Underrated, Hole-In-The-Wall Restaurants List

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

There's no doubt that this year has been a tough one for the hospitality industry, especially smaller restaurants. I went to stop by a neighborhood restaurant, a favorite of mine, and realized that they didn't really have any platform or budget to get the word out about their food. Although a lot of our favorites in the city are struggling as well, many of them do have resources in place to promote through social media, PR, etc. which leaves the smaller mom-and-pop type restaurants (who serve amazing food) out of the conversation and sometimes even forgotten.

The Yero from Zorba's Cafe (over 30 years in business) 📷 @dannygrubs

That's why I'm making this list - a list curated and sourced from all of you guys through the Instagram polls (@eatthecapital) and also the DC Foodie FB group (link here). You guys went crazzzy on this!... I underestimated the number of responses I'd get and ended up having to filter through over 300 restaurants, a majority of which I didn't actually know about, so I'm excited to check them out myself and share my experience on the food blog @eatthecapital and the DC Foodie FB group so make sure to stay tuned to the blog!

Since I didn't get a chance to go to these spots myself, this will solely be a list (with some notes that our local friends have included in their responses) that I will be checking out one by one, and I encourage you to check them out also. Consider these spots whenever you're looking for your next food-venture and looking to support a local restaurant that needs your help! And of course, sharing this list with your friends would be greatly appreciated too🙏

Dope hole-in-the-wall type places that serve amazing food and deserve more recognition.

Here are some of the responses and further down I'll share with you guys the ones I selected to check out and document for you guys!

*Each restaurant named will be organized by region + credit the community member who recommended!

Island-style Tacos from Tiki Taco 📷 @dannygrubs



2212 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

"The pupusas, tacos and burrito Azteca are my fav - prob the best queso in dc too! Can’t go wrong w any of the dishes tho" - via Taylor and Abby

Taqueria Habañero

3710 14th Street NW. Washington, DC 20010

"https://www.habanerodc.com/" - via Joe

George’s King of Falafel and Cheesesteak

1205 28th St NW, Washington, DC 20007

"Get the cheesesteak!" - via Molly

Tiki Taco

2010 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036

"A taste of paradise! Get their kimchi pork belly taco + coconut shrimp. The poke here is also out of this world" - via Danny

Hitching Post

200 Upshur St NW

"They serve great southern soul food!" - via Eric

El Sol Taqueria

1227 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

"Crispy Chicken Tacos + Queso Fundido" - via Alex, Jamie, and Bit***

Ooh’s and Aah’s

1005 U St NW Washington, DC 20001

"Get their fried whiting, mac n cheese, collard greens,, lemon pepper wings, and shrimp, rice and gravy!" - via Grace


505 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

"The best sushi in DC" - via Cat

Bombay Street Food

1413 Park Rd NW, Washington, DC 20010

"I recommend their butter chicken, gobi manchurian, the kabob roll (frankie), and any of the spicy vindalo!" - via Roy

Bubs and Pops

1815 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

"Bub’s Italian Hoagie" - via DCFOODNOOBS

Bagels Etc.

2122 P St NW #100, Washington, DC 20037


"Make sure to get their poppy seed bagel with egg and ham, cheese" - via Rachel

Tacos El Chilango

1119 V St NW, Washington, DC 20009

- via Lizzy

Full Kee

Chinatown, 509 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

"Sesame chicken, general tsos chicken, crab rangoons, fried wontons" - via Sarah

Siam House

3520 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

"Get the green curry!" - via Anup


3315 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC 20008

"Not a hole in the wall but could always use some more love - any of the pizza and pasta" - via Courtney

Pho Anh Dao

1915 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

- via Becci

New Big Wong

610 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

"Try their cold sesame noodles + egg drop soup!" - via Shareef

Sabydee Thai and Lao Cuisine

3211 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010

"The nan kao and chicken kapow are good. The pad Thai is also great (ask for it to be spicy!)" - via Paul

Sakana Japanese Restaurant

DuPont Circle, 2026 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036

- via Caroline

Zorba's Cafe

DuPont Circle, 1612 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

- via Caroline

Heat da Spot Cafe

3213 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

- via Kris

Wingo's Glover Park

2218 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

- via Kris


1602 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

- via Caroline

Cafe Bonapart

1522 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

- via Caroline

Jam Doung Style

1726 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20002

"Jamaican food!" - via Crystal

Eerkins Uyghur Cuisine

2412 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

"Love their milk tea, honey cake, lamb skewers,and samosas! I think their noodles are handmade too" - via Connie

