Time to Explore.....


I know I've been MIA for a while, and I have zero excuses. Life’s been an adventure for the past year and a half from graduating from university to moving to DC for a year, and then moving back home to New Jersey to work on my own startup, with lots of travel in between. And to top it off, I just moved to San Francisco last week! I guess now will be the time to determine which coast is the best coast ;).

The past few weeks have called for some self reflection and thus I became a little nostalgic of my amazing time in DC. Now that I’ve moved to SF and my followers are again bombarded with more stories on my dining experiences (because why not?), I thought I’d share my favorite list from the D.C.

So what is this "restaurant guide"? It's simply my take on my favorite eateries around town. I want this to be a place to share some of my favorite restaurants and what I personally think my fellow readers should try.

I’m only listing the places that I think are worth the visit, with what I ordered on the menu for breakfast, brunch, drunch, lunch, linner, dinner, happy hour, etc… you get my point. Places not shown below or not listed in the bulleted list also provided at the end are either unvisited or simply just not my fave (sorry not sorry). 

Well here goes. This only takes care of DC for now, during my stay there from July 2017 to July 2018. Oh and by the way, here's how it works. I'll mention the place I dined at, sorted in no particular oder, and will list the dishes I ordered during my visit(s). The ones in bold are particularly my favorite and take it as you will, but I would highly recommend you try it out. Click on the image to be redirected to the restaurant website. Enjoy!


Washington DC Dining

Washington, D.C. the US Capitol, is one of a kind place. I had a great year (383 days to be exact) here from dining at over 130+ restaurants to meeting some amazing people and making lifelong friends.

The following are quite a few restaurants that I've dined at and like in DC. DC has lots to offer when it comes to food, so let's consider this the young DC bucket list of must-try places. You’ll even get to learn my favorite spot to cure hangovers!

P.S. During the year I stayed there, I only visited six restaurants more than once. Now that’s something. :)

BARcelona wine bar - 14th st

My ALL time favorite! This is the one place I’ve repeated 50+ times in the 383 days I lived in DC. Definitely go for their half-priced wine Mondays, and do try their table bread (to die for), bacon-wrapped dates, patatas bravas, Paella Mariscos, Hanger Steak, Seared Cauliflower, Albondigas, or Chorizo with Sweet & Sour Figs.


Going on a date? Love some good homey Italian food? Well this place has it all. Check out their Penne alla Norcina and Saffron Taglierini. House bread is also yumm. Highly recommend if you’re craving some Italian.

Tiger fork

Looking for a late night bite? Need to feel that you’ve been transported to Hong Kong for a bit? Craving some dim sum? This place comes in my top 5. Do devour their Fried Rice, Char Siu Plate, Pork Ribs, Sweet & Sour Eggplant, Triple “B” Fried Chicken (omg), Cold Dan Dan Noodles, the BBQ Plate Combo, and whatever the Market Fish is for the day. The whole fish comes crispy- need I say more? To top it all off, you must get their Bubble Waffle. It’s ice cream and “fun-stuff'“.

toki underground

My mouth is watering as I write this, but oh my goodness everything here was SO good. I’m not even going to waste time talking about this place- I’m just going to get to it.

Order the Fried Chicken Steamed Buns, Red Miso ramen, Taipei Curry Chicken ramen, Fried Chicken Tan Tan Mien noodles, the Abura Tsukemen noodles, and the Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I really want those cookies right now, but too bad I’m on a detox (vegan, gluten free, and more) diet at the moment. Yikes!

Compass rose

Enjoy street-style food inspired from around the world. Check out their delicious cheese-filled bread Khachapuri hailing from Georgia and their Peruvian Lomo Saltado.


Known best for it’s bottomless brunch aka “drunch”. Check it out on a weekend, but make sure to make a reservation beforehand. Their happy hour is also bomb af. My favorites include Huevos Con Bistec (hanger steak), Pintxos Morunos (lamb skewers), Dåtiles Con Beicon (almond and blue cheese stuffed dates), Croquetas Cremosas (ham and mushroom croquetes), Patatas Bravas (crispy potatoes), Pan Con Tomate (grilled bread rubbed with tomato), and Albondigas (lamb meatballs).

bad saint

One of my best friends and I were super lucky to get a spot here. Twas’ a late Sunday night, 10 minutes before closing. Nevertheless, we got a table and enjoyed delicacies from the Philippines. Go during the day, and you may have to stand in a long long line. But if you’re lucky enough, try any of one of their dishes from their Vegetables, Fish, and Meat sections. If I had more space in my stomach that night, I would have tried everything on their menu. You can’t go wrong, trust me.

