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What’s your DC best kept secret?

by Eric Nuzum May 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm 218 Comments

Photo by flickr user stgermh

I think my wife’s friend summed it up best when he txt’d us shortly after visiting Bill’s Seafood Kitchen (aka Fish in the Hood) for the first time on our recommendation:

“F**k you for not telling me about this sooner.”

Some other friends of ours live close to Bill’s Seafood Kitchen (3601 Georgia Ave. NW near Otis in Park View) and raved about it for quite some time, yet we never went. In fact, we’d lived in Petworth almost three and a half years before trying it.

Now, it is like an addiction. The wife and I discuss how long it has been since we last went–and if it has been an acceptable amount of time in order to go again.

It has become our DC best kept secret. And I’d like to hear about yours, too. But first, more about this amazing place.

Bill’s (most people just call it Fish in the Hood because of the window signage) makes amazing seafood. It has been briefly mentioned here before, but it is kind of surprising how under the radar it is, even by Petworth standards. It isn’t much to look at, but they keep the focus on what’s important–the fish. It’s a little overwhelming when you walk inside. There are about a dozen or more varieties of fish (you know a place has it goin’ on when you order tilapia and they ask “male or female?”), plus scallops and shrimp. Once you order (by weight) they will expertly fry or broil your fish. The sides are pretty great too. And they have this stuff called “Mango sauce” which is the most amazing sauce for fish and chicken you’ll ever try.

Discovering Bill’s has suddenly made us interested in finding other “best kept secrets.” Of course, these places aren’t literally secrets–but they are just so sweet to discover. Sure, there are some places that might be categorized as “best kept secrets” that, literally, are best kept secret. But hey, you have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince, right?

Out most recent discovery has been Ruff and Ready just over the line in Hyattsville/PG County. They only have three items on the menu: blue crab, Alaska King Crab legs, and spiced shrimp. That’s it. No sides. No fuss. Nothing. But those three items are to die for.

So let’s hear yours? Any recent discoveries or places you think others would flip out about? Things mostly under the radar that you’d love to see more widely enjoyed?

  • Anonymous

    the first rule of your best kept secret……

  • Anonymous

    While we’re slinging fish tips, tons of people don’t know that there are vendors serving ready to eat stuff at the fish market on the waterfront, and most of it is delicious. Some of it comes in portions that are bigger than you’d want for $3 more than you’d want to pay, but whatever. People always bitch about the parking there, but there is plenty of parking on the street if you’re willing to walk like a block — the parking CF is mostly people wanting to be seen in their Sunday car.

    The sweet potato pie at the corner market at 17th and U has been talked about here before, but that’s a well-kept secret, as is the Japanese market across the street.

  • James

    I’d say posting it here would mean it will not stay secret for long.

  • 10th & Spring

    Awesome thread. Sichaun Pavillion, a Chinese restaurant at 19th and K. I used to live just south of Sichuan Province and studied Sichuan cooking. I’ve been to what is supposed to be the best and most authentic of Sichuan restaurants in NYC. Sichuan Pavillion is far better. Order from the authentic section of the menu. If you like spicy, try dry pepper chicken, boiled beef in hot sauce, lamb stew, cumin lamb, ma po dofu, sauteed “A” vegetable, to name a few.

    • Anonymous

      Mine is actually a place called Great Wall on 14th St. near P st. Their Ma Po tofu is actually better and spicier (both ma and la) than Sichuan Pavillion’s and they make a pretty decent shui zhu yu (boiled fish in hot sauce)and fish flavored eggplant. These in my opinion are their best dishes I lived North of Sichuan province (I didn’t study cooking but I ate a lot!)

      • steve

        I’ve heard people singing the praises of great wall for a while, but the one time I tried it, it was such a waste of a meal that I don’t even feel like I should give it a second shot. good for them for having fans, but the three dishes I tried were pretty bland/bad.

      • EMM

        3rd vote on confidence for great wall

        it is officially my go to chinese, consistently delicious

      • MSF

        Also agree with Great Wall. This is going to strike you guys as weird, but the Ma La Cucumber is actually fantastic. No idea it would be nearly as good as it was/is and is a normal part of our order. Also, the twice cooked pork on their Ma La menu pretty much blows everything out of the order. It has become my no brainer order.

      • DF

        Got the Ma Po tofu once and, even though I can handle a great level of spice, it was too unbearable for me. We’ll definitely have to try something else off their menu. But, I give em props for producing something actually “spicy” unlike most other restaurants.

