The Best Washington, D.C., Restaurants for a Celebratory Night In

You don’t have to dress up for dinner, but these meals may inspire you to.

23 min read
CelebratoryNightDC Bammys fish feature

Maybe you landed a new job. Or you aced an exam. Or it’s Tuesday. Whatever the case, we’ve rounded up the top D.C. restaurants on DoorDash for a celebratory night in to remember. (Or forget, if you hit that homemade margarita kit from Oyamel too hard. Seriously, go easy.) Mark any accomplishment in style — even if that accomplishment was just making it through your workday — with sushi from Nobu, pâté en croûte from Convivial, the 15-spice chicken from Makan, and much, much more.

RPM Italian

You best believe Giuliana Rancic knows how to roll out the red carpet, even at home. The former E! News host and her husband, Bill, are behind the popular RPM concepts and bring their stylish influence to every dish. Garlic bread gets an upgrade with a hint of truffle. Lobster adds a luxe touch to their caprese salad. And the pastas, like the prosciutto tortelloni and the short rib Bolognese with pappardelle, are all house-made.


There may be no name as synonymous with world-class sushi as Nobu. Founded in New York by chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa in 1994, Nobu has since gone global. The D.C. outpost, as all of the locations, serves the highest caliber of fresh fish. We always kick things off with their signature black cod with miso and then enjoy the surprise that is the Nobu Nigiri and Maki Box, with 16 pieces of nigiri selected by the chef, accompanied by four rolls (spicy tuna, yellowtail jalapeño, salmon avocado, and shrimp tempura).

Le Diplomate

Virtually everyone can agree that the French know how to feast. Stephen Starr’s ode to the Parisian bistro serves fare to amp up any celebration at home (just ask POTUS if you don’t believe us). The gougères and the fresh salad verte, with haricots verts, radishes, and a lively red wine vinaigrette, make for simple yet elegant starters. The half roast chicken and grilled branzino are expertly executed entrées, and everyone in your party will want to stick a spoon into the pot de crème at the end of the meal.

CelebratoryNightDC LeDiplomate chicken article


If pasta is your self-love language, Centrolina understands you. Chef Amy Brandwein opened Centrolina in 2015, and it has since become one of the sparkliest jewels in CityCenterDC’s culinary crown. The menu rotates seasonally, so maybe don’t get too attached to one dish. Do trust that each dish will slay. Whether it is one of the fine house-made pastas, like the ravioli with burrata and pea shoots, or the cervo, roast venison with charred radicchio and poached pear hot out of the wood-fired oven, all of Brandwein’s creations are chef’s kiss–worthy.

CelebratoryNightDC Centrolina pasta article


Thirty years ago, chef José Andrés couldn’t possibly have known that his Spanish cuisine would kick off a culinary empire, but here we are! Jaleo started it all, and it continues Andrés’ legacy of spreading the gospel of tapas and paella while earning repeated recognition from the Michelin Guide. If there are just a few of you, graze on a selection of tapas, like the pan con tomate, gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic), and tortilla de patatas clásica (Spanish potato omelet). Got a group? Go for the Paella Feast, which offers a choice of one of four paellas, two salads, two tapas, and flan for four.

CelebratoryNightDC Jaleo paella article


We don’t ever not want to go to the Caribbean, but since we can’t always get there (sigh), Bammy’s awaits. Chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan of Maydan teamed up with Trinidadian chef Peter Prime to open Bammy’s (named for the cassava root flatbread that is a staple of Jamaican cuisine), bringing all the flavor and joy of Caribbean fare to your door. Build a shareable spread with saltfish fritters, spicy smoked and grilled jerk chicken, and a zesty beef curry with Scotch bonnet chile, onion, and culantro. A chilled grapefruit soda makes for a refreshing, booze-free pairing.

CelebratoryNightDC Bammys dish article

Gogi Yogi

This Korean barbecue restaurant opened in Shaw in 2019, and its name means “meat here.” Count us in! When you want to mark a moment with a supper that slaps, Gogi delivers the carnivorous goodness. (Vegetarian dishes are also on the menu, so no one will be left out of your celebration.) Proteins include chicken, halal beef, duck, lamb, and seafood. For a trifecta of flavor, try the twice-fried Korean barbecue wings with a sweet-spicy glaze; the galbi, marinated beef short ribs; and the corn cheese, a baked casserole so good you’ll want one just for yourself.

