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Diners' Choice: Innovative restaurants in Washington, D.C. Area

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Updated February 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are fit for foodies in Washington, D.C. Area? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Two Nine restaurant
4.9 (29)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
Kaiseki-Sushi Omakase Pop Up experience Georgetown, D.C. in the Tucked away food hall at the grace street collective. Curating a meal with hints of Hawaiian ingredients, flavor profiles and hospitality lead by Chef Zachary Ramos. Highlighting local produce from Karma Farm and Moon Valley Farm, Maryland. Seasonal seafood imported overnight from Toyosu Market located in Tokyo, Japan which will make every experience a new one every single time.

Our Tea Service is handled by Thomas Chen.
Seasonal Sake pairing curated by our very own Sake Scholar/Sommelier Louie Anne Batac-Nguyen.

First Seating at 5:30 P.M.
Second Seating at 7:30 P.M.
17 courses/$180 per person.
Sake Pairing/$80 per person.

*Service charge, tax and tip does not apply.

Top review
Dined 5 days ago
Perfect real Japamese experience mastering delicacy and flavors. One of a kind experience.
A photo of Almeda restaurant
4.9 (33)
$31 to $50
About the restaurant
Welcome to Almeda, where Chef Danielle Harris invites you on a culinary journey that explores and celebrates the rich tapestry of the diaspora. Born and raised in the vibrant city of Cleveland, Ohio, Chef Danielle brings 16 years of professional cooking expertise to every dish. Almeda is more than just a restaurant; it's a reflection of Chef Danielle's passion for blending diverse flavors, traditions, and stories into a harmonious dining experience. From the heart of the Midwest to your plate, Almeda is a testament to the artistry of cuisine and the power of food to connect us across borders and cultures. Join us in savoring the unique flavors and culinary artistry that define Chef Danielle's inspired creations at Almeda.
Top review
Dined 2 days ago
Small menu but lovely variety in dishes and amazing flavors. Tasty drinks. Warm layout. Would absolutely go back!
A photo of NUE restaurant
4.7 (328)
$50 and over
Falls Church
About the restaurant
Nue is a place of peaceful elegance, where food is deeply contemplated and the unique flavors of Vietnam are celebrated. In addition to offering a wide variety of traditional dishes, Nue will also feature art and cultural events that aim to educate and engage customers in the vibrant history and diversity of Vietnam.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Everything was perfect this time around. The fish was so good and our water was on point with being attentive but not too chatty. Tips: order the XL size fish, twice we order the L size and we’re disappointed. The wonton, octopus, new years dragon drinks (we ordered all 4 except for the water dragon, will need to come back for it) we’re so yummy. The egg rolls was just okay though.
A photo of China Chilcano restaurant
4.6 (3370)
$31 to $50
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
China Chilcano celebrates the rich culinary diversity of Peru and brings an exciting exploration of this multicultural cuisine to our Nation’s Capital. The restaurant, led by award-winning chef José Andrés, honors Peru’s deeply rooted and diverse heritage, including its native Criollo, Chinese Chifa and Japanese Nikkei cuisines; its name an homage to Peru’s renowned fish stew and its popular national drink, the Chilcano.
Top review
Dined 2 days ago
Consistently awesome. This is one of my go-to choices.
A photo of PLANTA, Bethesda restaurant
4.6 (93)
$31 to $50
About the restaurant
Under Chef David Lee, PLANTA is dining as it should be- an un-guilty pleasure. Created in 2016, PLANTA is a celebration of delicious and innovative plant-based cuisine served in a beautifully designed space, without pretension and with an overflow of good vibes. PLANTA Bethesda offers signatures like Ahi Watermelon Nigiri and Bang Bang Broccoli while expanding on the plant-powered menu, offering even more in the way of Sushi, Pizza, sustainably-crafted cocktails, and more. PLANTA reimagines and reinvents plant-based dining, providing flavorful (and fun) proof the the power of plants can change the world.