    • Anony


      The soup at their express restaurant in the food court underneath International Square is the bomb. It’s around $7 and enough to feed half of China. The hot bar is just typical Chinese takeout though.

      One time a Chinese businessman ordered the same soup as me and proceeded to tell me that it was the closest that he could find to real Chinese food in DC. All for $7.


    • PG

      Not in DC, but folks on chowhound and other sites have been raving about the authentic Chinese food at Grace Garden in Odenton. I really need to try it one of these days.

      • Anonymous

        you can take a ay trip

      • Grace Garden is legit. Worth the Zipcar rental. The fish noodles are delicious; kinda like those round fish cakes you get with ramen, but in noodle form. Any whole fish dish the guy serves is going to be fantastic. You have to call ahead for the tea smoked duck but it’s worth it.

    • DCMom


    • IvanK

      Dude, you have GOT to be joking. SP is “far better” than what you can get in Flushing or Sunset Park (or even Grand Sichuan)? I get Ma Po Tofu from Sichuan Pavilion fairly often and while certainly good (and the only thing) it does not hold a candle to any of the NY places like Metro Cafe.

      • IvanK

        *the only Sichuan restaurant around for lunch, is what I meant

      • L’Etalon énormes

        That’s right, someone forgot that EVERYTHING is so much better in NYC.

  • djdc

    Bill’s is terrific. Big fat fried shrimp is good. Sadly, their sign was damaged in one of the latest windstorms, I believe.

  • Eckingtonite

    The bodies under the foundation.

    • Bloomingdude

      They were OUR secret, you fool!

  • Sherlock Homes

    Have you guys heard of this place….ummm???? Bob’s Chili Bowl? Something like that.


  • 4:15

    well f- you for telling everyone about this place.

    • L’Etalon énormes

      You don’t even eat there anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone tried Morgan’s Seafood a few blocks south on Georgia? Any good?

    • anon

      Yeah, their crab cakes and fried okra are delicious. Quite the place though, not for the faint of heart.

      • rooty tooty

        i was actually really disappointed in morgan’s crabcakes after hearing such great things about them. i found it to be small, greasy, fishy, and fried…unceremoniously dumped on a piece of wonder bread. not heading back soon.

        i will, however, check out bill’s.

  • Anonymous

    My DC’s best kept secret is my “other” Washington Monument, baby!

    • anon

      I’ve seen your secret, baby, and it looks more like the Jefferson Memorial.

      • Anonymous

        That’s not what Mrs. Brady said!

  • J

    I find it particularly offensive that they refer to themselves as Fish in the Hood. Why does it always have to be ghetto-this or hood-that? I’m suffering from white guilt and I’ll be damned if I let this kind of thing go on in DC.

    • NotHere

      You serious?! The name is awesome! And it is the hood! if you feel so guilty about it.. move to Cleveland Park or Georgetown

    • anon

      I have to say… the “Fish in the Hood” name makes me cringe.

      I never even considered setting foot there until reading today’s blog posting. I just had the feeling that a place celebrating its ghetto-ness (which is what it seemed to be doing with that name) wasn’t a place I wanted to go.

      • Veronika

        are you scared of the ghetto? people who live there enjoy good food too… propbably the best soul food you’ll ever eat. CELEBRATE the “ghetto-ness” I say, and if you can’t step foot in that kind of establishment without a pass from PoP, then don’t bother.

    • Veronika

      because it’s IN THE HOOD!!! Come on people. stop. they are speaking TRUTH. and truth be told, the reason some of these places are “well kept secrets” is because before it was cool to frequent the ‘hood, most people were scared of it… no, you won’t find the best catfish in the city or the best ribs in Dupont. You will find them where all the black people live. and besides 20012, most of black dc has a bit of hood…

  • Anonymous

    El Rinconcito at 11th and M NW – Cheap, authentic and high-quality. What more could you ask for?

    • caballero

      Is it better than the one on Park Road in Columbia Heights? Because the latter didn’t dazzle me.

    • Anonymous

      Came here to say this. El Rinconcito on 11th and M is my second home.

      Under the radar bar: Wazobia. Find it for yourself.

      • J

        Friendly service. Average bar experience. At least they have Beck’s Dark, I guess.

        • Anonymous

          Oh yeah! Wazobia is the goodness.

