Adams Morgan is known for its millennial-friendly scene that features a diverse mix of bars and lounges along with hip stores selling clothing, furniture and records. However, the neighborhood’s burgeoning restaurant scene (which recently scored a Michelin star for one of its restaurants) adds another reason to visit the cultural hub.
Founded by three veterans of the DC dining scene, Tail Up Goat specializes in Mediterranean-meets-Caribbean favorites with a focus on breads and pastas. The menu garnered the attention of the Michelin Guide, which recently awarded the restaurant a highly coveted star in its first DC edition.
Adams Morgan’s dining cred is only increased by Chef Cedric Maupillier’s (also responsible for Convivial) white tablecloth restaurant, Mintwood Place. The French restaurant cooks up creative yet classic dishes that have the city’s gourmands clamoring for reservations. A little less formal, but no less delicious, Roofers Union delivers American fare inside a three-story abode that also boasts live music and a cocktail bar.
And third time’s a charm for Johnny’s Half Shell, as neighborhood favorites Ann Cashion and John Fulchino made their return to AdMo in the same space of their former and much-beloved Cashion’s Eat Place. Cashion and Fulchino have revamped this DC staple with a smaller seasonal lineup that won’t break the bank. For a true classic, order the celebrated Maryland-style crabcake with coleslaw and fries.
If you’re hip to the ramen craze, gather ‘round the bar at Sakuramen, which only serves variations of the popular Japanese dish. At Pop’s SeaBar, the owner’s time spent at the Jersey Shore inspired a menu of beach bum favorites like oysters, crab cakes and Orange Crush cocktails. Duck into Johnny Pistolas for some Los Angeles-inspired Mexican tacos (and plenty of tequila!).
Also along the 18th Street corridor: Japanese restaurant Donburi, which attracts diners to its small and sleek dining room for steaming rice bowls, and Mama Ayesha’s, purveyor of authentic Middle Eastern food.
No discussion of the nightlife scene in this bustling neighborhood is complete without a mention of Madam’s Organ. The restaurant/bar/live music venue has been a staple of Adams Morgan for two decades, serving a menu of bar favorites (specials are offered nightly). Bands play and DJs spin on its two floors practically every night of the week, creating a lively atmosphere that local patrons adore.
Adams Morgan has also become go-to for bourbon lovers. Jack Rose Dining Saloon offers up one of the country’s largest whiskey selections with an array of snacks and dishes that will pair perfectly with your selection. Smoke & Barrel offers a barbecue menu with brisket, pork, chicken and ribs that have been smoked for days, along with a Kentucky-centric menu of more than 100 whiskeys. At Bourbon, you can choose from 1 oz., 2 oz. and 3 oz. pours while a selection of charcuterie and cheese makes for ideal accompaniment.
The neighborhood is also home to linger-worthy casual restaurants perfect for a low-key meal the day after a big night out. The Diner and its next-door neighbor, Tryst, are under the same owner’s umbrella. Both offer comfort food and a great place to sit back and relax with the weekend paper (or your iPad).