For Parties larger the 8, please contact hellobethesda@plantahq.com

GETTING HERE: The closest private garage is just next to restaurant and can be entered from ELM Street. We are also a 5 minute walk from Bethesda Metro (Red Line)

Top review
Dined on Feb 13, 2024
I love meeting friends for lunch here. We can share apps and have a wonderful time in a pretty restaurant. Service and food are great.
A photo of The Bazaar by José Andrés - DC restaurant
4.6 (330)
$50 and over
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
Set in the Waldorf Astoria Washington DC, The Bazaar is the culmination of a 30-year dream for Chef José Andrés. Drawing inspiration from this iconic location, which first opened in 1899 and served as DC’s General Post Office until 1914, The Bazaar is a multi-level destination reinvented with avant-garde and Americana-inspired decor.
Top review
Dined 2 days ago
Innovative, beautiful atmosphere, absolutely delicious.
A photo of Tonari restaurant
4.5 (262)
$31 to $50
Penn Quarter
About the restaurant
Tonari is our Wafu Italian restaurant. WAFU means Japanese-style, so our menu is a Japanese take on Italian food. It originated in Japan through the love that the Japanese had for Italian food but wanted to incorporate some of their cultural flavors and ingredients to them. We at Daikaya Group and chef & owner, Katsuya Fukushima, are bringing this experience to you here in DC.

Looking for some fun Japanese antipasti bites, one of a kind pasta dishes, or pizza that you won't find anywhere else in the city? Then come join us for dinner, we look forward to having you soon.

Top review
Dined 1 day ago
Amazing food, everything is shareable if you like to eat family style like we do. The Okonomiyaki pizza was the group favorite. Service was excellent, from the hostess to the server, bartender and food runners, everyone was so welcoming and kind. We brought two small kids and there was a lot of toddler friendly and baby-led weaning options. I do wish they had a baby changing table in the bathroom though.
A photo of Maiz64 restaurant
4.5 (321)
$31 to $50
Logan Circle
About the restaurant
Brunch & Dinner
In the best area of 14th Street, modern homage to authentic Mexican Cuisine, featuring local ingredients that result in exquisite and vibrant creations.

It´s all about the corn - the maiz - at this upscale Mexican stunner. Four kinds are turned into fresh masa daily for the tacos, tamales, and other corn-bassed essentials, and even the art on the walls is corn-themed.

Vegetables and fish are one of the Chef's great specialties, including tuna tostada and yellow ceviche, culminating with the traditional catch of the day.

Mezcal Room an extensive bar downstairs, we have a lot of Mexican spirits, including most famous Oaxacan beverage mezcal. There’s a wide spectrum of mezcals, with dozens of flavors ranging

We are a universe of colors, of textures, of flavors; the print of hands worn down legends that draw the magic of a culture willing to be discovered.

Top review
Dined 4 days ago
We loved everything about Maize64. Warm and welcoming, delicious fresh cuisine, chill ambiance, knowledgeable and smooth service.
A photo of Punch Bowl Social - Arlington restaurant
4.5 (38)
$30 and under
About the restaurant
Punch Bowl Social, Proud Hosts of the Unexpected, brings people together for one-of-a-kind food, fun, first-rate hospitality, and entertainment. Scratch kitchens, craft cocktails, social gaming, DJs, and live music in eclectic and creatively designed spaces provide the perfect setting for exceptional experiences. Whether you’re looking to have a fabulous night out with friends or want to host an unforgettable event, Punch Bowl Social has got it covered.
Top review
Dined on Jan 21, 2024
They need more servers. We tried to get someone to take our order for drinks/food for 30+ minutes and were never greeted even after multiple times being told "someone will be over." I get its a busy bar but for a Saturday night they need to be better staffed. We were able to finally get an order at the bar and food and drinks were great!
A photo of Kreole restaurant
3.4 (43)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
Seafood Experience “Where the Dirty South Meets the Far East”​

Kreole is a seafood experience that blends the vibrant flavors of Creole and Asian cuisine, offering a unique dining experience that excites and delights taste buds. Located in Fairfax, VA, Kreole promises a culinary journey that celebrates bold flavors and pays homage to two distinct culinary traditions, providing guests with an unforgettable dining adventure.

Guests are invited to choose from an array of delectable seafood options, including King Crab, Snow Crab, Blue Crab, Dungeness Crab, Lobster, Crawfish, Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, or Oysters, allowing them to tailor their dining experience to their preferences.

Top review
Dined on Jan 12, 2024
Really great food, really great service. We did a selection of apps for a table of 3 rather than full meals. Strongly recommend the Deviled Eggs (my favorite). Large portions of soup and most apps. Environment felt more fast casual than formal, despite the traditional-service-type menu and pricing. Otherwise, no complaints. Comparable prices to other nice restaurants in Mosaic (~$12-16 apps, $9 glasses of wine, etc).
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