          • the neighbor

            is wazobia actually a fun place to hang for everyone or is it just appealing to peace corps type who are looking to reminisce? i live around the corner and have never noticed it before, but the yelp reviews make me question whether there’s anything charming about it for someone who hasn’t been to west africa and isn’t feeling nostalgic.

    • katesmash

      + 1 billion. Love that place.

    • RegO


  • Bloomingdude

    Has anyone tried the place on the south side of U street almost across from the fire station heading towards 18th Street? It’s a soulfood place that has a big sign outside about sweet potato pies. I’ve been tempted to try it, but I fear it at the same time.

    • Anonymous

      I have had their sweet potato pie and it was delicious.

    • wandafish

      Do not fear it. Awesome sweet potato pies. Great fried chicken. They have another location on K Street. http://www.henryssoulcafe.com/

      • housing geek

        Best sweet potato pie that I’ve ever tasted and the rest of the food is also damn tasty.

        • I like them and eat there but those are not good sweet potato pies. Sorry.

      • Francophile

        Henry’s also has a great pulled pork sandwich, I’ve had a lot from their menu but I crave the bbq pork.

    • mca

      Ooohs and Aahs…is that the name?

  • MichelleRD

    Is Mid-City Market still at the corner of 14th and P or has it been priced out?

    • Anonymous

      It’s still there

    • Anonymous

      do you find it all that special? i find it average.

    • steve

      it’s still there, keeping that corner of my neighborhood totally rat infested. based on the looks of the place I try not to even breathe when I go near.

  • Mike

    Henry’s Soul Cafe. The sweet potato pie is delicious, but I haven’t been back to try anything else yet. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Henry’s is great. I was just telling a friend yesterday, as we drove by in his car, that with the rest of that part of K Street blowing up, they’d probably blow up too if they put in some outdoor seating. I’ve had most of what’s on the menu and most of it’s been good. The fried-chicken is my go-to menu item.

  • Anonymous

    Ruby Tuesdays for happy hour beers

    Don’t be a hater!

  • caballero

    Sherman Circle.

  • hcfoo22

    not that much of a secret but I love Taqueria Districto Federal. Both columbia heights and 8th and kennedy. they may not always get my order right but the food is gooood.

  • Sully

    Since you mentioned Hyatsville my secret is Franklin’s General Store. The brew (outstanding), the food (Vulcan Mind Meld) the people (good guys) I go here when I get sick of DC’s pretension.

    • slb

      OMG yes! Good food, great beer, reasonable price, and plenty of room.

    • anoN

      I live pretty close to there and like it, but some of their beers are way too hoppy (especially the ones that are dry hopped.) And the food can be hit or miss. I do like the bar and the eccentric general store.

      • Markus

        I hate to go all beer-snob, but the crazy hops are one of the main reasons I love their beer.

        Also, the BBQ on their dinner menu is really good. And if you go during the day, the muffaletta pizza isn’t half bad.

        Franklin’s is one of my favorite places period.

        • DF

          Eh, the few times I’ve been there, their beers are really hit or miss. While the big brews (abv wise) can be great, the session ones are often mediocre. I do like the anarchist (or whatever they call it) one where you never know what you get though.

        • CP

          I live right near Franklin’s and I really want to love it, but can’t. Food is too hit or miss. I’ve worked in a kitchen for a long time and can’t predict what’s going to hit or miss. Love the store tho.

    • PG

      There are lots of great Mexican/Salvadoran places in Hyattsville and Bladensburg. Cheap, authentic food. I recommend the tacos al pastor at Taqueria La Placita.

    • Fellow Petworthian

      I absolutely agree! Great place and a fun general store attached that sells a bit of everything.

    • Nikki

      Food is hit or miss, but I do love the atmosphere. You can actually get decent service in a pleasant space from someone who is obviously not an asshole. That’s hard to find in DC.

    • PG

      A little further up Route 1 is Marathon Deli. Excellent gyros and souvlaki.

      • rooty tooty

        it’s quite a trek from DC, really…but their gyros are the best i’ve had in the DC area (or maybe anywhere). plus their fries seem to be sprinkled with delicious crack.

    • RD

      I like franklin’s, but a secret? it is the most notable/popular restaurant for miles in any direction.

      • Washingtonian

        Not for DC city folk it ain’t. PG county yeah.

    • Anonymous

      Meh. When we briefly lived in Brentwood I felt Franklin’s was only getting business because it’s the only place that’s not scary takeout for several miles.

  • Bloomingdude

    The nice parts of Eckington. OUCH!

    • Anon

      The nice people of Bloomingdale!

