Truth be told, I have the palate of a 4-year old. I love food, but I am not impressed by kale and I like my fries with Heinz ketchup, not truffle oil. I do, however, love to find restaurants that make me feel adventurous and worldly, so Washington, D.C. is hard to beat.
During a recent trip to D.C. with my family, we did not have a one bad meal. For the first few nights, we stayed at the newly renovated and modern Hilton McLean Tysons Corner and were blown away by the breakfast buffet at Härth restaurant. The continental breakfast bar option that was included in our room rate (one of the perks of being a Diamond Hilton Honors member) included fresh baked breads, cereal, seasonal fruit and yogurt. You can also order off the menu.
After a few nights in the suburbs, we changed hotels and stayed at the classic Capital Hilton, a stone’s throw from the White House and close to many excellent, affordable and family-friendly restaurants. Here are some of our favorites.
BEST FAMILY RESTAURANTS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
My daughter’s favorite, this South-African chain featuring Portuguese style PERi-PERi chicken is a great stop for both lunch and dinner. We have gone out of our way to find Nando’s in such far-flung places as Vancouver, Canada, New Zealand and of course, South Africa. Flame-grilled marinated chicken, at all different spice levels, is the star attraction, along with delicious sides like charbroiled corn on the cob, fries and mushy peas. Beer and wine available, and kids meals even come with frozen yogurt and topping bar.
One of my close friends who lived in D.C. for many years, highly recommended this popular eatery. Lucky for me, I booked a table at Founding Farmers with Open Table a week in advance. The service was unpretentious and unbelievably thorough (our waiter even explained how they make the lemonade), and the prices were reasonable considering the restaurant’s prime location. The cuisine can best be described as southern comfort food with a focus on locally sourced items. Think chicken pot pie, meat loaf, beef stew (my choice) and crab cakes (my husband’s choice). My daughter ended her meal with the largest slice of Red Velvet Cake I have ever seen. Founding Farmers has several D.C.-area locations, but we dined at the downtown location.
We had the good fortune to enjoy a relaxing lunch at Clyde’s in the heart of Georgetown on St. Patrick’s Day. Traditional pub food served by friendly staff in a very family-oriented environment. The kid’s menu was extensive, and the bar makes a great Shirley Temple. Clyde’s is a great restaurant if you want to sink your teeth into a good hamburger and fries. My husband loved the crab cakes and had a recommended appetizer called the Crab Tower. (Yes, my husband binged on crab while we were in the D.C. area.)
RASIKA WEST END
Indian cuisine is hands-down my most exotic food favorite. Rasika West End is a highly-rated restaurant featuring “Modern Indian Cuisine,” and in my humble opinion, the food and service more than lived up to the hype. Again, we booked in advance using Open Table and upon arrival were seated at a lovely booth by the window. The service was excellent, and the wine list was fantastic. Our meal was flawless. Although there was no kid’s menu, my daughter is a big fan of Chicken Tikka, and what child doesn’t love rice and soft, warm Naan bread. Don’t miss the spinach appetizer (Palak Chaat).
MORE FAVORITE WASHINGTON, D.C. FAMILY RESTAURANTS
In addition to these favorites, D.C. is home to two of my favorite chains: Paul, a bakery popular in Paris, is a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch for a quick sandwich on a baguette. Another excellent choice is Cosi, with its healthy dining options and fast service.
This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.