Tsehay Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar

3630 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

- via Kris

Florida Avenue Grill

1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

- via Kris

Mi Cuba Cafe

Columbia Heights, 1424 Park Rd NW, Washington, DC 20010

- via Sarah

District Chicken n Gyro

Georgetown, 3147 Dumbarton St NW, Washington, DC 20007

- via Faatemah

Food Corner Kabob & Rotesserie

Ilab, Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

"They have great halal - quarter chicken with chickpeas, rice, and spinach" - via Alexia

Fried Whitings, Collard Greens, and Mac n Cheese from Carolina Kitchen 📷 via Nia, Yelp


The Kitchen Jerk

703 Edgewood St NE, Washington, DC 20017

"Drip Too Hard Wings" - via Justin

KoChix Chicken

400 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

- via Kris


2450 Market St NE, Washington, DC 20018

"Everything!! Pork or chicken chimis are my favorite." - via Justin

Carl's Subs

2208 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20018

"Simple hand made sandwich made by Carl. I get the turkey provolone."- via Justin

A. Litteri's Deli

Union Market area, 517 Morse St NE, Washington, DC 20002

- via Isabella

MGM Roastbeef

905 Brentwood Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018

"Sandwiches + breakfast is bomb - mixed roast turkey on onion roll with cranberry chutney and gravy on the side for dipping" - via Rose

Carolina Kitchen

2350 Washington Pl NE, Washington, DC 20018

"SEAFOOD COMBO FRIED LOBSTER, CREOLE SALMON TOPPED WITH JUMBO LUMP CRAB MEAT AND GRILLED SHRIMP, fried chicken, smothered chicken, mac n cheese, greens, fried fish, cabbage" - via Grace

Cafe Berlin

322 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

"Get their Bavarian pretzel/mustard trio, currywurst app, schnitzel with Spaetzle and mushroom gravy for dinner" - via Brian

Habesha Carryout

1919 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

"[They have] bombbb ethiopian food"- via Taj

Huacatay Restaurant

2314 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002

"They are the best family run small peruvian chicken in the world - half chicken comes with three sauces, choose the yuca fries and plantains as sides" - via Edward


La Lomitas Dos

308 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003

- via Dora

Aatish on the Hill

609 Pennsylvania Ave. SE #4322, Washington, DC 20003

- via Dora

Tortilla Cafe

Eastern Market DC, 7th Street & North Carolina Ave, SE Washington, D.C.

"The rotisserie chicken, all of the burritos, the taco salad, the flautas, the quesadillas, tex mex burrito is fave, salvadorian chicken sandwich" - via Butler


1243 Good Hope Rd SE, Washington, DC 20020

"Fish sandwich with hand cut fries, the fish and grits, spinach stew, shrimp po boy, fresh lemonade (strawberry lemonade) - mix of caribbean/african/american and owner fresh bakes the buns for all of the sandwiches and desserts." - via Butler


Navy Yard, 1000 3rd St SE, Washington, DC 20003

"Chicken salad sandwich or the stadium" - via Stacia

Taco City

1102 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

"Brussels, cactus, and mushroom tacos, also the elote is fire" - via Dina

Canales Deli

Eastern Market DC, 7th Street & North Carolina Ave, SE Washington, D.C.

"Inside Eastern Market - sandwiches and cold salads are amazing - best cranberry walnut chicken salad is best I ever had" - via Kaitlyn

Shhh... Secret Menu item from WOOBOI Chicken via 📷 @dannygrubs


Los Patroncitos


"Lengua tacos from Patroncitos" - via Will

Hong Kong Pearl

6286 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044

"Not hole in the wall but deserves more love nonetheless) - Dim sum is 🔥 at HK Pearl but I love the beef intestine stew 牛雜, attached a pic of it" - via Will

Esaan Tumbar

1307 Old Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101

"Ask for Tu at Esaan, tell him I sent you, he will usually have some special dishes available" - via Will

