3 Meals: Where to Eat in Washington DC

With some of the hottest restaurants in the country, a dizzying variety of cuisines and good food at every price point there has never been a better time for a foodie to visit Washington DC. One of the most frustrating things for visitors is matching up a tasty meal with sightseeing. Diners in DC are spoiled for choice but if hunger strikes after you’ve hiked the 2 miles of the National Mall it’s nice to know what’s tasty nearby. For this reason I’ve lined up some of my favorite wallet friendly and mid-range dining options in the district as well as including what major tourist sites are nearby. Check out some of my recommendations for where to eat in Washington DC.

3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

Open City Cafe

In the leafy residential neighborhood of Woodley Park, Open City Cafe is the perfect place to stop for breakfast (which they serve all day) before visiting the National Cathedral or the National Zoo. Enjoy the views over Washington DC from their patio with a breakfast burrito (loaded with plenty of hash browns and chorizo) and a chai cappucino .

Close to: National Cathedral, National Zoo

Ted’s Bulletin

A few blocks from the Navy barracks Ted’s Bulletin is the next level diner we all wish we had in our neighborhood. Meatloaf and bbq ribs are comfort food classics but the real draw is all day breakfast with homemade pop tarts and boozy milkshakes.

Close to: Navy Barracks, Capitol Hill, Library of Congress

West End Bistro

The West End Bistro-3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

Want to splash out at the Ritz Carlton but afraid of the price tag? Head to the West End Bistro for Sunday Brunch, where Chef Alvin Dela Cruz’s artful yet homey plates are an affordable splurge. With bottomless mimosas and specialties like Ernell’s Fried Chicken Benedict is there any better way to start a Sunday?

Close to: Georgetown, Dupont Circle

Hill Country BBQ

Hill COuntry BBQ-3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.comHill COuntry BBQ- 3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

With a range of regional variations and styles no other cuisine may better represent the United States than barbecue and as far as I’m concerned no place does barbecue better than central Texas. A few blocks from the National Mall, Hill Country BBQ has brought a taste of Austin to the capital. Slow smoked brisket and jalapeno cheddar sausage served on butcher paper with a couple of slices of white bread immediately transport me to the barbecue pits of Texas Hill Country. Round out your meal with the homemade mac and cheese, skillet cornbread and a big ol’ glass of sweet tea.

Close to: International Spy Museum, Verizon Center, National Mall, National Building Museum, Chinatown

Union Market

Union Market-3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.comUnion Market-3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

In operation since 1871 the newest iteration of Union Market house over 35 of DC’s best food purveyors, chefs and artisans. Slurp up Virginia’s favorite bivalves at Rappahanock oysters or try falooda, an addicitive Burmese ice cream dessert, at Toli Moli. If cocktails are more your thing stroll a few blocks to Cotton and Reed, Washington DC’s first rum distillery for the best pina colada this side of the Caribbean.

Close to: located in the NoMa neighborhood away from the major tourist sites, a must visit destination for any visiting foodie.

Pizzeria Paradiso

Few things in life are as good as a wood-fired pizza and a great beer and luckily Pizzeria Paradiso has both covered. After an afternoon shopping in Dupont Circle or admiring the stately homes along Embassy Row I make a bee-line for what is widely considered some of the best pizza in the district. A well curated craft beer list compliments Pizzeria Paradiso’s concise menu of thin crust pizzas ( the Macelliao with pepperoni, mozzarella, housemade sausage, and red onions is a personal favorite) baked to perfection in their 650 degree wood burning oven.

Close To: Dupont Circle, Embassy Row


Jaleo-3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

Chef Jose Andres is the man responsible for bringing Spanish tapas into America’s culinary fold and being that Spanish food is one of my favorite cuisines his flagship restaurant Jaleo is a place I’ve visited many times. Sip sangria alongside traditional tapas such as gambas al ajillo(shrimp with garlic and peppers) and all-too-addicitive croquettes or share a pan of Jaleo’s famous Paella Valencia.

Close to: International Spy Museum, Verizon Center, National Mall, National Building Museum, Chinatown

Good Stuff Eatery

Top Chef quality food doesn’t always have to come with a high price tag thanks to Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery. At the original Capitol Hill counter (there are several locations throughout the DC metro as well as Chicago and even Saudi Arabia) people line  up for creative burgers, handcut fries and over-the-top milkshakes. Work up an appetite at the Capitol Building and Library of Congress then refuel the Coletti’s Smokehouse Burger(loaded with Vermont Cheddar, Vidalia onion rings and chipotle bbq sauce) and the sinfully good toasted marshmallow milkshake.



