Columbia Heights Restaurants

Bad Saint

3226 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
No Phone

Filipino


 

$$
$20.00
 

★★★

Excellent Value

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★★★

Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
The hottest restaurant in DC right now is the modern Filipino restaurant from co-owners Nick Pimentel and Genevieve Villamora. It doesn't take reservations and lines start well before it opens at 5:30. And, with just 24 seats, those who aren't in line then probably won't get in. Bad Saint doesn't accept parties larger than four.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
3 Stars (5/11/2016) — Spring 2016 Dining Guide
"Bad news about Bad Saint: The Columbia Heights restaurant doesn’t take reservations for its 24 seats, meaning diners have to get in line early for the chance to explore the Filipino menu by chef Tom Cunanan. But what a ride once you’re in! Shrimp fritters spiky with shredded vegetables are by turns sweet, funky and loud. Chicken marinated in cane vinegar, bay leaf and garlic and finished with fresh grilled coconut might be described by a server as “life-changing.” All I know is, I scraped the bowl clean and couldn’t wait to do so again. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 7 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"Yes, another DC restaurant where you have to show up, put your name on a list, and wait. And what do you wait for? Not a table, most likely. (Most of the 24 seats are stools.) Here’s why it’s worth the hassle: because this nouveau Filipino kitchen is cranking out some of the most exhilarating, interesting dishes in all of Washington. You can smell the garlic and vinegar hitting the wok from down the block. If your experience of Filipino food is limited to tastes of sisig and adobo, you’re in for an awakening. But even if you’re well acquainted with the cuisine, you may be in for one, too. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell does not recommend this restaurant.

Thip Khao

3462 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-387-5426

Loatian


 

$
$13.00
 

★★½

Exceptional Value

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★★½

Exceptional Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Chef Seng Luangrath started a sensation when she added a Laotian menu to Bangkok Golden, the Thai restaurant she bought in Seven Corners. The restaurant's nominal cuisine became an afterthought, as foodies from all over the DC area flocked there for the blazing hot Laotian specialties not found anywhere else in the city. Luangrath has now opened a Laotian-only place in Columbia Heights, and the crowds have followed. The menu offers both regular dishes and a "Let's Go to the Jungle" section featuring offal cuts and other exotic ingredients like pigs blood. And beware — if the menu says hot, it's HOT!
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (3/25/2015)
"Some fans are comparing the fresh face favorably to the no-reservations flame-thrower Little Serow in Dupont Circle. (It’s not there yet, but I’m hopeful.) … Of the 'large' plates, fish makes a fine strategy. … The best mop for the sauces is in the little baskets of steamed sticky rice that give the restaurant its name and show up, along with cucumber slices, airy fried pork rinds and racy chili dip, when you sit down. … 'Let's go to the jungle!!!' urges the header on Thip Khao’s alternate menu, its dozen or so dishes flavored with pig’s blood, fish heads and chicken innards. … The regular menu might be ad­ven­ture enough for some eaters. … Order a few dishes at a time. The food comes out speed-date fast…. This cooking deserves more than 20 minutes of consideration." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
No. 47 (2/8/2016) — 100 Very Best Restaurants 2016
"It’s not as if you have to like insanely spicy food or off-cuts to come here, but you’re going to have a more exciting time if you do. And if you happen to go for both at once, then few restaurants are going to make you happier. Thip Khao is the second restaurant from Seng Luangrath (also behind Bangkok Golden) and intended as a showcase for the pungent, sour, spicy, bright flavors of her native Laos. Laos borders Thailand, but that’s not to say your Thai restaurant experiences will prepare you for this food, particularly those dishes from the “jungle” section of the menu. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Laotian (and Thai) opened by Bangkok Golden's Seng Luangrath, not for the faint of palate, some items not found anywhere else in the area."

Maple

3418 11th St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-588-7442

Italian
Wine Bar

 

$$
$17.50
 

★★

Good Value

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★★

Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This casual Italian wine bar emphasizes good beverages and simple, well-prepared food.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/29/2012)
Alex Baldinger introduces this "casual, Italian-influenced wine bar" focusing on "bruschettas, salads and panini that emphasize simple ingredients and preparations."  See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"A small, crowded gastropub with an emphasis on good beverages, and simple, well-prepared, Italian-influenced small plates."

Taqueria Habanero

3710 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-722-7700

Mexican
Tacos

 

$
$8.17
 

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Chef and owner Dio Montero's small taqueria is modeled after the roadside stands in his native Puebla. In keeping with that tradition, everything is made in house and the menu is intentionally simple. However, in addition to the excellent tacos, there's also a selection of good tortas, huaraches, enchiladas, and quesadillas.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (11/20/2014)
"… The tortillas, huaraches, salsas and even shells for the crispy quesadillas: They’re all made in-house by chef and owner Dio Montero and his team. Montero treats the enterprise as if it were one step removed from the streets of his native Puebla. The ultra-compact menu runs only a few items long, with plenty of variation within the taco, huarache and quesadilla categories. It’s the kind of menu you might find at a stand on the fringes of a grand Mexican plaza, or in some roach coach hawking tacos to tourists. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

Washingtonian has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Several knowledgeable people feel this is the best taqueria in the DC area"

