The best of DC

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Offering fresh, delicious sushi, Yosaku has earned an outstanding reputation as the most authentic Japanese restaurant in D.C. since its establishment in 1982. Their wide variety of mouthwatering sushi and rolls run at an average price and fill you up.

With the warm weather coming, grab a seat on the patio with a group of friends and try Yosaku’s sushi happy hour. Prices on the majority of sushi pieces are knocked down to just $1 or $2 Monday through Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

If you’re not by Tenleytown’s Yosaku, try their sister restaurant, Tono Sushi, located a block from the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro stop, on the Red Line. Tono Sushi offers consistent and reasonably priced sushi and sashimi.

With affordable prices, Tono Sushi offers a similar happy hour deal, for $1 per piece of sushi. Snag a cushion at one of the tea tables to enjoy small beers and house sake at just $2.75 each, any day of the week from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
—Morgan Spencer

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Summer cocktails

Make summer an excuse for a night out and a refreshing cocktail. Perk up a long day with a $4 glass of red or white sangria, with brandy and apples or strawberries and mint, at Jaleo’s tapas restaurant (Chinatown) between 4:30 and 7 p.m. Classic margaritas — with fresh lime — are $5 between 4 and 6:30 p.m. at Oyamel (Penn Quarter), and just up the street Poste offers a unique Basil Lemontini with lemon and sparkling wine.

Dupont Circle is the place for mojitos: try Lauriol Plaza or Café Citron, which has a $3 mojito special between 4 and 7 p.m.

Summertime is also time for jazz, starting May 27 at the Sculpture Garden every Friday night. With no cover charge you’ll have more money to buy a carafe of potent sangria or beer from the garden’s cafés.
—Alicia M. Cohn

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Sometimes, in a city with all the opportunities the world has to offer, it can be hard to find something as simple as a good slice of pizza. While Washington has a dizzying number of pizzerias, only a few are actually worth the slice.

Pizzeria Paradiso, with locations in Dupont Circle and Georgetown, serves fresh wood-burned pizza in 8-inch and 12-inch pies. Stay safe with classics like the Margherita, with fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella on a perfectly crispy crust, or be adventurous with the di Mare, which has mussels, garlic, tomato, parsley and parmesan cheese. Pizzeria Paradiso seats on a first-come, first-serve basis, so get there early to ensure a table inside the pearly gates.

Matchbox, the Chinatown and Capitol Hill culinary staple, is the hottest pizza place in town. Literally. “Modern gas and electric ovens cannot produce the intense heat needed — over 800 degrees — to achieve the crispy, smoky pizza crust that our customers have come to know,” Matchbox brags on its website. The pies range from creations like chicken pesto and sausage and sundried tomato to the famous Fire and Smoke, which has roasted red peppers, Spanish onions, chipotle pepper tomato sauce, garlic puree, smoked gouda and fresh basil.

We, the Pizza, celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn’s Capitol Hill brainchild, is the place to go for pies with top-quality, unconventional toppings. Try the spinach and artichoke pie with sautéed spinach and roasted artichokes in a Béchamel sauce with aged provolone and Parmesan cheese. The buffalo chicken pie is practically two meals in one with spicy boneless chicken wings, blue cheese, mozzarella and homemade hot sauce. We, the Pizza also has tasty offerings for the more conventionally-minded, including pepperoni and sausage pies.

Whether the search for the best pizza in Washington is in Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle or Georgetown, any of these three pizzerias are sure to satisfy even the most nostalgic Washingtonian in search of a comforting slice of heaven.
—Cristina Marcos

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With summer just around the corner and the weather getting warmer, head to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café for one of the best brunches in town. Diners can sit at the half-bookstore, half-restaurant’s outside patio and enjoy a complementary orange juice and an assortment of brunch breads, including banana bread muffins.

Don’t miss out on the banana french toast — pan-fried Italian bread dunked in egg batter and stuffed to the brim with slices of bananas. The dish is served with scrambled eggs and bacon, and comes with walnut syrup and fruit compote to slather onto the warm toast.

Other dishes brunch-goers can’t go wrong with include the savory brunch quesadilla, a tortilla filled with three scrambled eggs, roasted corn, mild green chilies and jack cheese melted to perfection. The dish is served with potatoes, salsa and fruit.

Kramer’s doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait a while to be seated. The wait is worth it, however, and can fly by as you browse through the store’s book selection.
—Emily Cahn

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Outdoor dining

It’s a good thing the Georgetown Waterfront was able to clean up after massive flooding last month, because the area is home to some of the greatest outdoor dining in town.

Tony and Joe’s is a lively seafood restaurant with a bar that is always busy on weekends. If you’re in the mood for something a little spicier, Cabanas Latin American restaurant offers authentic flavors like enchiladas and Cuban steak sandwiches.

Stop at Nick’s Riverside Grille for what they say is “the best burger in the Harbor” or have a shrimp po’ boy, pulled barbecue chicken or tasty Croque Cowboy. Other great restaurants on the waterfront include Sequoia and Farmers and Fishers.
—Kate Oczypok