Since 1799, Barracks Row, also known as Eighth Street, SE, has been a vibrant commercial sector. It was Washington, D.C.’s initial commercial hub. It was necessary due of its closeness to the Anacostia River.
Thomas Jefferson chose 8th and I Street as the first Marine Corps station to guard both the Naval Yard and the United States Capitol.
Companies sprung developed to meet the requirements of persons who lived and worked in the area. Restaurants on Barracks Row, particularly oyster houses, rapidly became the place to be in the neighborhood.
Residents moved to the suburbs once munitions manufacture at the Naval Yard halted.
A motorway project and rioting after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s murder left wounds on Barracks Row, destroying the area’s charm. Barracks Row’s bustling commerce and eating scene has dwindled.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the Barracks Row Business Association helped companies reopen.
The Alliance created Barracks Row Main Street, which was chosen by the city’s Office of Economic Development and four other Main Streets. They were given monies and given new life.
Nearly twenty years later, the retail companies in this Capitol Hill area, which is also a gastronomic haven, are prospering. Numerous sit-down and take-out eateries on Barracks Row are open and providing delectable meals.
These are six Barracks Row eateries you should visit if you’re in the neighborhood!
Before you go, if you want to learn more about the amazing native Mexican cuisine, check out our list of the 11 Must-Try Cozumel Restaurants.
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7 Top Restaurants on Barracks Row
The Belga Café
+1 (202) 544-0100514 8th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C.
Chef Bart Vandaele may have competed for the potential title if you watched Bravo’s Top Chef 10th Edition.
He is the award-winning chef who popularized Belgian cuisine in Washington, D.C. Belga first opened its doors in 2004 and has been a huge success ever since.
Betsy, a rooftop bar (above Belga and a bit of a secret) named after one of Chef Bart’s favorite hens, was installed in 2015.
Betsy is well-known for its excellent Belgian beer, Genever (akin to gin), and the same delectable Belgian food. We arrived for breakfast, but they also offer lunch and supper.
With just one glance at the menu, youll be unable to choose between egg dishes, Doffles a doughnut waffle, crepes, Belgian waffles, or lunch items such as mussels, soup, salads, and burgers.
It’s a difficult decision since some of the waffles are savory. You may still order something sweet, like a Belgian French breakfast waffle with apricot sauce, toasted nuts, and honey.
We began with the Belgas Bellini, a delicious mix of white cranberry juice, crme de Pche, and pomegranate sparkling wine.
Our table ordered an egg dish, a waffle plate, and a burger from each category. The lamb and chorizo burger came with goat cheese, spinach, yogurt-garlic sauce, sliced radish, and crisp Belgian fries on the side. The chorizo added a zingy taste to the burger, which was cooked medium.
The toppings added a pleasant crunch, while the creamy-garlicky sauce mellowed the heat.
We were not disappointed by the buttermilk fried chicken and waffles with jalapeo honey syrup and pickled jalapeos. Since they know how to make waffles, the waffles and chicken combo is terrific here. The chicken was tender and crispy.
The ideal taste was to drizzle the spicy honey over a forkful of chicken and waffles, along with a slice of jalapeo. That was flawless.
The Coddled Egg at the Bokaal was out of this world.
In Dutch, bokaal means jar. Slow-poached eggs, rich, buttery carrot mashed potatoes, creamy hollandaise, chives, and a bit of bread comprise the meal. Whoa, I mean it.
I’ve never had such a good time. It was spicy and sweet, yet it was balanced and soothing.
This is what placing Belgium cuisine on the map in Washington, D.C. is all about: exposing diners to meals that are Dutch but have distinct characteristics in Washington. Belga is one of the top Barracks Row restaurants for Continental cuisine in our city.
Bombay Street Food 2
+ 1 (202) 558-9506524 8th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C.
Asad Sheikh, the restaurateur, is well-versed in Indian food.
He’s been running profitable eateries in Virginia since 2011, and each endeavor has garnered him honors from The Washington Post and other significant newspapers.
He sold them all to his colleagues and began his newest goal, bringing Mumbai (Bombay) street cuisine to the streets of Washington, D.C.
His numerous childhood memories and recent excursions to taste his childhood meals were explored in order to provide that real experience in many neighborhoods and on Main Street in his Barracks Row restaurant.
The menu is extensive, beginning with sharable appetizers and featuring treats traditionally offered during the Monsoon season.
The rainy season, known as monsoon, lasts four months.
