Feb 29, 2024 - Food and Drink

Food influencer @dcfoodgod's favorite D.C. restaurants

Two photos. The one on the left shows a couple smiling at the camera standing outside under an umbrella. There's a red telephone booth next to them. The photo on the right is showing a bowl of gourmet food. There's a spoon sitting to the right of the bowl.

Left: Jason Fisher and Tessa Alimahmoodi; right: wagyu salad from Kappo. Photos: Courtesy of Fisher and Alimahmoodi

If you're looking for a new D.C. restaurant, Jason Fisher and Tessa Alimahmoodi of @dcfoodgod might be able to help.

What they did: The couple, who met seven years ago and fell in love over food, have built a brand around sharing photos and tips from locally owned, family-operated restaurants.

What they're saying: "We believe that food is truly the culture of D.C. and without it, the city would have nothing."

Here are some of their favorite spots:

Best new restaurant in D.C.

  • Hands-down, Kappo! They offer a wagyu omakase experience in a tiny 21-seat tasting room. The wagyu and even the dishes they use to serve each entree hail from Japan.

Best date night spot

  • Our go-to date night spot is Retrobottega. Their service and quality of food is always consistent every time we visit — not to mention that they are located inside an old, narrow row home in Adams Morgan, making the ambiance super cozy and intimate. We always order their chitarra, a squid ink pasta, which includes a generous amount of mussels, squid, shrimp and clams. We also love their bucatini carbonara!

Best place to take family

  • St. James, which is a Trinidadian restaurant off 14th Street NW. Their space is extremely welcoming, spacious and perfect for small and large parties.

Best place to take visitors

  • When we have friends and family visit, we take them to Thip Khao. We are so fortunate to have Laotian food here and I do not think too many people across the country can say that. Our absolute favorite dishes are the chuenh paa sa moun pai (crispy catfish) and the kua khao jaew bong (fermented chili fried rice). If you are feeling adventurous, be sure to order from their "jungle menu."

Something you've learned about the restaurant industry

  • People have this notion that restaurant owners are rolling in money, but that is simply just not the case. [The] majority of restaurant owners barely get by and usually don't have the means to pay themselves. After paying for their team's wages, purchasing supplies, rent and property taxes, there isn't much left over for the owners. Many of them work close to seven days a week, from open to close, and don't take a vacation.

Guest List highlights members of the D.C. community who have a unique vantage point on the city's food and culture scene. Connect with @dcfoodgod on Instagram and TikTok for more food recommendations.

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