Autumn is a celebratory season here in Georgetown, as locals and visitors alike come to the neighborhood to enjoy the scene before winter’s bite arrives. There’s nothing more special than strolling the cobblestone lanes with friends, family and neighbors to take in the sights. When it comes time to dine, though, we recommend finding your way to five of our favorites for fall food — and, really, some of our favorites all year round.
A Georgetown institution, Peacock Cafe on Prospect Street is urbane yet relaxed. It’s a true representation of Georgetown when you want to bring out-of-town guests someplace cozy without fanfare (and its sidewalk seating offers prime people- watching). Since 1991, this white-tablecloth classic has impressed without being over the top. The menu is full of proud American standbys like salmon and filet mignon, but the happy hour and juice bar prove that there’s always something new to try.
New, trendy and a place that isn’t going to break the bank, Chaia Taco on Grace Street is made for the discerning millennial set. The “farm to taco” ethos informs the nature- based aesthetic of the menu, which lists rotating seasonal and plant-based tacos. Chaia offers fashionable shrubs on tap, as well as international wines and local beers that emphasize the focus on regional and high-quality specialties. Earth-friendly and warm, it’s the future of food, sure to be a hit for the future of Georgetown.
From the mind of one of the most renowned chefs in the country, Nobu landed in the West End on M Street mere weeks ago, taking our neighborhood and the entire city by storm. It’s the 38th iteration of chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s luxe sushi restaurant, famed for its black cod and perfectly plated fish and sushi dishes. Nobu is an announcement that the D.C. dining scene has truly arrived — though we already knew that, given the boom
in elegant, exciting eateries. Nobu, though, represents fall power dining at its best. Good luck getting reservations!
For that touch of Vienna while strolling historic streets, there’s nothing like the Old World atmosphere of Kafe Leopold, snug on Cady’s Alley off bustling M Street. Another Georgetown mainstay, its schnitzel and bratwurst are soul-warming entrees. However, with the can’t-miss apple strudel and Kaiserschmarrn mit Zwetschkenröster (pancakes with plum compote), Leopold’s desserts steal the show. When the autumnal chill’s a’blowing, this Kafe and Konditorei is a sweet finish.
Where would Washington be without Clyde’s Restaurant Group (named for a Scottish river), also the owner of 1789, the Tombs and Old Ebbitt Grill? Dating back to 1963, the self-styled “saloon” on M Street where it all began is pure Americana, with high-backed booths, exposed-brick walls and ample portions. It’s a favorite with visitors and students, with a menu that suits all tastes, from the new late-night menu down to the favorite Chicken Sandwich #1.
BONUS: ROOFTOP LOUNGE AT THE GRAHAM
When you want to see and be seen, there is no better view than the rooftop lounge at the Graham, the boutique hotel on Thomas Jefferson Street. Truly impress friends and visitors with spectacular panoramas of Georgetown and beyond — as well as of the chic set — not to mention craft cocktails. Take in ample sunshine during the day and seafood that equals the vistas, making the Graham a fitting way to do fall in Georgetown.