More than just the center of American politics, D.C. is home to more than 150 international embassies — and with it, countless international restaurants.
Whether you’re gearing up to study abroad, or just hoping to widen your palette in college, here are the top spots for international food in the District.
Indigo 243 K St. NE
The family-owned joint that serves up Indian comfort food in an intimate setting will make you feel right at home. Staples like the $11 butter chicken, $4 mango lassi smoothies and Indigo’s signature “Indirolls” — a flatbread wrap loaded with spinach, onions, cilantro and meat or vegetables for $9 to $12 — are available on their colorful chalkboard menu every day.
Before hopping on the Red Line to the New York Avenue Metro station, make sure to check Indigo’s Twitter page for updates on their rotating daily specials like the $12 spicy mango chicken or the $14 goat curry.
Tortilla Cafe 210 7th St. SE
The Eastern Market restaurant’s simple, fast-food atmosphere may seem unassuming. But El Salvadorian founder and chef Juan Canales’ traditional Latin American cuisine is what landed Tortilla Cafe a feature on the Food Network series “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
You can stuff your face like Guy Fieri with one of their $2 pupusas — corn tortillas filled with cheese and pork — the $4 fried plantains or a burrito for around $5.
Although it’s 15 minutes on the metro to Eastern Market, Tortilla Cafe’s cheap prices for food that will fill you up all day are worth the trip.
Eat First 609 H St. NW
Located at the center of Chinatown, Eat First may seem like another takeout hole-in-the-wall serving Americanized Chinese food favorites like sweet and sour chicken, fried rice and lo mein, all for around $9.
But the menu also boasts a wide selection of authentic Cantonese delicacies. Dishes like the $7 shredded jellyfish, the $10 to $15 meat and seafood claypot stews and the various types of congee — a rice dish served with fixins like squid and pig’s skin for about $7 — can be hard to find anywhere else.
Bistrot Du Coin 1738 Connecticut Ave. NW
The Dupont Circle eatery replicates Parisian dining with its red and white checkered tablecloths and rustic decorations, but any European foodie can find something they will enjoy at the lively bistro.
French specialties on the menu include the $11 buttery escargots, $22 steak with béarnaise sauce and $24 rabbit stew. Bistrot Du Coin also offers $17 Mediterranean-inspired lamb sausages with couscous and popular European open-faced sandwiches called tartines, with toppings like ham and cheese or smoked salmon for $9 to $15.
Sumah’s 1727 7th St. NW
A colorful cafe in the Shaw neighborhood, Sumah’s serves up simple but hearty West African cuisine with portions that are worth the prices.
For $14 to $17, you can get a heap of seasoned jollof rice — a staple in countries like Senegal, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Nigeria — infused with tomato, chili peppers and spices and mixed with beef, chicken or fish. Other popular menu items include peanut butter sauce and stewed cassava leaves, both for $14 to $17, as well as house-made ginger beer for around $3.