Best: Granville Moore’s
1238 H St. NE, (202) 399-2546
2nd Best: Bistrot du Coin
1738 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 234-6969
When it comes to mussels, this town can bring it. Washington is loaded with brasseries, bistros, and cafés—from Marvin on 14th Street, to Brasserie Beck downtown, to Et Voila! on MacArthur Boulevard—offering up tasty moules, ample broth, and bottomless bread baskets for dipping. Despite these refined options, Washington’s best mussels can be found in a barely identifiable gray row house on the back end of H Street NE. By now, local and national foodies alike have discovered the place. In July, the Food Network’s Bobby Flay challenged Granville Chef Teddy Folkman to a mussel “throwdown.” Folkman prevailed with his “Fromage Bleu Moules,” made with blue cheese, applewood bacon, shallots, spinach, and white wine. But if you can’t stand the Granville waits, or the journey out there, Bistrot du Coin in Dupont offers the next best option, in a loud and always bustling restaurant, with tightly packed wooden chairs and waiters whisking around glasses of wine and Stella Artois. Here, all the varieties are tasty, from those cooked in a traditional garlic butter broth to Moules Catalanes, prepared with a heavy dose of chorizo, tomatoes, peas, onions, and peppers. They arrive speedily, and they’re surely one of the cheapest moule options in town. Order the mussels at Granville Moore’s, and say bye-bye to $16. At Bistrot du Coin, a half pot—plenty for one person—costs, on average, $8.95.