Experience Asian Cuisines Around the DC Area
As the “capital of the free world,” Washington DC is home to many diverse populations and cuisines. In honor of Asian Pacific American heritage I want to take you on a dining tour to taste local favorites for Asian and fusion food! Read on to discover recommendations for East and Southeast Asian restaurants in DC and beyond.
Delicious Dishes in DC
Let’s start with Chinese — although DC’s Chinatown can’t rival those of other major U.S. cities, there are still good restaurants to check out around the city. Experience “hot and numbing spice” (má là) at Sichuan Pavilion on K Street, or enjoy homemade boiled dumplings at Dumplings & Beyond on Wisconsin Ave. Pork and napa is a traditionally enjoyed stuffing, but with so many varieties, why not try them all?
For Japanese food, you can’t go wrong at Izakaya Seki in Cardozo – order whatever daily specials are on the menu. Hando Medo in Logan Circle serves up cheap and delicious hand rolls and sashimi; try the eel and tuna. If you’re craving ramen, two crowd favorites are Daikaya next to the Capital One Arena (try the Shio) and Toki Underground on H St. (try the Toki Classic). Be prepared to wait at in line, but both have prime locations with plenty to explore nearby.
Experience unique Laotian flavors at Thip Khao on 14th St in Columbia Heights. Take your taste buds on a journey from light and refreshing to intensely spicy; I recommend the Naem Khao salad. For Korean, try the dol sot bibimbap or any tasty appetizers at Mandu in Mount Vernon Triangle. Momofuku in CityCenterDC is another crowd favorite although pricey, it draws inspiration from a mix of Asian cuisines; be sure to get the birthday truffles at Milk Bar next door for dessert.
Finally, for the ultimate Vietnamese comfort food, go to Pho 75 in Rosslyn, Virgina. This one is technically outside of DC, but is easily accessible without a car so we’ll let it slide. Best enjoyed on chilly days or after a night out, this noodle soup will warm your soul. Remember to stop by an ATM as this location only accepts cash.
Although Asian-Americans make up 3% of the DC city population, they make up 10% of the DC, Virginia and Maryland metropolitan area population – hence why many of the best restaurants lie outside the city! If you have a car, I highly recommend taking a food tour around the Capital Beltway.
Head west to Falls Church, Virginia for some authentic and tasty Peking Duck at the renowned Peking Gourmet Inn. Stop up the road at Eden Center, home to a thriving Vietnamese-American community. Try classic Vietnamese dishes at Huong Viet or Rice Paper and follow with custard buns or bubble tea at one of the many bakeries. If you’re feeling hot pot, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot allows you to cook at your table.
Venture south to the Korean-American stronghold of Annandale, Virginia where you’ll find The Block, a trendy Pan Asian food court. Try Hawaiian poke at Pokeworks and Snocream for dessert – you can take a picture with their adorable bus (their first location) outside. Feeling extra hungry? Kogiya Korean barbeque offers an all-you-can-eat option with a variety of meats to choose from. For vegetarian-friendly options, get the soondubu tofu soup at Lighthouse Tofu; careful with which spice level you ask for!
Craving Thai? Take 495 to Mosaic District in Merrifield, Virginia and visit Sisters Thai. This hip, cozy restaurant serves up classic Thai noodles, salads, and curries along with a selection of Thai street foods.
Lastly, cross the Potomac River into Rockville, Maryland for Chinese options. Try morning dim sum dishes at A&J Restaurant or steamed xiaolongbao dumplings at Bob’s Shanghai 66. Stop by Peter Chang Restaurant to try food from the famous award-winning chef, formerly employed by the Chinese Embassy. Finish your meal at 520 Ice Cream & Tea for Thai-style rolled ice-cream or Kung Fu Tea for a dizzying selection of customizable bubble tea.
DC is home to a myriad of cuisines. Regardless of where you go, plenty of tasty
adventures await beyond the monuments! Venture and enjoy all the diversity that the metro area has to offer.
To access more information about local restaurants, unique attractions, and special offers in Washington DC, visit our Destination Guide, or explore Hilton properties in Washington DC below.
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