Most Affordable Michelin Restaurants in Washington D.C.

While Washington D.C. may not have the same global recognition of its fine-dining scene as some of its American peers such as New York and San Francisco, the American capital boasts an abundance of high-quality restaurants.

Moreover, Washington D.C. ranks 3rd worldwide among cities with the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita, surpassing New York, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

With 25 Michelin-starred establishments, the city is celebrated for its innovative chefs and world-class cuisine. However, dining out at a Michelin restaurant in D.C. can be quite pricey: on average, it costs $190 per person (excluding drinks and gratuity) to dine at one of the capital’s Michelin restaurants.

Therefore, our team set out to discover the most affordable Michelin restaurants in Washington D.C., where you can enjoy a fantastic meal without breaking the bank.

1. Gravitas

Three-course menu: $75

Address: 1401 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002, United States

Photo credit: @gravitasdc

Gravitas is a contemporary American restaurant led by Chef Matt Baker. Chef Baker, who has a background that includes training at the Culinary Institute of America and experience in several high-end kitchens, brings a refined approach to seasonal cuisine. 

Gravitas’ menu emphasizes local ingredients and offers dishes such as Maryland Blue Crab Salad and Rohan Duck Breast. The restaurant features a sleek, industrial-chic décor, with an open kitchen and rooftop garden that supplies some of the restaurant’s produce. Diners can expect a sophisticated and intimate dining experience, with an option of three menus: Three courses, four courses, and six courses. The three course menu is priced at $75 and includes a starter, a main course, and a dessert, making it the most affordable Michelin-starred meal in D.C.

2. Maydān

Tasting menu: $75

Address: 1346 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States

grilled butterflied branzino at @maydandc
Photo credit: @maydandc

Found in the center of the bustling U Street corridor, Maydān provides a unique Middle Eastern dining experience. The restaurant is known for its open-flame cooking, with a menu curated by Chef Chris Morgan.

Maydān’s menu highlights Middle Eastern dishes with a modern twist, featuring dishes such as lamb shoulder with Syrian spices and grilled branzino. The centerpiece of every table, and a highlight of every dinner, is the bread, which the kitchen team makes to order in the restaurant’s clay ovens.

The rustic, yet inviting décor of the restaurant includes an open kitchen and communal tables, fostering a warm and convivial atmosphere. Maydān’s famous Tawle Menu is how Chef Morgan and the rest of the team wants guests to enjoy a full meal at the restaurant – with flow and abundance. This menu is priced at $75 and includes a range of curated dishes to be enjoyed family-style.

3. Rania

Prix-fixe menu: $90

Address: 427 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, United States

Rania restaurant in Washington DC @raniawashingtondc
Photo credit: @raniawashingtondc

From the creators of Punjab Grill D.C., Rania reimagines Indian dining. Under the direction of Chef Chetan Shetty, the restaurant’s cuisine combines traditional flavors with contemporary innovation, bringing the 5,000-year evolution of culinary history into the modern era.

Rania showcases a delightful four-course prix fixe menu priced at $90, available Tuesday through Saturday. With this unique menu, the restaurant aims to break conventional stereotypes and offers a bold, new perspective on Indian cuisine. Signature dishes include tandoori paneer, caraflex cabbage, and lamb shoulder rogan josh.  

4. Rooster & Owl

Prix fixe menu: $95

Address: 2436 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States

CAROLINA BBQ CARROTS cornbread, cornbread ice cream at @roosterandowl
Photo credit: @roosterandowl

Rooster & Owl, situated on 14th Street, presents a seasonal, contemporary American menu. Led by Chef Yuan Tang, the restaurant emphasizes creative and playful dishes. Highlights include the sweet potato agnolotti, which pairs the earthy sweetness of the potato with a delicate pasta, and the dry-aged duck, a dish that perfectly balances rich flavors with a crisp exterior.

The modern décor, with its clean lines and open kitchen, complements the innovative cuisine. Diners are treated to a prix fixe menu priced at $95, offering the flexibility to create a personalized four-course meal from a selection of seasonal dishes. This thoughtful curation ensures a fresh dining experience with each visit.

5. The Dabney

Prix fixe menu: $105

Address: 122 Blagden Alley NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States

Scallop Crudo w/charred red cabbage, dill, and winter radish at @thedabneydc
Photo credit: @thedabneydc

The Dabney is a true love letter to Mid-Atlantic cuisine. Chef Jeremiah Langhorne, whose impressive background includes training at the world-renowned Noma, brings his passion for local ingredients and traditional cooking methods to the forefront. The rustic décor of the restaurant, characterized by exposed brick walls and an inviting open hearth, creates a cozy atmosphere that beautifully complements the dishes.

The Dabney offers a comprehensive tasting menu, consisting of eight courses, as well as a prix fixe menu, served in the bar area, priced at $105. The prix fixe menu provides a snapshot of the dining room’s offerings in a more casual bar setting​. 

