Top Culinary Experiences in Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland

Enjoy days of culinary bliss with these unique dining experiences in the Capital Region USA.

Victory Farms, dinner, field, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Dinner in the field at Victory Farms in Richmond, Virginia (Photo courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation)
Jaleo Restaurant, Crystal City
Shrimp sautéed with garlic is a popular tapa at restaurant chain, Jaleo (Photo courtesy Arlington Convention & Visitors Services)
Virginia oysters
Virginia’s eight oyster-producing regions each boast different flavours that reflect the local styles (Photo courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation)
The Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, Maryland
Enjoy plates of steamed crab along the waterfront at The Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, Maryland (Photo courtesy Richard Norwitz)
Victory Farms, dinner, field, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Jaleo Restaurant, Crystal City
Virginia oysters
The Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, Maryland

By Heather Lalley

Looking for the perfect mix of upscale dining, American South-style comfort food and stellar seafood? Plan a visit to Capital Region USA, featuring Washington, DC's big-city culinary scene, as well as real, farm-to-table cuisine and fresh-caught seafood from the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast along Maryland and Virginia.

Washington DC Restaurant Scene

More than 200 new restaurants have opened in the nation’s capital in the last few years. Food lovers flock here for the celebrity chefs, top-rated restaurants and, of course, exceptional cuisine and eclectic dining options throughout many neighbourhoods. Head to DC neighbourhood staple Chef Geoff’s for modern American dishes such as seared tuna, pizzas and burgers. With five area locations, this local favourite has even found a home in Washington Dulles International Airport. Grab a table at José Andrés’ Zaytinya for an authentically crafted mezze menu of Turkish, Greek and Lebanese dishes. Or, visit the original location of his expanding restaurant chain, Jaleo, where you can enjoy tapas and sangria.

Superstar chefs regularly turn to DC when opening new ventures. Don’t miss Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen & Bar for an updated, seasonally focused take on the French brasserie. And David Chang’s much-celebrated Momofuku now has a CCDC (CityCenterDC) location, offering innovative versions of Asian favourites like steamed buns, ramen and noodles. Travellers through Washington Dulles International Airport can sample comfort food in a vibrant tap house setting from Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Bar Symon.

Virginia Oyster Trail

No state on the East Coast produces more fresh wild-caught and farm-raised oysters than Virginia. Be sure to try something from each of the state’s eight oyster-producing regions along the official Virginia Oyster Trail, from Seaside to Tidewater, to experience their individual flavours. Embark on a Pleasure House Oyster Farm Tour on the Lynnhaven River to learn how oysters are harvested. Or, put on your hip-waders and indulge in the Pleasure House Chef’s Table Tour to sample fresh oysters while standing in the river. Head to Merroir restaurant, an oyster tasting room, to sample Rappahannock oysters prepared in a variety of ways. Maximize your oyster experience with a visit to the annual Urbanna Oyster Festival to try oysters raw, smoked, steamed, fried, stewed and frittered.

Maryland Blue Crab

Beautiful, iridescent blue crabs are a regional speciality of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay areas of Maryland. They’re known for their delicate, sweet flavour. Head to waterfront restaurant Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis to try this delicacy prepared in a variety of ways. The Crab Claw Restaurant in St. Michaels, serving fresh seafood since 1965, offers blue crab as well as other seafood and award-winning crab cakes. Blue crab is the Maryland State Crustacean and is celebrated in festivals around the state. Pay a visit to the annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake for all-you-can-eat crabs, clams, fish, side dishes and more.

Getting Here: Washington Dulles International Airport is centrally located in the Capital Region and convenient to all destinations and activities across Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Non-stop flights to Washington Dulles International Airport from major destinations worldwide make getting here easy.

Want to taste even more of the Capital Region? Check out local wine trails and food festivals while you're here!   

Wine & Cuisine

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