Our Favorite Restaurants in the DMV

Posted on December 27 2017

Our Favorite Restaurants in the DMV
Welcome to Part II of the Zeena Travel Series! In this post, we're exploring the Nation's Capitol one bite at a time. 

Zeena Uncovered: Our Favorite Restaurants in the DMV

Did you know Zeena is based in the Washington, DC area? Yep, the heart of our business is located right outside the Nation’s Capitol – home of the White House, Congress, dozens of museums, theaters and some of the best eats in the country. For anyone coming into town for the holidays, or for you lovely locals looking for a hot new restaurant, we’ve got the tried-and-true master list right here!

FOUNDING FARMERS - 1800 Tysons Blvd. Tysons, VA 

Farm-to-Table brunch perfection. You’ll want to bring an appetite for this one. Founding Farmers offers a traditional American menu of fresh baked breads, waffles and pancakes smothered in hand-churned butter, smoothies, salads and a butcher’s table overflowing with meat carved right before your eyes. With multiple locations in Tysons, DC and Montgomery County, you’ll have no problem finding one nearby. 

MIYAGI -- 6719 Curran Street McLean, VA 

Sushi fans unite! Miyagi is the ONLY place in the DMV where you can find deep fried mouthwatering sushi. I know it sounds insane, but one taste of their crispy, creamy, saucy, wasabi-dipped fried sushi and you’ll be a believer too. Miyagi seats guest on a first come, first serve basis and the staff is very polite and attentive. Miyagi is a hidden gym in McLean and can be a little hard to find, but it’s definitely worth the trip.

THE LINCOLN – 1110 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 

With its beautiful, artistic interior and relaxing ambiance, the Lincoln partners with local farms to bring you the best produce, sustainable farmed seafood and organic, grass-fed poultry and steak. The menu features American cuisine, small plates and tasty sandwiches, including a butternut squash veggie burger, turkey club and an ‘All-American’ burger that is sure to please.

LUKE’S LOBSTER – 1211 Potomac Street, NW, Georgetown 

Hometown seafood goodness in a cozy little shack. Open from 4-7pm daily, Luke’s is a haven for seafood lovers. The menu features lobster rolls, shrimp salads and sandwiches, clam chowder and a few vegetarian items. Help yourself to a side of poppy seed slaw or Cape Cod chips and enjoy a taste of Maine right here in Georgetown. (*Treat yourself to dessert next door at the world famous Georgetown Cupcake!)

Founding Farmers Brunch

Lincoln Restaurant

Luke's Lobster

(Founding Farmers brunch buffet - image: setarra.com; The Lincoln Restaurant - image: thefabempire.com; Luke's Lobster roll - image: danielfooddiary.com)


EARLS KITCHEN –  7902 Tysons One Place, Tysons Corner, VA

Casual, elegant, innovative, Earls Kitchen + Steakhouse offers an outdoor fire pit, free WiFi, patio seating and free parking. Serving the best Creekstone Farms Certified Humane Raised and Handled® Angus beef, everything about this place is modern, swanky and hip, even the food. Earls has appetizers galore (*for those of us who are grubby...err, like to share!) Choose from small plates of garlic fries, sushi rolls, Jamaican jerk chicken wings or coconut shrimp. For dinner, relax and dine on a NY strip, sirloin or ribeye. Treat your inner steak lover to a late night feast. Earls is open past 1am.

COASTAL FLATS - 7860-L Tysons Corner Center, McLean, VA 

Located inside Tysons Corner Mall, Coastal Flats is a family-style American seafood restaurant with a beachy atmosphere. Kids can enjoy fish fingers, cheeseburgers with fries or a yummy plate of salmon complete with mashed potatoes. Adults, help yourself to ‘surf n’ turf’ steak, artichoke dip or delicious hickory grilled jumbo shrimp. If you’ve ever visited a large seafood chain like Red Lobster, Coastal Flats is much more lively, charming and fun. 

OYAMEL D.C. - 401 7th St NW, Washington, DC

Zagat rated as one of the top 10 Mexican restaurants in DC, Oyamel is a mini vacation to Mexico City! Dining here is an experience all its own. The servers will create fresh guacamole by hand upon request, paired with sizzling hot tortilla chips. I love everything about Mexican food, especially the mix of fresh veggies, tangy sauces, and creative flavors (nearly everything comes with a wedge of lime). The ceviche is unbelievable and for dessert...Mexican hot chocolate and an authentic caramel flan.

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN – (Solaire) 7100 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 

True Food Kitchen features plenty of organic, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu options for the health-conscious foodie. Nutritious and exciting, each dish is a colorful explosion of seasonal flavors. Try the kale guacamole, a margherita pizza or the quinoa burger! 

OSTERIA MORINI - 301 Water St SE #109, Washington, DC 

This upscale Italian hub is luxuriously spacious and even when it’s crowded. Osteria Mornia feels just as comfortable as your best friend’s living room. Menu options range from rustic handmade pasta dishes, wood-grilled steak and an amazing selection of fresh gelato flavors to cleanse your palette – including honeydew! Ciao!

