Looking for the best Asian food in Washington, DC? Well, you’re in luck because we’re about to drop some serious knowledge on y’all. Here are 15 must try Asian restaurants in the district that will leave you completely and utterly satisfied! Be excited because you’re in for a serious treat.
There’s a reason Washingtonian named Anju the number 1 best restaurant in the DC area. If you’re looking to enjoy delicious Korean comfort food in the capital, you gotta check ’em out – both their brunch and dinner menus are straight fire.
Some of our personal favorite dishes are their mandu, yukhoe (Korean beef tartare), and chikin (available in half/whole), but you can’t go wrong with anything you get.
Don’t sleep on their brunch menu either though. Their breakfast sandwich and french toast will high key change your life. The former’s maple samgyeopsal (pork belly), gyeran-mari (think of this as a rolled Korean omelette for all intents and purposes), cheddar cheese and mayo served on O Bakery’s milk bread, and the latter’s a thicc – yes, with two c’s – french toast stuffed with magic. They also offer a mean hot chicken sandwich.
2. The Game
Located in Adams Morgan, this hole-in-the-wall gem is serving up delish Asian food for dine-in, pickup and delivery. They recently launched a new Filipino-influenced menu so know that you’re in for a serious treat.
Unsure what to get? Kick your meal off with an order of Jo-Jo’s Grilla in Manila slider trio, then get the Homerun burger as your main with a side of Four Point Play fries because life is short, and you deserve delicious things.
You have the option of getting chicken or pork belly sliders, but that just seems silly because you’re obviously going to get pork belly. All jokes aside, it was glazed in this crazy delicious BBQ sauce, then topped with atchara (Filipino pickles made from papayas), arugula, and sriracha yum yum. Honestly, some of the best sliders you’ll ever have the pleasure of devouring.
Their burger comes with purple slaw and crispy onions, slathered with said BBQ sauce, and the fries? Think of it as Filipino style poutine, topped with American cheese, jalapeños and Jojo’s gravy. On top of scrumptious Filipino food, they also offer dope cocktails so make sure you take a look.
3. Bantam King
Craving noodz? Then you definitely want to get Bantam King. They specialize in chicken-based broths so their ramen’s probably lighter than you’re used to, but their bowls are equally flavorful. Our personal favorite is their spicy miso, but you can’t go wrong with anything you get there so go wild.
Other must tries include their fried chicken plate, their rice with chicken drippings, and their gyoza. PS. their pastry chef is amazeballs so make sure you indulge your sweet tooth while you’re there. We had their sugar donuts the last time we went, and they were super on point.
Thank the food gods for ChiKo. They do modern Chinese and Korean cuisine, and their noms are damn delicious. They have several locations around the DMV area, and although there’s a lot of overlap with their menus, they offer a handful of different dishes at each place.
One thing’s for sure, make sure to get their cumin lamb stir fry, any (or all) of their dumplings, their crispy chicken springrolls, their chilled marinated littleneck clams, and their orange-ish chicken. Andddd you’re welcome in advance!
Their DuPont location’s open from 11-9PM (they do a variety of rice bowls and sammiches for lunch), and chef Scott Drewno whips up specials on the regular so make sure you follow their instagram to stay in the know, and place your order online by clicking here!
PS. ChiKo Cap Hill does a dope breakfast concept called I Egg You on weekends, and it’s yolk porn at its finest – think delicious egg sammies, delightful open faced griddlers, and loaded pots. Open from 8AM-1PM on Saturdays and Sundays, available via contactless pickup and delivery!
If you’re craving authentic Korean food in DC, Mandu is an absolute must, no ifs, ands or buts. Founded by mother-and-son duo Danny and Yesoon Lee, they’ve been voted “Best Korean” in the Washington City Paper annually since 2010.
With a name like Mandu, you gotta get an order of Korean dumplings to start. Choose from beef and pork, shrimp or veggie and enjoy them steamed or fried (definitely fried). Other killer apps include their dotori muk salad and hwe. The former’s made with acorn jelly, heirloom tomato, mama lee’s pickles and soy vinaigrette, while the latter’s a Korean scallop crudo that’s served in a radish water kimchi brine along with shiso oil and puffed quinoa.
For entrees, we highly recommend their soon doobu stew and gaji bokkum. The tofu stew’s ideal for colder weather, and it comes with soft tofu, shrimp, scallops, clams and soft egg. Notice the red color? Yeah, expect heat but not burn-a-hole-in-your-stomach heat. It’s the flavorful kind that will have you coming back for more.
The gaji bokkum’s kind of like a less spicy ddukbokki…with entirely different ingredients. So it’s not like ddukbokki at all…but we mention it because it comes with chewy rice cakes much like the aforementioned street food. This particular entree is served with roasted eggplant, pork belly and a healthy amount of garlic. It’s a beautiful dish, and we’re confident that you’ll love it as much as we do.
For those of you interested – and that should be all of you – their patio is open for dinner service Monday through Sunday from 5-9PM. They’re also offering takeout and delivery daily as well so definitely make sure to indulge. Just make sure you save room for dessert because their kwabaegi (twisted donut) will straight up change your life.