bantam KINg

Not gonna lie but this place was my hangover cure go-to. This converted Burger King’s staff frequently saw me here on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Something about their ramen was a better remedy than any Pedialyte, 5 advil liqui-gels, or PartySmart could ever fix. Two things, chicken ramen (wow) and fried chicken (double wow). Order any of their ramens- my favorite is Spicy Miso Ramen with an extra spice bomb. And truth be told, but the Fried chicken Plate (either dark or white meat) is a must. Chicken fat drippings on white bread, and a spicy fried chicken - could having a hangover get any better? To top it off, they’ve even got a veggie ramen, too!


Who knew you could find Afghani cuisine in DC?! The best part of Lapis is not only it’s authenticity of it’s food’s flavors, but also in it’s decor. Need to escape DC for a bit, while staying kind to the wallet? Come right in! Check out Lapis’ afghan dumplings, lamb tikka, buranee banjan (eggplant), morgh korma stew, sambosa trio, and bolani (cripsy flatbread).


Voted the #2 best Restaurant in America. And who knew it would be in DC!?

Well Marhaba! Come here for some Middle Eastern and North African delights.

My favorites especially were the Fatoush Salad, Halloumi, Muhamarra Spread (walnut, red pepper, and pomegranate molasses omg yumm), and the aleppo and the saffron lamb kebabs,

A+ for decor as well. Now I can see why it’s been rated so highly.

momofuku ccdc

This was the first place where the DC UN was formed. If you know, you know ;)

Come here with a group of friends for a pleasing meal. The menu here changes quite often so get at least one type of the Bing bread (the one with black truffle dip is yum), and one dish from family style. I promise you it’ll be worth it (even if you’re a ‘table for 2’).

If you’re craving some cereal milk ice cream or crack cake, you’ve got it right next door. Heaven couldn’t get any closer.

brothers and sisters or spoken english (the Line dc hotel)

The LINE DC Hotel is a catch. You can get the ambiance of a bar with a hip crowd (and even devour some yummy bar snacks with creative cocktails), a meal in the middle of the hotel lobby (i’m not embarrassed stuffing a burger twice the size of my hand into my mouth), or venture to the inside for a standing restaurant filled with surprises.

Spoken English: Wagyu Short Rib, Caviar, Chicken Skin Dumpling, or the Carabinero Prawn.

Brothers and Sisters: the menu has changed a bit but the constants remaining are the Beef Short Rib Burger (see reference above) and The London cake.

Bar (cocktails): The Reboot, I used to be named Sherlock Holmes But I Have Matured, To Adam’s Morgan and Beyond

rose’s luxury

They say you have to be really lucky to get a table here. And luckily for me and the gals, a good friend of ours hooked it up.

The menu here changes very often but I promise you it won’t disappoint. Literally order anything that suits your fancy (and then let me know how it went!).

tail up goat

Oh this meal has such great memories. In addition to it being one of the last meals my co-founder and I had in DC, we were treated by one of the owners of the restaurants, who also happened to know a ton about Cornell and the Fingerlakes wines!

The menu here is different every. single. night.

Seriously though, you’ll love it. I’ll let you in on a secret too: I still have the receipt and the wine bottle (now empty of course) from that meal. Told you it was special!


Dim sum brunch and lamb noodles. Literally the first two things that pop up when I think of Maketto. Oh and for those of you who love fash-un, check out the hip store adjacent with the restaurant.

Dining and shopping all in one!

Include the following in your order: Spicy Lamb Noodles, Maketto Fried Chicken, Shanghai Potsticker Buns (Pork), and any of their baos or dumplings.

Here’s a non-descriptive list (in addition to the top 15 above) of places that should also be included in your to-do’s! (I may or may not have gotten lazy to write more. I was just so excited to share!) Click on the name to be redirected to their website:

  • baan thai (thai authenticity at its finest)

  • poca madre (modern mexican + cannabis infused mezcal, need i say more?)

  • le diplomate (your typical, and delicious of course, parisian brunch)

  • Columbia room (rated the best american cocktail bar!)

  • bresca (go for the creative cocktails)

  • Lavagna (I spent anti-valentine’s day here with my besties so you know it’s good)

  • taco bamba (yummy tacos at the right price)

  • peking pavilion (authentic chinese, no fake stuff here, so yummy and spicy)

  • CHLOE (imaginative international cuisine, oysters are a must try)