With a cup of cutting chai tea, families enjoy the spicy appetizers. There are Indo-China fusion recipes, Chinese flavor and cooking methods with Indian ingredients, unique foods chosen by Asad, and a variety of vegan, vegetarian, and non-vegetarian cuisines.
We began with Bombay Palak Chat, a popular street snack of fried spinach topped with yogurt and chutney. This is my personal fave.
The tastes are spicy yet sweet, and the crunch of the spinach is quite gratifying in this meal. Bhel Puri, puffed rice, chopped onions, cilantro, tomato, and chutney are also available.
While it is a common street food, the presentation was distinctive.
It was presented on a huge platter in the shape of a tower, crisscrossed with chutneys and crisp crackers. It was crisp and flavorful. Both meals featured flavorful and addicting tastes.
Both dinners were vegan, with the first being Aloo Gobi, a potato and cauliflower dish with cumin, ginger, garlic, and tomato, and the second being Chana Masala, a stewed chickpea and tomato sauce served with fragrant Basmati rice.
The servings are large and designed to be shared.
The heat level is generally spicy, but may be adjusted according on the preferences of the diners. It was an unexpected culinary journey to a thriving nation, and I strongly suggest paying a visit to this Barracks Row eatery.
Call Your Mother Deli
Washington, DC, 701 8th Street Southeast
Call Your Mother is a Jewish-influenced local bagel and deli.
This is the storefront’s second site, with other shops in Georgetown, Bethesda, and food trucks for farmers markets across D.C.
Call Your Mother makes the most delicious bagel sandwiches I’ve ever had.
It’s the ideal comfort meal, plus their witty slogans and merchandise make me giggle. A T-shirt with the word Carbohydrate is on sale in the window.
The wood-fired bagels elevate each sandwich to legendary status. Everything is prepared from scratch or purchased from excellent vendors such as Ivy City Smokehouse, Z&Z, and Liberty Delights. This is the place to go for breakfast on Barracks Row.
Mornings are made easier with the order-online function.
Put your order, pay, and pick it up at a given time. The Sun City, my order, had local bacon, eggs, American and cheddar cheeses, and spicy honey on an everything bagel.
The sandwich was very delicious.
The Horizon, smashed avocado, Fritos, pickled onions, roasted pepitas, jalapeos, on an everything bagel, or The Grand Villa, Big Spoon peanut butter, raspberry-guava jam, on a cinnamon raisin bagel, are two more fascinating possibilities.
Lunch sandwiches, latkes (potato pancakes), schmears like smoked salmon or whitefish, and desserts like doughnuts or muffins are also available.
Bagels may also be ordered by the dozen. This store, too, has a heart.
The company offers breakfast for people in need, job training, assistance to underprivileged immigrants, participates in Food Rescue, and collaborates with Park Morton Kids Camp to provide creative places for children. Your mum would be proud of you. Help out by patronizing this Barracks Row eatery.
+1 (202) 543-37001100 8th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C.
Isidoro, Ramon, and Jose Amaya, three brothers, had a goal of traveling to America.
That led to the chance to open a restaurant in Washington, D.C. They departed El Salvador in 1990 to build an authentic Salvadoran and Mexican restaurant called Las Placitas, which is the Spanish name for a little plaza near San Miguel’s active volcano, El Chaparrastique.
This restaurant has been serving traditional meals in a casual setting with a vibrant ambience for over 30 years.
On a lovely day, I went in to Las Placitas for lunch and took a seat outdoors. As the chips and salsa come, the first thing you notice is how fresh the salsa tastes.
There are tomato and onion bits with cilantro. It’s so basic, yet in the wrong hands, it can be tasteless. The menu is comprehensive and includes a wide range of Mexican classics as well as Salvadorian cuisine. I went with real tacos Mexicanos.
At $12.95, I couldn’t pass up the trio of grilled beef, chicken, and shrimp in flour tortillas with guacamole, pico de gallo, rice, and beans.
The platter was overflowing.
The shrimp were nicely marinated and grilled, and the chicken and steak were soft and delicious. To complement the crisp salad and creamy guacamole, I opened the tortillas and poured the extra spicy Verde sauce over the meat and fish.
The service was warm and polite, giving this a welcoming environment in which to enjoy the great, genuine meal. Las Placitas is unpretentious; the cuisine speaks for itself. Pay attention to this Barracks Row eatery.
+ 1 (202) 675-10001007, 8th Street SE, Washington, D.C.
