Foggy Bottom Dining

Similar to the problem with hotels in Foggy Bottom, dining is limited because of the makeup of the neighborhood. There are several government buildings clustered in Foggy Bottom as well as the campus of George Washington University. Neither of those things attracts quality restaurants.

The real kick with Foggy Bottom restaurants, however, is that most of them are towards the northern edge of the neighborhood. In other words, they're not much help if you're touring the western end of the National Mall--the end with the Lincoln Memorial on it. Our advice, if you are on that side of the Mall, is to take a taxi or Uber up into Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, or Penn Quarter for lunch.

Jump to Fast Casual Dining

Table Service Dining

Kaz Sushi Bistro

Chef-owner Kaz Okochi earned many of his fans while working at Sushi-ko, where he originated many of what he calls his original small dishes, both cold and hot. The quality of the more traditional sushi is first-rate, of course, but you can get good sushi in a number of places; instead, order omakase, the chef’s choice ($80–$120), or a plate-at-a-time tasting menu. Although the dining room is calm and attractive, with a mini–fountain wall in front and abstract maguro-colored wallpaper, it’s more fun to sit at the smallish sushi bar in the rear.

Though he does not advertise his hot dishes as izakawa fare, Kaz (who prefers to go by his first name) offers a variety of meat and veggie dishes that go beyond the usual sushi bar fare: sake-poached scallops; lobster salad; glazed and grilled baby octopus; spicy broiled green mussels; foie gras infused with plum wine; Japanese-style duck confit in miso; or torched salmon. When fugu, the famous blowfish, is in season, Kaz (one of the few sushi chefs in Washington certified to handle the potentially lethal fish, although it now comes pre-butchered from Japan) makes traditional multi-course fugu meals (about $150). Kaz also offers okonomiyaki, a Japanese comfort-food staple, but not that common here.

Our Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Address: 1915 I St NW
Hours: Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm. Dinner: Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm
Cost: Moderate/Expensive
Metro: Farragut West - Blue, Orange, Silver (0.1 miles)
Nearby Attractions: Renwick Gallery (0.3 miles), White House (0.5 miles)


This cool ultra-lounge-look retreat is a showplace for unapologetically classic French fare with a Belgian accent. The long marble bar is a showpiece, and the partially exposed (and elevated) kitchen is not so intrusive as elsewhere. Chef-owner Robert Wiedmaier gets bigger and more Belgian all the time, turning out confits, root vegetables (including the various endives, of course), artichokes, and flavorful but not heavy sausages. But there is an element of playfulness—matching pan-seared salmon with black-eyed peas and bacon. Wiedmaier now has several restaurants, but this was the first and remains the best. Another draw is the three-course pre-theater menu for $70. You can have two courses early, take the restaurant’s complimentary limo to the Kennedy Center for a show, then return in the limo for dessert. Prix-fixe menus range from $95 for four courses to $155 for seven, but the entire table does not have to participate. And no worries—all dishes can be ordered à la carte as well.

The boudin blanc is a signature dish and not to be missed, and so are game dishes in season, such as a sort of venison wellington with loin and foie gras wrapped in phyllo with black trumpet mushrooms; pheasant and foie gras tortellini with chanterelles; or roulade of rabbit stuffed with sausage over caramelized cabbage. Seafood fans look for the likes of pesto-marinated sardines bruschetta; squid-ink tagliatelle with escargots and crispy sweetbreads; cold-smoked cod with blood orange and paprika croutons; and seared scallops with butternut squash and applewood bacon hash.

Our Rating: 4 stars
Address: 2401 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Hours: Sun 5pm-9:30pm; Mon-Thu 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat 5pm-11pm
Cost: Expensive/Very Expensive
Metro: Foggy Bottom - Blue, Orange, Silver (0.2 miles)

Fast Casual Dining


Chef Jose Andres, who owns half of D.C.'s restaurants (Minibar, Jaleo, Oyamel among several others), also runs this fast casual mini-chain. This is his ode to market fresh vegetables and, although it claims to not necessarily a vegetarian spot, it is. Beefsteak flash prepares vegetables to prove that crisp, fresh ingredients is what makes the difference. They're right, you know. The vegetables are fantastic, although meat lovers will probably not be thrilled.

Our Rating: 3 stars
Address: 800 22nd St
Hours: Daily 10:30am-10pm
Metro: Foggy Bottom - Blue, Orange, Silver (0.1 miles)


This is where to go if you feel like something healthy or if you or a member of your party lean vegetarian. Sweetgreen specializes in salads including delicious warm bowls and many organic, locally grown veggies. They have a wonderful, rotating seasonal menu and the freshest ingredients. The lunch line can get pretty long, but the line moves quickly.

Our Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Address: 2221 I St NW
Hours: Daily 10:30am-10pm
Metro: Foggy Bottom - Blue, Orange, Silver (0.1 miles)

Taylor Gourmet

This local chain of sandwich shops takes simple-sounding sandwiches, makes them from fresh, local ingredients, and adds a little bit of sophistication (yes, we consider brie sophisticated). The food at Taylor Gourmet is good, but not great, although definitely better quality than you'll find at a Subway. If you are craving a sandwich there is probably one close by, and even though they will run you up to $12 for a large, that's way less than you'll pay at any table service place (and most museum cafes).

Our Rating: 3 stars
Address: 624 E St NW
Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-7pm; Fri-Sat 11am-5pm
Metro: Farragut West - Blue, Orange, Silver (0.2 miles)
Nearby Attractions: Renwick Gallery (0.1 miles), White House (0.3 miles)