The Best Restaurants and Eateries in Woodley Park

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Woodley Park was an uptown neighborhood where residents escaped the heat in the nineteenth century and the twentieth century. It still boasts grand hotels and historical architecture. Modern times have also brought buzz-worthy eateries here.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Rock Creek Park are two of the finest attractions in the neighborhood. Before or after visiting either of them on DC tours, you will likely work up an appetite. Find out where to treat yourselves and your travel mates with delicious food and drinks in this Northwest DC area. It is easy to reach, as you just take the Red Line Metro to the “Woodley Park”. That metro stop is precisely where we will start our culinary exploration.

Places to Eat near the Metro

The “Open City” eatery is one of the focal points for area diners. It doubles up as a coffeehouse and bar. It attracts a big crowd who come for brunches, but it serves as a perfect dinner destination as well. Even if you are just looking for beer or coffee, it is a welcoming DC abode. The food one would usually have the first thing in the morning is served throughout the day here.

Feel free to have the French toast stuffed with waffle dish and fried chicken or the namesake “Open City Royale”. The restaurant-special is made up of two eggs, hash browns, French toast, buttermilk pancakes, and one of sausage/chicken or sausage/bacon of your choice. The options for lunch and dinner are plentiful too, ranging from spicy tender to sandwich, pizza, burger, and calzone to main dishes such as spinach, coconut curry tofu, and cheese ravioli.

Besides, those who crave Mexican cuisine will wish to go to “Mayahuel Cocina Mexicana”. Note that it stays open from five o’clock in the evening until nighttime. Most people visit to have beef tacos, Mexi-burguesas, and mussel served with chorizo. It is owned by the same team behind “District Kitchen”, which serves up pan-seared shrimp, seafood paella, steak, burger, and more Mid-Atlantic flavors. It also offers “happy hour” drinks and bites.

In addition, “Lebanese Taverna” brings Mediterranean cuisine like few other places in DC. The hummus bar here is also a must-visit. You will find a falafel sandwich, artichoke stew and lamb, chicken curry, and a selection of kebab on the menu. You also have many wine options at the restaurant. When you visit it as part of a date night program, you have the option to have wines too, either inside the Lebanese restaurant or on its patio.

People gorge themselves on seafood at “Hot N Juicy Crawfish”. Here you can order delicious crawfish by the pound, in addition to king crab legs, mussels, clams, crabs and shrimp. Just select your spicy level and seasoning and dig in.

Since its opening in 1960, “Mama Ayesha’s” has been serving Middle Eastern cuisine to customers. The Woodley Park staple presents its own wall mural, which features former US presidents along with Mama Ayesha. People come here on tours in Washington DC for a dash of history as well.

Places near and inside the National Zoo

Seeing tiger, panda, and lion is best accompanied by a wonderful meal. Fortunately, the National Zoo offers half a dozen restaurants and a variety of food carts, kiosks and stands. The highlights comprise barbeque and burgers of “Mane Grill”, all-natural hot dog and soft pretzel of “Seal Rock Café”, and, Asian-inspired noodle salads and rice bowls of “Panda Overlook”.

Just round the corner from the zoo, there are more wonderful places to eat. When you go to “Duke’s Counter”, you do not just visit the place but travels to foggy London without leaving DC. It is a popular gastro pub, which serves the best in British cuisine. Wind down or liven up with an English pint of ale as you savor cheese and truffle mac or avocado toast. It offers late night dinner, too, on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 pm until midnight.

Afterwards, do not forget about dessert. Across from the Smithsonian Institution’s zoo, “Baked by Yael” offers cake pops that have become one of the local’s favorites. The cakepoppery’s nut-free as well as kosher specialties, packed with sweetness, make for a treat prior to or after a day’s long activities on DC tours. It also offers hand-rolled and homemade bagel, which is as tasty as it sounds.

“Lillie’s Restaurant and Bar”, owned by longtime residents of Woodley Park, is as family-friendly an eatery as it gets. The Italian venue offers comfortable environs for those having brunch, lunch as well as dinner. Local favorites include chicken parmesan, tortellini, eggplant toscani, and bruschetta. Parents can also kick back with one of the best special cocktails or wines out there.

All in all, the District’s dining scene is worth digging in. At least, that is what makes it the culinary hub.

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