The Brig is a dog and group-friendly outdoor beer garden and gastropub.
On a bright day, the wide terrace is ideal for gathering with friends or stopping by for a casual supper in the evening.
The bustling ambiance has over twenty taps of German and local craft beer, as well as pub staples such as wings, burgers, and German Wursts.
The long tables are evocative of European beer gardens, as is the congenial ambiance.
The Brig’s cuisine focuses on foods that go well with beer.
There are smoked chicken pretzels and nachos, as well as smoked chicken wings completed on the grill and served with house-made wing sauce and blue cheese.
There are a few salads, but the grilled sausages are the major attraction. The Bratwurst is a pork sausage served with Dijon aioli and fries on a warm beer pub bun.
Bauernwurst and Debriziner (both pig and beef) are also available, as is Chicken Apple Sausage. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, and the Brig hotdog, an all-beef dog with beef chili and condiments, round out the menu. The bratwursts and wings were a hit with our group.
A night out with friends is made more enjoyable by the relaxed aspect of eating elevated finger meals outside. There are Televisions all throughout the place for sports fans. In the Brig, your taste buds will never be arrested.
Enjoy all the comfort cuisine staples at this Barracks Row diner.
+1 (202) 450-6452735 8th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C.
Chef-Owner Steve Yoon established Sushi Hachi with the intention of introducing handmade sushi rolls of exceptional quality to Barracks Row. Hachi is the Japanese term for eight, which represents pleasure and luck.
Fortunately for consumers, this great 8th Street Barracks Row eatery fulfills its purpose. The sushi is quite fresh, the quality is excellent, and the pricing is reasonable.
We started our lunch with edamame, which are blanched soybeans dusted with salt. Edamame is really nutritious, and this appetizer was delicious. We were given hot towels and proceeded to our next lesson.
We picked Nigiri sushi, which is raw fish that has been cut and laid on rice, as well as two other kinds of sushi rolls. Nigiri salmon was tender and delicious.
The spicy tuna and avocado wrap and the crispy shrimp with eel sauce were both delicious. The tempura shrimp inside were not oily, and the flavors were delicious.
We had heard that the Japanese fried chicken, also known as Chicken Kara-age, was delicious, so we ordered one for the table. The meal lived up to the expectations. Delicate chicken in a thin batter was cooked crisp and served with a handmade tartar dipping sauce.
The whole lunch was fantastic, and we were ecstatic. I appreciated the calm atmosphere, the polite treatment, and the attention to every detail.
+1 (202) 546-5006.539 8th Street Southeast, Washington, D.C.
In Italian, lavagna signifies slate. Slate production, mined in the surrounding Capenardo and S.Giacomo mountains, kept the men busy in the Genoese settlement of Lavagna.
This restaurant is called after slate or what was subsequently translated to mean blackboard because, like a blackboard, the cuisine should be wiped clear to start anew, to be original and unique. Fortunately, this local treasure is always available. The Italian cuisine is farm to table, with a reliable network of farmers.
Everything in the kitchen is created from scratch, even the pasta. It’s your friendly local wine bar, and wine by the bottle is half cheap on Sundays, which is a huge plus. The atmosphere is one of laughter, eating, and drinking, and the menu is seasonal and modest, reflecting the finest of what’s in season to highlight each component.
We were certain we wanted to share. We got the Burrata with arugula, basil, EVOO, and balsamic vinegar since it came from a fantastic vendor. The arugula was crisp and the cheese was creamy. The leaves had a spicy taste to them. It was a fantastic beginning, delicately seasoned with delicious olive oil and sweet balsamica.
We then dug into our spaghetti platters. I chose the Carbonara, a basic peasant meal made with house bacon, parmesan, black pepper, and one egg. The flavors are excellent combined, but they are even better on fresh pasta.
My companion chose the Rigatoni Pesto, which had fresh basil, pine nuts, and handmade pasta. She chose to eat it without protein (you may add chicken or sausage), and I enjoyed it just as much. The basil was delicious, and the sharp cheese makes this pasta dish beautiful yet simple.
We really enjoyed our lunch. That transported me back to my adventures in Italy. You may transfer yourself to that tiny town in Genoa with a glass of wine and some delectable ingredients.
Try this Barracks Row eatery for a memorable dining experience.
I’ll have to return to explore even more amazing meals in this Historic Capitol Hill area since there are so many new spots on the Barracks Row restaurant scene.