The Cheesesteak Express & Kabob Depot

24651 Southpoint Dr, Chantilly, VA 20152

"Located in the BP Gas Station in Chantilly, VA" - via Mahnoor

Thai Square

3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204

- via Joe

La Jarochita

85 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207

"Arlington on Glebe Rd. for authentic Mexican street food" - via Vidya

Rivera’s Restaurant

6552 Backlick Rd, Springfield, VA 22150

"Get the beef lomo" - via Waj

WOOBOI Chicken

139 Spring St #1, Herndon, VA 20170

- via Raymond

Tacos El Chilango

1719-1728, 14th St N, Arlington, VA 22209

- via Lizzy

Eugene’s Sausage and Fries

5551 Merchants View Sq, Haymarket, VA 20169

- via Michelle

Takumi Sushi

310 S Washington St B, Falls Church, VA 22046

- via Clara

Food Corner Kabob House

7031 Little River Turnpike A, Annandale, VA 22003

"Kabob joint - serves lamb or chicken with chickpeas, rice with lamb sauce" - via Ryan

Fava Pot

7393 D Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22042

"Egyptian joint in Falls Church - cornish hen with potatoes" - via Ryan

Kohinoor Dhaba

2800 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

"Papdi Chaat, onion kulcha, and the chilly chicken" - via Jaskiran

Kabob Palace

2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

"#11 combo, chicken and lamb! Best lamb and naan I've ever had - boneless chicken kabob, haleem (available on weekends) - stew of beef and lamb + Rice and chickpeas" - via Michael


709 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046

"Get the grilled cheese and totchos" - via TJ

Galaxy Hut

2711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

- via TJ

The Sandwich Shop VA

132 Church St NW, Vienna, VA 22180

- via TJ

Pho Hai Duong

Seoul Plaza, 4231 Markham St, Annandale, VA 22003

8411 Old Courthouse Rd, Vienna, VA 22182

"Hu teiu, bun bo hue (no blood), pho, bo loc lac." - via J

Banh Mi DC Sandwich

3103 Graham Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042

"Some of the best sandwiches on the VA side" - via William

To Sok Jip

7211 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003

"They got good everything but I love to get bossam there." - via Zelie

Italian Gourmet

505 Maple Ave W, Vienna, VA 22180

"The sandwiches at The Italian Gourmet look and taste amazing. They always get the ingredients stacked just right and they’re not messy" - via William

The Pure Pasty Co.

128 Church St NW Suite C, Vienna, VA 22180

"Pure Pasty specializes in Pasties which are a type of British hand pie, always savory. The crust they make for them is always a perfect golden brown and flaky when you break them open" - via William

Bangkok 54

2919 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204

"[They have] a market that sells fresh, hot noodle soups (n a little room near the front entrance) that aren't on the Bangkok 54 restaurant menu. The duck noodle soup is incredible and comes with spicy sauces on the side" - via Amanda

Halal Kabob House

6245 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312

"Get their spicy beef/chicken sandwiches" - via Talha

Bebop Korean Mexican Grill

10730 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA 22030

- via Talha

RAWR Sushi

6332 Springfield Blvd, Springfield, VA 22150

"Great quality and price" - via Shayela

Thai Luang Restaurant

171 Elden St, Herndon, VA 20170

"Crispy chicken with basil and fresh chili, spicy chicken fried rice" - via Pratib

Abay Market Ethiopian food

3811 S George Mason Dr A, Falls Church, VA 22041

"Ethiopian joint that was once reviewed by Anthony Bourdain" - via Aneesh

Earl’s Sandwiches

2605 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

"The Cuban Club" - via Tim

Boulevard Cafe

8180 Greensboro Dr, McLean, VA 22102

- via Daniel

Cafe Colline

4536 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

"Small French bistro in Arlington - The chef is from Chez Billy Sud · Le Bar à Vin and does amazing food for takeaway only. Go check them out!" - via Mykl

Eerkins Uyghur Cuisine

4008 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030

"Glover Park, MD, and VA locations - Milk tea, honey cake, lamb skewers, samosas, handmade noodles?" - via Connie

Nyama Choma from Swahili Village via 📷 @dannygrubs


Swahili Village Bar & Restaurant

10800 Rhode Island Ave Suite N, Beltsville, MD 20705

- via Danny

Krazi Kebob

4427 Lehigh Rd, College Park, MD 20740

- via Ivan

Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant

5071 Nicholson Ln, Rockville, MD 20852

"Veggie platter + kitfo" - via Elizabeth

China Bistro

755 Hungerford Dr, Rockville, MD 20850

"Soup dumplings, regular dumplings pan fried." - via Elizabeth

Mistik Taverna

13541 Clopper Rd, Germantown, MD 20874

"Lamb shank on pasta is really good, and any of their pita + dips.' - via Elizabeth

