By Piero Filpi
A necessary reacclimation period usually begins around this time due to the end of winter break and beginning of the spring semester. So now we’re all back in D.C. — finally moved in again, schedules finalized, and textbooks bought — but what has been going on these past few weeks throughout the District, while we’ve been sitting back and relaxing after a series of tumultuous finals? Lucky for you, we at The Tower put together a smorgasbord of staple hangout spots and new trendy places that have popped up throughout D.C.
First on the list is Chaia, a food-truck turned restaurant after the demand of the farm to taco establishment grew so large, that the food-truck had to hit the brakes to make way for a storefront in Georgetown. The two owners, Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern, worked as food writers and believe the key to good food — as their website reads — is “great attention to detail” and “welcoming you into our shop with gratitude.” The two work to create an intimate vibe within the restaurant and have succeeded. Chaia is a great place to enjoy some of the freshest Mexican food in the D.C. area. It is located on 3207 Grace Street NW.
The New York famous Momofuku has finally graced the streets of D.C. and they’ve hit the ground running. The restaurant offers a full bar, noodle bar, main dining room, and private dining room. Momofuku also offers a variety of specials for larger groups. The Bo Ssam meal is a special cooked pork shoulder that is cured overnight and then slow roasted for 6-8 hours. The second special they offer is the fried chicken mean where they fry two whole chickens for your party and give you copious amounts of sauces and sides. You can find Momofuku at 1090 I Street NW.
Next on the list is famous Chef Michael Schlow’s second restaurant to open in D.C: the Riggsby. The Riggsby is a cozy and speakeasy type of restaurant that transports you back into another time. From the moment one walks into the establishment they can already feel the weight of the new millennium slide off their shoulders. The leather banquets and use of deep colors like burgundy and hunter green only elevate that feeling of a restaurant stuck in time. The cuisine at the Riggsby is an excellent take on American cuisine, their website reads “the menu at the Riggsby is American with a splash of Old School Continental.” The Riggsby is located on 1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW.
Tryst Coffee Shop has been serving its famous counter culture coffee for a while now here in the District and has become a must for coffee and wifi lovers. Tryst’s attitude and whole vibe is as bitter as their black coffee, but in a good way. The coffee shop attempts to throw away the normal coffee shop idea and create a completely different vibe. On their about page they state: “The Greeks have tavernas; the French have cafes. DC has Tryst – a place that helps define ourselves and the community.” this is exactly who and what Tryst stands for. The coffee shop is a great and welcoming place to sit down for a couple of minutes or a couple of hours. Tryst can be found at 2459 18th Street NW.
Lastly, for those long and stressful nights that have you staying up late, Jose Andres’ Oyamel Cocina Mexicana offers excellent food until 2 AM every day. Their Mexican food is a great way to cap off a night and at a good price, but they also offer brunch, lunch, and dinner during normal hours that are sure to impress. Oyamel is located on 401 7th Street NW.