Words can’t even begin to describe the deliciousness that is Maketto. Go and enjoy droolworthy dishes like their pork steamed bao, crystal shrimp dumplings, and tofu and spicy basil sauce for a solid meal that will leave your tastebuds dancing. Unfortunately, we don’t have any food pics from this gem so you guys will have to do the leg work for us and send us yours when you go.
7. Thip Khao
If you haven’t tried Laotian food yet, you’re high key missing out. Located at 3462 14th Street NW, this Columbia Heights Bib Gourmand is everything you never knew you needed. And FYI, their food packs some serious heat so consider yourself warned because chef Seng doesn’t mess around. Their spice offerings start from “me no want spice” to “are you sure?” Tread carefully, Nomsters, tread carefully.
Unsure what to get? Must try plates are as follows: their Muu Som (rice-cured sour pork belly made with ginger, garlic, bell pepper, onion, wood ear mushroom and toasted chili), their Salmon Moak (steamed inside banana leaves with herbal rice paste, coconut, and wood ear mushrooms), and their Tam Muk Houng (green papaya salad with fermented fish, fermented shellfish, chili, tomato, eggplant, lime, garlic and puffed rice.
Their drink program’s run by superstar mixologist Al Thompson so get a cocktail or 3 as well because treat yoself. Cheers Nomsters!
8. Menya Hosaki
Easily one of the best ramen spots in the DMV! Menya’s fairly new to the scene, but everyone and their mom raves about how good their noodz are. Located in Petworth, there will almost always be a wait, but we promise the wait will be worth it each and every time.
Expect to enjoy perfectly executed Tonkotsu style ramen with a beautiful broth and flavorful toppings. We recommend getting their triple threat or truffle shoyu. And their karaage, that’s a must as well!
This Malaysian spot is (rightfully) now a Michelin Bib Gourmand. With chef James Wozniuk at the helm, their team slings straight fire all day every day. Must try dishes include their mango salad, Penang street noodles and fried chicken. And you can’t leave without enjoying an order of their sago. Our picture doesn’t do this dish justice, but this dessert slays. Tapioca, gula melako and coconut pandan cream? What’s not to love.
10. Pho Viet
For those of you looking for delicious pho in DC proper, you’re welcome in advance. Pho Viet’s our go-to when it comes to this delectable noodle soup, and we have no doubt you’ll love this spot as much as we do after experiencing their noms first hand. They’re known for their spicy lemongrass pho – we get extra spicy because we love heat – but all of their broths are solid.
Each bowl’s served with the traditional fixings (bean sprouts, jalapeños, lime and Asian basil), and everything’s under $12.95. We recommend their Phở Đặc Biệt aka “beef special,” but go with whatever proteins tickle your fancy.
11. Panda Gourmet
This unassuming restaurant’s infamous for their incredible Chinese food. Located inside/next to a Days Inn, this hole-in-the-wall may seem a bit sketch at first. Don’t let the exterior fool you though because their food’s tasty AF. Located in NE DC, they have a huge menu with something for everyone.
Want recommendations? We personally love their dan dan noodles, mapo tofu, shredded beef with hot pepper and cumin lamb, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Go wild, Nomsters! Go with friends or get a takeout feast because sharing is caring and sampling’s dope.
We stan Tigerfork, always and forever! With an impressive menu with everything from Hong Kong street food to traditional dim sum, you’ll be overwhelmed (…in the best way possible) with bussin’ possibilities. We’re big tofu people in general, but their eggplant mapo is next level so that’s a must.
Other dope options include their pork ribs, char siu plate and combo fried rice. They also have an interesting drink menu that utilizes Chinese spirits and traditional tonics + tinctures in interesting ways so definitely take a looksee.
A dope bar with fantastic cocktails and equally fantastic food. The interior’s stunning, and the ambiance is perfection – great for date night or a fun night out with friends. Whatever the occasion, we guarantee you’ll have a good time.
Astoria’s run by the same peeps who own Copycat so their model’s down pact, and surprisingly, they high key have some of the best Chinese food in the city. Treat yourself to drinks and don’t sleep on their water boiled beef (SO good), mala pot, salt ‘n pepper eggplant and walnut shrimp.
14. Purple Patch
We’ve gotten so much takeout from this spot, it’s borderline obscene. Our favorite dish by far is chef Patrice’s Sizzling Sisig, but there’s so much to try and love. The aforementioned dish – made with pork belly + shoulder in a soy & lemon sauce along with onions, peppers and a fried egg – is the epitome of comfort, and we also love her chicken adobo, lumpia, and tocino with garlic fried rice.
15. Moon Rabbit
Chef Kevin Tien can do no wrong in our book – we’ve been fans ever since he first opened Himitsu, and Moon Rabbit’s yet another home run. In fact, so much so, they were recently named one of the best restaurants in America by Esquire; an accolade that’s so well-deserved. Must try dishes include their Ga Chien (fried chicken), any crudo (all of his crudos slap), and their lemongrass pork blade.
Alright friends, we hope you enjoyed reading our latest featuring some of the best asian restaurants in DC. Have you tried any of these places yet? If yes, what did you think? Let us know by leaving a comment below and browse our DC tab for more nom content that will leave you droolin’. We update daily so make sure to check back soon. Until next time – happy eating!