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A Foodie's Multicultural Guide to DC

By Alexa Cantalupo

When I first moved to the DMV (DC/Maryland/Virginia), one of the things that drew me to the city's food culture is the amazing diversity of cultural cuisines! You can find top notch restaurants representing almost every food culture in the world, and here are some of my picks that I’ve been going to year after year.

Best Multicultural Brunch

Compass Rose - 1346 T Street NW, Washington D.C. $$-$$$

This gem sits right in the heart of the hip U Street neighborhood, just a couple miles north of the White House. Rose Previte, the owner of Compass Rose, created the concept after living abroad and tasting her way through over 30 countries. The result is a beautifully crafted menu that takes you through the tapestry of food cultures as you brunch. I highly recommend their Tunisian Shakshuka, a beautifully spiced baked dish with poached eggs, tomato and piquillo pepper sauce, yogurt, feta cheese OR their standby favorite the Khachapuri from Georgia, a cheese-filled fresh bread with organic eggs, topped with local butter and za'atar.

Photo from Washington Post

Best Pho

Pho Viet - 3513 14th St NW, Washington, DC $

After a long search, finally I’ve found the best Pho that DC has to offer -- and you can find me there in the winter at least once a week! This affordable restaurant is just north of the Columbia Heights neighborhood in DC and will serve you up the most delicious bowl of soup no matter your dietary preferences. Meat eaters will be delighted by their Beef Pho with sliced raw beef that cooks right in front of you in the soup. Vegans will be shocked by how many veggies they can fit in the bowl with broth that warms you to the bone. If you’re into spicy, ask for the lemongrass-chili sauce to be added to your bowl, but watch out - they mean business! My go-to is a #13.

Photo from Washington Post

Best Indian Lunch

Indigo - 243 K St. NE, Washington, DC 20002 $$

You know that this sunny Indian restaurant in NoMA is great when you see the line of folks that gather each day for lunch to grab some of the freshest, most flavorful Indian cuisine the city has to offer. While it’s not terribly fancy, the take out containers filled with curries, chickpeas and rice attract expats and residents from India and DC-ers alike. Champion of vegan and vegetarian options, everyone can find something delicious at Indigo!

Photo courtesy of Indigo Facebook page

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