Our nation’s capital is a melting pot of cultures, that’s why it’s so easy to find a huge variety of cuisine. But, don’t just choose anything. Let the experts at Vacations by Marriott give you the inside scoop of must-visit restaurants (all within walking distance of the Marriott Marquis) with our next edition of Eat Like a Local: Washington D.C.
Jose Andres is a well-known name throughout the D.C. food world. He is the mastermind behind some of the D.C. area’s favorite restaurants, and thankfully his restaurant Zaytinya is within easy walking distance of the hotel, only .3 miles! The best time to dine at Zaytinya is lunch or brunch, the restaurant is bright and open and offers a great tasting menu of some delicious Greek/Mediterranean classics. Favorites include… Well pretty much everything on the menu! Come out and see why Jose Andres has made such a name for himself in the DC metro area at Zaytinya, where there is certainly something for everyone.
Cuisine: Gourmet Pizza and New American
It’s hard to believe that some of the best pizza in The District is located smack down in the middle of Chinatown, but it is! Matchbox is a great mini-restaurant chain with three locations in the D.C. area, one of which is a .3 mile walk away from the hotel. Although Matchbox has a very diverse menu, with offerings from Cajun tuna to braised short ribs to seared sea scallops, they are of course best known for their pizza. It’s really up to personal preference which one you go for (and insider secret: you can do two separate halves) but the Chef’s picks include prosciutto and black mission fig, coppa Italian ham and arugula, and spicy soppressata salami with wild mushroom. Another favorite at Matchbox is their mini-burgers, you can place an order for 3, 6, or 9 with your choice of cheese and the sliders comes perched on top of a generous mound of their famous onion straws. Matchbox is certainly a people pleasing sort of place and not to be missed.
If you like Asian food, Daikaya-Izakaya is the place to be. This hotspot is located a half a mile walk from the hotel, and is actually two restaurants in one. Downstairs is the famous Daikaya ramen shop, which does not take reservations, so show up early and potentially prepare for a little bit of wait (which will be worth it)! And upstairs is Izakaya, which offers what they like to refer to as “Japanese small plates.” The menu is expansive and offers a wide variety of exciting tastes. Favorites include the seared enoki mushrooms, grilled avocado, onigri rice balls, miso salmon, grilled octopus, and lots of others. Whether you choose to dine upstairs, downstairs, or perhaps even both, you are up for a treat!
Hill Country Barbecue and Market
Cuisine: Barbecue Restaurant
Hill Country Barbecue is straight out of Texas and is arguably the best BBQ you are going to find in The District. You walk into Hill Country and it is a massive one-room dining hall with the “market” at the back. Grab a table, order a drink (which will come in a mason jar!) and take a walk over to the market. Meat is cut to order so you can try as many different varieties as you would like. Offerings include the classics: brisket, ribs, pork, chicken and the like. Slide on over to the other end of the market for classic BBQ sides for all tastes from green bean casserole to sweet potatoes to coleslaw, and of course Hill Country’s famous mac-and-cheese. If you can manage, save room for dessert to try favorites like the seasonal cobbler, the German chocolate cake or the sweet potato break pudding.
Cuisine: Cocktail Bar
When the hotel you are staying has a culinary delight as great as this one, you just cannot miss out. The Dignitary is quickly becoming a D.C. hotspot. The Dignitary is a modern whiskey bar with handcrafted cocktails and more than 40 whiskeys to choose from. The Dignitary does not only offer drinks -- it also offers an array of easy bites, perfect for all ages. Baked brie sits on the menu along with a classic charcuterie offering, spinach artichoke dip, filet sliders, a delicious BBQ pizza and quite a few other tasty dishes. Grab a drink, a snack, and a seat in one of The Dignitary’s fine leather chairs and prepare for an exciting evening, without even leaving the hotel!