Ramadan in Washington: a guide to iftar in the US capital

'The National' dishes on the best Washington restaurants to break your fast

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Living inside the hectic Beltway has become a bit easier for those observing Ramadan, with several restaurants in and around Washington offering an iftar menu during the holy month.

The National has hand-picked three spots featuring different cuisines with special menus that can be enjoyed during Ramadan.

The Ottoman Taverna

Break your fast to the sound of the oud and the smell of freshly baked bread at the Ottoman Taverna, which offers a four-course iftar menu that includes soup, an appetiser, a main course and dessert.

The painting sits on the wall of Ottoman Taverna, a Turkish restaurant in Washington. Leen Alfaisal / The National

For $36, you can tuck into a wholesome and elegant Turkish iftar in the Mount Vernon Triangle.

With friendly staff and decor inspired by Ottoman mosques, you will feel like you are breaking your fast in bustling Istanbul.

We especially loved the Cig Cofte and the Beyti Kebab.


If you’re looking to get together with family and friends for iftar, Bawadi is the place to be.

The Palestinian-Jordanian owners offer a taste of the Middle East for newcomers to Levantine cuisine as well as a taste of home for those looking to get in touch with their roots.

Although it is located about 13 kilometres outside Washington in northern Virginia, the wide variety of classic Levantine iftar items is worth the trip.

Ramadan decorations hang above the delicious food. Leen Alfaisal / The National

The $36 buffet includes dishes such as hummus, sambusek, moutabbal, mlukhiyeh, musakhan, mansaf and stuffed lamb.

The restaurant has a main dining area with decor inspired by Palestinian culture as well as two tent-like terraces that book up early, so be sure to reserve your table ahead of time.

The 'dabkeh' performers are painted on a wall in Bawadi restaurant in Viriginia. Leen Alfaisal / The National


With a nostalgic, Kabul vibe, Lapis offers an excellent four-course iftar menu that includes an appetiser, a vegetarian dish, a main dish and dessert with tea or coffee.

For $40, you can treat yourself and your friends and family to a lovely Ramadan iftar.

The map in Lapis highlights each province in Afghanistan. Leen Alfaisal / The National

Rugs and ornate furnishings lend a homey charm to this bistro in the trendy Adams Morgan neighbourhood.

The paintings that adorn the walls were drawn by Afghan children who moved to the US in the past year following the Taliban takeover.

Those looking to donate to helping the people of Afghanistan can do so via a designated box near the paintings.

The paintings are displayed in Lapis restaurant in Washington. Leen Alfaisal / The National
Updated: April 08, 2022, 6:03 PM