Whether you are grabbing dinner before or after a baseball game at Nats Park, or just catching up with friends along the boardwalk, Navy Yard is the place to be in DC. With the ballpark, Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, The Yards Park, and beyond, there’s plenty to do in this neighborhood.
Your Guide to the Best Navy Yard Restaurants
And lucky for you, there’s also plenty to eat while you’re there. So much so, in fact, that it can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we have put together a guide to the very best Navy Yard restaurants. The 14 restaurants below are Female Foodie approved and guaranteed to leave you full and satisfied. Because life’s too short to eat bad food!
This Korean-Mexican mashup is a match made in heaven. With bold Korean BBQ flavors alongside flavorful Mexican accents, TaKorean is absolutely one of the best Navy Yard restaurants (and also one of the most inexpensive!). What started out as a food truck has now turned into the brick and mortar on 4th street with an additional location inside of Union Market. Just like many fast-casual restaurants, you can customize your order to your liking, which means the possibilities are endless. For first-timers, it’s smart to get a variety of tacos so you can try all the proteins and slaws. But after you find your favorites, you can create the bowl of your dreams. Ours is made with white rice, spiced kale slaw, their amazing pickled cabbage (kimchi), and chicken (dak galbi), all topped with crispy shallots, lime crema, and a poached egg.
13. The Arsenal at Bluejacket
Located within the brewery Bluejacket, the Arsenal is known to many neighborhood locals as the spot to meet up with friends before or after a Nationals baseball game. Even with its enormous 200-seat restaurant and bar, the Arsenal has a cozy, laid-back vibe. Of course, they are mostly known for their beer selection, but we are here for the food. They have incredible gourmet burgers and locally sourced salads, but their bar snacks are the star of the show. The jumbo everything pretzel with house-made beer mustard and beer cheese is mouthwatering, but come on, give us some of those tots! They are square, huge, crisp, served with ketchup and dijonnaise, and what you MUST order every time you visit the Arsenal, one of our favorite Navy Yard restaurants.
From the moment you step into RASA, your senses are overwhelmed with the bright colors and exotic smells. Started by two friends whose fathers immigrated from India, and who wanted to show everyone how accessible and fun Indian cuisine could be through their family recipes. If you find their menu to be a little intimidating, let them work their magic for you by selecting one of their chef-created bowls. The “Tikka Chance on Me” is a great place to start with mild chicken tikka, basmati rice, sauteed spinach, pickled radish, and toasted cumin yogurt and mint cilantro chutney on top. At Female Foodie, we’re obsessed with the “Home Cooking” bowl, which features slightly spicy turmeric ginger shrimp, tamarind chili sauce, Indian rice noodles, and green beans and is topped with mango salsa, coconut powder, tamarind ginger chutney, and mango coconut yogurt. With the fast-casual model, you can create your own custom bowl with your choice of base, main, sauce, veggies, toppings, chutneys, and dressings. RASA has another DC spot located in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, but the original location on First Street SE is less than a block from the Nationals Stadium and has quickly become one of our favorite Navy Yard restaurants.
Located at the corner of M and First Street SE, Circa’s Navy Yard location couldn’t be better. It’s the perfect spot to sit out on the patio while waiting for a game or to people watch as all the fans rush by. And the food? Well, they have quite the selection and it’s all delicious. We recommend going with the tuna poke nachos, the Fiji apple shrimp salad, and finishing off your meal with their mouthwatering brioche bread pudding (it’s shareable but you won’t want to share). Circa is also known for their flatbreads and burgers if that’s more your speed. There are two other locations in DC—Clarendon and Foggy Bottom—but this location is definitely the most enjoyable.
10. Side Door Pizza
One of the smallest Navy Yard Restaurants on our guide, Side Door is one you might miss if you drive by too fast. Situated between the 909 apartment on New Jersey Avenue SE and Scarlet Oak Restaurant, this literal side door serves up the best Detroit-style pizza outside of Detroit. Side Door began as a pop-up during covid, but the take-out-only spot is now a permanent fixture. If you’ve never been lucky enough to have Detroit-style pizza, you should know that it’s a thick, square crust that is soft and airy, with a crunchy exterior and Wisconsin brick cheese that caramelizes on the edges. Side Door’s menu is simple—cheese, pepperoni, or vegetarian (house-smoked BBQ jackfruit, grilled corn, aji Amarillo peppers, marinated yellow tomatoes, green onions, tangy coleslaw, smoked gouda, Wisconsin brick, and mozzarella cheese) are the three options. No matter which kind you select, Side Door is the pizza you will dream about long after you’ve devoured the last piece.