Pete's New Haven Style Apizza

1400 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-332-7383

Pizza


 

$
$9.00
 

Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Cheap Eats
Exceptional Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This local mini-chain has four locations featuring New Haven-style pizza by the slice or as whole pies. We think that the whole, freshly-made pies are better. Try the New Haven or the Arugula (to which they'll gladly add prosciutto on request).
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
2 Stars (10/16/2011) — 2011 Fall Dining Guide
In the 2011 Fall Dining Guide, critic Tom Sietsema checks back in "to discover what I had been missing: puffed rims, nice char, snappy crust," noting his fondness for both the white clam and the fennel sausage and broccoli rabe pies. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/1/2012) — Cheap Eats 2012
"Consistently well-wrought pies, salads, and pastas make this local chain a favorite …, but New Haven specialties in particular … white pizza with clams … tomato pie drizzled with sweet olive oil … show off the excellent ingredients and detail-focused kitchen." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Quality-driven pizzas, best ordered by the slice, good ingredients and caring owners."

Taqueria Distrito Federal

3463 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-276-7331

Mexican
Tacos

 

$
$10.60
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This taqueria has two locations serving some of the area's better tacos, with some less typical fillings like lengua, barbacoa de chivo, chorizo, and chicharron.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/3/2006)
An extremely outdated review with a few more details. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (6/24/2009)
A brief, outdated run-down from Washingtonian's Best "Cheap Eats" 2009 of this small but consistently good taqueria with another branch in Petworth.  See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Perhaps the best tacos in the DC area, lengua, barbacoa de chivo, chorizo, chicharron, friendly and caring ownership."

Los Hermanos

1428 Park Rd., NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-483-8235

Caribbean
Dominican

 

$
$10.71
 

Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Cheap Eats
Excellent Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This Dominican restaurant grew out of the family bodega. The menu of classic dishes is simple: "pick a rice, add a side, and choose a meat." Whatever you choose, expect hearty, rustic dishes packed with flavor.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 

The Washington Post has not reviewed this restaurant.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (8/18/2013) — Cheap Eats 2013
"Raymond and Aris Compres, sling gut-busting portions of their mother’s cooking. The lineup of meats changes; the constant is that, whatever the preparation of chicken, goat, oxtails, or pork, it will be fall-off-the-bone tender." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
 
Don Rockwell has not reviewed this restaurant.

Mi Cuba Café

1424 Park Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-813-3489

Cuban


 

$
$11.38
 

Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
This authentic Cuban restaurant is family owned and friendly, with an excellent Cuban sandwich.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (9/24/2015)
"… Start with the sandwich menu, where, of course, you’ll find a Cubano. … Pressed, grilled and cut into long triangles, the Cubano gives you a double-barrel blast of pork with just enough acidity to keep that pig squealing, bright and loud. … If you want Cuban-style pork without the carbs, move straight to the lechon asado, a mojo- marinated shoulder that’s roasted, chopped and topped with a tangled layer of grilled onions. This is pig roast supreme, a succulent mass of pork rich with rendered fat and studded with crispy grilled bits. … All entrees come with your choice of two sides, and there’s nary a dog in the bunch. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (5/5/2016) — Cheap Eats 2016
"Even a weeknight can feel like a party at this bustling, tropical-hued restaurant in Columbia Heights. Couples pack two-tops in front while groups take over the back, boisterously conversing over mojitos. Cuban classics emerge from the kitchen, comforting and without a hint of heaviness—a danger in less skilled hands. …" See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Authentic Cuban, with Cuban sandwiches that will remind you of Calle Ocho, conscientious owners."

El Chucho Cocina Superior

3313 11th St. NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-290-3313

Mexican


 

$
$14.20
 

Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Cheap Eats
Good Value

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Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
El Chucho is a small neighborhood cantina serving classic Mexican specialties with a large, active bar. The food is homemade and relatively inexpensive, featuring updated versions of traditional bocadillos, tortas and tacos. There's also a large, boisterous rooftop open year round.
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (7/18/2012)
Tom Sietsema's "First Bite" calls El Chucho "street food with a twist." See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Unrated (8/18/2013) — Cheap Eats 2013
Jackie Greenbaum's "foray into DC is this valentine to Mexico’s bold street foods[.] … The most fun dish is the sloppiest: a pork torta drenched in chili sauce that comes with plastic gloves. See Full Review…»
Summary
Washington Post
Washingtonian
Don Rockwell
 
Italic — Recommended
"Perhaps DC's best Mexican food can be found at this tiny cantina, enormous tequila selection, $5 margarita on tap."
Ratings Guide:
★★★★ Extraordinary;  ★★★ Excellent;  ★★ Good;  ★ Average
All restaurants listed rate above-average or better. DCDiningGuide.com also includes a number of unrated local favorites, casual places, and other restaurants that we recommend if you’re in the neighborhood.
Price Guide:
$$$$$ Unlimited (>$45); $$$$ Very Expensive ($35-$45); $$$ Expensive ($25-$35); $$ Moderate ($15-$25); Inexpensive (<$15)
Price is based on the average cost of a dinner entree, which generally reflects a third of the cost of a full meal. Please note, however, that appetizer and beverage prices vary widely. Tasting menus are indicated with an asterisk (*).