Eating Around the World in D.C.

One of the best things about living in the capitol is the wide array of food options available. Whether you’re craving something specific, don’t feel like cooking, or just need a break from TDR, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs have a great selection of international food options. Even if you’re a picky eater like me, trying new ethnic foods can be a great way to (slowly) get out of your comfort zone- there’s usually at least one thing on the menu that’s safe! Plus, tenders and fries will always be there waiting for you if you need them, so what do you have to lose?


\Vietnamese: Pho Viet

For those who aren’t already familiar, pho (prounounced “fuh”) is a Vietnamese soup made of noodles, broth, meat (often beef), and herbs, usually finished off with a squeeze of lime juice. Pho has increased in popularity in the past few years, reaching more mainstream popularity and resulting in the opening of new restaurants. Pho Viet, located on Wisconsin Avenue just two miles from AU, offers pho with beef, chicken, shrimp, or vegetables, as well as a number of other Vietnamese dishes. In addition to pho, I recommend trying Banh Mi, which is a sandwich served on a baguette, and the summer rolls. Pho Viet also offers delivery, which makes is perfect for late-night studying when everything on campus is closed.


Japanese: Sakuramen Ramen Bar

Although ramen is typically thought of as being a type of Japanese cuisine, Sakuramen says on its website that it does not favor any specific cultural influence in its dishes, and incorporates flavors inspired from around the world. Regardless of ethnic style, the food is delicious. The menu consists of different types of ramen dishes, including Gojiramen (with pork belly), Chosun (angus ribeye and kimchi) and of course the namesake Sakuramen (vegetarian noodles). You can also add a side order of steamed buns or finish off with mochi ice cream. A warning to my fellow low spice tolerance friends: when ordering, your server will ask you to rate how spicy you’d like your dish from 1-10. The higher numbers are no joke, and I went with a 4 that was just the right amount for me. To each their own!


Middle Eastern: Moby Dick House of Kabob

After passing by Moby Dick all the time in both Georgetown and Dupont, I finally went for the first time last spring. Picky eater that I am, I went for a basic kebab and rice, but even though it was so simple, I was still impressed. Moby Dick offers a variety of middle-eastern dishes inspired by the owner’s home country of Iran, including kebobs, falafel, pita, and gyros. I’m definitely excited to return and be a little more adventurous!


Mexican: Taqueria Habanero

Located on 14th street, this restaurant offers tacos, quesadillas, huarache, and more, all in their “authentic pueblan style cooking”. Tacos start at just $2.50 each and include free chips and salsa. The restaurant scored a 4.5/5 stars on Yelp for the fresh and authentic food, and locals insist it’s the best Mexican you can find in the area. Although there’s frequently a line out the door, it moves fast (10-15minutes) and the food is certainly worth the wait!



Italian: Al Dente

Al Dente is my personal favorite Italian food in DC because of the great food and the convenient location from AU (on New Mexico right next to Wagshal’s). Although frequently overlooked by Chef Geoff’s, Al Dente has great happy hour deals that include half-price pizzas starting daily at 4pm. Other than pizza, the local restaurant offers house-made pasta, fish, and even brunch on weekends. My personal favorite things to order are the white pizza or the meatballs. If you’re tired of campus food or Chef Geoff’s happy hour, walk a few more steps and give it a try.


Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3