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Japanese Food and Culture Blooming in Washington, D.C.

We can all agree that Washington, D.C. is in the “Golden Age of Dining” and is finally getting the recognition it deserves across the nation. While the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a staple in Washington, D.C., it isn’t the only thing blossoming in the district. Amidst Prime Minister Shinz┼Ź Abe visiting last week, The Embassy of Japan was busy preparing for an invitation-only tasting event The Embassy Row Hotel snagged a spot to attend.

The Taste of Japan’s Honorary Award highlighted the cultural bloom of ramen noodles in the west. The Daikaya Group was awarded the Taste of Japan Honorary Award for popularizing the Sapporo-style Ramen which is also one of the most popular in Japan. During the event, other restaurants were also featured for their contributions to the Japanese food scene in Washington, D.C.

Top Japanese Spots Featured at The Taste of Japan:

Bantam King

501 G St NW, Washington, DC 20003

Bantam King specializes in Chicken Ramen and is “a Pop Art–decorated storefront for chicken- or vegetable-based ramen & Japanese-style fried chicken.”


805 V St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Open and airy, Haikan describes itself as a “sleek venue with communal tables & patio serving Japanese noodle soups, light fare & cocktails.”

Hana Japanese Market

2004 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Count on Hana Japanese Market, D.C.’s only Japanese market, as your next go-to place for Asian staple foods that aren’t easy to find in the states.

Izakaya Seki

1117 V St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Named in Forbes Magazine, Izakya is a “trendy option for Japanese small plates & noodle dishes, plus sizable beer list in minimalist digs.”

KAZ Sushi Bistro

1915 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

Chef Kaz’s dishes incorporate Washington, D.C. culture with a Japanese flair that people from all over the world come to taste. From political VIPs to Hollywood celebrities, everyone can get a taste of Chef Kaz’s hometown Nagoya, Japan.

My Favorite Japanese Ramen Spots in D.C.

Oki Bowl

1817 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

It may be hard to find at first, but it’s worth it. Perfect for a quick, unconventional lunch, I love to take my friends here not only for the food, but to show off how cool D.C. is.

Sakuramen Ramen Bar

2441 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

The food here is cooked with love and inspired by childhood memories. Noodle lovers can customize their soup bowls without worrying about artificial ingredients.

Toki Underground

1234 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

This nationally recognized, award-winning kitchen is a snug Taiwanese and Japanese-fusion eatery known for ramen noodle soups, dumplings, sake & cocktails.

Whether it’s Udon, Soba or Somen, all ramen noodles are loved by all Japanese of different regions. To them, noodles are a close second to rice! With four main ingredients and over 300 combinations, ramen is a staple in Japanese culture, and has won the hearts of D.C. food enthusiasts alike.

For more information on delicious Japanese food restaurants, ingredients and recipes visit

Enjoy these Japanese dishes while you’re visiting D.C. for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

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