      Its such a well kept secret, no one has found it yet.

    • Anonymous

      i like those 3 blocks also.

    • Eckingtonite

      You leave me no choice but to release the possums.
      If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… the Eckingpossums.

  • Heather

    Zenebech Injera and Biagio Chocolate. 2nd on the Japanese Market on U.

  • Kim

    Philadelphia Water Ice for cheesesteak. It possibly no longer qualifies as a secret, but there are still no lines, so apparently the word isn’t totally out.

    • Kev29

      Are they currently open and serving up cheesesteaks? I know they’re seasonal.

      • Yep. The only sad thing is it means no more Tacos Impala.

        • Kev29

          Cool – thank you

  • Claude Henry Smoot

    The best burger in DC for the price is at East Potomac Golf course. No joke.

    • Cheap Secret Beer

      Cheapest pitchers of Goose Island I’ve ever seen. Bike over there with some friends, buy a couple of pitchers, buy a couple of buckets of golf balls, and borrow some of the hitting range’s clubs — a great weekend afternoon.

      • Anonymous

        seriously? i had no idea. that’s the best tip i’ve seen in this thread yet.

  • Ben

    Hands down, Thai X-ing. Took my step father there a few days ago and he swore it was better then he’s had in Thailand (and he’s been there a lot).

    • Anonymous

      beau thai is just as good. and way more reliable and consistent. they’re related, but i think the sister got the business genes.

      i wish our fantastic suburban joints would considering opening up in the city. my favorite thai place is a 45 minute drive.

      • sarah

        Agreed 100% on Thai X-ing versus Beau Thai. Thai X-ing is more of an “experience” but if you just want some damn fine Thai food (and they just got a liquor license!) head to Beau Thai. I think the quality is about the same.

  • Anon

    Eastern Market.

    • DF

      If that’s a secret, you really haven’t seen much of DC.

      • Anonymous

        i’m betting it was a joke.

  • Anon

    Broad Branch Market.

  • oneal

    The popeyes drive through on georgia ave…. THATS RIGHT A POPEYES WITH A DRIVE THROUGH!!!

    • Hate to burst your bubble, but the Popeyes near Logan Circle on 14th St has a drive-thru too

    • Anonymous

      you think it’s a bigger deal that it is.
      +1 for enthusiasm though.

  • JDC

    Adam’s Express in Mt. Pleasant. Great chicken or tofu Bulgogi!!!

    • laley

      +1! Also for the bibimbap, it’s delicious and healthy.

    • El Gringo

      +1 Adams Express, but I prefer the beef bulgogi

      Would *never* have eaten there by the look of it before I got the recommendation, but now I’m so glad I was set straight

  • Not sure how secret it is, but love the Florida Ave Market.

    • K

      yes, the korean place! or litteri’s for subs.

  • PetworthRes

    Hmm, always driving past Ruff N Ready on my way to my sister’s in Riverdale. We’ll have to give it a try. And I’ve always been curious about Fish in the Hood but have never gone in.

    One off the beaten path we tried recently was Taqueria La Placita in Hyattsville (also near my sister’s place), because I saw it written up in the Post. It was great …and like leaving the country to eat there. Love places like this.

    I used to love going to Udupi Palace in Langley Park – they closed from their old location, but I see they have merged with Tiffin – has anyone been there?

    • hcfoo22

      Udupi Palace and Tiffin have always been under the same ownership. just combined restaurants i guess. Tiffin is our go to place for indian take out. So good. Not the cheapest but worth it and it’s really not that far of a drive out of the city.

  • New to Hood

    Cantina Marina on Maine Ave. Fish and Shrimp tacos, margaritas and the water view. A jewel!

    • Anonymous


    • NotHere

      Yes… great location. But the food and drinks there are crap!

      • Anonymous

        i agree 100%

      • Kim

        Agreed. I also never really thought of it as secret. Perhaps that’s just me, though!

      • L’Etalon énormes

        maybe so, but if you’re drinking beer it’s a-ok!

  • CTK

    +1 for Bill’s.

    Also – Pica Taco (El Toro champion here!), Momiji in Chinatown.

    • anon

      Shhh! Don’t tell people about Momiji’s! I like keeping their roof deck all to myself.

  • C Money

    Is it really possible that no-one has yet revisited the topic of “manjo” sauce? What could it possibly be, so curious, I’ll definitely have to stop by there soon to find out!

    Hidden secret–Harris Teeter (Kalorama) sushi is damn good and you can get it made to order.

