With more than 700 new restaurants in the last five years, and more than a dozen semifinalists in the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards, Washington, D.C., is becoming a heavy hitter among foodie cities. The ethnic eats are aplenty as more than 180 embassies and consulates call the District home. Whether you opt for Peruvian chifles con salsa at chef Jose Andres’ newest outpost, China Chilcano, or Indian tandoori at restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s beloved Rasika, you won’t be disappointed. The Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s eateries are great for crowds, as many can accommodate a buyout—like the covered patio at Mediterranean-influenced Iron Gate—and offer tours, like industrial-chic craft brewery Blue Jacket, where groups can taste their way through two dozen beers. Celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s latest brasserie, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, opens into a beautiful courtyard patio across the street from the convention center.
> Tortilla Espanola with aioli and sweet hot peppers at Estadio
> Palak chaat (crispy spinach with sweet yogurt, tamarind and date chutney) at Rasika
> Mezze rigatoni with fennel sausage ragu at The Red Hen