Carmine's-3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com Carmine's-3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

You wouldn’t know it from the cozy family atmosphere but the Washington DC outpost of NYC favorite Carmine’s is the largest restaurant in Washington DC. Large portions of Italian comfort food classics are served family style making Carmine’s a great option for large groups and families. End your meal with the Titanic, a monstrous dessert with rich chocolate torte, 5 scoops of ice cream and an iceberg’s worth of fresh made whipped cream. It’s one dessert worth sinking your diet for.

Close to: International Spy Museum, Verizon Center, National Mall, National Building Museum, Chinatown

Mitsisam Cafe

The best food along the National Mall can be found at Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian. A museum cafe you say? Here me out.  Mitsitam Cafe, featuring cuisine indigenous to the Americas with menu items ranging from wild salmon and forage mushrooms to bison chili and fry bread,  is one of DC’s most unique dining experiences .

Close to: Located inside the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, National Mall

Where are your favorite places to eat in Washington DC?

3 Meals: Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

The restaurants featured are a mix of ones I’ve visited on my own as well as ones I have visited courtesy of Visit Washington DC. As always all opinions are my own.

18 Comments on “3 Meals: Where to Eat in Washington DC

  1. Beautiful pics! D.C. is on my list and when I finally get there I’ll definitely pull out these suggestions!

  2. Okay, I’m starving now! All that food looks so good. Our son went to Georgetown and now I’m sorry that he already graduated because it would be great to have an excuse to go back and try these places!

  3. I feel like your article is missing one key DC ingredient…the ridiculous number of happy hour opportunities! When I’m in town, I search http://www.dchappyhours.com by map and always find something near me towards the end of the sightseeing day and again for late-night after doing some night-time monument-hopping.

  4. Ok, so reading through this post has made me hungry haha – That Titanic desert looks immense 😀 I think I might struggle with it but I’d give it a good go haha

  5. Fried chicken eggs benedict! Yes, please! And, I’d follow that up with the Titanic or a boozy milkshake. Haven’t been to DC in years, thanks for all the great dining tips!

  6. Okay, I’m hopping on a plane just for that Toli Moli immediately! This is a great post, and something that always happens to me – I pick out great spots to eat only to realize later that they are on the other side of town from where I’m visiting. I swear to you as many times as I’ve been to Paris, I still do it! I wish everyone would write their posts this way!

  7. The Tapas will surely be on my menu! Loved the pics too! And will add the Titanic to spoil my calorie deficit:) Looks too yum to pass off!

  8. You are making me hungry! I would like to go to the west end bistro for Sunday Brunch and have a Burmese ice cream dessert at Toli Moli or go to Carmine’s for a Titanic dessert! I have a sweet tooth! Great suggestions!

  9. All that food looks delicious! I like the way the post help you to pick the restaurant close to the place that you are visiting great idea! Well, definitely I check on my list when I visit there Union Market, Pizzeria Paraiso, Mitsisam cafe!!!

  10. Uh, that Titanic dessert looks INSANE! Also, we always end up with a bit of sticker shock when we visit DC (we’re based right down the road in Richmond), but it’s amazing to see that you included some more affordable options amongst the luxury ones. Definitely saving this post for our next visit! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Meagan recently posted…5 reasons to put Avignon on your bucket listMy Profile

  11. I love your photos <3. Washington DC is such a wonderful city and has some pretty incredible food. I would love to start my day with a breakfast burrito and of course a chai cappucino at the Open City Cafe… Now I get my mouth watering 🙂
    C-Ludik recently posted…The Mercantour: destination MerveillesMy Profile

  12. Jaleo is always a great choice! I also love taking my out of town guests for pop tarts at Ted’s Bulletin. Great list!

  13. So many options to choose from! It’s one of my favorite aspects of cities, the wide variety of food choices. As much as I love a brunch with bottomless mimosas, I must admit Mitsisam Cafe sounds very interesting. I love how the museum cafe sticks with the theme of the museum, almost providing an experiential dining experience.

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