Welcome to our discussion on the best Asian cuisine in Washington D.C. As a cultural hub, the city is home to a wide variety of Asian restaurants and eateries offering unique and delicious dishes from all corners of the continent. From Chinese dim sum to Korean barbecue, Japanese sushi to Indian curry, there is no shortage of options for those looking to explore the diverse flavors of Asian cuisine in the nation’s capital. Join us as we dive into some of the top spots for authentic Asian dining in D.C.
The Charm of DC’s Asian Cuisine Scene
Washington DC is a hub of diverse cultures, and its food scene is no different. From Ethiopian to Mexican, you can find almost any cuisine in DC. However, when it comes to Asian cuisine, the city has a lot to offer. DC’s Asian cuisine scene is diverse and vibrant, with restaurants that serve everything from traditional Chinese dumplings to authentic Vietnamese pho. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, exploring the best Asian cuisine in DC is a must-do activity.
The Best Restaurants for Asian Cuisine in DC
When it comes to finding the best Asian cuisine in DC, the options are endless. However, there are a few restaurants that stand out from the rest. Here are some of the best restaurants for Asian cuisine in DC:
Maketto is a popular restaurant that offers a unique fusion of Taiwanese and Cambodian cuisine. The restaurant is located in a historic building in the H Street Corridor and has a laid-back atmosphere. Maketto is known for its bao buns, which are filled with everything from crispy chicken to pork belly. In addition to bao buns, the restaurant also serves noodle dishes, dumplings, and more.
Daikaya is a popular ramen restaurant located in Chinatown. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and serves a variety of ramen dishes, including shio, shoyu, and miso ramen. Daikaya also has a second-floor izakaya, which serves small plates and drinks.
Little Serow is a popular Thai restaurant located in Dupont Circle. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and serves a set menu of Northern Thai dishes. The menu changes regularly and includes dishes like raw shrimp salad, pork ribs with chili jam, and crispy catfish.
Toki Underground is a popular ramen restaurant located in H Street Corridor. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and serves a variety of ramen dishes, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Toki Underground also serves small plates and drinks.
Thip Khao is a popular Laotian restaurant located in Columbia Heights. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and serves a variety of Laotian dishes, including spicy papaya salad, crispy rice salad, and grilled beef salad. Thip Khao also has a second-floor bar, which serves drinks and snacks.
Exploring Asian Grocery Stores in DC
In addition to restaurants, DC also has several Asian grocery stores where you can find authentic ingredients to cook your own Asian dishes at home. Here are some of the best Asian grocery stores in DC:
Hana Market is a Korean grocery store located in Adams Morgan. The store sells a variety of Korean ingredients, including kimchi, gochujang, and rice cakes. Hana Market also has a small cafe that serves Korean dishes.
Great Wall Supermarket
Great Wall Supermarket is a Chinese grocery store located in Falls Church, Virginia. The store sells a variety of Chinese ingredients, including fresh produce, seafood, and meat. Great Wall Supermarket also has a bakery that sells Chinese pastries.
H Mart is a Korean grocery store chain with several locations in the DC area. The store sells a variety of Korean ingredients, including fresh produce, meat, and seafood. H Mart also has a food court that serves Korean dishes.
Tips for Eating Asian Cuisine in DC
Eating Asian cuisine in DC can be an exciting and enjoyable experience. However, if you’re not familiar with the cuisine, it can also be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you navigate the Asian cuisine scene in DC:
Start with Familiar Dishes
If you’re new to Asian cuisine, start with dishes that are familiar to you. For example, if you’re a fan of chicken noodle soup, try a bowl of pho. If you like fried rice, try a stir-fry dish. Starting with familiar dishes can help ease you into the cuisine and allow you to explore new flavors gradually.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Recommendations
If you’re unsure what to order, don’t be afraid to ask your server for recommendations. They can help guide you through the menu and suggest dishes that are popular or unique to the restaurant.
Try Something New
While it’s essential to start with familiar dishes, don’t be afraid to try something new. Asian cuisine is diverse and offers a range of flavors and ingredients. Trying something new can be a fun and exciting way to explore the cuisine and discover new favorites.
Many Asian dishes are meant to be shared, so don’t be afraid to order several dishes and share them with your dining companions. This can be a fun and interactive way to explore the cuisine and try a variety of dishes.
Finally, be adventurous! Asian cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique ingredients. Don’t be afraid to try something that sounds unusual or challenging. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it.
FAQs for Best Asian Cuisine in DC
What is the best Asian cuisine in DC?
DC has a wide variety of Asian cuisine options, and it is subjective to determine the best one. However, some popular choices are Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian. Korean cuisine has gained popularity in recent years, and some notable Korean restaurants in DC are Haenyeo, Gogi Yogi, and Mandu. Japanese cuisine lovers must-try Sushi Taro, Daikaya, and Izakaya Seki. For authentic Chinese food, head to Panda Gourmet, Taster’s Choice, and China Chilcano. For Vietnamese and Thai cuisines, you can visit Doi Moi, Little Serow, and Beau Thai. Lastly, to taste Indian dishes, check out Rasa and Rasika.
Is it expensive to dine at Asian restaurants in DC?
The price range varies from restaurant to restaurant. Some Asian restaurants in DC can be quite expensive, while some offer affordable options. However, in general, dining at Asian restaurants in DC may not be as expensive as in other major US cities. Average prices per dish range between $12-20 depending on the type of cuisine and restaurant. You can also find cheap eats in Chinatown, where there are many small restaurants offering Chinese or Vietnamese food at relatively low prices.
Are Asian restaurants in DC adequately accommodating to vegetarians/vegans?
Most Asian restaurants in DC offer vegetarian and vegan options to cater to customers’ dietary needs. Vegetarian options are readily available in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian cuisines. In general, it is easy to find vegetarian dishes in Asian cuisine as they use a lot of vegetables and tofu in their dishes. Moreover, there are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in DC, such as Sticky Fingers, which offer Asian-inspired vegan dishes.
Is it necessary to make reservations before dining at Asian restaurants in DC?
It is always recommended to make a reservation before heading to any restaurant in DC. Most Asian restaurants in DC are popular and attract a lot of customers, so it is better to book a table in advance. During peak hours, you may have to wait for a long time to get a table, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. However, some small restaurants may not take reservations, so be prepared to wait in line if you choose to dine there.
Are Asian restaurants in DC kid-friendly?
Yes, many Asian restaurants in DC are kid-friendly and offer a friendly and casual atmosphere. If you are looking for a family-friendly restaurant, you can try Thai restaurant Beau Thai or Korean restaurant Mandu. Some Japanese restaurants, like Daikaya, offer a separate kid’s menu. However, it is recommended to check the restaurant’s website or call ahead to confirm if they offer high chairs or booster seats, as some smaller restaurants may not have them available.