When vacationing, most people want to experience new and exciting things that will create life-long memories. Some people do that by shopping in local stores and malls. Others like visiting unique bars. And then there are those who enjoy perusing museums and historical sites. But regardless of how people like filling their time while on vacation, there’s one activity that everyone partakes in while traveling, and that’s eating.
Like every aspect of taking a trip, deciding where to eat requires making a choice: do you eat at your favorite coast-to-coast franchises where you’re familiar with every taste or do you venture out and explore the unique flavors of the town you’re visiting? I’ll give you a hint: visiting new restaurants will give you more opportunities to make those life-long memories that will make your trip pleasantly unforgettable.
Founding Farmers could technically be considered a field-to-table restaurant. All of their ingredients, perishable or not, are specially selected from family farmers across the country (of course, all their fresh foods like vegetables, eggs, and meats are brought in from local farmers every day). Cooking with fresh ingredients is a vital part of Founding Farmers’ vow to produce a “true food and drink” experience for everyone who walks through their door.
Since they’re devoted to giving your taste buds a meal they’ll never forget, the chefs, cooks, and bakers at Founding Farmers make every dish in-house. This dedication to excellence has earned them 4- and 5-star ratings and multiple awards. They are well-known for their signature dishes, like Devilish Eggs Seafood Combo, Steak and Enchiladas, and Rotisserie Chicken. They also sport a wide range of hand-selected cocktails, beers, and wines and enough desserts to tempt even the most reluctant sweet tooth.
No one can go to Washington, D.C. without experiencing history. The city is practically gushing it! The restaurant venue is no exception. One of the oldest historic restaurants, the Gadsby Tavern, can be found in Alexandria and has been serving lavish food and drink since 1770. During the late 18th century, it was frequented by public figures like George Washington, John Adams, and almost all of the rest of the founding fathers.
Their tradition of hospitality continues even now. The restaurant part of this historical site is now in what used to be the City Hotel. This offers modern guests the opportunity to enjoy delicious and historic dishes in one of several dining rooms. And who knows? Maybe when you visit, you’ll eat in a room where George Washington once slept! Oh, and did I mention that the wait staff is dressed in authentic colonial period costumes?
You’re probably wondering, “If people now eat in the hotel part of the site, what happened to the old tavern, where meals were served back in the day?” Well, I’m glad you asked. That is now is a public museum that outlines the history of the Gadsby Tavern.
Eamonn’s is an Irish pub that is well-known for fish and chips. But that’s not all they serve. You can get sausage, a burger, chicken bites, their specialty fish platter featuring cod, basa, and prawn, or the fish of the day. If you’re interested in satisfying your sweet tooth, no worries. They serve ice cream and some fried desserts, like fried candy bars, fried bananas, and fried dough balls.
The classic Celtic taste isn’t the only thing that makes this restaurant special. They also have a speakeasy above the pub called PX. If the blue light bulb on the Columbus Street storefront is shining, it’s open for business. If not, they’re closed. This bar has successfully brought back the golden age in its atmosphere and architecture, making you feel as though you’ve just stepped into the 1920s. And one more thing: the general manager, Todd Thrasher, is known as the best mixologist around. So when you walk in the door, you know you’re in for a treat.
While we’re on the topic of ethnic restaurants, let’s talk about Ambar. This eatery has a distinct flavor that hails from the Balkan Peninsula, an area that includes countries like Slovenia, Croatia, and Romania to the north and extends all the way down to Greece and parts of Turkey in the south. Along with its strong culture, history, and climate, the Balkan Peninsula boasts of amazing foods that combine the best of Greek, Asian, southern European, and Mediterranean flavors.
The distinct tastes of the old country isn’t the only thing that makes Ambar unique. It’s also the atmosphere, which combines the finest traditions of American and Balkan dining, giving customers a distinct and memorable experience.
Not all of Washington’s unique restaurants are upper class or expensive. Take Ben’s Chili Bowl, for example. This local favorite serves a classic menu of hot dogs, burgers, subs, salads, and of course, chili.
Founded in 1958, this restaurant has maintained that Nifty Fifties feel, and long-term customer loyalty proves that this shop has the corner on the market when it comes to customer service. Besides a friendly atmosphere, Ben’s is known far and wide for their fabulous chili, which is made from a secret recipe, and has been enjoyed by a number of famous people, including Barack Obama, Stephen Strasburg, George Lopez, Jimmy Fallon, and others… even Mario and Luigi from Nintendo dropped by once! Any restaurant that could attract that many celebrities must be something incredibly special.
Every town has unique flavors, and Washington, D.C. is no exception. From expensive to cheap, from lavish to classic, from healthy to the… well, not, the Federal City has the tastes you’re looking for.
This post originally appeared on Daring Penguin Travel Blog.