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food at DCA; anything worth eating?

  • h

45 minute layover at DCA, right at dinnertime. Should I pack a sandwich, or is something beyond fast food, fried cheese, or cinnabons available in such a time frame? TIA.

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  1. You might let folks know which airline you're flying. The food options vary quite a bit by terminal wing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PollyG
      Hungry Celeste

      US Airways

    2. Below is a link to a Adobe PDF with pre and post security food. Legal Seafood, while certainly no Acme or Casamento's, isn't bad at all, though I've never been at the airport one, only D.C.

      Jerry's Sub's, a midsize D.C. chain has good subs and cheesesteaks.



      Link: http://www.metwashairports.com/conces...

      4 Replies
      1. re: KOK
        Hungry Celeste

        Thanks for the PDF; I just found it on my own a few minutes ago...what a handy reference. I've added it to my binder of airport info.

        1. re: KOK

          I've been to Legal Seafoods at National Airport 4 or 5 times over the last year, and found the food reliably good. It's at the far north end of the north terminal.

          1. re: moi

            Oops, should have said: it's a sit-down restaurant -- not so good for 45 minutes layover

            1. re: moi

              It's also OUTSIDE security, so you have to leave the terminal wing and re-enter.

              US Airways also has gates on two terminals, so you can't be sure where you'll actually be.

              If you only have 45 minutes, you're better off packing a sandwich...

        2. Matsutake outside security is not bad at all... while I would never trust airport sushi (they must be joking), I have had their tempura udon and enjoyed it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Eric

            Matsutake is very good, and reasonable. My only choice when I need food at DCA.

          2. Suggest getting Legal Seafood's clam chowder to go, and simply eating it on the plane. It's pretty decent, and is vastly better than anything you'll get on the plane.

            1. Pack a lunch. Inside the terminals, the food choices are limited and not special. With only a 45 minute layover, you won't have time to go outside the terminals. (National often has very long waits through security.)

              1. There is a California Pizza Kitchen, Chesapeake Bagelry, Chinese fast food and a brew pub in the 25-37(?) gate area

                1. Reviving this now-decade-old thread because I didn't see anything more recent when I searched the board. Flying out of Terminal C this evening and am trying to time my departure (allowing margin of error for rental car return and traffic from the city) so that, if all goes according to plan, I arrive at the airport at 8 for a 10:00 flight. It looks from the MWAA's website like I'm a few months early for a bunch of not-yet-opened places, and according to http://www.metwashairports.com/file/D... my best option may be Gordon Biersch, but can anyone make any other suggestions? Is my best bet simply to leave more leeway and eat before we get to the airport?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: cjd260

                    Sam & Harry's is better than Gordon Biersch but it's not in terminal C. Maybe you can go to Jaleo in Crystal City.

                    1. re: cjd260

                      I would eat before going to the airport or bring food with if it is not too inconvenient for you. The food options at this airport suck eggs at best. It is quite small, however, so you don't have to walk very far (except Terminal A) if there is something you like at a different terminal. Personally, I would do Cosi which is halfway between B and C. BTW, they call these terminal B and C but they are really just concourses off a main hallway, not really separate terminals. Cibo is also OK.

                      1. re: cjd260

                        I just read this fun article about food near airports (located in airport adjacent communities).


                        Since you have a rental car, this place (referenced in the above article) may do the trick. It sounds more appealing then airport food.


                        I know nothing about this place but the menu looks promising. And, it's open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

                        Any local hounds have any experience with the Kabob Palace in Arlington?

                        1. re: beetlebug

                          I dislike it very much; it's probably the worst kabobs (and other foods) around.

                          Jaleo is the best suggestion as it is a tapas place, uncrowded at this location, and the food comes out very fast. I rec the mini-hamburguesa made with iberico ham, spinach with raisins, and the patatats braves.

                        2. re: cjd260

                          IIRC some of the places outside security will deliver a boxed meal to your gate just so you can avoid TSA tickiness about what you can and can not bring through that day. if they'll arrange that for a walk-up, I don't see why they wouldn't over the phone/net.