Named after their first president, George Washington, Washington DC is the federal capital of the United States of America. Besides housing the federal seat of power, this bustling city is also one of the most visited in the world - drawing a whopping 20 million visitors every year! In addition to seeing its numerous museums and historical sites, no trip to Washington DC would be complete without trying delicious, all-American eats that this city has to offer! Visiting DC soon? Don’t miss out on some of the city’s most mouthwatering delicacies. Check out our picks for the best street food you must try in Washington DC.
Juicy slabs of meat, slow-cooked, and smoked to perfection – barbecue is truly an American staple and one that you shouldn’t miss out on when you next visit Washington DC. The city has plenty of excellent barbecue places to choose from. Some of the most popular BBQ joints include the DC City Smokehouse in Bloomingdale, where you can enjoy a pint of beer with your BBQ. You can also go to Hill Country BBQ – located just blocks from National Archives – where you can binge on Texas-style BBQ without having to break the bank.
2. Ice cream
What better way to cool down on a hot summer’s day than to indulge in some ice cream? This sweet treat is another type of street food that the Nation’s Capital serves up well! If you’re looking for top-notch ice cream, you should indulge in a scoop of gelato from Pitago Gelato, a homegrown favorite that prides itself on its high-quality, organic ingredients. Looking to try something totally new? Tropical Ice Cream Café offers delicious, offbeat flavors – try their Rainbow Sherbet or Rum Raisin, for that added kick. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can even enjoy your scoop with a spiced beef patty!
Another quintessentially American street food is the hotdog, a humble yet iconic snack. For simple, yet satisfying hotdogs, you can try The Partisan‘s Haute Dog, made with premium Angus beef and garnished with flavorful red onions plus their homemade condiments. Their hot dogs may look unassuming, but take just one bite and you’ll know that they’re top-notch! If you’re a little more indulgent with your garnishes, you’re sure to enjoy the hot dogs at Dog Hous in Bethseda. Here, you can dress your hot dogs with everything from arugula to avocado, tomato, and spicy basil, all to your heart’s content.
Crunchy, bursting with flavor, and totally satisfying – it’s no wonder that when a taco is made well, you can’t have just one! If you want to get your hands on some of the best tacos in the Washington DC area, you should stop by Taqueria Tres Reyes, which is one of the best in the state. Not a single taco on their menu isn’t worth trying, but one of their most popular choices is the Mixto, which is made with carnitas, pork belly, and pork skin! For the full experience, be sure to request their delicious housemade corn tortillas.
Pretzels are a soft, lightly salted type of pastry. Whether you prefer them a bit sweet or served up with hearty sides like bacon and cream cheese, you can satisfy your cravings for pretzels on your next trip to DC! Of course, one of the best places to enjoy these would be at the Pretzel Bakery, which has been serving up fresh, hand-rolled pretzels since 1998. Be sure to treat yourself to one of their pretzel bombs – a glazed pretzel roll, filled with Nutella!
No trip to DC would be complete without sinking your teeth in a juicy, mouthwatering burger! As one of the most popular types of street food in America, you are sure to have a lot to choose from in DC. In particular, you might want to try The Capital Burger’s original, which boasts a specially blended beef patty. Pair this with one of their tall, boozy milkshakes for a truly indulgent experience!
If you haven’t tried falafel, you are definitely missing out! Falafel is a filling and delicious patty made from chickpeas and/or fava beans and seasoned with onions, as well as various herbs and spices. You can enjoy these on their own or as part of a sandwich. When in DC, try Naf Naf Grill’s signature falafel, which is made with jalapeno for an added kick and served with some fresh-baked pitas, a helping of fries, and garnishes of your choice.
8. Chicken fingers
Not to be confused with another all-time favorite snack – the chicken nugget – chicken fingers are long, juicy pieces of chicken usually from whole cuts, instead of being made from the processed bits. Coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried, it’s little wonder why these could be so addictive! If you ever find yourself hankering for some chicken fingers in Washington DC, head to Irish Channel Restaurant and Pub. Their delicious chicken fingers are best enjoyed with a generous helping of their honey mustard sauce and a pint of Guinness!
Whether you enjoy them in the morning with a flavorful cup of coffee, or as a sweet treat after a hearty dinner, you can’t go wrong with a doughnut! Doughnuts remain a favorite street food because they’re easy to eat and can be enjoyed in plenty of ways. For some honest-to-goodness classic doughnuts, check out The Woodmoor Pastry Shop, a family-owned bakery known for their simple yet perfect doughnuts. They’ve been serving these since 1954!
Crepes are light yet satisfying street food that come in almost any flavor you can think of! Similar to a pancake, a crepe is often served sweet and drizzled with sauce or fruit, but it also tastes great with some savory sides. One of the best creperies in Washington DC is Point Chaud Café & Crêpes, who are best known for their dessert crepes, served with their homemade whipped cream and a generous drizzle of powdered sugar.
Satisfy your street food cravings
A visit to DC is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the United States - not just because of its fascinating museums and monuments, but because of all the classic American food that you can enjoy here! On your next trip to this fine city, be sure to satisfy all your cravings by grabbing a bite of these delicious street foods!
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