Image: Chicken thighs over rice.

Last Updated: November 2022

Current Status: Open for dine-in, take-out and delivery.


Donburi is one of those places that makes one appreciate how far D.C. has come as a food city.  Though the original spot in Adams Morgan (with its cramped counter more evocative of Japan) was a pandemic loss, the downtown location soldiers on.  They serve classic Japanese comfort food.  As the name indicates, the focus is on warm bowls topped with chicken, pork or salmon.  As Tim Carman explained in his initial review, the key to building the umami is the sauce: “the house-made donburi sauce, a concentrated sweet-and-savory liquid that mixes a vegetable-infused dashi with mirin, sake and soy sauce. The donburi sauce carpet-bombs the bowl with umami, while supplying flavor all its own.”  The pork and chicken options include breaded and fried variations, including the signature katsudon served with curry sauce.  Sides, other than a small simple salad, and drink options are limited with no alcohol currently. 

It is up some stairs to the ordering kiosks, with bags lined up for pickup visible as you enter, and then up another floor to the main dining area.  It is not complicated, but it satisfying and something to break up the standard lunch options.


Cuisine: Japanese
Neighborhood: Downtown
Address: 1226 36th St NW, Washington DC 20007
Reservations: Walk-in

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post: Tim’s 2018 take, based on downtown location after they expanded. 2014 Adams Morgan location review.

Washingtonian: The Adams Morgan location made several Cheap Eats list 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. 2014 initial take.