    • L’Etalon énormes

      Man + Banjo =……eww nevermind

    • Lolly716

      I thought Bill calls it ‘mango sauce’ b/c I definitely would have asked before eating ‘manjo’. AND I’m pretty sure the male or female question is a joke. He has a list of jokes like demonstrating the heisman for protecting our take-out on the walk home… I won’t spoil any more of them, but I will say that Bill is doing his part in bringing the neighborhood together. I’ve seen him be generous with folks that didn’t have quite enough money for their food, and he is equally friendly to all who enter.

  • Sarah

    El Rinconcito I on 11th Street in Columbia Heights. The chicken taquitos are to die for and enough to split with a friend ($10 for the meal). Also, open until 2 or 3 a.m. on weekend nights.

  • Anon

    Jam Doung on North Capitol @ Randolph in Bloomingdale. Jerk chicken, Jamaican curries (get the goat) and some seriously good jerk wings. Incredibly nice folks.

    • Brian

      Yep definitely worth a visit!

    • Veronika


  • fz

    Fast Gourment on the gas station of 14th and W, and Moroni Brothers on Georgia Ave. Not sure if any of these is quite a secret though.

    • rooty tooty

      PoP busted the Fast Gourmet secret a while back – and i’m extremely grateful. that cuban sandwich is amazing.

  • Jiggy

    U guys r so late. That place has been there for years… Until whitey and homo invaded the neighborhood u guys want to give it’s props… SMH…

    • Anonymous

      idiot. so he should of posted about places decades before he’d been to it?

      go ahead and shake your bone head.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe that place was on the down low.

    • Eckingtonite

      Whitey Homo says: FOUR STARS, minus .5 stars for the NonWhitey NonHomos that inexplicably seem to be in the area. For the last time, when Whitey Homo shows, everyone else goes!

      • Veronika

        so glad you’re in Eckington

  • Eric in Ledroit

    Woodlands Indian brunch buffet in Langley Park or thereabouts. Unbelievable.

    • DCMom

      +1 – it is in the strip mall on the corner of University and New Hampshire in Takoma Park. Also, while you’re in that strip mall, there is a fantastic Indian grocery store.

      • WDC

        I get non-stop compliments on the clothing I’ve bought in that little hidden Indian shopping center.

        • L’Etalon énormes

          I do love that deerskin jacket of yours, the one with the turquoise buttons and the fantastic fringes.

    • +1 Woodlands. I used to like Udupi across the street, but I only go there for the dosas now. For $10, you can kill yourself at Woodlands’ buffet.

  • Truxton_Dude

    mine: Louis’ Rouge on 5th and K
    [not a food joint, but a gentleman can certainly get his fill here]

    • Petworthgal

      Yes!! I would always see the sign “Louis Rogue Gogo club” or something like that and wonder if it was gogo music and then one night some friends brought me there and I was like ohhh that kinda gogo- all should go at least once haha

  • pia

    If we’re talking about hopping over borders, I’d say Mandalay in Silver Spring (not in the new part, it’s on Bonifant Street) is worth the field trip. Amazing Burmese food.

    • NotHere

      Agreed 100%

    • cracklins

      105% agreed

    • Nikki

      There a Thai place and an Indian place near Georigia and Bonifant that are both very good. SS has a lot of hidden gems.

    • MAR

      Also in SS is KaoThai…amazing!

    • El Gringo

      Mandalay is so good it’s worth a rush hour trip from inside the District

    • Mandalay can be hit or miss. We used to like Burma downtown, but they’ve gone downhill. Myanmar in Falls Church reminds me of the old Burma: intense not-toned-down spiciness and heat, dirt cheap. Best mango pork and ginger salad around.

  • Pennyworth

    Lawrence II in Petworth. I don’t know if its really a secret, but they have the best soul food in DC!

    • EJ

      Where is Lawrence II located?

      • mca

        Corner of Georgia and Shepherd St NW

      • msm

        It’s on the corner of Georgia and Shepherd.

    • rooty tooty

      interesting – never ventured in. recommendations on best choices?

  • Sully

    Another secret.. well maybe just a guilty pleasure since it IS a chain and it IS in Chinatown is Legal Seafood happy hour. The bar is pretty mellow, beers are 3 bucks , mini lobster rolls are 3.50 and 6 oysters for 6 bucks (3 types of oysters). Prices are right.

    • C Money

      Dammit, I was really hoping that one WOULD remain a secret.

