Washington Food and Wine Tours

Explore the monuments and savor the international cuisine of the nation's capital!

As the capital of the USA, Washington DC is a fascinating destination for history and politics buffs. It is also a city of wide boulevards and diverse neighborhoods, a thriving art and live music scene, and a dynamic, always-changing international food culture. Start downtown with a morning tour of the National Mall. This 2-mile pedestrian boulevard stretches from the majestic Capitol Building to the Washington Monument obelisk (the world’s tallest stone structure) onto the Lincoln Memorial near the Potomac River. This area is home to endless memorials, monuments, neoclassical government buildings and free museums, including those of the Smithsonian Institution. And of course, no visit to DC is complete without a trip to the White House or Embassy Row. Immerse yourself in the local lifestyle of the northern neighborhoods – the trendy nightclubs and colorful row houses of Dupont Circle, the music venues and art galleries of Shaw, the live music scene of Adams Morgan and budget dining options of Columbia Heights. Or visit prestigious Georgetown, known for its colonial architecture, boutique shopping and upscale dining scene. Cross the Potomac to the Arlington National Cemetery, final resting place for over 400,000 soldiers, veterans and their families.

As the international capital of an international country, DC has drawn representatives from all over the globe who have brought with them their culinary traditions. Typical examples of the city’s international cuisine range from Salvadoran pupusas (corn tortillas stuffed with cheese) to Korean barbeque in Annandale to spongy injera bread with wat stew in Shaw. Other local favorites include falafel at Amsterdam falafel shop, Peruvian rotisserie chicken, Southern comfort foods like fried chicken with waffles or donuts, Japanese izakaya gastropubs and ramen shops, and restaurants serving organic, farm-to-table cuisine. Perhaps no dish better represents DC than the half-smoke, a pork and beef sausage smoked and served with chili sauce, available at the historic Ben’s Chili Bowl. Due to the proximity of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast, dishes like Maryland blue crab cakes, rockfish and Rappahannock River oysters on the half-shell are also popular. A great place to try these is the open-air seafood market on the Waterfront or industrial-chic Union Market, where talented local vendors sell their artisanal products. Although cupcakes are by far the most popular sweet, you will also find chocolatiers, ice cream parlors and bakeries specializing in pies and pastries.

While DC doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, it does have a vibrant craft cocktail culture, with trendy new bars, speakeasies and gastropubs opening every month. Ask the talented mixologist for a drink made with ingredients like carrot soda and homemade orange bitters. Or, if you prefer the classics, head out to one of the city’s gin or whiskey bars, and order a Rickey with lime (DC’s official cocktail).

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