CelebratoryNightDC GogiYogi group article

1789 Restaurant

For more than six decades, 1789 has been drawing dignitaries and local foodies alike — and now it’s your turn to be dazzled. The Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema praised 1789 for how refined the delivery presentations are. Standout starters include the American Wagyu tartare and the pheasant ballotine. The three entrées available, including brioche-crusted halibut, come with their feathery Viennese dinner rolls. A thoughtfully imagined bottle list includes bubbles and wines at wallet-friendly prices.

CelebratoryNightDC 1789 dish article


In the country of Georgia, which skirts Eastern Europe and Western Asia, the culinary traditions are strong; people often gather to toast and have a good time. Sound like what you’re up for? We thought so. If you’ve got friends joining you, order the aptly named Gobi Friends Platter, which features spreads, including a beet dip and a spinach dip, and crusty puri. Georgia is known for its khinkali (dumplings) and khachapuri (cheese-stuffed breads), and you’ll find both here along with spicy ajika for dipping. More formidable entrées, like a lamb kebab, are available, along with two desserts, including pelamushi, grape pudding topped with a walnut crumble.

CelebratoryNightDC Supra dish article

Succotash Prime

Enjoy a taste of Bravo’s Top Chef at home with a meal from chef Edward Lee, who earned a legion of fans on season nine of the show. Here, he melds Southern favorites with Asian flavors. The snacks and starters, like the country ham and pimiento cheese crudités and the hot fried oysters, are meant to be shared (although, tbh, you may not want to). There’s a classic chicken and waffles as well as dirty chicken with honey-gochujang sauce that packs a spicy-sweet punch. The 42-ounce, 45-day-aged bone-in tomahawk steak is built for two.


The menu at Convivial reads like a greatest hits list of French bistro fare — and each dish is a winner. Even after seven years, French American chef-owner Cedric Maupillier takes a unique approach to his dishes, reenergizing each with his imagination and technique. Food critic Tom Sietsema wrote a glowing review of the restaurant last year and praised the fact that the dishes travel extraordinarily well to one’s doorstep. So don’t be afraid to order the sublime onion soup capped with melty cheese, the decadent pâté en croûte, or the delicate bistro salmon with leeks, green peas, mussels, and sorrel. They’ll be DOA in the best way — delicious on arrival!

Toki Underground

D.C.’s OG ramen spot, Toki Underground, is known as one of America’s best ramen shops, getting shout-outs from Thrillist, Time Out, and Travel + Leisure. Obviously, you’re going to want to party down with the ramen here. The Toki Classic Ramen, with tonkotsu pork broth, chashu pork, kale, soft poached egg, pickled ginger, and scallions, is super popular, but Toki offers 10 ramen variations. Add on dumplings and steamed buns along with the charred brussels sprouts with tangy miso sauce and fried shallots for a beast of a feast.

CelebratoryNightDC TokiUnderground buns article

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

Remember when Mexican street fare and tapas weren’t a thing in the U.S.? We don’t either, thankfully. Chef José Andrés opened Oyamel almost 20 years ago, and it has a menu fit for any kind of fiesta you may be having. Five different taco kits (three tacos, with fillings like chicken, pork, or mushrooms, for $18) and the make-your-own margarita kit (16 servings for $50) will help your budget go further and your party go harder.


Chef James Wozniuk traveled extensively throughout Asia (including Malaysia) to expand his palate and expertise, and he brought that experience and passion for the cuisine to Makan. The restaurant’s name means “to eat,” and no one needs to tell us twice. At this two-time Michelin Bib Gourmand spot, the food is so spot-on that Malaysian embassy staffers are regulars. How’s that for a cosign? There are hawker fare, or street food, dishes alongside curries and noodle-centric selections, as well as a juicy whole or half chicken made with a 15-spice blend.


This is true finger food. For more than a decade, Ethiopic has brought fun and flavor to D.C. fans of Ethiopian cuisine. Meant to be shared among a group, the samplers are the way to go here. Served on injera, a type of flatbread — no utensils required — the platters come in vegetarian or beef and chicken wot, and both give you the chance to enjoy multiple dishes at once, like gomen (Ethiopian collard greens) and doro wat (chicken stew). An etiquette tip: Always eat and pass food with your right hand.

Timber Pizza Co.

