Last summer, NBC Sports Washington compiled guides that highlighted the best bars and restaurants to watch the Capitals' Stanley Cup run and the FIFA World Cup. Earlier this summer we provided some spots around Nationals Park and Camden Yards too.
With summer 2019 halfway over, now is the time to highlight some go-to spots for Japanese cuisine in and around the district.
Here are, in no particular order, some of the top Japanese restaurants in and around Washington, D.C.
Sushi Taro, 1503 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036
- Dupont Circle
- Sushi Taro has one Michelin Star and is fairly pricey (the omakase counter costs $180), but weekday happy hour features half-price sushi and drinks.
- The "Omakase counter" features four-to-six small dishes, plus seasonal sashimi and sushi.
- The regular menu offers both Kaiseki tastings (upwards of $100) or less-expensive a la carte sushi, both traditional and artisan.
Donburi, 2438 18th NW, Washington, DC 20009 OR 1134 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036
- Adams Morgan (includes takeout) or Dupont Circle
- Good for a quick meal, the Japanese rice bowls are topped with protein and pickled vegetables.
- Try the barbecue eel, salmon sashimi or fried chicken donburi.
Izakaya Seki, 1117 V St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
- Near Howard University and U Street Music Hall
- The menu mainly features izayaka, Japanese bar food, along with other raw and frilled fish preparations.
- Sit at the counter downstairs to watch chef Hiroshi Seki or head to the pub and try the sashimi platter.
- While Izakaya Seki offers dinner only, it features dishes both adventurous and accessible.
Daikaya, 705 6th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Between Capital One Arena and the National Building Museum
- The ground-floor ramen shop is walk-in only, but is worth the wait.
- Izakaya, up on the second floor, does take reservations and serves bar food, Japanese comfort food-style.
Himitsu, 828 Upshur St, NW, Washington, DC 20011
- An inventive menu pulls inspiration from everywhere, with an Asian twist.
- Plus, all of the wines and spirits offered are owned or made by women.
Momo Yakitori, 2214 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20018
- The menu features traditional Japanese yakitori, plus creative, contemporary adaptations like the Shio skewers, which are just seasoned with sea salt.
- Head down to the basement bar for an inventive cocktail menu, including the "Wicked Wolf" and the "Suffering Mule."
Perry's Japanese Restaurant, 1811 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington, DC 200009
- Adams Morgan
- Go for the picturesque rooftop bar, stay for the affordable a la carte sushi.
- Or, head to Perry's on Sunday for Drag Queen Brunch (which has been running for over 30 years).
Sushi Hachi, 735 8th St. SE, Washington, DC 20003
- Between Navy Yard and Capitol Hill
- With a more budget-friendly omakase menu, diners can experience the seven-course meal for $52.
- Or, try the equally affordable main menu, including sushi and selections like the "Octopus Croquette."
OUTSIDE OF D.C.
Hinata Sushi, 4947 Saint Elmo Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
- Within walking distance of the Bethesda Metro stop
- Head to the back of the Japanese market to an affordable sushi counter with simple and satisfying nigiri.
Kobo at Sushiko, 5455 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815
- Just outside of D.C., near the Friendship Heights Metro
- While Kobo, which serves both a vegan and non-vegan of Kappo (a seasonal prix fice meal), is no longer taking reservations, the main Sushiko restaurant is still open.
- If you don't want to wait for reservations to open, or don't want to pay upwards of $100, Sushiko offers a more affordable sushi menu.
Tachibana, 6715 Lowell Ave. McLean, VA 22101
- Off of Old Dominion Drive
- Dine in the main, open dining area for a friendly atmosphere, or head to the traditional dining area in the back for a more intimate experience.
- Or, sit at the long sushi bar for an authentic dining experience.
- Wherever you choose to dine, the menu features both sushi and non-sushi items like vegetable tempura.
Nasime Japanese Restaurant, 1209 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
- Old Town Alexandria, near the King Street Metro
- Try the $55 five-course tasting menu for a variety of seasonal Japanese cuisine, from raw Tsukuri dishes to fried Agemono dishes and more.
- There are only a couple dozen seats, so reservations are a necessity.
California Shabu Shabu, 3081 Nutley St., Fairfax VA 22031
- Outside the Beltway in Fairfax
- A more modern twist on the traditional hot pot, diners sit along a black counter with individual pots on electric burners.
- But don't worry if you're new to hot pot, the staff is there to help you through the process of choosing the broth, protein, vegetables and sauces.
Bôn Matcha, 1928 I St. NW, Washington, DC 20006
- Near George Washington University
- A sidewalk stand, Bôn Matcha specializes in, you guessed it, all things matcha.
- Try the soft-serve matcha-honeydew swirl, or if you're unsure about matcha, sample one of the seasonal flavors.