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16 New D.C. Restaurants To Try This Summer

The D.C. restaurant scene continues to explode with new concepts, and the warmer months are usually the busiest for new openings. With summer officially kicking off this week, Bisnow took a look at 16 restaurants that opened this spring, or are scheduled to open soon, that are worth checking out this summer.  

O-Ku DC

O-Ku Sushi Union Market
The O-Ku DC sushi restaurant near Union Market that opened in June
  • Address: 1274 Fifth St. NE
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Opening: Friday

Chef Bryan Emperor plans to open O-Ku D.C. Friday in the Union Market neighborhood. The restaurant will have 120 seats inside and a 40-seat bar with a patio overlooking the popular food hall. The space, designed by architecture firm //3877, will combine the industrial style of the neighborhood with a minimalist Japanese aesthetic. 

O-Ku D.C.'s menu will feature traditional sushi and sashimi dishes, wood-fired robata-style dishes and several signature items, such as Aburi-style ocean trout with trout caviar and Mero Japanese sea bass.

Mission

Mission 1221 Van
A rendering of the Mission restaurant at 1221 Van St. SE, which opened in July
  • Address: 1221 Van St. SE
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Opening: July

JBG Smith in January signed a 10K SF lease at its 1221 Van mixed-use project with the owners of U Street's Hawthorne and Dupont Circle's Mission. The team plans to open a second location of Mission at the Capitol Riverfront building, sitting across the street from Nationals Park, in July. 

The restaurant will feature a two-story atrium, a 125-foot bar, roughly 400 seats, an outdoor terrace and patio, and private event spaces. It will serve 12 taco options, plus flautas, nachos, margaritas, two dozen beers and champagne on tap. 

City Winery

City Winery
The concert venue dining area at City Winery
  • Address: 1350 Okie St. NE
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Opening: Late April

When it opened in Ivy City this spring, City Winery brought new dining, drinking and entertainment offerings to the Northeast D.C. neighborhood with a concentration of distilleries and breweries. The concept opened in the former Love Nightclub building owned by Douglas Development, which controls much of the real estate in Ivy City. 

City Winery has four floors of entertainment space totaling 42K SF. It features a wine production facility, a concert venue, a 175-seat Mediterranean-style restaurant, a rooftop terrace and multiple private event spaces. City Winery also has locations in New York City, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta and Boston. Its D.C. opening follows last summer's opening of Capitol Riverfront's District Winery, the city's first wine-making venue.  

Sushi Nakazawa

Trump Hotel Old Post Office Building DC
The entrance to the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office building in D.C.
  • Address: 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW 
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Opening: June 1

Celebrity chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian pulled out of deals to open at the Trump International Hotel during Donald Trump's presidential run, but a sushi restaurant signed on in the weeks after the 2016 election to fill the dining space at the hotel. It opened June 1. 

Sushi Nakazawa, from New York restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone and chef Daisuke Nakazawa, features a 10-seat sushi bar and a 30-seat dining room. The Omakase-style restaurant does not have a menu for customers to order from, instead serving a 21-course meal for $150 for those sitting at the bar and $120 in the dining room. The restaurant received praise from Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema in a review published Friday. 

America Eats Tavern

Jose Andres
Celebrity chef José Andrés at the MGM National Harbor grand opening
  • Address: 3139 M St. NW
  • Cuisine: American
  • Opening Date: June 4

After longtime Georgetown barbecue restaurant Old Glory closed suddenly in February, its ownership group partnered with José Andrés' ThinkFoodGroup to bring America Eats Tavern to the space. Andrés is relocating the farm-to-table restaurant from its location at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons

The two-story America Eats Tavern has 193 seats, a downstairs bar and a back patio. Its menu features grilled food, raw seafood, wines, cheeses, beers and spirits sourced from all 50 states. 

6 New Restaurants at The Wharf

Mi Vida Wharf
Mi Vida, the Mexican restaurant at The Wharf that opened in February

The Wharf's restaurant unveilings didn't stop with its October grand opening. New concepts have opened this spring and several more are on tap for the summer. Here's an overview: 

  • Mexican restaurant Mi Vida opened in February next to The Anthem. (Papadopoulos Properties represented the tenant in the deal.) 
  • Southeast Asian concept Kaliwa opened in March at 751 Wharf St. SW.
  • Seafood restaurant Lupo Marino debuted in May at 40 Pearl St. SW.
  • Mediterranean restaurant La Vie is planning a late June opening.
  • Rappahannock Oyster Co. plans to open early this summer. 
  • Nicholas Stefanelli's Officina food hall plans a summer opening.

2 New Pizza Restaurants Near Nationals Park

Canal Park
The building in Canal Park that Wiseguy Pizza will occupy
  • Address: 79 Potomac Ave. SE, 200 M St. SE
  • Cuisine: Pizza
  • Opening: April 4, August

Baseball fans attending Nationals games this summer, and the July 17 MLB All-Star Game, will have two new popular pizzerias to try. All Purpose Pizza opened at the Dock 79 building April 3. Rappaport's Alex Shiel and Jim Farrell represented the landlord, MRP Realty, in signing that restaurant, its second location after its critically acclaimed Shaw outpost. 

Popular New York-style pizzeria Wiseguy Pizza plans to open its fourth location in August at 200 M St. SE, following restaurants in Chinatown, Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn. The pizzeria will occupy a stand-alone building in Canal Park, one block east of the Navy Yard Metro station. Rappaport's Bill Dickinson and Kyle Gamber represented the landlord in the deal. 

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo dining room Shaw
The dining room at the San Lorenzo restaurant in Shaw
  • Address: 1316 Ninth St. NW
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Opening: Late June

Massimo Fabbri, the chef behind East End's Ristorante Tosca, in February purchased the former Thally restaurant space in Shaw. The Tuscan-style restaurant will include a 56-seat dining room and a 14-seat bar and will make its pasta in house. The restaurant aims to open June 26 or June 27, a spokesperson tells Bisnow

Fancy Radish

Whole Foods H Street
Whole Foods' ground-floor space at The Apollo on H Street
  • Address: 600 H St. NE
  • Cuisine: Vegetable-based
  • Opening: March

The team behind acclaimed Philadelphia restaurant Vedge opened its first D.C. concept on H Street in March. Fancy Radish, a vegetable-based dining concept, pulled roughly 60% of its menu items from Vedge, another 20% from the team's V Street concept and the rest were new offerings.

The 65-seat restaurant sits on the ground floor of The Apollo, Insight Property Group's mixed-use project that features Whole Foods, Solid State Books, Wydown Coffee, The Daily Rider and WeWork. Miller Walker Retail brokered the deal to bring Fancy Radish to the space.

The Eleanor

The Eleanor
The bowling alley at The Eleanor, NoMa's new dining and entertainment concept
  • Address: 100 Florida Ave. NE
  • Cuisine: American
  • Opening: June 25

After several months of vacancy and a short stint as a feminist-focused pop-up store, Washington Gateway developer MRP Realty leased the former Union Social space in NoMa to a new dining and entertainment concept.

The Eleanor, expected to open June 25, was created by the restaurateur behind H Street's Bar Elena. It will feature two mini bowling lanes, pinball machines and other arcade games, a bar and a restaurant with 160 indoor seats and a 55-seat outdoor patio.