Earl's Kitchen

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

Osteria Morini DC

 (Earl's Kitchen - image: codaworx.com; Oyamel Cocina Mexicana - image: epicureandc.com; Osteria Morini - image: timeoutdc.com) 


Halal Eats

Looking for Halal-only restaurants? Try some of our A-list favorites!

STONE HOT PIZZA -- 3829 South George Mason Drive, Falls Church, VA

If you have never visited Stone Hot Pizza...you need a hug. Words cannot express the taste sensation of taking that first bite of oven-baked goodness. That crust, those crunchy veggies...the spicy Halal pepperoni (*OMG!) all smothered in an ooey-gooey cheese blend that will bring tears of joy to your eyes. With each slice, relax into a cheesy state of bliss. Stone Hot is absolutely the BEST Halal pizzeria in the DMV. And the Quatro Carne? Bacon, sausage, pepperoni, meatballs – it’s a carnivore’s dream! Stone Hot has all the variety you can think of, from Hawaiian to mushroom, to Greek, Romani and cacciatore; and with prices starting under eight bucks...you don’t want to miss it! 

BANTAM KING – 501 G Street NW, Washington, DC 

If you didn’t know, a bantam is a type of chicken...and Halal chicken is the central focus of Bantam King Japanese Ramen Shop. Visiting Bantam King is a fun, vibrant experience full of crazy DIY ramen combinations, “East Meets South” Japanese fried chicken and my favorite --- hot n’ sweet, poppable pot stickers aka gyoza. Bring your camera. You’ll want to snap some picture of the playful décor!  

FALAFEL Inc. – 1210 Potomac St NW, Washington, DC 20007 

Ahmad Ashkar, Esquire magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year”, opened Falafel Inc. in May of 2017. It hasn’t been around long, but everyone knows this 800sq foot walk-in restaurant is truly unique. Formerly Quick Pita, Falafel Inc. serves $3 sandwiches and $4 salads (*with plenty of hummus) all for a charitable cause. Through his nonprofit organization and the World Food Programme, Ashkar donates a portion of sales to refugees from the Middle East promoting his mission: eat for good. 

AGORA - 1527 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Agora is a triple threat of Halal Mediterranean cuisine – Lebanese, Turkish and Greek! Located in Dupont Circle, Agora serves mezze with a twist, offering allergy-free and gluten-free options. Be warned, they don't allow split-tender checks...but the chefs more than make up for it with their beautiful lachmachun, sumptuous ‘dolmades’ grape leaves, amazing selection of cheeses and creative lamb dishes.


Stonehot Pizza

Bantam King


Agora DC

(Stone Hot Pizza - image: stonehot.com; Bantam King - image: dc.eater.com; Falafel Inc - image: falafelinc.org; Agora DC lamb chops - image: http://agoradc.net/gallery/) 


AMINA THAI -- 8624 Colesville Road. Silver Spring, MD 20910

When Amina Thai first opened a few years ago, I had never eaten Thai food. My first experience was such a wonderful surprise that I make it my mission to eat here whenever I’m zipping around Rockville Pike or after a movie at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring. With two locations to choose from, Amina Thai is the perfect way to end an evening. The menu is carefully curated by a husband and wife team, who take the time to greet customers with a smile. The atmosphere is bright and comfortable and the food is impeccable. Using only Halal cuts, there is no pork to worry about...only savory flavors from Thailand that will make your head spin.

CAFÉ DIVAN -- 1834 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 

Ask anyone, Café Divan is one of the best Turkish restaurants in DC, hands down. The staff is superb, the food is flavorful and the atmosphere...very cool. Indulge in a ‘Breakfast Weekend’ with morning service running from 9am-1pm on Saturday and Sunday; or stop in for dinner and lounge with friends until 11pm. Café Divan is a great for socializing, with stylish Italian leather seating, great music and an in-house wood fire grill. Must have eats include the juicy doner kebob and the adana kebob. Want both? Try a sampler! The Divan Mix is a combination of aromatic chicken, köfte, lamb shish kebob, lamb chops and doner kebab served over a bed of rice and vegetables. Love knafe? They have it too...but not without a piping hot cup of tea or Turkish coffee. 

SHAMSHIRI – Tysons -- 8607 Westwood Center Dr, Vienna, VA 

Traditional Persian cuisine, Shamshiri is a go-to dine-in restaurant for lunch or dinner. Open daily at 11am, choose from Persian classics, such as seasoned rice with kubideh, kebobs or lamb shanks with a side of lavash bread and mast-o-musir (yogurt sauce).  

BURGER 7 -- 7505 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 

Build your own custom burger at B-7. The chefs here only use 100% Halal, USDA Certified grass-fed beef and chicken. Don’t like burgers? Grab a hot dog stuffed with the works or sink your teeth into a melty grilled cheese sandwich. And what's a burger without a mikshake? B-7 has four -- chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or Nutella. (*yes, Nutella you can drink! I didn't even know this was possible), plus classic sides like onion rings and French fries. Come hungry. B-7 is the stuff of legend. 

Cafe Divan

Burger 7

  (Cafe Divan - image: cafedivan.com; Burger 7 - image: Instagram @myburger7)


Which DMV restaurants are your favorites? Did we leave any out? Share your experience in the comments below!



Jamillah Abdullah, Zeena Team Contributor

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