9. Due South
There’s nothing more comforting than Southern food and in Navy Yard, there’s only one place to go for it. Chef Rusty Coleman has created such a mouthwatering menu at Due South, that it’s impossible to decide what to order. From his famous house-smoked bbq to the shrimp and grits, the food is classically Southern and classically delicious. You have to start off with their fried green tomatoes that are served with corn salsa, roasted tomato aioli, and goat cheese. We also love their pimento cheeseburger with applewood smoked bacon, juicy tomatoes, tobacco onions, and bread and butter pickles. Like most of the Navy Yard restaurants, they have a great location close to the ball parks. If it’s a nice evening, try their nearby location—Due South Dockside, which has outdoor seating on the Anacostia Riverfront Boardwalk.
Like many of the Navy Yard restaurants on our guide, All Purpose has a great view of the Anacostia River from its roomy patio. We are obsessed with their ever-changing menus and always make sure to order their seasonal salad. Their appetizer game is strong, with choices like garlic knots, asparagus ‘alla romana’ (with gorgonzola fonduta, cured egg yolk, and parmesan), and crispy calamari fritto, which melts in your mouth from the first bite. But the pizza is the main event. Inspired by both Rome and New Jersey, their pizza has a sturdy, crispy, chewy crust that is just ever so sweet. It is baked in a 650-degree oven from a recipe that involves fermenting the dough for three days. You must order the Buona pizza, which is topped with pepperoni, Calabrian chili honey, and fresh basil. Or be bold and get the Casanova with parmesan fonduta, mozzarella, marinated artichokes, garlicky spinach, Calabrian chilies, and lemons. It’s one of our favorite Navy Yard restaurants and we keep coming back for the consistently tasty food, outstanding seasonal menu, and wallet-friendly prices.
7. Maialino Mare
Maialino Mare, one of the newest of our Navy Yard restaurants, is a Roman-style trattoria that focuses on pasta, fish, and pork. Sourced from local farmers and fishers, they create their menu from seasonal ingredients. Their house-made pastas are all exquisite, but we especially love the Fettuccine con Gamberi with ruby red shrimp, butter, and lemon. Maialino in English means “little pig” and you really need to order something here that shows off their suckling pig. Their Malfatti al Maialino is made with large scrappy pasta squares, juicy pieces of suckling pig, Grana Padano cheese, and arugula and gives you an excellent taste of what they’re known for, but we would highly recommend ordering the show-stopping Mailalino al Forno dish. This roasted suckling pig dish consists of delectable ribs with especially crispy skin and is meant to share. For dessert, their tiramisu is one of the best in DC. Mailalino Mare is a beautiful restaurant with great service, great food, and is perfect for a special night out.
Named after the former first lady, Jackie may be the most beautiful of all the Navy Yard restaurants on our guide. It’s covered in bold, colorful murals and eye-catching decor that is influenced heavily by its Russian-born owners. Jackie’s chef, Jerome Grant, is a James Beard-nominated chef. Son of a black father and Philippine mother, Grant has put a global twist and modern updates to the American comfort dishes we all grew up with and loved. The menu here changes with the seasons, which gives us incentive to return often. You’ll find offerings like green pea dip, duck pastrami toast with peanut butter, cherry jam, and crushed peanuts, incredible fried chicken, collard greens, and the most luscious coconut “biscuit” cake that is baked in a banana leaf. If you want to be surprised and delighted with some of the most interesting and creative food in DC, make a reservation at Jackie.
