Local Dining Hotspots in the Capital Region USA

For memorable dining experiences, visit these distinctive dining spots favoured by locals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington, DC
Ben’s Chili Bowl - home of Washington, DC's signature dish, the chili half-smoke
Smith Island Cake
Smith Island Cake - Maryland's Official State Dessert (Photo credit: Clark Vandergrift)
Outdoor dining on King Street, Alexandria, VA
Historic Downtown Alexandria has several popular neighbourhood restaurants to choose from
Dupont Circle Farmers Market in Washington, DC (Photo credit: FRESHFARM Markets)
Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, Maryland
Crab Claw Restaurant, delectable fresh seafood on the waterfront in St. Michaels, Maryland (photo credit: Richard Norwitz)
Can Can, a casual French bistro and a favourite with locals in Richmond's Carytown neighbourhood
Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington, DC
Smith Island Cake
Outdoor dining on King Street, Alexandria, VA
Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, Maryland

Memorable meals await at the Capital Region's top restaurants!

Washington, DC

Sample the fresh flavours of the season at one of DC’s farmers markets, where you'll find fresh food, entertainment and atmosphere. On weekends, Eastern Market on Capitol Hill is the place to go for produce, flowers, meats and cheeses, along with arts and antiques. Eastern Market packs a crowd on Saturday mornings for decadent blueberry pancakes. Capitol Hill staffers and locals come together after work at Capitol Lounge to take advantage of daily happy hour specials like half-price pizza and 25-cent wings.

Seafood lovers can sample the catch of the day or feast on fried oysters and crab cakes at the Maine Avenue fish market in DC’s Southwest neighbourhood.

Downtown, support local agriculture with dinner at eco-friendly Equinox, or feast on oysters with locals at the Old Ebbitt Grill, just one block from the White House.

In and around U Street, foodies won’t want to miss a visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl, home of DC’s signature dish, the chili half-smoke. Share a conversation over food and drink at Busboys & Poets, a restaurant, bookstore and gathering place.

Around Dupont Circle, beer lovers won’t want to miss a visit to Bier Baron, which boasts more than 600 beers from around the world. You can dine on fresh seafood from the Chesapeake Bay at Hank’s Oyster Bar.

Maryland

The Crab Claw Restaurant overlooking the St. Michaels harbour offers fresh local seafood and produce and is a great spot to savour the famous hot and spicy Maryland Blue Crabs.

On Smith Island, The Bayside Inn Restaurant features some of the best seafood on the Eastern Shore, not to mention the famous 10-layer Smith Island chocolate cake, the official cake of Maryland.

Lenny’s Restaurant in St. Mary’s County is where southern Marylanders go for the regional specialty, Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham.

If you’re near Annapolis, head to Cantler’s Riverside Inn. Cantler's prepares steamed Maryland blue crabs, clams, oysters, shrimp and fish, all served piping hot and ready to enjoy in an atmosphere reminiscent of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay heritage.

Baltimore’s Café Hon offers delicious home-style cooking in the heart of the happening Hampden neighbourhood. Hon, short for Honey, is a Baltimore term of endearment. Bertha’s Bar and Restaurant, a landmark in the Fell's Point neighbourhood of Baltimore since the 1970s, is known for its mussels, ale and jazz. Once a speakeasy in the 1920s, the Owl Bar, located in Mount Vernon’s historic Belvedere building, features tempting drink specials during its popular happy hour. While visiting the Baltimore Museum of Art, dine at Gertrude’s. Its décor and menu is inspired by the flavours of the Chesapeake Bay.

Virginia

A culinary visit to Virginia would be incomplete without some Smithfield ham. Smithfield Station is famous for its "Tournedos Christina" which combines beef tenderloin medallions over a slice of Smithfield Ham, topped with fresh lump backfin crabmeat and béarnaise sauce all cooked to order.

Tempo Restaurant is one of Alexandria's best-kept secrets. This elegant, but unpretentious, neighbourhood restaurant is where the locals dine. Tempo's menu displays a blend of northern Italian and French cuisine, featuring fresh seafood.

Brookside Restaurant is a favourite of travellers and locals. Located near the Shenandoah National Park headquarters and just seven miles east of Luray Caverns, former First Lady Michelle Obama, her mother and daughters enjoyed lunch here.

At the Galax Smokehouse, you'll see the "who's who" of the locals hanging out at lunch. With fantastic prices, great service and award-winning barbecue, the Smokehouse is one of Galax's favourite restaurants!

Located in Cape Charles on the Chesapeake Bay, AQUA offers the freshest seafood, exquisite meats and pasta, all complemented by local produce of the Eastern Shore.

The award-winning Charlotte Hotel and Restaurant in Onancock on Virginia’s Eastern Shore features creative American cuisine with products supplied by local watermen and farmers.

You’re sure to mix with the locals at one of Virginia’s diners. The term "diner" came from railroad dining cars, and many of the diners across Virginia operate out of converted train and trolley cars.

 

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Wine & Cuisine