Fans of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” regularly drool through one episode after another. Like the featured food, the Guy Fieri-hosted show is addictive and highlights locally owned restaurants turning out some of America’s most lip-smacking, soul-satisfying dishes. Lucky for us, the Mayor of Flavor Town has made several pit stops in Washington, D.C., giving us even more to lust after. Here, the Fieri-approved D.C. spots you have to check out for yourself.
Season 9, Episode 9 (2010)
This neighborhood favorite serves up tasty pizza and—you guessed it—table tennis. The combo proved irresistible to Fieri, who declared the “Yalie” with clams and the roast pork-filled Philly calzone some of the best he’s ever had. Though the upper northwest area restaurant no longer makes the calzone, there’s still plenty to dig into. And don’t worry about filling up on the good stuff; you can always work off those extra calories with a rousing round or three of ping-pong.
Season 10, Episode 2 (2010)
Opened in 1947, this beloved spot has quirky ambiance to spare—think taxidermied animals, wood paneling and deer antler chandeliers. It’s no wonder it draws politicos, locals and tourists, who come in for unfussy comfort dishes, morning, noon and night. Try Fieri faves “Tony’s Beer Battered Burger” and “Joe’s West Virginia Roast Beef” sandwich with a slice of American cheese tucked inside.
Season 10, Episode 5 (2010)
The fifth installment of Season 10 saw Guy Fieri returning to the nation’s capital, this time to dig into soul food with plenty of heart. This U Street mainstay draws crowds seeking hunger-quenching classics, such as fried chicken wings sprinkled with lemon and pepper, blackened catfish and sides including collard greens. Fieri standouts include buffalo wings and shrimp and grits.
Season 11, Episode 1 (2011)
Right off the bat, D.C. makes another appearance in this season. This time, Fieri heads to the historic Eastern Market area, where the bustling scene gives way to Tony Canales’ Salvadoran and Mexican comfort food spot. While the Triple D star loved the pork and cheese-filled pupusas, locals know you can’t go wrong with just about anything on the menu, especially for the price.
Season 23, Episode 13 (2015)
Over the years, Eric Bruner-Yang has built a reputation as one of D.C.’s—and the country’s—top chefs. But before the awards and multiple restaurants, Bruner-Yang opened this tiny Tokyo-style noodle shop in the up-and-coming H Street neighborhood. Fans here still slurp one of the city’s best bowls of ramen (Fieri swooned over the Toki Classic). Other favorites include “charred” corn doused in garlic-miso butter and fried chicken drumsticks served with an addictively spicy sauce made of yuzu and root beer.
Season 24, Episode 1 (2016)
This family-owned and -operated spot dishes up consistently tasty from-scratch recipes with a Mediterranean accent. The burgers are standouts, but diners also rave about the reuben and the brunch. Though no longer on the menu, the chorizo cigars (a Fieri favorite) can still be had if you ask nicely.
Season 24, Episode 3 (2016)
Fieri lucked on this D.C. favorite, sinking his teeth into the Jewish hoagie and the roast porchetta sandwiches. Now dubbed the “Hebrew Hammer” and the “Philly Special,” respectively, these two are still among some of the colorful diner’s top menu items. But you really can’t go wrong with any of Chef Jonathan Taub’s creations. Everything here is made from scratch, from the cured meats to the condiments. Locals line up at lunch, so come early or at off hours to avoid the crowds.