  • Anonymous

    Ras on Georgia and Decatur. Fantastic food and the staff is sooo nice!

    • Divine

      YES! I had the shark sandwich there a few weeks ago. It was a party in my mouth.

  • sarah

    I’m going to second Zenebech Injera, outstanding Ethiopian and gigantic portions for practically nothing. The Japanese market at 17th and U is also fantastic.

    Tortilla Cafe, not much of a secret in Eastern Market, but easily some of the best Mexican food in the city.

    P&C Market off Lincoln Park in Cap Hill is probably the best thing I can think of to add to this list. It’s a great resource for fresh, local food and drink (on par with my own neighborhood’s Timor Bodega/Field to City) but the best thing about P&C is the SANDWICHES. They are so. Good. Get yourself there, now.

    • Lemon Meringue

      Oh, I didn’t know P&C had sandwiches! I’ll have to go inside sometime. That place is charming as hell and I pass it every day, but always while walking the dogs (and I’m not the type to tie them up outside).

  • DCMom

    JJ’s Carryout – 5300 block of Georgia. Best seafood and sides in the city!

  • sarah

    Also – there’s a place on Bladensburg Rd. across the street from Capital City Diner (another addition for this list? It’s awesome but maybe not quite under the radar), anyway this place says it has some of the city’s best crab cakes…I can’t remember the name off the top of my head but it’s always intrigued me. Usually I’m too full of waffles to check it out, though.

    • Anonymous


    • Sarah- you’re referring to Sullivan’s Seafood, right across from Capital City Diner and next door to Jimmy Valentine’s Lonely Heart’s Club. Mr. Sullivan has the best crab cake I’ve had, and his seafood salad is awesome too.

      Cap City Diner

      • sarah

        Sweet, thanks Matt!

      • K

        also a fantastic shrimp poboy

  • Dante

    Macombo Lounge.

    • NotHere

      ha ha

  • Anon

    Litteri’s Deli

    • Veronika

      done and DONE

  • Anonymous

    The brothels of Columbia Heights and Petworth, including the one on Upshur St.

    • Anonymous

      How come everyone but me seems to know where these things are? I guess a brothel is a step up for Petworth.

      • Eckingtonite

        All we have are possum ranches in Eckington

        • Bloomingdude

          What this city needs is stud farm.

          • Anonymous

            I think they have one called Barry Farm already.

  • sunshine

    Pica Taco on Florida – the tongue taco is great.

    • Anonymous

      hope to god it is better than their al pastor, which is an insult to every other al pastor out there.

  • MK

    Spicy Delight near the Takoma Park metro. Best jerk chicken on earth.

    • DF

      We loved going to Mark’s when we lived up around there. Not a secret by a long shot since it’s always so crowded. All the servers were the sweetest and the veggie club with the fake bacon and plum sauce was amazing.

  • mca

    Ercilia’s on Mt Pleasant and Irving St.

    All the food is good from typical El Salvadoran to Spaghetti and meatballs. I took my family there once (before the fire and renovation) and they were a little shocked I would take them there. Now when they come visit they always ask if we can go back there.

  • Cornholio

    Restaurant Judy on 14th St – papusas and plantains. Nom nom nom.

    • Brian

      Yes! Just went there Sat. night and it was not crowded at all, had cheap Mexican beer, and super tasty plantains.

  • Bloomingdude

    Red velvet and carrot cakes from Harris Teeter.

    Yea, it’s a chain, but it’s a thousand times better than the freezer-burned, cornbread cupcakes you get at Cake Love.

    • Nikki

      Seconded, HT has amazing cake.

      • Lemon Meringue

        Their breads are good too.

        • novadancer

          and cupcakes. everyone raves anytime I take them somewhere.

    • Sarah Lindsey

      Go Harris Teeter!

  • PetworthRes

    So, any good place to get African food (beyond Ethiopian – that’s very well covered on DC)? I think Ghana Cafe isn’t that great. Anything else that’s good?

    • anon

      African food is on every other block.

      Where can you get a good sauerkraut pierogi fried in onions and slathered with sourcream? Now that’s eatin’.

      • Veronika

        Old Europe in Glover Park probably… it’s pretty sweet there

    • El Gringo

      Bukom in Adams Morgan has decent West African food.

      Ghana Cafe also has W.A. food, but I don;t know anything about the quality since they moved to the new location on 14th St.

      • Anonymous

        Bukom>Ghana Cafe. Sumah’s in Shaw is another option.

