The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, making it more important than ever to support local vendors. If you’re living in D.C., check out a number of restaurants to support that have opened up this summer.
For a South American fusion – Mercy Me
Mercy Me, located just north of Washington Circle, serves variations on classic South American dishes. The restaurant has limited indoor seating due to social distancing measures, but you can eat at a full service back and front patio. Every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., guests can try some of the executive chef Johanna Hellrigl’s breakfast tacos, grilled pizza and bagels.
1143 New Hampshire Ave. NW, visit its website here, (202) 828-7762.
For hearty açaí bowls – District Bowls
Mere blocks from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, District Bowls is D.C.’s newest açaí bowl destination. While the restaurant is not currently offering indoor seating, customers can eat at its outdoor seating or order out through seamless. Bowls come with a choice of açaí, green or banana base, but you can fill your bowl with several toppings and fruits. If you’re not in the mood for a bowl, choose from a selection of waffles, empanadas and smoothies.
916 G St. NW. Visit its Facebook here, (202) 393-1111.
For Azerbaijani pastries – Sharbat
Head to Sharbat in Adams Morgan for several delicious desserts. The bakery has a small storefront and limited indoor seating but is a great option for picking up your morning pastries. Be sure to check out the highly recommended baklava or a number of teas available when you visit.
2473 18th St. NW, visit its website here, (202) 843-5252.
For barbecue – Smokecraft Modern Barbecue
This new Clarendon-based joint offers an upscale dining experience accompanied by your favorite backyard barbecue bites – and it’s only a three-minute walk from Clarendon station on the Metro and currently open for dine-in or delivery through Toast. Pitmaster Andrew Darneille’s aims to incorporate flavors from the grill with every bite, so don’t be surprised to find smoked avocado deviled eggs or smoked key lime pie on the menu. A group of three to four people can enjoy the “Whole Lotta’ Cue,” which includes samples of Smokecraft’s St. Louis ribs, BBQ chicken, Waygu brisket and pulled pork.
1051 N Highland St., Arlington, Virginia, 22201. Visit its website here, (571) 312-8791.
For Japanese street food – Shibuya Eatery
We might not be able to leave the country, but you can explore Japan’s world-famous street food bites at Adams Morgan’s Shibuya Eatery by dining in or ordering online for delivery with GrubHub, Uber Eats or Doordash. Enjoy Shibuya’s customizable noodle bowls, beginning with buckwheat soba, udon or matcha soba noodle base and served either with a hot or cold dashi broth with different ingredients like cold pickled prawns and edamame ($19) or hot broiled eel with ginger ($19). If you’re looking for a small bite, check out the binchotan grill options like kurobuta pork belly with tare glaze ($7) or Japanese eggplant with sweet miso ($7).
2321 18th St. NW, visit it’s website here. 202-450-2151.
For heart-warming soul bites – In A Minute Cafe
The pandemic forced many business owners to make difficult decisions, though some decisions have lead to great outcomes. Longtime friends and chefs Reginald Mack and Steven Wilson decided to close their respective catering services and establish In a Minute Cafe – a Capitol Heights business known for its Maryland crab dishes. The menu changes every day of the week, so you’ll have to choose between Cajun chicken pasta ($15) or Crab grilled cheese ($14) on Wednesdays or between jumbo lump crab cakes ($20) and fried catfish ($12) on Fridays. Take the Blue line to Morgan Boulevard station and then hop on a quick six-minute bus ride to get to this tasty new joint.
9244 E Hampton St. #203, Capitol Heights, Maryland, 20743. Visit its website here. 240-390-7146.