With its cobblestone streets, tony retail shops, and stately historic homes, Georgetown is Washington, D.C.'s oldest neighborhood and a top destination for residents and visitors alike. It's also a top spot for diners, who will find hidden romantic courtyards, laid-back pubs, and large waterfront patios offering sweeping views of the Potomac and every kind of fare, from high-end Italian coastal cuisine to no-frills pub classics.
Finicky eaters, children, and even vegetarians will find something to eat in the neighborhood, from Mexican-style vegetarian at Chaia Tacos to Neopolitan wood-fired pizzas at il Canale, and assorted American grill classics like burgers and sandwiches at Georgetown institution Clyde's. For a splurge, opt for seafood at one of President Obama's favorite spots—Fiola Mare—or an intimate dinner at the French bistro Chez Billy Sud.
Other Georgetown standouts include the neighborhood's oldest saloon, a Jewish style deli serving New York City-style bagels, and the seasonally-inspired American restaurant Farmers, Fishers, and Bakers.
Fiola Mare's waterfront locale in Georgetown is the perfect setting for the restaurant's seasonal, Italian coastal cuisine executed by chef Fabio Trabocchi. Come for the signature seafood tower, loaded with favorites like East and West coast oysters, hamachi, and ceviche. Stay for the raw bar, lobster ravioli, and grilled options like Mediterranean branzino and big-eye tuna and the occasional A-list sighting: President Obama once celebrated his birthday here, and Pierce Brosnan is also a fan.
This trendy Italian-style cafe in Georgetown is the place to see and be seen, where you'll find everyone from local power brokers to celebrities like LeBron James. Dine on the sidewalk patio or indoors, where colorful murals celebrating notable Italians are the perfect backdrop for slowly sipping a Bellini or glass of sparkling wine while dining on pizzas, salads, pasta, and classic Italian entrees like Branzino del Mediterraneo.
Call Your Mother Deli
This self-described "Jew-ish" spot is a go-to for wood-fired bagels and other deli favorites. Choose from 13 assorted bagel flavors ranging from sesame to poppy seed, which also form the basis of the outstanding sandwiches. Opt for the Pastrami Sun City, with Bodega-style local eggs, American and cheddar cheese, and spicy honey on an everything bagel. The colorful, '90s era-themed shop also offers a range of muffins and sweets, plus specialty coffees, teas, and sodas, and is open every day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Chez Billy Sud
This intimate bistro with a romantic courtyard and a mint-green, mirrored interior is one of the city's most romantic spots. Expect Southern French cuisine, with small plates like country-style pork pâté, escargots, smoked salmon rillettes, as well as mains ranging from a hearty tavern burger and steak frites to pan-roasted trout and cauliflower gnocchi. The French-focused wine list is exceptional, with options by the glass and bottle, and the cocktails are also stellar. Try the house Negroni or the restaurant's twist on the classic French 75, with bubbles, lemon, and elderflower liqueur. Don't sleep on the restaurant's sister wine bar next door. Bar à Vin is the perfect place to enjoy a pre- or post-dinner drink by the roaring fireplace.
Farmers, Fishers, Bakers
This Georgetown spinoff from the team behind Founding Farmers offers to same farm-fresh fare as the original. The extensive menu—which ranges from sushi, poke bowls, and mussel pots to burgers, pizzas, steaks, and fish and chips—is bound to please everyone in your dining party, and the restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Grab a patio table for stellar views of the waterfront.
Even non-vegetarians will love this plant-based spot's tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and other gluten-free, nut-free Mexican fare. The restaurant makes its own fresh-pressed corn tortillas, which are stuffed with options like creamy kale and potato with cheese or mushrooms and feta with red sauce. Top either with house-made cilantro-lime jalapeños or carrot habanero pepper sauce. Try one of the kombuchas on tap or a seasonal shrub.
Housed in a Federal-style building and filled with antiques, this historical restaurant is the perfect location for a special occasion meal or just a fancy night out. Small plates like American Wagyu tartare and butternut squash soup are divided into cold and hot options, while main dishes include a brioche-crusted halibut and sherry-glazed eggplant, all served with seasonally, locally sourced vegetables. The extensive wine collection is heavy on French and American varietals, with offerings by the glass and bottle.
This family-owned spot has been a neighborhood mainstay since 1933. In addition to serving all-day brunch, the menu includes an extensive list of soups and salads, tavern fare like a burger and shepherd's pie, plus hearty bar snacks like potato skins, petite crab cakes, and the Welsh rarebit, a sizzling skillet of beer-laced cheddar cheese served with toast. The size-able bar program offers cocktails, wine, beer, and pours of whisky, scotch, and other spirits.
Clyde's of Georgetown
Like its sister restaurants 1789 and Old Ebbitt Grill, the Clyde's Restaurant Group's flagship location is always worth a visit. The menu includes crowd-pleasing grill fare like burgers, sandwiches, and pasta, as well as local seafood favorites like jump lump crab cake and pan-seared scallops. Open seven days a week, the restaurant also serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Your order? The eggs Chesapeake, two poached eggs served with crab cake and brunch potatoes, doused in hollandaise sauce.
This butcher shop and deli serves some of the city's best sandwiches. Bring your appetite—or a friend—as the portions are huge. Opt for the 4 Meat Grinder, layered with generous portions of house-made salami, coppa, mortadella, and soppressata and topped with provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and house vinaigrette on striatta or the double-decker turkey avocado club, with smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, mayo, and sprouts. The deli also offers charcuterie, cheese, and sides like potato salad and coleslaw to go, perfect for a picnic at nearby Georgetown Waterfront Park.
The wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizzas and canal-adjacent location are sure to make this restaurant a hit with the whole family. Both white and red pies are made with organic flour, and some are available with gluten free crusts. Try the traditional Margherita or the diavola, with red sauce, imported Buffalo Mozzarella, spicy salami, parmesan, olive oil, basil, and the restaurant's signature blistering thin crust. The menu also includes starters like bruschetta and homemade focaccia bread, salads, pasta, secondi, and a large selection of Italian wines, and a dedicated kid's menu with options like meatballs and French fries, and organic pasta pomodoro.