        • Petworthgal

          +1 for Sumah’s- the feuille de manioc is great as is the okra stew. They are on 7th b/w S and R I think.

      • It’s even better! Ghana Cafe has African beer (six selections), homemade ginger beer, full service in Logan Circle. The Washington Post has this to say: http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/ghana-cafe,1025602/critic-review.html
        PS: Our Nigerian customers want us to rename GC “Nigerian Café”.

    • saf

      Chez Auntie Libe on Georgia.

    • GOOD LUCK! If you find any African restaurant that has African beer (six selections), homemade ginger beer, full service at Logan Circle and around share with your audience. The Washington Post said this about Ghana Café: http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/ghana-cafe,1025602/critic-review.html
      PS: Our Nigerian customers want us to rename GC “Nigerian Café”.

  • Anonymous

    Are we talking about just food or drinks too. I’d say Chuck and Billy’s Bar near Howard is fun during Carribbean Fest. Thai Xing for food.

  • Justine

    What about the fish dinners at the ‘House of Prayer’ at 6th & M Streets, NW?

  • Justine

    Where can I find some good Puerto Rican food, not Salvadoran? I can find Puerto Rican food in Philadelphia, Jersey City, New York City, Hartiford, Conn, and Boston.

    • El Gringo

      Creo que no hay nada de esa.

      I think the best you’ll get is Dominican food…and there’s a bit in CH.

    • Anonymous

      ” I can find Puerto Rican food in Philadelphia, Jersey City, New York City, Hartiford, Conn, and Boston.”

      i guess you answered your own question.

    • anon_

      Banana Cafe in Cap Hill offers some Puerto Rican Dishes. And Mio on Vermont Ave offers Puerto Rican weekends. They have dishes like bistec encebollado y habichuelas. It’s a modern take but tasty.
      But that’s pretty much it. There used to be a Dominican restaurant in Tacoma Park which offered some Puerto Rican dishes but not sure they’re still there.

      There used to be an awesome Venezuelan Arepa place on 14th many years ago, just above U st. It was good but the hood was quite sketchy back then…

    • Francophile

      Go to the Unity Market that sets up stalls in the little park area of Adams Morgan where Columbia and Euclid intersect – there’s a great P.R. stall there.

  • islandgirl

    Johnny Boy’s Carryout for BBQ. 4125 Southern Avenue. It ain’t no joke!! Hill Country can’t touch their ribs.

  • ChickenWings

    J Bell’s Winghouse on Euclid btwn Sherman and Georgia ave has the best wings i’ve had in the city. 24 karot gold is their special sauce. I’m from Buffalo and these are the closest thing to home I’ve found. Weird hours/delivery policy. Helps to have a 716 area code when you call.

    Also it’s been mentioned but Henry’s on U st. 20 Hot wings for 10$.. no better deal and very very delicious

  • Lemon Meringue

    This is going to sound crazy, but Tunicliff’s Tavern has great pizza. Maybe not the best in DC, but it’s much better than the pizza at 7th Hill down the street.

    • anon

      I would say Tuncliffs in its own right would be a spot. All the other spots are crowded, i can usually find a spot there or if i just want bar food.

  • andy

    Highlands. I can out the place as awesome until I am blue in the face but it will still be a secret to those who won’t come north of Spring Road.

  • AdamsMorganDweller

    Casa Oaxaca – try anything with any one of their mole sauces…delicious.

    El Pollo Rico – in Clarendon but worth the trek.

    AM Wine Shoppe – great selection and the owner is very helpful.

  • TG

    The bar menu at Ray’s Classics in Silver Spring. You get the hell burger for like 8 bucks.

    Half price raw bar at clyde’s old ebbits, etc. Got to check the hours on that one but if you like oysters you are good to go.

  • Fonzy

    Yum’s II

  • Veronika

    This is no secret, but it was my favourite growing up and it’s my favourite now…. Crisfields, Silver Spring… no one beats their bisque.. and they don’t ship to NYC… I tried. $16 soup never tasted so good

  • Mistr Knucklz

    My favorite best kept secret in DC is this chick named Veronika, spell it with a “K” unlike the other Veronicas who spell it with a “C” and she really awesome and is the ultimate purveyor of good taste all over town and she real smoove and all dat so my vote is for her but don’t tell nobody.

  • snow bunny

    Ended up at Bill’s Fish-n-the-Hood tonight but not due to reading this post; it was only because I couldn’t get anyone at Morgan’s to take my order! Let’s hear it for customer service.

