The Best New Restaurants in D.C. to Try (and Instagram) This Summer

In the last few years, the D.C. restaurant scene has burgeoned to impressive levels. It seems like a competitive new restaurant (or more) opens up on a daily basis, and pretty soon, the nation's capital will rival the restaurant (and bar) scene of New York City. Since it's hard to keep up with the list of places that are a must-visit, we've done the work for you and put together a roundup of the coolest, most Instagram-worthy new restaurants to dine at in D.C. this summer.

Whether you're a local looking to expand horizons or a tourist visiting for the first time, you're sure to find something you like below. From the perfect romantic Italian date spot with next-level cocktails and pasta dishes to a waterfront seafood house with oyster flights and a mouthwatering milkshake for the record books (it's Fluffernutter-flavored, and it looks insane), these are the places to try in the District this summer. Keep scrolling for the scoop!


Colada Shop brings colorful Cuban cuisine to the 14th Street corridor that's packed with restaurants. (The restaurant's tagline is "Come Curious, Leave Cuban"—how cute is that?) The bright blue-and-red café offers a sweet patio for outdoor dining while the tile floors inside rival L.A.'s République for being Instagram-worthy. Indulge in a café con leche, Cuban sandwich, croquetas, and all the pastellitos your heart desires. Or come just for cocktails on a summer afternoon and try a daiquiri, piña colada, Cuba Libre, or mojito.

1405 T St. NW, Washington, D.C.


French restaurant Mirabelle earned the coveted spot as the number one best new restaurant on The Washington Post's list of the 10 best new restaurants of the year. City-famous critic Tom Sietsema dubbed it "The New Crown Jewel of Downtown Dining" in his review, so you know it's good. One look at the pastries and desserts, and you'll be booking a ticket to The District sooner than Paris.

900 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C.


Handcrafted cocktails, hearty Italian food, and moody, ambient lighting make romantic Adams Morgan hot spot Rosario, helmed by Smoke & Barrel chef Logan McGear, the ideal summer date location.

2435 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C.


This quaint, picturesque restaurant in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C. boasts global-inspired cuisine, a patio canopied by string lights, mini golf, and fire pits for chilly summer evenings.

808 V St. NW, Washington, D.C.


Situated near the D.C. waterfront, Navy Yard, and Nationals Park, this seafood spot is the ideal place to grab a lobster roll, an oyster sampling, and a beer slushy on a weekend afternoon. Not to mention that the interior design is absolutely gorgeous. Heads up: There's a Fluffernutter milkshake on the menu that looks like one of these most insane (in the best way) culinary creations we've ever seen.

79 Potomac Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.


Nothing says summer like craft American barbecue and banana pudding for dessert, which is just what you can get at this über-popular comfort-food destination with the perfect outdoor patio.

1654 Columbia Road NW, Washington, D.C.


This Petworth-area spot serving cocktails, sushi, and Japanese-inspired dishes is another that made Sietsema's top 10 best list for the year. It's tiny (24 seats) and only takes walk-ins, so getting a spot at this much-reviewed restaurant will take dedication, but it will be rewarded with inventive cuisine and cocktails. 

828 Upshur St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Any restaurants on here we missed? Leave your suggestions below!