Gardenia’s Cafe

8377 Snouffer School Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20879

"Wings and fried yuca." - via Elizabeth

La Sirenita Restaurant

4911 Edmonston Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20781

"This is almost across the street. Wife of the owner of the taqueria. Small place, but they have a bunch of dishes like enchiladas, chilaquiles, and so much more. And tacos! I've been there on a Saturday morning, and there was a mariachi band!" - via Joe

La Neveria Michoacana

4527 Kenilworth Ave, Bladensburg, MD 20710

"Mexican ice cream! This place is kind of new. Hard to find them on the Internets. Opened summer of 2019. Paletas, sooooo many flavors of paletas. I am not sure if they're homemade, but man they look and taste like it. They have ice cream, liquados, mangonadas, and more." - via Joe

Taqueria La Placita

5020 Edmonston Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20781

"As the name says, it is a taqueria. It is not just beef or chicken or pork. Nope, it is pork belly, pork cheek, pork ears, etc. So many kinds of tacos! But they also do tortas, floutas, and a few other things. I loooove their elotes. There's an elote lady, but you need to bring cash. Elotes, esquites, fresh squeezed, jugos, and then there is the raspa dude who makes the raspas with never ending flavors for you to choose from." - Via Joe

Pho VN One

11000 Baltimore Ave #105, Beltsville, MD 20705

"Best pho ever" - via Lindsay

Kefa Cafe

963 Bonifant St, Silver Spring, MD 20910

"Coffee and tea from in Silver Spring, MD" - via Lindsay

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

5810 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, MD 20770

- via Lindsay

Jazmin’s Cuisine

7601 Airpark Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20879

"Nachos, burritos, tacos, green salsa." - via Lindsay


13024 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD 20874

*Their other location in Gaithersburg has closed permanently. :(

- via Lindsay

Mi Lay Cay

2409 University Blvd W, Wheaton, MD 20902

"Bun bo hue and Bunga Cari are a must try!!" - via Crisl

Laurel Tavern Donuts

115 Washington Blvd, Laurel, MD 20707

"Donuts and Sliders from Little Tavern [Laurel Tavern Donuts] in Laurel, MD" - via Lindsay

Kabob N Karahi

15521 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20905

- via Koe

Village Green Restaurant

120 N Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

"Waffles are bomb, breakfast is great - belgian waffle with strawberry topping and whip cream, bacon on the side." - via Alexa

A&J Restaurant

1319-C, Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852

4316 Markham St, Annandale, VA 22003

"Buddha delight, pig ear, smashed cucumber, bean curd skin, spicy tendon beef noodle soup, deep fried pork chops or chicken with rice." - via J

Kabayan Filipino

9223 Oxon Hill Rd, Fort Washington, MD 20744

"Halo halo, chicken on a stick, any of their prepared food (combo style pick two plus rice and soup for $8)" - via J

Marco & Polo Uyghur Restaurant

6504 America Blvd Suite 105A, Hyattsville, MD 20782

"Authentic Uyghur cuisine - Must try the lamb chops, doner sandwich (Uyghur version of a gyro), big plate chicken, leghman (hand pulled noodles), polo (or pilov), kao baozi (grilled buns), and grape leaves. Family owned and definitely could use some help. Dad is the chef. If I remember correctly, he’s from Uzbekistan (or nearby if I’m remembering wrong) and speaks like 5 languages!" - via Ming

Taqueria la Placita

5020 Edmonston Rd, Hyattsville, MD 20781

"Chicken or carnitas tacos" - via VJ

Just Jerk

9005 Lanham Severn Rd, Lanham, MD 20706

"Traditional jerk chicken" -via VJ

Royal Kebab

Located inside BP Gas Station, 738 MD-3 N, Gambrills, MD 21054

"Shrimp biryani, very generous portions" - via VJ

Tacos 5 De Mayo

7201 Annapolis Rd, Landover Hills, MD 20784

"Carne asada or chicken tacos + pupusas" - via VJ

Eerkins Uyghur Cuisine

1701 Rockville Pike #B1, Rockville, MD 20852

"Glover Park, MD, and VA locations - Milk tea, honey cake, lamb skewers, samosas, handmade noodles?" - via Connie

Want to join the conversation?

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