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The Best DC Restaurants for When Your Parents are in Town

You know the feeling when you’ve found a restaurant that you really want to go to, but you don’t quite know if you want to spend the money? Well I don’t know about you, but it’s those restaurants that I ask my parents to take me to when they come to visit. Here are my favorite restaurants to go to when my parents come to town.

1. The Hamilton (Menu)

Image courtesy of The Hamilton DC

I love this restaurant because there are so many different food options from fried mac and cheese balls (a personal favorite), to sushi, to hamburgers. The Hamilton offers something for every person in your party, and it is relatively affordable. As an added bonus, they offer live shows in the downstairs venue, and are open every day for lunch, dinner, and late night bites, as well as brunch on Sundays. It gets very busy on the weekend, so make sure you have a reservation, and if you are a party of 4, ask to be seated in one of their “snugs,” a closed off booth right by the windows. 

2. Farmers, Fishers, Bakers (Menu)

Image by “Judy L.” via Yelp

For a while, this was my favorite restaurant in DC because the food is delicious, and they offer my favorite dessert, key lime pie. There are so many options including sushi and pizza, but I would highly recommend the Whirly Pop Kettle Corn, and the Big Crispy Tenders. If you’re looking for something hearty, try the breads and broths, but don’t eat it on your own, share it with a friend. They offer lunch and dinner every day as well as a selection of baked goods weekday mornings and weekend buffet brunch. The restaurant is owned by a group composed of family farmers in North Dakota, who own a variety of restaurants around DC.

Ps. Try their Cajun garlic sauce, there is a bottle on every table. 

3. &pizza (Menu)

Image from Metro via &pizza

Okay, maybe you go here weekly with your friends like I do, but it is such a unique establishment that it is worth taking your parents to. I am in New York City all the time, and there is nothing like it (except for &pizza New York), so chances are this is something completely new. I would recommend the pesto sauce, your choice of toppings, and garlic oil. No shame if you eat your entire pizza.

4. Medium Rare (Brunch Menu)

Image from Medium Rare

Medium Rare is known for their steak dinners, but my favorite part of this restaurant is brunch. With your brunch you get bread, your choice of a fruit salad, parfait, or green salad, and an entree. My favorite thing on the menu is French toast, which comes as three slices of thick and airy bread soaked overnight that’s fried until the outside is crispy. You also get bottomless drinks with your order, another plus. Medium Rare has 3 locations around the DC area.

5. Farmers and Distillers (Menu)

Image from Farmers and Distillers via Facebook

Like Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Farmer and Distillers is run by the North Dakota Farmers Association. Located in Chinatown, this comfort food-Asian fusion restaurant draws inspiration from its surroundings. They offer lunch and dinner every day as well as weekend brunch with all your favorites from their signature Red Mac and Cheese (my personal favorite) to fresh baked doughnuts. Each weekday morning, Farmers and Distillers offers “first bake” where you can indulge in their signature pastries as well as coffee and tea. 

6. Logan Tavern (Menu)

Image from “Igor” via Skyvora Limited Photography

Logan Tavern reminds me of being home. Their casual yet sophisticated atmosphere and delicious food is something to indulge in. Try the steak frites and mango key lime pie, my favorite items on the menu. The tavern is always serving up warm bread with house made flavored butter, my favorite is the Thai chili which was so good, I almost didn’t have room for my food. Make sure to try their weekend brunch with options such as French toast sticks and the chorizo & avocado omlette.

7. Open City (Menu)

Image from Open City DC via Instagram

A DC staple, Open City serves up breakfast all day as well as light and fluffy doughnuts and pastries. If breakfast is not your thing, you can go for some of the heartier options like Mass Avenue BLT or Butternut Squash ravioli. You can truly find something for everyone, and try to get a spot in their sunroom.

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner: there’s an option to eat with your family somewhere on this list. So, be sure to give these restaurants a try and discover your new favorite dish!

Anna Waldman

American '21

Hi, I'm Anna. I'm a sophmore at American University in Washington D.C. I grew up in Rye, New York, but have always felt like I belonged in the city. I love going to baseball games with my friends (go Yankees and Nationals!), watching Netflix (Gray's Anatomy ftw!), and reading my New York Times Daily Briefing each morning. Some other favorites include Bryce Harper, Barack Obama, SDT, my best friends, and of course Panera Mac and Cheese!
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