Since moving to the Adams Morgan neighborhood a few months ago, I’ve had time to explore and find some great restaurants and bars. What I love about this area is its diversity. No where else have I found an Ethiopian restaurant, a Turkish restaurant, an American restaurant with homey diner fare, a classic French bistro, an authentic Italian restaurant and a Sushi bar contained within a few blocks. It’s sensory overload!
Here are five I especially like, all along 18th Street -
1. The Black Squirrel (2427 18th St., NW)
This was actually the first bar I went to in D.C. With an enormous menu offering every kind of beer imaginable, this is my go-to bar for a laid back night. There are also three different floors to choose from, each one offering a different selection of beers on tap. One of my favorites is the one-liter Hofbrau Oktoberfest, offered on the main floor and poured into a German-style beer mug. Also pretty cool, if you’re in an indecisive mood, the street level bar offers smaller portions of beers on tap for $2-$3 each. The Black Squirrel’s pub fare menu is also pretty tasty as well – I recommend the burgers.
2. Jyoti Indian Cuisine (2433 18th St., NW)
Some of the best Indian food by delivery I’ve ever had. The first time I ordered from Jyoti, I walked to the restaurant to pick up my food. The first surprise was the restaurant itself – the low-lit dining room and cozy, intimate ambience make for an inviting atmosphere. Everything I’ve ordered at Jyoti is excellent. The chicken palak, a creamy spinach dish, is dangerously delicious (Seriously, you’ll eat this until you explode.). The vegetable curry is tasty as well, not too creamy or rich. For Indian delivery, this is my spot.
3. Julia’s Empanadas (2452 18th St., NW)
These are good. Really good. Empanadas, a Latin American and Southern European pastry stuffed with a variety of meats, vegetables, fruits, cheese and more, is a simple and savory treat. At $3.49 each, Julia’s empanadas are hard to pass up. The Jamaican Style Beef is stuffed with ground and chopped beef, onion, potato, curry and spices, is heavenly. The Adams Morgan location is open late, until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday (you can guess what state the clientele is in at this hour!).
4. Tryst (2459 18th St., NW)
A combination coffeehouse, bar and light fare restaurant, Tryst is always a lively spot. The interior is stylish, filled with plush sofas and big tables. The menu offers brunch all day, small plates and sandwiches (go for the Dapper Dave!). The bar offers a nice selection of beers on tap and a wine list as well. I can’t wait to bring some homework from culinary school one night (there’s free wi-fi during the week) and sip from a good old PBR can.
5. L’Enfant Cafe-Bar (2000 18th St., NW)
Cheese plate. Order this. That is all. With a glass of house red or white, it’s out of this world. L’Enfant resembles a cozy Parisian bistro with its inviting outdoor seating and warm interior. The menu is simple but authentic – Boeuf Bourguignon, steak frites, french onion soup and sweet and savory crepes. I loved the Tuna Nicoise, a salad topped with tuna, potatoes, hard-boiled egg, haricots verts (French green beans) and olives. L’Enfant’s version uses seared ahi tuna, much preferred over the canned variety.