Special Introduction I am pleased to report that the Food Page of The Washington Post wrote up this guide in the summer of 2001. Here is another article, Chasing the Perfect Meal, from the Fairfax Connection, the spring of 2004.
I wish to offer thanks to all those who offered dining suggestions and evaluations (keep them coming! This has made the guide better, and longer, than before. We lag behind New York City and Los Angeles, but we vie with Chicago and the Bay Area for third place in the United States.
It also means the guide has more unvisited places than before. You also should buy my book Restaurants manifest the spirit of capitalist multiculturalism. In some areas, such as Ethiopian cuisine, we are number one.
Effective consumer choice improves your eating and, in the long run, improves the quality of available restaurants.The better ethnic restaurants tend to have many of their kind in a given geographic area.Single restaurant representations of a cuisine tend to disappoint. The presence of many restaurants of a kind in an area creates a pool of educated consumers, trained workers and chefs, and ingredient supplies - all manifestations of increasing returns to scale.Many of the best ethnic restaurants on this list come from the well-represented cuisines.This region is particularly strong in Salvadoran, Peruvian, Bolivian, Afghan, Ethiopian, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, and now Chinese cuisines.
And when it comes to the last few years, the rise in Chinese is the big local story.
The best ethnic restaurants are often found in suburban strip malls, where rents are lower and the degree of feasible experimentation is greater.
Small and cheap ethnic restaurants are often better than large ones.
Northern Virginia and Maryland are underrated; Adams-Morgan, although it has many fine places, is by no means the fount of ethnic food.
West Alexandria, Bailey's Crossroads, Wheaton, Chantilly, and Fairfax are underrated; Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, and Bethesda are overrated.
After you have chosen a restaurant, you must order.