Must-Have Culinary Experiences

There are so many ways to treat your taste buds around Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland.

Oyster harvester in Virginia
Sample oysters fresh from the water at Pleasure House Oysters' farm in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington, DC
Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington, DC
The Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, Maryland
Experience a traditional Maryland crab feast along the Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail
Inn at Little Washington, Michelin restaurants, three stars, restaurants, Virginia, Capital Region USA, fine dining, destination restaurant, best restaurants, DC
Dine at one of the region's Michelin rated restaurants like the three star Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, shown here.
DC Metro Food Tours, Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, food tour, tour, dining, culinary, attractions, USA
Get a taste of the region with DC Metro Food Tours
Oyster harvester in Virginia
Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington, DC
The Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, Maryland
Inn at Little Washington, Michelin restaurants, three stars, restaurants, Virginia, Capital Region USA, fine dining, destination restaurant, best restaurants, DC
DC Metro Food Tours, Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, food tour, tour, dining, culinary, attractions, USA

Savouring fresh-out-of-the-water oysters off the half shell. Digging into an impeccable three-course meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Sampling local and ethnic specialties on an enlightening food tour. These are just a few of the incredible food experiences that await in America's Capital Region!

Sensational Local Seafood

The Virginia Oyster Trail and Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail are terrific ways to taste the region’s freshest coastal delights at multiple locations, whilst events like the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake (July) in Crisfield, Maryland, and Urbanna Oyster Festival (November) in Urbanna, Virginia, offer great opportunities to feast with the locals.

You can also learn how oysters are harvested at multiple farms along the Chesapeake Bay, including Pleasure House Oyster Farm Tours on the Lynnhaven River. And no trip is complete without a waterfront meal (or two). Nibble on freshly caught crab, oysters, shrimp and more amid peaceful views of Chesapeake Bay at Waterman’s Crab House in Rock Hall, Maryland; or discover Italian-style seafood dishes at Fiola Mare in Washington, DC, an upscale restaurant overlooking the Potomac River.

Follow the (Michelin) Stars

The area’s growing collection of celebrated Michelin-starred eateries is a testament to its impressive population of talented chefs. In fact, Virginia’s The Inn at Little Washington became the first in the Capital Region to earn a coveted three-star rating with the guide’s 2019 edition. Washington, DC’s Pineapple and Pearls and minibar — each bestowed with two stars — and Komi or Métier, two of the 13 DC restaurants awarded one star, are other excellent places to splurge on a fine-dining experience.

Signature Regional Fare

Find out why travellers journey from near and far to devour the delicious lump crab cakes and other coastal cuisine staples at Old Salty’s Restaurant in Fishing Creek, Maryland; or try locally sourced Appalachian and Southern dishes with modern flare at The Shack in Staunton, Virginia.

Don’t miss a half-smoke (a local sausage delicacy) smothered in zesty chili at Ben’s Chili Bowl's multiple locations in DC, chocolate fudge-covered confections from Baltimore’s Berger Cookies and delicious Virginia ham at Taste of Smithfield.

Book a Capital Region food tour to take in an array of experiences with the help of a knowledgeable guide. Charm City Food Tours walks visitors through Baltimore’s most famous neighbourhoods to try everything from the city’s best meatballs to award-winning crab cakes, whilst Coastal Food Tours of Virginia in Virginia Beach and Norfolk offers satisfying samplings of traditional coastal dishes and modern, ethnic and sustainable cuisine. Meanwhile, DC Metro Food Tours offers 20 culinary tours in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia with themes like “Gastronomic Georgetown” and “Eastern Market Food Tour.”

Also don't miss classic American staples like the peanut and chestnut soup at the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant in Virginia, where the flavours of early America shine, or Smith Island Cake — Maryland’s official dessert — at Two if By Sea Restaurant in Tilghman Island, where Chef Henry Miller makes an 11-layer version in nearly 20 flavours. Quench your thirst with a mint julep at DC’s Round Robin, a historic bar established in 1847.

More Culinary Experiences

Hungry for more flavours of the Capital Region? Check out these three top foodie experiences while you are here!

Related: 
Tours & Trails
Wine & Cuisine