Top 3 Restaurants in D.C. for Every Meal

Top 3 Restaurants in DC | Cobalt Chronicles | Washington, DC Blogger

This post may look familiar … I originally published it in February 2017.  But with tourist season starting to pick up, I’ve received several texts, emails, and direct messages on Instagram asking for D.C. restaurant recs.  So I thought it was worth updating this post and sharing it again!

I’ll be the first one to admit that living in D.C. has turned me into a bit of a food snob.  When entire streets are lined with amazing restaurant after amazing restaurant (looking at you 14th St.), it’s hard not to be!  I have a pages-long email that I keep in my D.C. folder with all of my favorite restaurants and restaurant recommendations because inevitably, anyone that comes to town always wants to know where to eat!

So without further ado, here are my top three picks for breakfast, lunch and dinner in D.C. plus a few bonus picks!


  1. La Colombe – You’re sure to fall in love with their uniquely beautiful coffee cup and saucer dish patterns and of course, their delicious coffee and baked treats!  My go-to: Skim latte + chocolate croissant!
  2. Philz Coffee – My favorite time to visit is early-ish on Saturday mornings.  I love strolling up 18th Street when you can still see remnants of the mayhem that went on at all of the 18th Street bars the night before.  Philz is known for it’s  “one cup at a time” motto.  They literally only make one cup of coffee at a time.  It’s a unique concept, and one of my favorite things about Philz is that the baristas are super helpful and not at all pretentious (as one might think they would be with the whole, “we only make one cup of coffee at a time” thing).  My go-to: A Sooo Good coffee + blueberry muffin! Fan Favorite: Iced Mint Mojito coffee
  3. Compass Coffee: As seen above, they serve real good coffee.  A truly local D.C. coffee shop.  My go-to: A cup of coffee with cream and a touch of sugar + a plain croissant!
  4. (BONUS) Bluestone Lane Coffee: A new spot that is as equally as Instagramable as delicious!  Go for a latte, stay for the avocado toast!
  5. (BONUS) Grace Street Coffee: This quirky little spot is in a shared space with South Block, where you can grab a delicious açai bowl to accompany your coffee!
  6. (BONUS) Blue Bottle Coffee: Another Georgetown staple – get the New Orleans Iced Coffee!


  1. Ted’s Bulletin – Kind of cheating here, as I’d consider this more breakfast than lunch – brunch, if you will!  Ted’s takes you back in time with its upscale diner theme.  There’s so much goodness here!  My go-to: Mark On An Off Day (eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast) + a homemade pop tart + fresh OJ.  And definitely stop back by for a milk shake later in the day!
  2. Colada Shop – This is a new favorite!  Colada Shop recently opened at the corner of 14th and T and is sure to be a smashing success!  It highlights Cuban flavors not only through the food, but also through the colorful interior design and its beautiful (and happening!) patio!  My go-to: An empanada + a Cuban sandwich + a piña colada!
  3. Glen’s Garden Market – A unique mix of grocery store, bar, and deli counter all in one spot (and they have a patio!). I stop by Glen’s often just to pick up something for dinner, but it’s also a favorite spot to pop in and stay for a leisurely lunch or casual dinner. My go-to: A margarita pizza or the grilled cheese/tomato soup combo and  a local draft beer (their draft beer is always only $5!).


  1. Rose’s Luxury – Hands down, my favorite restaurant in the city.  The food is outstanding, the wine is always flowing, and the service is tough to beat.  Oh and the atmosphere and ambiance is what you hope for every restaurant to be like!  My go-to: Share everything.  My favorites: Lychee salad + all the pastas (not kidding) + family style brisket + coconut ice cream.
  2. Lupo Verde – Another amazing restaurant all around.  Fresh pasta and a charcuterie plate that’s out of this world.  And a patio that’s adorably charming when the weather cooperates.  My go-to: A cheese and salumi board + Fusilli Campani.
  3. Le Diplomate – The atmosphere and decor matches the incredibly delectable French menu.  My go-to: Steak frites + a glass of red wine.  The burger is also the best in town, in my opinion! 
  4. (BONUS) Compass Rose – If you’re looking for a super cool, hip vibe, hit up this spot that specializes in global street food.  My go-to: the Khachapuri Georgian cheese bread and the Hawaiian poké bowl.

Lastly,  since I’m publishing this on #TravelTuesday, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a little #CobaltTravels tip … Y’all know I love the Chase Sapphire (Preferred or Reserve) card for accumulating points to use for travel … well a major perk of the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve is that you earn 2x and 3x (respectively) Ultimate Reward points on dining with those cards!  Yes, please!  Basically think of it like you’re earning free travel perks by eating delicious food while in the city!  Check out this page to compare the cards with each other as well as with other travel credit cards (you can also apply for any of the cards directly through the post!).

If you end up trying any of these spots, let me know what you think!

And if you’re in need of more restaurant recs, my friend Monica has an entire page on her site dedicated to her favorite spots around the city!

Disclaimer: If you click and/or sign up for a credit card through certain links on this site or any of my related social media platforms, I may make a commission from that click and/or purchase.  As always, all opinions are my own.


  1. Monica wrote:

    Haha, yes to DC turning us into food snobs! Thank you for sharing my list, too 🙂 Love our dining adventures together!!

    Posted 4.3.18
    • Ashlee wrote:

      Of course! So many good spots! I’m ready for patio dining to commence!

      Posted 4.3.18

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