About Washington DC
One of the country’s most stunning historical cities, Washington DC sits along the banks of the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. The presidential residence, the White House, dominates the city center alongside famous monuments like the Lincoln Memorial, the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool.
With residents representing more than 150 nationalities, the capitol is one of the most diverse cities in the country. This diversity is reflected in the city’s many authentic restaurants, some of which are included in the annual Michelin Guide.
Visitors of all ages will be wowed by the city’s top-rated museums, including the world-famous Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Ford’s Theatre and the National Gallery of Art. There are more national memorials in Washington DC than any other state.
Choosing a dinner venue in Washington DC allows you to create a memorable experience on any budget. The city has a wide variety of dinner venues for any special occasion, from a wedding reception for 250 people to a milestone celebration such as a graduation or anniversary. Talented chefs are available to prepare a delicious spread to suit every taste, including gourmet dining and authentic ethnic cuisines.
Dinner Options in Washington DC
Whether you’re looking for a sleek, modern conference center, a historic mansion or a riverside al fresco dining experience, Washington DC has a dinner venue that’s perfect for your event style, size and budget.
- Equipment Rental
Your event should be specially tailored to your style and objective, and your dinner venue should be able to accommodate everything a guest might need. If your chosen space doesn’t come equipped with tables, chairs, linens, banquet serving gear or audiovisual equipment, there are many vendors citywide who can help you fill in the gaps. If you’re looking to host an outdoor event, say, during cherry blossom season, there are also service providers who can supply tents of all shapes and sizes, along with patio heaters to help take the chill off the spring season.
It’s not a dinner without a delicious spread of appetizers, entrees, desserts and perhaps even cocktails, and any combination of the above – or all four – is available from some of the country’s top chefs. DC is home to 23 restaurants that have earned a coveted Michelin star, a designation handed out annually to establishments that excel in creating an innovative, luxurious dining experience. The city also has catering companies specializing in large events, and almost any dietary need or restriction can be accommodated.
- Dinner Music
No matter what you choose to serve for the main course, a little background music can add a lot of ambiance to your event, and make a great conversation starter among guests. Washington DC is home to many talented musicians, from piano and violin virtuosos to string quartets, bagpipe players and wedding singers. You can also find entertainers who will emcee your event as well as perform.
Dinner Companies in Washington DC
Hosting a large-scale event can be stressful and requires a lot of attention to detail and coordination. If you’re busy with career or family commitments, why not choose your Washington DC dinner venue and let a professional event planner handle the rest?
- Trish Star Events
With experience planning a wide range of events from high-society weddings to corporate meetings and intimate milestone celebrations, Trish Star personally has a hand in every event to ensure it meets your needs and style. The firm offers three packages to choose from to fit your needs and budget, from helping you organize and coordinate work you’ve already done to taking over the handling of the entire event from the beginning. Services such as guest invitation and management, design and vendor coordination are included, along with other services as needed.
- Georgetown Events
For more than 20 years, Georgetown Events has provided a full-service, one-stop-shopping experience for private vent planning. Experienced staff can help you select the perfect dinner venue, indoors or outdoors. They’ll also arrange catering from the company’s expert chefs and set up an elegantly appointed room to suit your style and budget. The company also provides live entertainment to keep your guests engaged throughout the evening.
- Stunning Soirees
The twin sister duo at Stunning Soirees provides luxury wedding and event planning services in the greater DC area. The company specializes in weddings of all sizes, from grand affairs to intimate family gatherings. Stunning Soirees can also customize a plan for events of all types, including bridal and baby showers, milestone celebrations, holiday parties, corporate meetings and more. Rather than offering pre-designed packages, designers will work with you to come up with a plan that meets all your needs and incorporates your themes and ideas.
Pros and Cons of Dinners in Washington DC
Washington DC has many dinner venues available to host your event, but there are advantages and disadvantages you should consider before making a decision.
- Culturally diverse
The city is home to many different cultures, and as a result, you’ll find a wide variety of diverse food, retail and entertainment options.
- Many attractions are free or inexpensive
The city has more than 70 unique museums, most of them free and open to the public, along with many other festivals and cultural attractions.
- Four distinct seasons
Indoors or outside, you’ll have no trouble finding themed decorations for every season. The city experiences pleasant, mild spring and autumn seasons, with hot, humid summers and cold, sometimes blustery winters.
Cost of living in the city is higher than the national average, making amenities such as food, lodging and transportation more expensive.
- Pockets of high crime
Choose your Washington DC dinner venue after a bit of research. There is a notable wage gap in parts of the city, and certain areas are considerably higher in crime.
- Crowding in popular areas
With a high concentration of popular tourist sites and national monuments, the inner city can be crowded with snared traffic at certain times of day.
Famous Locations in Washington DC
- The National Mall
Also known as “America’s Front Yard,” the National Mall has been a symbol of American democracy and civic pride for more than 200 years. Stretching from the White House to the banks of the Potomac River, the National Mall links 14 national historic sites, including the presidential Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln Memorials, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Constitutional Gardens. Entry is free and open to the public year-round.
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Now home to more than 2,000 animals, the National Zoo began as one man’s effort to save America’s endangered species. He brought 15 different species, including American bison, to the National Mall in 1886, and the zoo has been growing and conserving more and more animals since it officially became a zoo in 1891. Today, the zoo is integral to the preservation of the giant panda and features crowd favorites such as lions, large primates, elephants and hundreds of species of birds, amphibians and reptiles.
One of the oldest mixed-use districts in the capital, Washington DC’s Chinatown was originally established in the 1880s. In the 1930s, it was partially moved to its current location, framed by the large, colorful Friendship Arch. Although it has been renovated and modernized since its inception as a landing site for Asian immigrants, Chinatown today is still a vibrant mix of interesting shops, boutiques and restaurants you won’t find anywhere else, most still owned by Asian American families who strive to keep the neighborhood’s authentic Chinese vibe.