There’s no party like a pizza party. The owners of Timber Pizza Co., Andrew Dana and Chris Brady, admit they knew far more about eating pizza than making it (same!) when they founded their business. That changed in a hurry as the team, along with chef Daniela Moreira, quickly perfected the craft and started attracting buzz with their pizza truck, earning a Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition. Get several of the 10 pies available for your party; they’re wood-fired and range from a classic margherita to The Penelope, with basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, bacon, mushrooms, and paprika. Bonus: The prices are right for their wine and beer selections, so let the good times flow.


Another Michelin Bib Gourmand winner (and Caviar staff pick!), Maketto specializes in Cambodian and Taiwanese cooking. The shareable dishes are a terrific way to taste all the things. Plates come in three sizes: small, like the crispy Gruyère dumplings with Chinese beef chili; medium, such as lo mein; and large, including the Maketto fried chicken with five-spice caramel and house-made bread. After eight years in business, Maketto is still being recognized as one of D.C.’s best restaurants.

CelebratoryNightDC Maketto group article


For two decades, restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s Indian cuisine stalwart Rasika has been earning accolades and awards, from the likes of the RAMMYs and the Michelin Guide as well as the James Beard Foundation. There is an array of vegetarian dishes, like the standout palak chaat, crispy baby spinach with sweet chutney, along with seafood, lamb, and poultry appetizers and entrées. You won’t find duck vindaloo on a lot of menus, so be sure to try it here. Cocktails, like the Mumbai Manhattan with allspice liqueur, will add a festive complement to your meal.

CelebratoryNightDC Rasika halibutgoancurry article


In the mood for an Italian American Sunday supper? With Carmine’s, you can enjoy one any night of the week. A sister spot to the famous New York flagship, Carmine’s is known for their epic portions of favorites like chicken parmigiana; lasagna; penne alla vodka; and hearty, slow-cooked ragù with meatballs and Italian sausage over pasta. And do take the chocolate cannoli straight to your cart.


The best thing to come out of Switzerland isn’t the watch or Roger Federer (although the latter is debatable). It’s the food, and it has found its way to D.C. at Stable, courtesy of executive chef David Fritsche and general manager Silvan Kraemer. Both are natives of the land of milk and honey and bring their passion for fine ingredients to Stable, which opened in 2017. You’re gonna want to “just fondue it” for your fête. The cook-at-home blend serves two (so order accordingly) and comes with bread, but tack on boiled potatoes, apples, and cornichons for the full experience.

Mykonos Grill

The Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema called out Mykonos Grill as one of his favorite places to eat in the spring of 2021, and we’re pretty sure you’ll agree when your order arrives. For nearly 20 years, Angelo Mitsotakis and Rodi Tzani have served fresh, inspired Greek food that continues to delight Rockville diners. The Cold Appetizer for Two includes tzatziki, melitzanosalata, tarama, fasolia, imam bayildi, feta cheese, and kalamata olives for a real taste of Mykonos. Look for Greek classics like moussaka Smyrna alongside roasted leg of lamb.

All-Purpose Pizzeria, Shaw

Consider All-Purpose a slice of New Jersey in the D.C. area. Here, and at the Riverfront location, they specialize in deck-oven pizza that would pass muster with even the most die-hard of Garden State pizza fans. Ten pies grace the menu, including the lavish Sedgewick, with whipped ricotta, mozzarella, Taleggio, Parmesan, truffle honey, and chives. If you want to up the fun factor, get the pizza kit to BIY (bake it yourself). The Dippies, such as feta ranch and Calabrian chile, will add even more oomph to your crust. Liven up the night with an Aperol spritz for two.

CelebratoryNightDC AllPurposePizzeria group-article

Unconventional Diner

A winner of multiple RAMMY Awards, Unconventional Diner, which has also received nods from the folks at Michelin, is true to its name. This is next-level diner fare from chef David Deshaies, who has served as the executive chef at the legendary Citronelle. He opened Unconventional Diner in 2016, and his cuisine offers both comfort and panache. Fine examples are the meatloaf with sriracha glaze, mashed potatoes, and a morel gravy, and the chicken Parm Florentine, with spinach and spaghetti, getting a twist as melty Gruyère dethrones traditional mozzarella on top.

