After Virginia Senator Tim Kaine was stranded on I-95 in the early January 2022 snowstorm for over a day (with scores of others), he went to dinner with his family to Bloomingdale’s The Red Hen and tweeted that he had their very popular rigatoni with sausage. This inspired Rob Flaherty, Digital Director for the White House to note that it was one DC’s top 5 dishes, which in turned inspired a Barred in DC thread and subsequent polls to figure out which dishes you thought were DC’s top (or essential dishes).
Here’s a list (totally based on popularity) – these are all essential eats:
(% of those who’ve had the dish who said it was one of DC’s top dishes)
- Rasika Palak Chaat (West End, Penn Quarter) (69%) $12, crispy baby spinach, sweet yogurt, tamarind, date chutney. 49% of all those polled said this was one of DC’s top dishes. Next closest was 32%.
- Rose’s Luxury Pork and Lychee Salad (Barracks Row) (63%) Part of choose-your-own prixe fixe menu ($75 Tues-Th, $85 Fri-Sat). Dine-In only
- Mangialardo’s “G” Man Sub (Capitol Hill) (61%) $9.75, Ham, salami, mortadella, pepperoni, fontina cheese, provolone cheese, oregano on hard or soft roll. 9a-2:30p M-F only
- The Red Hen Rigatoni (Bloomingdale) (56%) $22, mezzi rigatoni, tomato, garlic, fennel sausage ragu, fennel pollen, pecorino romano.
- Thip Khao Naem Khao (Columbia Heights) (47%). $16 (+$2 sour pork), crispy coconut rice salad, peanut, lime, scallion, scallion, cilantro, green lettuce wraps. Often special versions.
- Compass Rose Khachapuri (14th Street/U Street) (46%) $16, cheese-filled bread, organic egg, butter, za’atar
- St. Anselm Buttermilk Biscuits (Union Market Area) (45%) $11, with pimento cheese
- Roaming Rooster Fried Chicken Sandwich (Woodridge, U St, Tenleytown, Foggy Bottom) (43%), $10, several variations of a buttermilk fried chicken breast sandwich (OG Nashville or Honey Butter is way to go
- Rose’s Luxury Cacio e pepe (Barracks Row) (40%) – Not currently on menu
- Dukes Grocery Proper Burger (Dupont, Foggy Bottom, Woodley Park/Cleveland Park) (38%) $15, creekstone farms angus, melted gouda, pickles, charred red onion, sweet chili sauce, rocket, garlic aioli on brioche
- Cane Jerk Wings (H Street) (36%) $13, 12-hour marinated and pimento-smoked
- Granville Moore’s Mussels (H Street) (33%) $21 ($12 at Sunday dinner), several different varieties, known for the Bleu
- St. Anselm Salmon Collar (Union Market) (31%) $19, with lemon and garlic butter
- Ben’s Chili Bowl Original Half-Smoke (U Street, H Street) (21%), $7.69, suggested with mustard, onions, and homemade spicy chili sauce
Check the links above-there were nearly 200 dishes mentioned, rarely multiple times.