Earlier this summer I was intent on releasing my inner foodie and discovering exactly where I should be eating in DC. Anyone who’s ever visited our nation’s capital will know that Adams Morgan during the day has a completely different feel to it than the wild nightlife scene that has both helped and hurt the historic neighborhood’s reputation over the years.
During my hunt for the best restaurants for a cultured-seeking palate, I stumbled upon a tour that The Smithsonian was hosting that day. When I explained that I was exploring the area for Bohemian Trails, they kindly allowed me to tag along to some of the selected restaurants the tour was set to highlight.
Himalayan Heritage: 2305 18th Street NW
By simply walking through the doors of Himalayan Heritage, I felt an immediate feeling of peace and tranquility take over me. Having missed the tour portion, I returned here after visiting the remaining restaurants. Having the whole place to myself certainly helped me appreciate the beautiful decor and artwork that gives life to the small restaurant. I tasted their rice, chicken curry and black eyed peas with potato and bamboo shoots. Despite feeling full from all the food I had eaten throughout the day, I somehow managed to finish my plate. The spices and flavors used for each dish made each section of the meal very memorable.
Old City Cafe of Jerusalem: 1773 Columbia Road NW
Serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food to the culture lovers of Adams Morgan, Old City Cafe of Jerusalem certainly knows how to make their customers happy and coming back for more. We tasted some of their falafels, kabobs and gyros and after eating my fare share of Middle Eastern food in Egypt, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food being served. The cafe has continued to gain popularity through the years and had been featured in publications like the Washington Post‘s Going Out Guide.
Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe: 2412 18th St NW
I’ve always had a strange fascination with New Orleans, which may seem odd considering I still have yet to visit. There’s something about the vibe of the city that I am eager to experience first hand. I’m happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed eating at Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe. The small restaurant is full of personality, with old newspapers and memorabilia lining the walls leading to the bar area.They serve a variety of Cajun and Creole foods and have been around since 1992. They make their recipes from scratch and offer vegetarian basics for the less carnivorous of the world making this place a perfect fit for just about anyone.
Savour: 2406 18th Street NW
Perfectly positioned as our last stop on the tour, Savor specializes in American, Caribbean and Asian cuisine, with a selection of vegan and vegetarian options available. My favorite thing about Savour was their wine and champagne list, which is equally impressive as it is extensive. Although we stopped by during the day, Savour offers a late night menu, which is ideal for the slightly intoxicated Adams Morgan party-goer. They may be too tipsy to appreciate the sleek interior of the restaurant, but they will surely appreciate the sobering effect of the food.
L’Enfant Cafe – Bar: 2000 18th Street, NW
First I want to emphasize that this was not part of The Smithsonian tour. L’Enfant is a restaurant I had heard about through word of mouth, meaning that I had to check it out for myself. As promised, the boozy brunch was wild and crazy (even by standards). Walking past the restaurant gives no indication of the debauchery taking place inside. I took a few moments to experience a typical L’Enfant brunching and within the ten minutes that I stayed here, I saw two nearly nude party-goers hop on the bar for a little strip tease, was offered a dance by a barely dressed man and given a parting gift of a mimosa, which I made sure to down quickly. Definitely worth a visit here but make sure to book well in advance – they fill up fast.