Stories / Awards, Guides and Tips

How to Eat Like a Rising Star Chef in Washington, D.C.

2018 Nominee Kevin Tien's Can't-Miss Spots

Hilary Deutsch

April 12, 2018


Photo: Himitsu

You know that cool friend who's always brimming with great restaurant recs and insider tips? We've got 'em beat: enter the 2018 James Beard Award nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year, the best of the country's up-and-coming toques. These young innovators are changing the national dining landscape, and also happen to have a lot to say about the best places to chow down. Read on to hear from Kevin Tien, of Washington, D.C. hot spot Himitsu, for his favorite local haunts for the best cheap noodles, innovative cocktails, croissants, and beyond.

Date Night

I love to go to Tail Up Goat for dinner. Chef Jon Sybert has a killer menu that is so well balanced, smart, and delicious. I always recommend it to everyone. Plus, the service from his wife, Jill Tyler, and the beverage program from Bill Jensen makes for the perfect evening.

Cheap Eats

Chinatown Express is my go-to spot for cheap noodles.


I normally never eat breakfast, but when I do, it's at Bread Furst (where 2017 JBF Outstanding Baker Award winner Mark Furstenberg helms the kitchen) to get fresh baked bread and breakfast.


Columbia Room for the most innovative cocktails and amazing bites from chef Johnny Spero.


Pluma Bakery in the Union Market district. They have the best croissaint, hands down. 

Other Favorites

A place you can’t miss when you come to D.C. would have to be Chiko in Eastern Market. They have the best counter service for Chinese/Korean fare made by the amazing chefs Scott Drewno and Danny Lee.

Top U.S. Food City to Visit

My favorite food city to visit is Houston. The three places I always need to visit when I’m there are Sinh Sinh in Chinatown, Helen Greek Food and Wine, and Xochi (helmed by Beard Award winner Hugo Ortega) for amazing Oaxacan food.

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Hilary Deutsch is digital media coordinator at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.