Cherry-themed food and drink specials are as much of a D.C. springtime tradition as crowds at the Tidal Basin and tourists standing on the left.
Read on for a selection of menu items around D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Our list is lengthy, but by no means exhaustive. Think we're missing out on something great? Let us know by tweeting us @dcscene.
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Cherry Blossom Food & Drink Specials in Washington, D.C.
Start off with something sweet at Astro Doughnuts. The location at G Street NW brought back their popular cherry blossom yeasted doughnut, filled with tart cherry jam, covered in a cream cheese glaze and topped with a cherry blossom design. You can also preorder boxes of a dozen mini cherry blossom doughnuts (must be pre-ordered 24 hours in advance).
Bourbon Steak is serving up a cocktail called the Sado ("the way of tea" in Japanese), served tableside in a ceramic tea kettle. It's made with matcha and mint-infused Haku Japanese Vodka, Bermutto Sake, Orgeat syrup and lemon. Other specialty cocktails include the Kintsugi, featuring Suntory Toki Japanese whiskey, and the Ginza Lemonade. Cherry blossom-inspired food specials include Umami-packed Tokyo Tots, housemade tofu with anow crab, and more.
Bread Alley at Union Market is offering an exclusive matcha cherry sourdough loaf for one week only (through March 26).
Beverage director Will Patton at the Michelin-starred Bresca is serving up the La Parisienne Mexique cocktail, made with Mijenta Blanco, Shochu, blood orange and Sakura.
Ciel Social Club has transformed its rooftop bar into "a captivating blossom-scape," with faux blossoms and winding branches. Special menu items include a trio of Suntory Beer steamed bao buns; spicy yellowfin tuna poke; the lychee-and-rose inflected Hana-Yori-Dango, made with Roku Japanese gin, and more.
Through April 16, both citizenM hotels in the District are offering blossom-inspired cocktails. The Capitol location's rooftop bar, cloudM, features seven new drinks, including the Bloomojito, a twist on the mojito using a tequila base. The NoMa location's canteenM is serving the Kabuki Fizz, a rendition of the classic Aperol Spritz, and the Samurai Hills, made with the Japanese melon liqueur Midori.
Crooked Run (Union Market District) is pouring their Cherish beer, a sweet, tart wheat ale made with cherries, white chocolate and vanilla.
Estuary has the Japanese 75 cocktail, made with cherry blossom syrup gin, lemon juice and cherry hearing liquor, topped with Naveran Brut Nature cava.
All of Immigrant Food’s D.C. locations are serving up cherry blossom trifle through April 30, and the location at Planet Word is also rolling out a new line of cocktails including the Ube Manhattan (made with Iwai Japanese whisky) and The Cloud (made with unfiltered Nigori sake and pear liqueur). The locations at Planet Word and near the White House will also have a selection of mocktails, including the Sakura Tonic.
Las Gemelas at La Cosecha is offering their Early Bloom Frozen Daiquiri, made with rum, maraschino and rose blossom cordial.
Nobu DC is offering Sakura Negroni and sakura salmon sashimi specials in March. Beverage Director Filipe Bertrand's Sakura Negroni is a twist on a traditional White Negroni, with cherry blossom sweet vermouth, Lillet Blanc and 135 East Japanese Gin served over a blossom "ice sphere." The sakura salmon special features Japanese trout only harvested during cherry blossom season. Known as sakura salmon, the sashimi is wrapped around white asparagus and finished with caviar and a cherry blossom vinaigrette.
Ted's Bulletin (with seven locations in the D.C. area, including two in the District) is serving up seasonal treats such as cherry blossom mini pies, cherry blossom cheesecake and cherry blossom Ted's Tarts.
Cherry Blossom Food & Drink Specials in Virginia
Several Alexandria Restaurant Partners businesses — Ada's on the River, The Majestic, Mia's Italian Kitchen and Vola's Hi-Tide Lounge — will offer a seasonal sangria made with brut rosé, Blanc Vermouth, cherry juice and orange flower water, through April 15.
Visit Augie’s Beer Garden (Old Town) or Mason Social (near the Braddock Road Metro station, Alexandria) to enjoy a black cherry bellini with gold glitter or a cherry pie Old-Fashioned.
