As an expatriate family, my parents, little sister and I have grown to appreciate our R&Rs over the years. Even though I don’t move around with my family anymore, I definitely take advantage of their summer visits and hungry desires to fulfill intense cravings for foods that they missed from an ocean away. This summer is no different, as my mom and sister, Celina and Angie, stay with me in the nation’s capital to satisfy as many cravings as possible in one week. Their only request: please no Chinese food (they’ll have plenty of that during their three-year expatriate residence in Beijing).

Breakfast & Brunch

Angie’s craving: the all-American meal

Ted’s Bulletin | 1818 14th St: The best place for an all-American breakfast: egg sandwiches, homemade Pop-Tarts, and endless cups of coffee. My sister and I ended up indulging in lunch rather than brunch – shared plate of corned beef sandwiches with fries and a chocolate old-fashioned donut – but it was nonetheless the best way to kick off Sunday Funday in DC.

Celina’s craving: Bottomless mimosas and music

Level One1639 R St NW: Watching drag queens serenade your mom while consuming copious amounts of mimosas and a hash brown casserole: priceless. Definitely sign yourself up for Saturday Drag Brunch and request Trupti as your server if you’re down for strong drinks and a good time with 80s and 90s karaoke tunes.


Celina’s craving: ALL the things

Union Market DC1309 5th St NE: My mom couldn’t decide between dosa, oysters, or cream-cheese filled bagel-doughnuts, so why not order all three? Any visit to Union Market DC is the perfect time to embrace the treat-yo-self mentality.


Angie’s craving: Saturday night sushi

Momiji505 H St NW: Best sushi place for a first date or one-on-one time with your favorite sibling! Highly recommend enjoying your sushi boat at one of Momiji’s rooftop tables, where the twinkle lights and inflatable palm tree add that summer-night ambience you’ve been craving with your shrimp tempura roll.

Celina’s craving: Fancy ramen in triple-digit heat

Toki Underground1234 H St NE: Ramen during the hottest time of the year in DC? Only if it’s as good as Toki Underground, DC’s first ramen shop. The decor is full-on Tokyo, and the flavors of this place are insane. One bowl of ramen is plenty for two, especially if you order appetizers to hold you over. Also remember to order an extra serving of hand-rolled noodles with your shared ramen bowl!

Something Sweet

Angie’s craving: fancy chocolate

CoCo Sala929 F St NW: My sister is all about the fancy Instagrammable desserts, and CoCo Sala definitely delivers. This chocolate themed establishment integrates cocoa flavors into all the things, from its mole-inspired beef sliders to the variety of fancy desserts. During the summer months, we recommend satisfying your sweet-tooth cravings at one of the outdoor tables while you people watch and treat your tastebuds.

Celina’s craving: boozy bread pudding

The object of my mom’s DC foodie affections: Puddin’s Bourbon Bread Pudding
Puddin’ Pop-Up @ Union Market DC | 1309 5th St NE: My mom has dreamed for this year-long reunion with her beloved cup of bourbon bread pudding from Union Market DC’s Puddin’ Pop-Up Shop. The pop-up shop serves po’boys and jambalaya, but my mom’s stomach is dead-set on the shop’s decadently soft bread cubes marinaded in all its sweet, cinnamon-sprinkled, bourbon-spiked glory.