5. Salt Line
Step into The Salt Line and you will feel as if you just were transported to New England. The decor features lots of sea green with Cape Cod-inspired wood shingles, and even a boat hanging from the ceiling. Their branding is something we love, from the whimsical tin cans holding the menus and condiments to the parchment paper displaying the food, to the bathroom wallpaper. It’s all about the details at The Salt Line. Especially when it comes to their food. Their raw bar shows off all the beautiful oysters procured from Virginia and New England, and their regular menu has all the classics—clam chowder, fried clams, crispy fish sandwiches, and most importantly, lobster rolls. The lobster rolls are served just how they should be—with chunks of tender, sweet lobster meat dressed in a little mayo and butter and piled high on a lightly toasted top-split bun. Chef Kyle Bailey adds some fun twists on a few dishes but mostly keeps true to the New England style. Whatever you decide on, make sure you order their soft parker house rolls with homemade butter. We love everything about The Salt Line, one of the very best Navy Yard restaurants.
4. Osteria Morini
One of our top Navy Yard restaurants is Osteria Morini, which serves up savory food inspired by the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. Their beautifully bright dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows and overlooks the riverfront. We suggest you start by choosing a few of their cured meats and imported Italian cheese, served on a board with warm grilled bread. Order their burrata covered in snap peas, pistachio pesto, and scallions. Their pastas are all made from scratch, so there really isn’t a wrong decision (even their spaghetti pomodoro is memorable). Meat and fish are cooked over a wood-fired grill with precision. One bite of the branzino will take you all the way to the Mediterranean coast—it’s that good. And don’t skip the tiramisu. This is the perfect place for an unforgettable date night.
The latest genius from Knead Hospitality, Gatsby will transport you to a world of glitz and glam from the moment you walk in. With a name like Gatsby, you might expect this Navy Yard restaurant to have a high price tag and food that is a little too fancy, but you’d be wrong. Gatsby’s food is beautiful and scrumptious, but not at all intimidating. Think of an upscale American diner with familiar comfort food served amongst an art deco backdrop. Gatsby serves up typical diner favorites like meatloaf, country fried steak, and a killer pastrami sandwich on rye. They also have some beautiful modern dishes like their Ora King Salmon with pea purée, snap peas, and shaved fennel. Early bird diners who stop by between 3-6 p.m. will get a great deal on the daily blue plate specials (our favorite day to dine is Thursday when they have their Thanksgiving dinner). Vegans will love their vegan Caesar salad and the celery root steaks. And In-N-Out burger fans will get a little taste of California heaven when they try the smashburger. No matter what you decide on, make sure you save room for dessert, because the Watergate cake (not-too-sweet coconut cake with pecans and pistachio icing) is one of the best desserts you’ll ever have!
Chloe is not only one of the most incredible Navy Yard restaurants, but one of the best restaurants in all of DC. Chloe’s impressive menu is filled with a blend of cuisines with plates are meant to be shared. For starters, we suggest the fresh ricotta and house-made bread, and we insist you order the caramelized cauliflower with tahini and toasted pine nuts—you will want to lick the plate clean. Their spice roasted chicken over sticky rice comes with a Vietnamese chili-lime dipping sauce, which is heavenly. And the whole fish will bring “oohs” and “ahhs” from everyone at the table. Whatever you choose on the menu, you can’t go wrong. But make sure you don’t leave without trying the manchego cheesecake, which is one of the most unique desserts you can find in DC. With a Michelin Bib designation, the restaurant gets busy, so make sure to make a reservation early. And if you’d like a really wonderful experience, request one of the seats at the counter that overlooks the kitchen—a dinner and a show you won’t soon forget.
1. Shilling Canning Company
Inspired by Chef Reid Shilling’s family canning business in Baltimore, Shilling Canning Company will blow you away with unreal dishes made with ingredients they procure from around the Chesapeake region. It’s the place you go for a celebration, anniversary, or anytime you want to splurge on an incredible meal. Order anything here and you’ll be ecstatic, but the lamb shoulder with a crispy potato millefeuille (that’s French for a thousand layers) is so beautiful you almost won’t want to eat it (but you will and you’ll love it). Their buttermilk fried Amish chicken with hot honey, hoecake, maple syrup, and Sea Island red peas is out of this world and a must-order if it’s on their ever-changing menu at the time you visit. Aside from their a la carte menu, they also offer a regularly changing three-course $55 prix fixe dinner menu that centers around the season’s offerings in the local fisheries and farms (3-course weekend brunch is offered at $35). In summary, if you can only visit one Navy Yard restaurant, let it be Shilling Canning Company.