Adams Morgan has a reputation as Washington D.C.'s party neighborhood. The quirky enclave with 19th- and early 20th-century row houses and apartment buildings has been home to bars and nightclubs for decades. But this area of the city is a great restaurant destination as well.
Cuisine here spans the globe from Japanese to French to Ethiopian. In addition to neighborhood classics (like Jumbo Slice), there's been an influx of newer restaurants in recent years from top local chefs. Here are 10 dining ideas from pastries at a cozy coffee shop to farm-to-table dining at a cutting-edge hotel.
This tiny, affordable restaurant serves up satisfying Japanese comfort food. Head to Donburi for Japanese rice bowls like katsudon (pinko-coated pork sirloin), curry karaagedon (soy sauce-marinated chicken), sakedon (salmon sashimi with fresh wasabi), and chashudon (braised pork belly). There's frozen sake on the drinks menu too at Donburi, along with Kirin drafts.
This cash-only pizza place at 234118th St. NW is truly an Adams Morgan institution. You'll see a line here at last call as partiers grab a late night snack. It's a big snack: these slices are so massive that one plate can barely hold them. Consider this a tourist must if you're out on 18th Street late.
People who are serious about burgers need to add Lucky Buns to their itinerary. The newish spot serves up more than 10 different burger options, including some unique ones like a burger with green hatch chile relish and queso fresco. There are even different French fry seasonings and dips, like curry sauce or cotija crema.
This cozy French bistro from chef Cedric Maupillier is hugely popular for brunch. Think Belgian waffles with Champagne strawberry compote, Croque Monsieurs, stacks of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, or a radish and tomato tartine with whipped goat cheese. The restaurant's also a great stop for a happy hour cocktail at its charming bar.
Roofers Union is a huge restaurant with a first floor bar, a spacious second floor dining room, and a third floor rooftop featuring beautiful views of Adams Morgan's streetscape. On the menu, find crowd-pleasers like potato chips with French onion dip, sausages on pretzel rolls, and fried chicken sandwiches. The beer list here is expansive.
Get a ramen fix at this local restaurant, which also serves steamed buns with all sorts of toppings and mochi ice cream for dessert. Sakuramen offers seven different types of ramen, from its signature vegetarian ramen to a spicy miso or a meat lover's bowl filled with extra Berkshire pork belly chashu and ribeye bulgogi.
Craving a beer and barbecue? Go no further than this wood-paneled bar, which specializes in smoked pork and brisket. Find a rotating selection of 24 draft beers along with craft cans and bottles and a wide array of whiskey. Smoke & Barrel is also known for its vegetarian and vegan items, which means there's something for everyone.
This is a neighborhood spot for Adams Morgan residents who love food. The acclaimed Tail Up Goat serves dishes like carrot ravioli, tagliatelle amatriciana, and whole stuffed fish with asparagus stuffing. The eatery is from a team of D.C. dining pros who formerly worked at spots like Komi, one of D.C.'s most acclaimed restaurants.
The Line opened inside a buzzy motel (also formerly a 110-year-old former Adams Morgan house of worship) with much fanfare in 2018. There are three different restaurants, a bar, and a coffee shop within The Line. Try Baltimore chef Spike Gjerde's completely mid-Atlantic-focused A Rake’s Progress; or DC chef Erik Bruner-Yang's intimate, standing-only restaurant Spoken English and his fanciful cafe Brothers & Sisters (which serves up octopus hot dogs and beef short rib burgers).
Consider this D.C.'s version of Friends' Central Perk coffee house. The very cozy Tryst is about to celebrate 20 years in Adams Morgan. Grab a seat on a couch along with the regulars here for a Death by Chocolate Waffle and lavender hot chocolate. Tryst's sister restaurant The Diner next door is also very popular for brunch.