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The Washington D.C. Guide: 5 Hidden D.C. Gems

It’s no secret that Washington D.C. has become one of the most talked-about food cities to visit. Therefore, celebrity chefs have made their way to the nation’s capital to show off their culinary talents. These D.C. gems below are often forgotten because of all the new restaurants opening up. So, I had to show them some love. Whether you’re in the mood for small tapas, comfort food or high-end dining, D.C. has it all. Here are my favorite hidden gems sprinkled throughout the city.

1. Brookland’s Finest (Brookland Neighborhood)

If you’re in the mood for comfort food, Brookland’s has got your covered. A few of my must-have starters are the brussel sprout chips and pretzel bites. The sprouts are crispy perfection alongside a tangy lemon dill sauce, which complements the chips beautifully. The pretzel bites are tossed in a delicious buttery white truffle oil. As an entree, I usually get the seared salmon and cheddar grits with tabasco beurre blanc. It is delicious down to very last bite.

For dessert, you can’t leave without indulging in the brioche bread pudding. The waitress comes out with your bread pudding in one hand and a side of bourbon sauce in the other. The table’s candle light burner doubles as the bourbon sauce warmer. After a few seconds, the delicious bourbon sauce is ready to pour over the thick-cut brioche bread pudding. If you’re looking for tantalizingly comfort food, Brookland’s Finest is the place!

D.C. gems
Brioche bread pudding is a must when dinning at Brookland’s! Don’t forget to drizzle the warm bourbon sauce over this dessert before chowing down!

2. Compass Rose (U Street)

You don’t have to travel 4,000 miles to have a unique international market food experience. Compass Rose offers cuisines from Spain, Hawaii, Malaysia, Demark, Georgia and even Mexico! The eclectic around the world menu is what sets this place apart from the others. There are no limits to how creative you can get when choosing your meal. I ordered the Georgian Khachapuri cheese-filled bread and paired it with Spain’s fried fingerling potatoes with spicy tomato sauce. Compass Rose is not like any other experience because of the flavorful international tapas available in this cozy place without packing your suitcase!

Compass Rose
Compass Rose has a menu chock full of traditional international dishes like their Lamb Kefta. Photo by Compass Rose.

3. Copycat Co. (H Street Atlas District)

Have you ever wanted tasty, cheap, authentic Chinese street food and crafted cocktails? Enter: Copycat Co., a favorite late-night, fast-casual spot. You can order potstickers for $5, one skewer for $4.50 each and $1.50 steamed boas!

The chicken skewers were very succulent and spicy. If you are mild spice lover you may want to stick with the regular spiced option. The pan-fried chicken potstickers come with a soy-based dipping sauce; perfect for the mild flavored dumplings.

Upstairs, on the second floor is where the libation magic happens! It’s similar to a chic speakeasy with dim setting. Behind the bar are handwritten drink titles and recipes on a chalkboard as a smart way to school customers on the history of classic cocktails like Martinis, Manhattans, and Mules. The bartenders are very skilled and can whip up or suggest any drink concoction. As a result, this is late night experience that will leave you very satisfied!

Copycat Co.
A tray full of dumplings, skewers and boas all for a great price! Wash it all down with one of Copycat’s signature cocktails. Photo by Copycat. 

4. Sakerum (14th Street)

Looking for a Latin and Asian inspired happy hour? Sakerum has beautiful decor and a fantastic happy hour. They serve up fresh sushi rolls, savory tapas, specialty rum and sake cocktails.Their food specials include the spicy, crunchy salmon and salmon avocado sushi rolls, grilled calamari with eel sauce, sweet teriyaki glazed chicken skewers and zesty cashew lime edamame. Best part, each of these options cost just $5!

You can’t go wrong with a menu that offers such an assortment for such an excellent price! This place is perfect to grab both drinks and tasty food; consider Sakerum for your next happy hour or weekend late night bite!

Sakerum
With half a dozen sake choices and even more sushi roles to indulge in, there’s something for every sushi lover at Sakerum! Photo by Sakerum.

5. Miracle on 7th Street (Shaw Neighborhood)

It’s beginning to looking like Christmas with this holiday pop-up bar. This themed bar is sure to put everyone who visits in the holiday spirit. The bar consists of 3 adjacent bars (Mockingbird Hill, Southern Efficiency and Eat the Rich) with different Christmas decor in each. This year’s menu consists of creative holiday drinks, spiked or topped with cookie dough bites and peppermint candy canes. All featured drinks are $14 and shots are only $5 each! Each drink name is holiday themed too. With names like Brew Dolph the Rein Beer, Cookie Dough & Snuggles and I Sleigh All Day it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit while at this bar.

Customers can wander through five themed areas, including the Chinese and a Movie room, a Hanukkah homage and a Gingerbread house that leads guests into a Candy Land inspired room. You can slay your selfie game with the decorated Christmas tree or the painted backdrop of Beyonce, inspired by her visual album Lemonade. There’s even an antique sleigh to sit in!

This Christmas bar is a local favorite and returns every year with a magical winter wonderland scenery!

Miracle DC
The Whobilation (Gin, Dry Curacao, Spiced Cranberry Soda) and I Sleigh, All Day (Calvados, Apple cola, Semi-Dry Cider, Sparkling Water). Photo by DC Nomster.

 

Miracle DC
This Beyonce inspired room is sure to get you into the holiday spirit! Photo by Drink Company. 

This article was written by BonAppéDee (D’Angela S. Moore), a Washington, D.C. food blogger. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more!

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