6. Little Pearl

Tasting menu: $115

Address: Carriage House, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003, United States

Pork Neck Al Pastor at @littlepearldc
Photo credit: @littlepearldc

Situated in Capitol Hill, Little Pearl is a neighborhood café by day and a Michelin-starred dining destination by night. Chef Aaron Silverman’s menu features a range of small plates and tasting options, with standout dishes such as hamachi crudo, which is a fresh and delicate starter, and the rich, succulent wagyu short rib.

Little Pearl provide a range of different spaces for guests to enjoy dining: A cozy private dining room, a gorgeous glass-enclosed conservatory (including a high-top communal table), an enclosed patio, and a chic bar. The bright, airy spaces with their casual yet refined décor offer a welcoming backdrop for both daytime café patrons and evening diners. 

At night, Little Pearl offers a seven-course tasting menu, priced at $115, with the option to add a custom tailored wine pairing by the restaurant’s Master Sommelier.

7. Rose’s Luxury

Tasting menu: $115

Address: 717 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003, United States

Crab Louis Salad at @rosesluxury

Rose’s Luxury, also in Capitol Hill, is famous for its eclectic, small-plate menu. Chef Aaron Silverman, who trained under renowned chefs, brings a playful approach to dishes. The cuisine blends flavors from around the world, ensuring a unique culinary adventure with each visit. 

Rose’s Luxury’s tasting menu includes five courses and provides a curated selection of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. This menu starts at $115, and can be enjoyed in Rose Luxury’s roof garden, overlooking the city. 

8. Albi

Tasting menu: $125

Address: 1346 4th St SE, Washington, DC 20003, United States

Albi Restaurant in Washington DC @albiwashdc
Photo credit: @albiwashdc

Albi, which means “my heart” in Arabic, is the debut restaurant of chef Michael Rafidi. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by Rafidi’s Palestinian roots, blending the traditional coal-fired cuisine of the Levant with local, seasonal ingredients. 

Central to the dining experience is the wood-burning hearth, around which guests can reserve the Hearth Table, which also offers an intimate view of the open kitchen. This setup creates an engaging atmosphere where diners can feel closely connected to the culinary process.

Another Albi highlight is the semi-improvisational tasting menu known as Sofra. The Sofra menu is priced at $125 per person and consists of a selection of chef-recommended dishes highlighting peak season ingredients.

9. Tail Up Goat

Dinner menu prices starting at: $130

Address: 1827 Adams Mill Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009, United States

cripsy salt cod w/ onions & smoked cauliflower aioli at @
tailupgoat
Photo credit: @tailupgoat

Situated in the colorful Adams Morgan neighborhood, Tail Up Goat is a celebrated restaurant known for its inventive Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The restaurant is co-owned by Jon Sybert, Bill Jensen, and Jill Tyler, who together create a welcoming and inclusive dining experience. 

Tail Up Goat’s menu focuses on using local, sustainable ingredients, with an emphasis on vegetable-forward dishes and house-made pastas that highlight the flavors of the season. The ambiance is both cozy and stylish, featuring rustic décor with a contemporary touch.

Tail Up Goat’s dinner menu starts at $130, and includes six courses. The menu changes often based on the ingredients accessible to the kitchen team, and can also be tailored to meet groups’ specific tastes and dietary requirements. 

10. Metier

Six-course tasting menu: $200

Address: 1015 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States

Seabass tajine at Metier Restaurant
Photo credit: metierdc.com

Metier provides an intimate dining experience managed by Chef Eric Ziebold and partner Célia Laurent. The restaurant focuses on creating an immersive evening for its guests, featuring a seven-course tasting menu that highlights contemporary American cuisine and the best seasonal ingredients. 

The dining room’s elegant ambiance, combined with meticulous attention to detail, ensures a memorable evening. Metier also offers private dining that is perfect for couples wanting to enjoy a romantic dinner or celebrate a special occasion. 

The tasting menu, at $200 per person for six courses, is a culinary journey that showcases Chef Ziebold’s expertise and creativity. Each course is thoughtfully prepared and beautifully presented, emphasizing flavors and textures that delight the palate. On Sunday evenings, guests can also try the Travel Series menu, which highlights cuisine inspired by different regions that the team has a special connection with. This menu is a five course tasting menu priced at $130 per guest.

Below is neat map to help you visually locate the most affordable Michelin restaurants in D.C.

Mapped: Most Affordable Restaurants in Washington DC

Related: The Most Affordable Michelin Restaurants in NYC
Related: The Most Affordable Michelin Restaurants in Chicago
Related: The Most Affordable Michelin Restaurants in Los Angeles

Featured image courtesy of Gravitas.

The post Most Affordable Michelin Restaurants in Washington D.C. appeared first on Chef's Pencil.

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