CelebratoryNightDC UnconventionalDiner chickenparm article

Dumplings and Beyond

Dumplings are the main character here. Thrillist even named Dumplings and Beyond among the best dumplings in D.C. One bite of these hand-shaped, slurpy soup dumplings — xiao long bao — and you’ll be a die-hard stan. With these and nine other types of dumplings (steamed or fried), scallion pancakes, and spring rolls, you can create your own dim sum spread to make the night special. There are meaty entrées, like crispy beef, as well as rice and noodle dishes if you want a multicourse meal.

The Vegan Sushi Club

Think vegan sushi is sus? Think again. Plant-based cuisine gets an artful boost at The Vegan Sushi Club from the team behind Sticky Rice and Overgrown. You can practically eat the rainbow here with nearly two dozen vegan rolls available, such as the colorful Club Vegan Earth Day Roll, with tempura carrots, vegan cream cheese, avocado, wasabi peas, spicy vegan mayo, cucumbers, vegan wasabi mayo, eel sauce, and nori or soy paper. While there’s nothing fishy here, there are noodle and rice dishes — and OMG-good deep-fried Oreos. Yep, they’re vegan, too!

Shake Shack

Some people like to live it up with côte de boeuf while others prefer ground beef. We can (and do) go both ways. Restaurateur Danny Meyer started Shake Shack with a hot dog cart, and it has grown into a burger (and chicken sandwich) empire. This is family-friendly food that will please the littles as well as the adults. The ShackBurger, made with Angus beef and topped with ShackSauce, available as a single or a double, is a meal in and of itself, but if you can’t commit, get a regular cheeseburger, one of their creamy shakes, and the crinkle-cut fries. And since this is a celebration, get fancy AF and make those fries white truffle Parmesan fries.

Sfoglina Pasta House

Chef and restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi’s Sfoglina pays homage to the sfogline, or female pasta makers of Italy, whom he observed growing up in Italy’s Ancona region. When launching this concept, his culinary team trained with master sfoglina Simonetta Capotondo (who also hails from Ancona). There are bites big and small and nine pastas available, including Fabio’s Ravioli San Leo, with goat cheese, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Pasta kits are available if you and your friends want to get your hands — and dishes — dirty!

CelebratoryNightDC Sfoglina ravioli article

Bistro Aracosia

They’re all about good eats at Bistro Aracosia, touting an Afghani menu that is GMO-, preservative-, and hormone-free. The food has received local and national praise from the likes of The Washingtonian and Forbes. Owner Omar Masroor and his family serve dishes as they would be prepared in Afghanistan (meaning no fryers or microwaves; you won’t miss either). There is an impressive list of appetizers; the pumpkin dumplings filled with butternut squash and topped with minced beef and lentil korma, garlic yogurt, dried mint, and cayenne are a best seller. Sixteen kormas (stews) are hearty, nuanced, and superb for sharing.

China Chilcano

Peruvian cuisine is anything but a monolith. There are influences from Spain and West Africa (Criollo), China (Chifa), and Japan (Nikkei), among others. Chef José Andrés highlights these three cooking traditions in China Chilcano. You and your guests can customize the pisco-based cocktail Chilcano Macerado with flavors like ginger or hibiscus for a bespoke toast. There are a number of ceviches and dim sum, such as jiaozi de la chacra, dumplings made with cilantro and squash. If you haven’t tried aji de gallina, a chicken stew that is billed as Peru’s national dish, this is the place to order it from.

Nama Sushi Bar

When you’re craving sashimi and creative rolls and you can take or leave hot entrées, Nama should be at the top of your list. Opened by James Beard Award–winning chef Michael Schlow in 2018, Nama serves sushi and sashimi à la carte as well as an impressive number of rolls, including signature selections like the Candy Cane Roll, with shrimp tempura, avocado, tuna, yellowtail, apple, jalapeño, and tobiko. Fortunately the desserts here, created by pastry chef Alex Levin, are hardly an afterthought. Anyone celebrating anything absolutely deserves a slice of the Rich, Decadent Chocolate Cake with salted caramel sauce. 

CelebratoryNightDC NamaSushi group article


Courtesy of Unconventional Diner

Jaleo courtesy of José Andrés Group

Oyamel courtesy of José Andrés Group

Courtesy of Toki Underground

All-Purpose Pizzeria by Stacey Windsor

Bammy’s by Rey Lopez

Courtesy of Centrolina