Happy Cinco de Mayo, friends! Since it happens to be my favorite holiday of the year, I thought I would gift my vast guacamole experience to you and recommend some of my favorite restaurants for DC guacamole (and some in NoVA, too! in order to celebrate accordingly. And if you have a spot I MUST try, please, let me know!! I’m always happy to taste-test :)
Oh, and if any of you bump into Obama, let him know I still mean business about my letter. He owes me a date!!!
Oyamel– One of my favorite guacamoles in the city, Oyamel serves you tableside and has the recipe down to a science. I love the cheese they include at the end, and the chips are perfectly salted without ever being too greasy. At $13.50, the price is standard but the quality is exceptional.
El Centro – Though it isn’t prepared tableside, El Centro serves up a fresh bowl each and every time. What we love about El Centro is their ever-changing take on the green stuff – including a bacon version that we cannot rave enough about. On price point at 10.55 for the Traditional, and 14.75 for the Guacamole Supremo.
Rosa Mexicano – My first experience with guacamole in the area came at none other than Rosa Mexicano, a local favorite. Though it’s been hit and miss, I love the tableside approach and I have always licked the bowl clean, so clearly it has been more of a hit than a miss. I can’t judge anyone who puts out as much guacamole as Rosa Mexicano does, and I have been known to detour through Chinatown just for a quick stop in. A little pricey, but a decent amount for $14.50 Make sure to check out their special Cinco de Mayo menu!!
Cuba Libre – Though we have only sampled the goods once, Cuba Libre offers a twist on the tradition, serving up their guacamole with plantain chips for dipping. The Guacamole Cubano includes grilled golden pineapple and roasted jalapeno, making this spot the outlier and most adventurous guac of the bunch. It doesn’t hurt that it is a steal for the area at $6.75 for a small and $10.75 for a large.
Agua 301 – Our most recent discovery, Agua 301 (situated on the Riverfront near Nationals Stadium) has a fresh menu with 3 versions of my favorite dish. While those who play it safe can count on the Traditional Guacamole (just $10), those who love seafood will delight in the Guacamole de Jaiba ($12) which obviously features fresh lump crab. Or, let the Chef know best and order the Guacamole de la Dia, as we did, and enjoy that day’s version of the good stuff ($11).
Farmers Fishers Bakers – Known for its Farm to Table concept and not exclusively for the guacamole, we had a surprise when we were served tableside with an ample amount of guac for just $12. It was flavorful, fresh, and the chips were delicious. Though you aren’t surrounded by the typical Mexican decor, you’ll forget and disappear into the bowl while a Mariachi band plays in your head.
MXDC – If you want a mountain of guacamole, a mountain is what you’ll get! Though I am a fan of the traditional molcajete, this pile of guac could make anyone’s mouth water. We ordered it spicy, which if you like some heat, I strongly suggest. For the traditional guac, you’ll be spending a reasonable $11. They also serve a unique Guacamole Azul, which is served with blue cheese and bacon ($11) and the Lobster and Corn ($15).
District Taco – If you need your guacamole in a pinch (and let’s face it, I often do) District Taco has got your back. Move over Chipotle, there is a new fast food guac in town, and this one really holds it own. Though I hate to order guacamole that comes in little container, I’ve been known to pound a few orders when the craving becomes too much…
Bar Deco (Penn Quarter) – So here is our local tip for everyone: go get drinks and order the GUACAMOLE. This doesn’t appear on the menu, but after our incredible Date Night at Bar Deco where Chef surprised us with his California-inspired guacamole, I now see it listed on the happy hour menu! Bar Deco has an awesome evening vibe, and great guac to boot. For $6 – you can’t go wrong.
Taqueria Poblano (Del Ray) – After stumbling in for brunch on a random Sunday morning, we decided that every brunch should include a side of guacamole other than just on my Huevos Rancheros. Taqueria Poblano is also a fan favorite in the area, but again – we felt the guacamole wasn’t the best dish of the day. It was presented well and to the untrained palette is a decent attempt. However, I’m willing to overlook the slight lack of flavor for 5.75!! Such a steal. I loved the cheese and tomatoes that brightened up the dish, and that helped spice up the more subtle flavor of the guac.
Los Cuates (Old Town) Our go-to and we’re over the moon to have a guacamole spot in walking distance. The guacamole here is not table-side, but appears to be made on the spot in the kitchen and is served without frills in a traditional molcajete (points). It’s a solid guacamole, and make sure to ask for the “green sauce”. Your welcome.
Austin Grill (Old Town) – Though Austin Grill feels more like a chain, they have revamped their look and their menu which now includes table-side guacamole (small/$7.50 and large/$10.00). You can order it to taste, but they offer traditional, spicy, and sweet – which I have yet to try. The guacamole is surprisingly well rounded for just-prepared guac. We’ve been back many times just for a large guac, and haven’t been disappointed yet. (I still need to go back for better photos – it’s so dark in there the guacamole photos never turn out…)
Don Taco (Old Town) – The newest addition to King Street, we stopped in a few weeks ago to sample an assortment of tacos and of course, the guacamole. Though it is not the most memorable guacamole I’ve had, it was plentiful and did not lack flavor, so it was a win in my book. And we scraped the bowl clean, so that’s never a bad sign…
Guapos (Shirlington)- If Guapos was a person, they’d be the sidekick ‘Jacopo’ in The Count of Monte Cristo – loyal to a fault. Though Guapos offers a casual atmosphere (and yes, you feel like you are eating with 100 other people at times) the guacamole is my tried and true standby. Scott and I recently participated in Dining Out for Life and were happy to see they were on the list. So, of course, we opted for a bowl of guacamole in honor of the cause. Always well made, always flavorful, and man – those chips….
Fuego Cocina y Tequileria (Clarendon) – It’s been a HOT MINUTE since we’ve been, but one of the first places I tried when I moved was Fuego. The guacamole was solid (guys, it’s been 3 years – time to go back) but I am constantly told from locals that they favor the guac at Fuego. So, how about you go…and let me know? Or I’ll just beat you there. Any excuse for the green stuff… hey, it’s research….. Also, be sure to check out their special Cinco de Mayo menu!
Where have you been and where do I still need to go? Tell me all, friends.