away by subway. 

This is the right neighborhood for those craving an authentic urban experience, and local residents say it’s home to many of the top places to eat in Washington DC. 

  • Housing Market: condominiums and townhomes make up the majority of the housing stock.
  • Median sales price: $541,000

Taste Test:

  • Cranes (Spanish Japanese fusion): Try the Six-Course Omakase Menu
  • Fiola (Michelin Star Italian): Crabbing in Sicily 
  • Succotash (Southern with a Korean twist): Chicken and Waffles
    Courtesy of Cranes DC

Best DC Foodie Neighborhoods: 14th Street Corridor

The 14th Street Corridor - which transverses Logan Circle - is a hotbed of delicious food options. Once home to the city's Red Light District, the area has experienced one of the city's most dramatic revitalizations. Over the past several decades, 14th Street has grown from humble seeds into a blooming garden of culinary creativity. “The 14th Street corridor has become a gastro destination with many of DC's top restaurants located on the strip,” notes a local review on VryApt.

Stroll from the Little Leaf plant shop, succulent in hand, and stop to sample the international menu available at highly rated Compass Rose, before finishing things off with a cold treat from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.

  • Housing market: condominiums and townhomes make up the majority of the housing stock, though it's possible to find some larger single-family homes
  • Median sale price: $775,000

Taste Test:

  • Le Diplomate (French brasserie): Steak Au Poivre
  • Chicken + Whisky (Latin street food and whisky bar): Chicken with Yucca Fries 
  • Estadio (Spanish tapas): Shishito Peppers and Hanger Steak

Further Reading

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