The 5 Best Restaurants That Opened in DC This Summer

From breakfast tacos to date night

Oak Steakhouse
A steak dinner at Oak Alexandria
By Austa Somvichian-Clausen / August 27, 2019 1:09 pm

To keep tabs on every Washington, DC restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have recently swung wide their doors. Bon appétit.

Shilling Canning Company

Shilling Canning Company
Navy Yard

You’re here because: It’s date night, and one of the best meals you’ve had in the city was at The Dabney — Chef Reid Shilling’s old stomping grounds. 

You’re dining on: Farm-to-table modern Midatlantic fare. Think littleneck clams from their Chesapeake raw bar, catfish toast with bay seasoning, and game meats like quail prepared in a wood-fired oven.

360 Water Street SE (Map)

Republic Cantina

Republic Cantina
Truxton Circle

You’re here because: You’re looking for a better morning pick-me-up on your way to work than just another coffee-shop croissant, and that’s where breakfast tacos come in. 

You’re dining on: Their rave-review breakfast tacos, with made-from-scratch flour tortillas and filled with satisfying stuffings like eggs and brisket, bacon or potatoes. If you’re feeling wild some morning, try their pairing of espresso and Mexican Coke.

43 N Street NW (Map)

Oak Steakhouse

Oak Steakhouse

You’re here because: You’ve got an occasion to impress or celebrate — whether that means a promotion at work or out-of-town guests. Make a day of it and head to Old Town Alexandria early to shop and walk the waterfront. 

You’re dining on: Well, steak of course. A former Bourbon Steak sous chef, Chef Joseph Conrad, heads up the kitchen at this contemporary steakhouse, which is part of a chain originally from Charleston. Perhaps the best part of Oak, though, is that meat eaters won’t have to feel guilty bringing vegetarian guests to a steakhouse, as there are plenty of produce-forward mains on the menu.

901 N St Asaph St, Alexandria, VA (Map)

The Eastern

The Eastern
Eastern Market

You’re here because: You’re a whiskey drinker trying to get into that whole wine thing. The Eastern is just the ticket for new wine drinkers or anyone wanting to try something a little new. Spend an afternoon perusing Eastern Market and then head over for some vino to dispel the Sunday scaries. 

You’re dining on: Nibbles like Pimento cheese with charcuterie bread, or meatier dishes like Lamb Albondigas and Scallops with brown butter sauce if you’re on the hungrier side. The wine list is laid out in an approachable “if you like” format that makes ordering a glass or two a snap

360 7th St SE (Map)

Sloppy Mamas
(Scott Suchman/Instagram/@sloppymamas)

Sloppy Mama’s BBQ

You’re here because: You know Sloppy Mama’s serves up some of the best barbecue in the city, and you’re excited that they finally got a permanent playground of their own. Bring the whole family for dinner, there’s plenty of room.

You’re dining on: Come for the crowd favorites they got famous for, like pulled pork sandwiches, smoked brisket and mac-n-cheese — stay for new menu items like homemade jalapeño-and-cheese sausages.

5731 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA (Map)