  • rooty tooty

    thanks for the Ruff n Ready tip – I’ve passed that place several times on an alternate commute and wondered, but forgotten about it. sounds like it’s great from the yelp reviews.

    Tegeste Ethiopian on 14th & Otis is definitely the best kept secret in my area. Their food is on par with the well known spots on U street, but it’s decidedly less hectic (with *extremely* friendly service). Next time you’re hankering for ethiopian, i’d recommend checking them out – you won’t be disappointed (at least if you’re not in a big hurry): http://www.yelp.com/biz/tegeste-ethiopian-restaurant-washington-dc

    • The Real Jason

      Just took my Mother to Tegeste for mother’s day. We found the lamb tibs a bit dry, but the doro wot was stellar. A mixed review.

  • Georgia on My Mind

    “Black” is not a four letter word, yet it was removed from the famous “Fish in the Hood” window signage. The proud fish used to scream (or blurp) “Black Owned”… I presume Bill thought, at some point, it to be disrespectful to point out that their business was black owned… perhaps the fish’s quote meant that the black pride was more important than appealing to a wider (read “whiter”) audience. Nowadays the Fish in the Hood is less and less “hood”. Development is everywhere and it would be silly to say that its not because of the gentrification happening all around. In this case its the money moving into the area, but that “money” comes mostly in the form of “white people”.

    So now the fish just holla “_____ Owned” – as if that means anything in and of itself. It means a lot more… That black pride was once good for business and now it would just scare away the muli-racial dollars that are coming into an enterprise. Racial politics are usually born out of economics and economics change over time.

    I hope Bill leaves the window like it is… it says so much about the history AND the change of this neighborhood. Change is good sometimes and sometimes not… but it does happen.

    – “_____ WRITTEN”

  • Rush Fan

    Lakeside Park

  • The other Jason

    Adams Mill and Toledo Lounge…oops!

    But seriously Chez Auntie Libby makes the dopest ginger-pineapple drink. 100% fresh ingredients. Buy it by the gallon, take it home, add rum, get stupid!

    Her food is Senegalese/Gambian I think, and better than Bukom and Ghana Cafe.

  • Anonymous

    The Korean place in the Florida Ave. market, on Morse. I think the sign outside just says “Deli”. Phenomenal seafood pancakes.

    Anyone ever been to Deli City out on Bladensburg? Been meaning to go out there, apparently has great sandwiches.

    • Deli City has the best reuben sandwich in DC. Period. The corned beef is slow roasted and fall apart tender. If there’s a better one, I’d like to know where it is.

  • PG

    Bread from Lyon Bakery. They mainly sell to restaurants and caterers, but they have a stand at the market outside Union Station. $2 a baguette, $3 for a loaf (various styles, all freshly baked.)

  • Anonymous

    Saint’s Paradise.

  • Anonymous

    So are there any good Moroccan restaurants in DC or nearby? I was thinking about trying Marrakesh out on New York Avenue, but the reviews I’ve read are extremely mixed.

    • Avoid Marrakesh unless you enjoy paying cash for mediocre food, subpar wine, and inept belly dancing. You’re better off getting takeout and hiring a stripper with a veil.

  • lou

    My hideaway used to be Miz Charlotte’s Crab Cakes on Minnesota Ave (just outside Kennilworth Aquatic Gardens). Sadly, I heard she’s closed. Not only terrific crab cakes but the most awesome collard greens.

    Don’t know if this counts, but the guy who has set up a smoker on Saturdays at the H St farmer’s market sells the most divine pulled pork imaginable. Skip the sauce and just enjoy the meat.

  • anon5

    This is no secret, but the best coffee I’ve had in DC is Pound (formerly on Florida Ave, now in Eastern Market). Other random favorites (maybe not secrets either, who the hell knows) are: Papuseria San Miquel in MtP, the Atrium near L’Enfant for lunchtime sandwiches, the Tune Inn for breakfast, and Westover Market Beer Garden in (gasp) Arlington.

  • Anonymous

    Fat-Face BBQ on East Capital St.

  • Anonymous

    latin street food vendors line up at Euclid and Columbia Rd in Adams Morgan on Thursdays and Fridays and dish it out (but only through lunch time and not on weekends, sadly).

  • DC Native

    Parkway Deli in Silver Spring. On weekends you can bike there on Beach Drive. Best Matzoh Ball Soup in the area.

    Also, they have a pickle bar.


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