The 10 best restaurants near the Kennedy Center include some of Foggy Bottom’s and the West End’s best eateries—you can even throw in Georgetown if you don’t mind a quick cab ride. The Kennedy Center is somewhat isolated, so restaurants that are within walking distance are a bit of a long walk, but nothing unmanageable. Many people like to take in dining either pre- or post-show, be it the opera, the symphony, or the theater…all of which the Kennedy Center has!
- Marcel’s. Certainly one of the best restaurants near the Kennedy Center, anything in this French place is wonderful, but remember to wear your jacket, guys. The place isn’t cheap, but the pre-theater menu is nice and the restaurant gives complimentary rides—in a luxury car—to and from the Kennedy Center! 2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20037.
- Mie n Yu. A bit of a jaunt in Georgetown, this punny-named place offers Silk Road cuisine from East Asia, the Spice Islands, and the Middle East. Your palate will not be bored at this eatery, one of the best restaurants near the Kennedy Center. Dining rooms are themed and sumptuously decorated, making you feel like royalty. 3125 M Street, Washington, DC 20007.
- Kinkead’s. Usually on the local lists of best eateries, this place is one of the best restaurants near the Kennedy Center. Traditional American cuisine is on the menu here, and the soft shell crab and steak tartare from the raw menu are not to be missed. A nice oyster selection is also available. 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20006.
- Sequoia. This is a very hip place on the waterfront near Georgetown. While it has a bit of a meat-market feel during certain times of evening, the dining here is simple and delicious. The root vegetable and lentil porridge is much better than it sounds and the grilled Colorado lamb chops melt in your mouth. 3000 K Street, Washington, DC 20007.
- Tony and Joe’s. Tony and Joe’s is located just a couple hundred feet from its sister restaurant, Sequoia. T&J’s is known for its seafood and for its people watching along the waterfront. Happy hours are immensely popular here, with people packed shoulder-to-shoulder. The fried calamari melts in your mouth. 3000 K Street, Washington, DC 20007.
- Prime Rib. As the name implies, this place serves some kick-ass steaks, and it’s one of the best restaurants near the Kennedy Center. It’s serious dining, with jacket—and high-limit credit card—required, but the filet alone will bring you back time and time again. Also not to be missed: the roasted tomato soup and—surprisingly—the key lime pie. 2020 K Street, Washington, DC 20006.
- Notti Bianche. This place, one of the best restaurants near the Kennedy Center and not far from the GWU campus, is an unpretentious Italian eatery. The dining room is small, so call ahead, and be prepared to keep your conversations low, as the tables are tightly packed. Try the pappardelle bolognese and chocolate budino for desert. There is valet parking. 824 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, DC 20037.
- Bistro Francais. This is one of the best French places in the city and certainly one of the best restaurants near the Kennedy Center. Bistro Francais is open late—3am on weekdays and 4am on weekends—making it a great place to go for post-performance dining. The mussels and escargot are both succulent, and some of the lunch sandwiches are also winners. 3124 M Street, Washington, DC 20007.
- Circle Bistro. Though it’s located in a hotel lobby, this is a very good establishment, offering a simple menu so the kitchen can focus on doing a few things well. With a nice cheese selection, weekend brunch and great chocolate bread pudding soufflé, this place should not be missed. One Washington Circle, Washington, DC 20037.
- Firefly. How can we leave off a restaurant that for brunch has $1 mimosas, $3 bloody mary’s and…green eggs and ham. This homey place serves classic comfort foods in an urban setting. The décor is cozy and the staff is friendly. 1310 New Hampshire Ave, Washington, DC 20036.
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