Eating in DC: Tips for #SAA14 Attendees

Fun fact: I have lived in the DC area at four different times in my life, totaling 10 years. That’s a big deal when you’re a military brat. And although I believe that food always tastes better when you’re in good company (or if the food is really affordable), I have some faves that have passed the test of time. Not all of them are near the conference, but you should saunter towards the Mall as the sun goes down anyway – especially now that the Washington Monument is open again! YMMV, but hopefully one of these will strike a chord.

Lunch

  • Naan and Beyond, 1710 L St NW (both Farragut stops) It’s not the most authentic Indian food but it is completely delicious with great sauces and the portions are generous. Not a ton of seating, but you can eat at Farragut Square if it’s full.
  • Greek Deli, 1120 19th St NW (the Farraguts/Dupont) I love the Greek Deli with an undying passion. Wednesday is Lamb Meatball day; they are dreamy. The portions are EPIC. The line can be, too, though – I recommend going before noon or after 2pm, although the line can move fast. Grab lunch and go eat at Dupont Circle!
  • Potbelly, everywhere If you have yet to eat at Potbellys, seize the opportunity. The lines move fast, the sandwiches are delicious, the chips are Zapp’s, the shakes are soul-rejuvenating, and the cookies are ginourm.
  • Central Michel Richard, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Metro Center) Also a good spot for dinner, though lunches are always cheaper! This resto’s namesake chef is the man who made Georgetown’s Citronella famous, if you’re into places with pedigree. The drinks here are real good but the food is also delicious, and the desserts are well-known too.
  • Open City (Woodley Park) Close to the hotel and delicious. Also a great dinner place. Boom.
  • For other suggestions, Yelp is very reliable in DC. A quick look leads me to say: if I were you, I’d check out Keren, an Ethiopian spot super-close to the Hilton. (Ethiopian food is common in the DC restaurant scene and something that I recommend visitors try in general)

Dinner

  • Birreria Paradiso, 3282 M St NW (no transit Georgetown – take the K Street Connector or walk from Rosslyn across the Key Bridge) Birreria is in the basement of the Georgetown Pizza Paradiso. Go during happy hour to get the best deals, and go as early as possible – the wait usually isn’t too long, though, the beer selection is really fun, and the pizza’s delish!
  • Chef Geoff’s, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Metro Center) Best happy hour in town! Well, I might be overstating it but it’s really good. Great beers and cocktails, decent bar food at a great price. Can fill up but… it’s affordable enough to be worth some jostling.
  • Founding Fathers, 1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Farragut West/Foggy Bottom) The food is okay – the drinks are delicious though! We’ve been known to stop off there for a nightcap and a quick snack.
  • This website arranges daily happy hours by neighborhood. Go forth and use wisely. Beware of the massive amount of interns in DC during the summer – I’d recommend avoiding bars in the Foggy Bottom area.

Breakfast and brunch brunch brunch (I really dig brunch)

Reservations for brunch are never a bad idea; Afterwords does not take them, however.

  • Kramerbooks/Afterwords, 1517 Connecticut Ave NW (Dupont) There’s always a wait on the weekends but the line usually goes pretty quickly, the food is reliable, the menu has something for everyone, and – it’s a restaurant in a bookstore!!!
  • La Madeleine and Le Pain Quotidian, multiple locations These places are a little expensive, but the food is good and relatively healthy, and the servers are (in my experience) kind, which makes for a good dining experience in my book
  • Masa 14, 1825 14th St NW (Dupont/U Street) Dear friend R highly recommends this joint, and R knows brunch. Unlimited brunch with unlimited drinks for $40, so caveat emptor.
  • Farmers Fishers and Bakers, 3000 K Street NW (Georgetown waterfront – enjoy the walk) If you go hungry, the $30 flat free for brunch is totally worth it. We went after a race and I tried everything – it was all pretty good and encompassed an amazing variety of brunch/lunch/sea/bakery foods.