Your guide to the best restaurants on and around DC’s eclectic 18th Street
Adams Morgan is known for its millennial-friendly scene that features a diverse mix of bars and lounges along with hip stores selling clothing, furniture and records. However, the neighborhood’s burgeoning restaurant scene – which scored a Michelin star for one of its restaurants and features multiple RAMMY nominees and winners – adds another reason to visit the cultural hub.
Founded by three veterans of the DC dining scene, Tail Up Goat specializes in Mediterranean-meets-Caribbean favorites with a focus on breads and pastas. The menu garnered the attention of the Michelin Guide, which awarded the restaurant a highly coveted star.
A similar concept from the same team, Reveler's Hour features an ever-changing menu dedicated to pasta and fine wine.
A staple to Columbia Road, Perpendicular to the main drag down 18th Street, Perry's delivers a chic dining experience and Japanese-inspired selections. A little less formal, but no less delicious, Roofers Union delivers American fare inside a three-story abode that also boasts live music and a cocktail bar.
For top-tier barbecue visit pitmaster Rob Sonderman's Federalist Pig, where diners can feast on eight different types of meats smoked for hours on end. Make sure to come early – the melt-in-your-mouth meats are known to sell out daily.
There’s no shortage of delectable ethnic bites in AdMo. Homey Lapis treats diners to Afghanistan’s “best-kept secret” (psst … it’s veggie dishes), as well as kebabs and meat- and veggie-based dumplings. Along the 18th Street corridor: Shibuya Eatery attracts diners with Japanese street food and daily happy hour, while Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient Elfegne dishes out authentic Ethiopian food and Bukom Cafe fires up West African flavors. For Korean comfort food, head to BUL.
El Tamarindo has been slinging El Salvadorian eats since the '80s, including pupusas and empanadas, while Baja Tap offers a vibrant and contemporary take on Mexican cuisine across two floors and a rooftop. Keep the fiesta going at Johnny Pistolas for some Los Angeles-inspired Mexican tacos (and plenty of tequila!).
No discussion of the nightlife scene in this bustling neighborhood is complete without a mention of Madam's Organ. The restaurant/bar/live music venue has been a staple of Adams Morgan for two decades, serving a menu of bar favorites (specials are offered nightly). Bands play and DJs spin on its two floors practically every night of the week, creating a lively atmosphere that local patrons adore.
Adams Morgan has also become go-to for bourbon lovers. Jack Rose Dining Saloon offers up one of the country's largest whiskey selections with an array of snacks and dishes that will pair perfectly with your selection. If cocktails are more your speed, visit Tiki on 18th for a variety of tropical tiki drinks.
The neighborhood is also home to linger-worthy casual restaurants perfect for a low-key meal the day after a big night out. The Diner and its next-door neighbor, Tryst, are under the same owner’s umbrella. Both offer comfort food and a great place to sit back and relax with the weekend paper (or your iPad).
In the market for bold flavors and toasty buns? Look no further than chef Alex McCoy’s globally inspired, late-night burger joint Lucky Buns, which doles out a delicious culinary trip around the world until the wee hours of the morning. The hot spot’s tantalizing creations include a runny-egg burger topped with gouda, pickled beetroot and grilled onions and pineapple, grilled tandoori chicken sandwiches and even curry chips.