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Washington, D.C., offers plenty of top-notch, diverse restaurants. But that doesn’t mean you have to dine out to experience them. Let those restaurants cater for you at work. It doesn’t matter which neighborhood you work in or what popular eatery you want to try. We’ve got catering choices for all appetites. And if you feel like taking in the ambiance of the best new restaurant in town, we have dine-in recommendations, too. Treat this as your guide for eating your way through the food scene of Washington, D.C. Whether you’re looking for a fabulous sit-down restaurant for date night or delicious catering for the whole gang at work, we’ve got you covered.


Photo: Bad Saint / Instagram | Washington, D.C., food scene
Photo: Bad Saint / Instagram

Grab a cup of locally roasted java at Compass Coffee or Au Bon Pain—make sure you nab a pastry, too. Haven’t the faintest idea of what to eat for lunch? Keep it casual as you tuck into a reuben with a side of tater tots at Slim’s Diner. Or, experience the innovative Filipino food at Bad Saint for stunners like rice porridge with chicken and oxtails in peanut sauce. If your Petworth office needs catering, Petworth Cafe offers tasty Mediterranean dishes. Their falafel sandwich is made with seasoned chickpea fritters, and the mouthwatering fattoush salad has plenty of bright mint. For a flavorful lunch buffet, your colleagues will love feasting on Jerk at Nite‘s spicy, smoked Jamaican jerk chicken.

Restaurants for the weekender: Compass CoffeeSlim’s DinerBad Saint

Washington catering for a work crowd: Au Bon PainPetworth CafeJerk at Nite

Shaw/Logan Circle/Columbia Heights

Photo: Unconventional Diner / Instagram | Washington, D.C., food scene
Photo: Unconventional Diner / Instagram

On weekends there’s no place like Unconventional Diner. The restaurant revamps classics like the Caesar salad, making it “dirty” with smoked tomato and aged Gouda. The Dabney is another notable restaurant that offers creative, hyper-local cuisine. Finally, Etto Pizzeria mills flour for their unbelievable pizza crust right there in the restaurant.

If you want food delivered to the office at work, District Rico crafts tasty burritos for a simple lunch buffet. Their heaping platters of barbecue chicken, plantains, and coleslaw are great for company events. Which Wich serves up classic American sandwiches, like the briny muffuletta, packed with many textures of deli meats in each bite.

Restaurants for the weekender: Unconventional DinerEtto PizzeriaThe Dabney

Washington catering for a work crowd: District Rico, Which Wich

Penn Quarter

Photo: Astro Doughnuts / Instagram | Washington, D.C., food scene
Photo: Astro Doughnuts / Instagram

Thanks to its location next to the National Mall, Penn Quarter hosts global chains like Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão and the West-African-inspired Nando’s Peri-Peri ChickenAstro Doughnuts‘s epic doughnuts (with or without fried chicken) captivate anyone from anywhere.

Need a local caterer who does breakfast? Try the southwest chicken sausage muffin from Uprising Muffin Company to keep your colleagues full until lunch. Or bring the eclectic energy of Busboys and Poets into your office with their entrées like blackened salmon or fried chicken.

Restaurants for the weekender: Fogo de ChãoNando’s Peri-Peri ChickenAstro Doughnuts

Washington catering for a work crowd: Uprising Muffin CompanyBusboys and Poets

Dupont Circle

Photo courtesy of GreenBee Cafe | Washington, D.C., food scene
Photo courtesy of GreenBee Cafe

Ringed by embassies and hotels, Dupont Circle has been the center of the Washington food scene for decades. For a gorgeous spot to woo a date, there is steak to match the dark, tufted banquettes at The Palm. For a casual meeting with friends, try the island-style burritos and tacos at Surfside.

If you need seriously good food catered for your team, GreenBee Cafe offers locally sourced and organic eats. Their salmon and grilled chicken dishes taste decadent but are healthful. For Latin American flavors, Arepa Zone will have your colleagues feeling boisterous with their savory empanada turnovers and arepa sandwiches built on lightly fried corn patties.

Restaurants for the weekender: The PalmSurfside

Washington catering for a work crowd: GreenBee CafeArepa Zone

Navy Yard/The Wharf

Photo courtesy of The Halal Guys | Washington, D.C., food scene
Photo courtesy of The Halal Guys

Washington’s south side offers a number of diverse restaurants. Rasa serves one-bowl meals of modern Indian food with playful dish names, like “Tikka Chance on Me” and “Aloo Need is Love.” The chef-driven restaurant Chloe elevates Lebanese food and places bright, herbaceous flavors on the stage.

If parking is bad and you want warm-spiced food delivered to you at work, Urfa Tomato Kabob is a must. Their specialties include crisp Turkish flatbread and grilled-meat kabab platters. At The Halal Guys, rotisserie chicken in a pita is their trademark.

Restaurants for the weekender: RasaChloe

Washington catering for a work crowd: Urfa Tomato KabobThe Halal Guys

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Christina Mueller

Written by:

Christina Mueller

Christina Mueller has been writing about restaurants, chefs, and culinary trends for more than 10 years. She has published recipes and written a cookbook that is still in a stained manila folder close to the stove. She spends her free time sharing favorite restaurants around the world with anyone who asks.

Posted in: Trends in FoodNeed to Know

Tagged with: Caterer Round Up, Catering Network, DC, Dinner, Lunch, Travel, Washington