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Haikan ramen restaurant in Shaw neighborhood - Where to eat in Shaw Washington, DC

The Best Places to Eat in DC's Shaw Neighborhood

Your guide to the best restaurants in DC’s hip foodie neighborhood

Your guide to the best restaurants in DC’s hip foodie neighborhood

With Howard University to the north and Mount Vernon Square to the south, Shaw has made a name for itself as a neighborhood skyrocketing in popularity while still maintaining its creative, community-focused feel – due in large part to its history as a hub of Black arts and culture. A must-visit for visiting and local foodies alike, Shaw has seen a restaurant renaissance of unmatched quality, with a rush of both award-winning culinary standouts and approachable local gems. 

Notable Spots

A saucy lobster dish on a white ceramic plate and marble table being broken into by a hand with a fork.


Restaurants like The Dabney, a salute to Mid-Atlantic food obsessively sourced by Chef Jeremiah Langhorne, and Oyster Oyster, whose spellbinding vegetable-focused fare is prepared by James Beard Award-winning Chef Rob Rubba, have caught the eye of discerning diners and Michelin inspectors alike. Chef Cedric Maupillier’s homage to American cuisine, Convivial, also attracts insiders who want to linger over one of the city’s most famous dishes: the fried chicken coq au vin. 

Shaw is home to another pair of critically-acclaimed restaurants, both from Chef Eric Ziebold (who previously cooked at the world-renowned The French Laundry). Kinship, which lays out the menu with unique categories like “Ingredients” and “Indulgences,” maintains a Michelin star. Downstairs, Ziebold’s upscale Métier features a seven-course tasting menu that includes “menu notes” on the backstory of each dish. Gentlemen, jackets are required.

Next door to the 9:30 Club, Mita elevates vegetarian dining with a 14-course plant-based tasting menu. Co-owners Miguel Guerra and Tatiana Mora, hailing from DC's El Cielo, combine South American ingredients with contemporary methods to showcase the versatility of veggies. 

Prepare yourself for a feast that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the District at Supra, purveyors of cuisine from the Republic of Georgia. This Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand honoree serves up delightfully buttery housemade khachapuri, a multitude of meats, kebabs, hand-crafted cocktails and Georgian wines that pair perfectly with what’s on your plate.

Also on the border with Logan Circle, family-style spot Nina May is among the latest of Shaw's quality culinary concepts. Whether you select Chef's Choice or a la carte, café lunch or full-service dinner, all ingredients are sourced from farms within 150 miles of your seat. 

A bowl of rice with vegetables and meat, chopsticks, a teapot, and a small cup on a wooden table.

Tiger Fork

Tucked into Blagden Alley, Tiger Fork channels the vibe of a fast-paced Hong Kong night market with chef Irvin Van Oordt's own spin on Asian dishes. We're talking chili wontons with turkey and shrimp, grilled lamb with cumin and crispy fish, as well as cocktails muddled with Chinese medicinal plants and herbs.

Next door, chef Carlos Delgado's Causa has made waves with its six-course journey through Peruvian cuisine, earning the #1 spot on Washingtonian's list of the 100 best restaurants in 2024.

More Casual Bites

The fast-casual Cracked Eggery hawks bespoke breakfast sandwiches that will satisfy even the heartiest of cravings. Tuck into the Ferris Bueller-inspired sandwich, The Abe Froman, (sausage, egg and cheese with Cracked sauce) or feast on a worthy hangover cure known as Rancheros Cucamonga with black beans, eggs, tots, avocado and queso fresco.

On the lighter side, Seylou offers locally-sourced, fresh-milled sourdough varieties and baked goods like danishes with sweet pea, mint pesto and feta and monkey bread flavored with seven spices and anise. DC-favorite Compass Coffee also boasts its all-day breakfast staples at two locations in Shaw, including its 7th Street flagship spot.

doro soul food biscuit

At the low-key Doro Soul Food, Michelin-starred chef Elias Taddesse adds an Ethiopian flair to traditional American soul food. By featuring Ethiopian-style fried chicken, a special spin on mac ‘n’ cheese and vegan crispy tenders, the Ethiopian-born, French-trained culinary innovator provides an exciting and accessible addition to Shaw's food scene. 

Neighborhood Hangouts

If you haven’t tried Sapporo-style ramen, there’s no better time than now. Haikan is related to Daikaya, but traverses a terrain all its own. With wide windows aligned along the dining room, you can view V Street as you enjoy Chef Katsuya Fukushima’s dazzling takes on ramen, as well as tasty sides like the mapo tofu poutine and crab rangoon.

All-Purpose Pizzeria and Boundary Stone Public House also serve up tasty all-American options, and for a Tuscan-inspired neighborhood ristorante, look no further than San Lorenzo. The quaint, 70-seat eatery serves delightful Italian cuisine – think house-made pasta dishes like the pappardelle with herb-infused rabbit ragu – at reasonable prices.

The Unconventional Diner can be found just across the street from these hangouts. Far from your standard all-day diner,  the modern space includes a cafe area for on-the-go breakfast pastries and sandwiches, while dinner features unique twists on your favorites. Meatloaf is dressed in a sriracha glaze and morel gravy, while cheeseburgers are made with wagyu beef and topped with tomato chutney and dijonnaise.

Saturday Night Social     

Shaw's stellar selection of watering holes makes it the perfect place to start, end or construct an entire route, whether you want sophisticated wines, curated cocktails or craft beer. If you're looking to follow up your award-winning meal, sample from the rotating, themed selection of wines at Maxwell Park, or try a signature spiked soda and late-night slice at Pop Fizz Bar. You can even bring your own food and sip from a "library" of cocktails all evening long at All Souls Bar

Right Proper

Pay homage to Shaw's musical roots with a house-brewed cold one at artsy hangout Right Proper Brewing Company, followed by a show next-door at The Howard Theatre. The area shares a border with U Street, home to what was once known as “Black Broadway,” with Cab Calloway and Pearl Bailey among the stars that once graced the stage. After a multimillion-dollar renovation, the historic venue now hosts modern musical acts.

Underneath a glamorous wall mural of the sultry Elizabeth Taylor is Dacha Beer Garden, where German, Belgian and American suds served in boot mugs are the name of the game. Dig in to the full food menu peddling everything from monster pretzels and wurst five different ways or down a brew under twinkling Edison bulbs.

Hidden in Blagden Alley, follow the neon glow behind a stickered door to discover Never Looked Better. The speakeasy lounge delivers a modern twist on the '90's underground rave. Imbibe on specialty cocktails including a dirty martini made with homemade brine and an espresso martini with premium coffee liqueur and custom cold brew.