(( PHOTOS AT BOTTOM OF POST )) I recently went on a trip to Washington, DC with some friends and I wanted to share the places we ate (& drank) at. Note that I had to compromise because one of my friends didn’t like a lot of foods 🙁 🙁 otherwise I’d have gotten Asian or Ethiopian or other cool foods way more often. Anyway, let’s get started! Listed in order of most fave to not-so-fave.
• Stone Tower Winery (website/yelp) – Leesburg, VA • I haven’t been to many wineries (although the ones I have been to were in Italy, so they’re pretty legit) but this place impressed me! A friend recommended it as the prettiest winery around and I am soo glad I have friends with good taste. I was in awe of the view here… We made reservations but didn’t need to, there was plenty of open tables on the weekday afternoon we went. We ordered a few glasses of wine (affordable at $12/glass and 13.5% alcohol!!!) and shared a fresh oven-baked pizza… Ahh, what a great afternoon!
• Mi Vida (website/yelp) – District Wharf • We decided to try this Mexican place after walking on the District Wharf, and I’m so glad we did! The steak tacos I got were soooo flavorful & tender, some of the best tacos I’ve ever had! Didn’t get anything else so I can’t tell you how anything else was, but I have a feeling everything else tastes great too.
• Rasika (website/yelp) – DC • This Indian place was a suggestion by a friend and SUCH A GOOD SUGGESTION! Everything was delicious, from our appetizer (some fried spinach) to entrees (I got two of the vegetarian ones, the spicy eggplant and mild cauliflower; friend got salmon and said it was the best she’s had on our trip). Service was also great, which was kinda a rarity on our trip tbh. I also received the most replies on my instagram stories about his place, apparently it’s a pretty well-known and respected Indian spot that everyone loves! It has 3k+ reviews on yelp and 4.5 stars average, that’s pretty impressive…
• Comet Ping Pong (website/yelp) – north DC • The place of #pizzagate, this place is where some qanon (before qanon was a thing?) thought Hillary Clinton was hiding a child sex ring in its basement and pulled a gun on the owners… Welp. Supposedly bc in so many of the leaked emails, they kept mentioning it to eat pizza at and ppl thought it was code for sex trafficking? LOL I didn’t know about this, we chose it bc a friend we met up with wanted an outdoor space that offered reservations on a weekend a day before we decided to go. It’s pretty far north in DC and we drove by tons of residential apartments, but I enjoyed this place a lot! The pizza was fresh and i loved the quirky vibes. I can lowkey see why someone thought they were hiding things in this place because it’s actually HUGE inside and the bathrooms are hidden in this stacked wood room and there is a backspace area even further back… Oh the tables inside are ping-pong table designed and come with a paddle, very cute. Not sex-ring. Recommend!
Service Bar (website/yelp) – DC • It got pretty cold after 6 in DC, so we were always on the lookout for spaces that had outdoor seating and heating. You’d think it’d be obvious to have heaters if you have outdoor seating, but some places didn’t! And were still fully booked! We were on the waitlist for about 30min which was totally worth it, because they had outdoor seating with some tarp to protect from the winds AND heaters. The drinks were great (I got the all day rosé and some gin drink) and so was the service. Totally recommend as a place to hang with friends! Closed at midnight.
Yu’s Noodles (website/yelp) – Fairfax, VA • I love noods and needed some, so we went here! I got their spicy beef noodle soup which had good flavor BUT the beef was not as thin/flavorful/tender as I would’ve liked. Their pan-fried chive dumplings were yummy, and my friend got the soup dumplings which were relatively HUGE and had tons of soup so that was a hit!
True food kitchen (website/yelp) – Mosaic District in Fairfax, VA • I was sooo happy when we came here bc it was the only healthy spot we’d been to our entire trip! Everything was freshly made, including their drinks (no soda!). I got a vegan bowl which was filling and healthy. It’s a chain and I wish I had a location near me! I’d try all the things.
Barley Mac (website/yelp) – Arlington, VA • I was SO excited to try this place as it was a recommendation and their website and Yelp had glowing reviews for the squid ink linguini and grilled octopus, both of which I love… So imagine my disappointment when they DID NOT HAVE EITHER OF THOSE DISHES. EVEN THOUGH BOTH WERE LISTED AS “LUNCH SPECIALS” ON THE MENU… AND WE WENT AT LUNCH. wtf?! It was even more ridiculous bc we weren’t notified of this until 30 minutes after we’d sat down and ordered… Like if we had been notified WHEN we ordered, we probably would’ve just gone elsewhere, but 30min after? Oh, and it took us forever to order alternate dishes because the service was so lacking, idk what was up with our waiter. We all ended up ordering an appetizer each (I got the brussel sprouts) which tbh were so delicious and the best sprouts ever… So yeah, I’d go back to this place even though the service sucked and they were out of 2/3 of their lunch special items because the food seemed pretty good 🙂
Nandos (website/yelp) – Mosaic District in Fairfax, VA • I’ve wanted to try Nando’s bc i’ve heard it mentioned in a lot of UK tv shows, they’re always going on about Nando’s chicken… I didn’t realize Nando’s is actually a South African chain?! I thought it was British! I’ve never had south african food so I was pretty excited, and I got 1/4 chicken with tons of sides bc i loved the selection (cauliflower, brussels, corn, fries) but actually the sides were bland af so I don’t recommend that. The chicken was so flavorful and juicy!! idk what peri-peri is, I assume it’s the sauce, but it tastes GREAT. Savory and not sweet or too salty. Mmmmm. I’d get 1/2 chicken next time and no sides.
Firepan Korean BBQ (website/yelp) Falls Church, VA • One of the few things we all like is Galbi korean bbq… OK so I realized AFTER the fact that Gyu-kaku is JAPANESE bbq so maybe that’s why I expected this place to be more marinated/flavorful in its meats??? I really liked the galbi but otherwise I found the flavor to be kinda bland. There’s a grill in front of you but the server cooked it for us upon request, idk I think I prefer Gyu-kaku just bc of the flavors. But it was good, just not as good as Gyu-kaku. Ok i’ll stop talking about Gyukaku now.
Mandu (website/yelp) DC • Soooo we had just gotten bubble tea so of course we were still working on it when we decided to eat dinner here. The hostess seated us at our table and then knocked over my bubble tea over part of the table, the chair, and mostly the floor. She doesn’t apologize, instead asking if I was “okay” and then proceeds to pretend that there’s not bubble tea everywhere… which I thought was weird and rude af. Our actual server was nice and I could tell she was eyeing the spill when she came. ALSO this place didn’t have outdoor heaters, and we had to request personal small heaters from them which only heated up 1-2 people so I was freezing on the other side. The food was okay, I got some bean noodle dish bc i wanted noodles but nothing to write home about (although something to write in a blog about I suppose). Overall I really did not like the hostess’s general vibe/lack of apologetic-ness and concern for my boba and would not rush to go back.
Mama tigre (website/yelp) – Oakton, VA • I had pretty high hopes for this after seeing its incredible Yelp reviews, and I can say that they’re all wrong. The food here sucks. I got steak tacos, and the steak was B U R N T. BURNT. On top of it, it was flavorless. I completely regret coming here. Oh and someone else got a fajita which looked SO good but the smoke wafted EVERYWHERE like INTENSE SMOKE, i was waiting for the smoke alarm to get set off… Recommend Mi Vida for Mexican instead (see above).