Astro Doughnuts (Falls Church) brings back their popular cherry blossom yeasted doughnut, filled with a tart cherry jam, covered in cream cheese glaze and topped with a cherry blossom design. You can also preorder boxes of a dozen mini cherry blossom doughnuts (must be pre-ordered 24 hours in advance).
Captain Gregory's (near the Braddock Road Metro station, Alexandria) offers a "Winter in Tokyo" menu, featuring Japanese gin, whiskey and vodka, as well as sake cocktails. The menu is taking inspiration from the region with yuzu, plum and cherry flavors.
Compass Coffee (Rosslyn) is offering cherry blossom lattes, Viennas and cream cold brews. For home brewers, Compass' Cherry Blossom Blend is available to take home in bags or tins (whole bean or ground), for a limited time this season.
Crooked Run (Sterling; Leesburg) is serving up their Cherish beer, a sweet, tart wheat ale made with cherries, white chocolate and vanilla.
Dolci Gelati (Old Town) has cherry blossom gelato through April 20, or while supplies last. It's available in-person, for pickup and for delivery.
Kusshi Sushi (Pentagon Row) is offering a cherry blossom roll, made with tuna, white tuna, salmon, masago, avocado and wasabi aioli, as well as a cherry blossom specialty cocktail.
Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap (Braddock Road, Alexandria) has a limited-run blossom cocktail made with Rhum Barbancourt, plum-rose syrup, Luxardo, lemon juice and a floating edible blossom, now through April 17.
While supplies last, Lost Boy Cider (Eisenhower Avenue area, Alexandria) has a cherry blossom cider, available in in-house cans and four-packs to go. You'll also be able to find it in select stores such as Balducci's and Whole Foods.
Ted's Bulletin (with seven locations in the D.C. area, including Ballston, Merrifield, One Loudoun and Reston) is serving up seasonal treats such as cherry blossom mini pies, cherry blossom cheesecake and cherry blossom Ted's Tarts.
Turkish Coffee Lady (Old Town) is offering an authentic pistachio coffee experience with a cherry blossom-themed presentation, through April 30.
Wilson Hardware (Clarendon) is adorning its garden terrace with a canopy of cherry blossom-inspired buds. Seasonal signature cocktails include the Garden Spritz, made with Bombay sapphire gin, pear puree and prosecco.
Wren, on the 11th floor of the Watermark Hotel in Tysons, is serving up a cherry blossom-inspired cocktail called Petal in the Wind, made with strawberry-infused roku gin and cherry brandy, Wren’s housemade Yuzucello, cherry blossom bitters and egg white, and garnished with flower petals. Spring menu specials include an Omakase bento box, Maitake mushroom tempura, and Japanese cheesecake with cherry ice cream.
Cherry Blossom Food & Drink Specials in Maryland
BlossomFest at Westfield Montgomery Mall features multiple displays and special events, including a pop-up biergarten from Lone Oak Farm Brewing in the mall's Blossom Lounge (April 1, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.). The brewery will offer its Sandbar Tropical Hazy IPA, the new MoCo Lite Lager and its Rosé Hard Seltzer, as well as charcuterie bags and bites.
Hanaro Sushi (Bethesda) and Kusshi Sushi (Pike & Rose; downtown Silver Spring) are offering a cherry blossom roll, made with tuna, white tuna, salmon, masago, avocado and wasabi aioli.
Through April 16, José Andrés' Spanish Diner (Bethesda) is serving up cherry blossom-inspired dishes such as roasted Brussels sprouts with dried cherries, Basque cake with cherry marmalade and vanilla ice cream, and a specialty cocktail that they promise "tastes like spring in a glass."
Ted's Bulletin (with seven locations in the D.C. area, including Gaithersburg) is serving up seasonal treats such as cherry blossom mini pies, cherry blossom cheesecake and cherry blossom Ted's Tarts.
Looking for More? Try Cherry Picks
Restaurants in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are highlighting their best springtime menu items through the National Cherry Blossom Festival's Cherry Picks restaurant promotion, in conjunction with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.
Check out participating locations here — you can sort by D.C. neighborhood or state.