LA Chowhound coming to DC
It's going to be my first visit to the DC area. I will be staying in Dupont Circle but will be doing the touristy thing and I'm looking for recs mainly on the inexpensive side. Is there an existing thread to the best eats in DC according to cuisine or location?
Bens is a DC "institution." As such, it has it's detractors, but I find little to fault their chili halfsmokes and chilicheese fries.
Another such institution is Ristorante AV off New York Avenue. Old school Italian: red-check tablecloths, Mario Lanza on the jukebox. It's an endangered species as well. Probably won't be around the next time you visit DC. I prefer it to 2 Amys. Get the white pizza and anything with their homemade sausages.
Not a fan of Breadline either: crowded, rushed, overpriced. In Dupont, you'll find cheaper lunches at Greek Deli. If you find yourself in Chinatown, try the aformentioned Jaleo for a few tapas dishes, or Burma for mango pork, tea leaf salad, or just about anything else. Cheap.
As to U Street having "little of tourist interest" I beg to differ. The neighborhood was once the Black Broadway with a very rich cultural heritage. There's the African American Civil War Memorial and numerous guided tours.
If you are staying in Dupont Circle try Pizzeria Paradiso instead. [There are many long threads about which is better but try it, you'll like it]. Also in Dupont Circle area, Mark's at Orlando and Mark's is good. Brunch at Tabard Inn is very good and inexpensive. Johny's Half Shell is very good and moderately priced. So is Hank's Oyster Bar.
Someone mentioned, the American Indian Museum. Great concept, awful execution. I tried there twice. If you like unusual food served lukewarm in a crowded cafeteria, this is the place.
The U St./Cardozo Metro stop has three of DC's most important cheap eats nearby:
Oohs and Aahs (Soul) Shrimp, Turkey Chop, short ribs
Etete (Ethiopian) Derek tibs, fastening food platter
Pyramids (Moroccan) hard to go wrong here, definitely ask for the carrot salad. All hole-in-the-wall at its finest.
Unfortunately, little of tourist interest in the neighborhood. For convenient, you should consider the following:
Near the White House on a weekday, Breadline is a must, especially the Italian Sausage Sandwich. Near the Cathedral, try 2 Amys for margherita pizza and several great small plates like suppli, polpete, rapini. Not far from the museums, I suggest Jaleo for Spanish tapas. Please do a search for specific recommendations. Teaism in the Dupont Circle area is a very good choice.
I second Jaleo for tapas. It is right around the corner from the Spy Museum and not that far of a walk from the Mall. It gets pretty crowded around dinner time (especially on the weekend) but I think it is worth the wait. It's not that expensive, usually 3 or 4 smalls plates per person.
And I also agree that Teaism in Dupont Circle is also a good place to try.
If you want to take a break from the museums, but stay on the Mall the National Gallery has a cafe in their Sculpture garden (by the skating rink). The food is average museum food (soup,salads,sandwiches) but the view is nice.