HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


In DC for 3 days...show me a FOOD itinerary!!

Heading to DC this weekend and will be on the hunt for good food Saturday afternoon, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning.

Yeah, DC has museums and government stuff and memorials...but what FOOD should we not miss? Where should we go for a cheap breakfast, a fun lunch, a nice dinner, a unique meal, etc.?

All suggestions are very much appreciated. Anything reachable by public tranportation is fair game.

Thank you!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Citronelle in G town is really good, although has a lot of detractors.

    Bistro Francias for steak tartare at 3 am.

    1. Also I love Krupins deli but havent been for years and I dont think Mel is the main gun over there any more.

      1. Cheap breakfast: Colorado Kitchen, Luna Grill & Diner
        Fun lunch: Colorado Kitchen, CF Folks, Breadline, Jaleo, Belga Cafe, 2 Amys, Pizzeria Paradiso, Domku, cafeteria at the American Indian Museum, Taqueria Distrito Federal
        Nice dinner: Palena, Corduroy, Vidalia, Charlie Palmer Steak, Montmartre, Kinkead's
        Unique meal: One of the Ethiopian restaurants in the 9th Street NW area

        5 Replies
        1. re: CMACDC

          Although I don't disagree with many of these recommendations, I have to say that Colorado Kitchen and Luna Grill don't belong in the same post, let alone the same sentence. CK is one of DC's gems, it's out of the way (not metro-accessible, but on the bus line or a cab ride) but totally worth going to. Luna Grill isn't particularly offensive, but that's about the best I can say for the bland food there. It isn't even the best restaurant on that stretch of Connecticut Ave.

          Etete and Pyramids are excellent choices for dinner.

          1. re: alopez

            Colorado Kitchen is a gem - excellent food in a homey setting.

            Iamadonut: please note CK has limited hours (e.g., no weekday breakfast and only serves lunch on Friday). Weekend brunch is great (killer donuts, grilled shrimp & cheese grits, waffles one day - pancakes another), but early seating is for "Type A" folk. No reservations.

            Chef Clark doesn't have a website, but here's a link that includes CK's latest eNewsletter (with hours, address, and seasonal menu items). Phone number:(202) 545-8280


            1. re: Lydia R

              Oh that's right -- aren't they also closed Monday and/or Tuesday evenings? Best call to check before heading up there if you decide to go.

            2. re: alopez

              Yes, yes, yes. However, CK is not a likely walk from any tourist hotel. Dinners and lunches are often worth a trip - but many people want their coffe and breakfast right away. For someone who wants decent coffee, french toast, pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc. there are not many other options like Luna Grille in the areaa a visitor is likely to be stationed.

              I like all the other CMACDC rec's as well except the highly over-rated Museum of the American Indian cafeteria. And Montmartre is great for lunch as well as dinner on "Capitol Hill touring day".

            3. re: CMACDC

              For a nice dinner (make that *really* nice), I'd go for Equinox.

            4. A strong vote for dinner at Butterfield 9.

              1. Fun lunch: On Monday, head to cf folks on 19th above M St. for crabcakes or whatever looks good on the blackboard. Peach cobbler for dessert if available. You should sit at the counter. A Washington institution. Not open on weekends.

                Nice Dinner: the lounge at Citronelle (no reservations taken or needed). Mushroom cigars, tuna napoleon, vegetable pearl pasta.

                Unique experience: Etete for Ethiopian food. Fastening food platter, add the fish, and order the derek tibs.

                1. If near the convention center/chinatown/mci center, try this place for lunch. Outstanding Texas style bbq:


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: applehome

                    Unless you're from Texas, and then it's just another in a long line of places that don't understand Texas BBQ.

                    1. re: DanielK

                      I haven't been in a while - but these guys are from Austin. They've done both inaugural balls and been called in for many other functions - not that George W and his crew would necessarily know anything more about q than, say, war. I've had brisket there that I thought was some of the best I've ever had. But I've also had stuff that wasn't quite up to snuff. I just write it off as one of those things - q has got to be one of the hardest things to be consistently perfect with.

                      1. re: applehome

                        I know, they're from Texas, but something didn't translate. We go there every year or so when my wife gets the craving for home. It's certainly the only thing close in the area, but it doesn't hold a candle to even the average neighborhood hole in the wall back in Austin.

                        1. re: DanielK

                          I've never been to Texas, but I certainly hope there is much better brisket there than at Capital Q.

                          1. re: Steve

                            Having lived in Texas for a short while and, more importantly, just returned from Austin over a long weekend in which I ate at least two pounds of brisket, I can assure you Steve that you are correct.

                            BBQ just doesn't have to be that great to get business around here, there's not really any competition nor many people experienced enough to know the difference between divine barbecue and passable barbecue. That's the curse...once you've had truly good stuff, the rest which has been fine all your life no longer tastes good. Decent barbecue can still be pretty good eating as long as you don't try to compare it to the best stuff.

                            Why doesn't it stand the test of travel? Hard to say. My best guess would be that, in Texas (or similarly in other bbq meccas for other items, such as chopped/pulled pork, ribs, etc), just about every self-respecting Texas-bred home cook knows how to make a good brisket, and just about any restaurant there that isn't an ethnic place serves it. So, competition with home cooks and other establishments drives the need to do it right and perfect it over many years to draw business. Around here, a pile of cooked meat, a tasty sauce, and some southern decor seems to be enough to draw a following for all but the worst and most poorly located bbq joints.

                  2. Sunday later morning go to Eastern Market. You'll eat okay there, or there are other choices nearby, but it's a neat market as well (make sure to visit the cheese people!).

                    1. thank you for all these ideas! Im gonna print this out and we're gonna try to hit...all of them! ;)

                      1. breakfast: la Patisserie Poupon. Don't know if it's a metro friendly location, tho. it's at 1645 Wisconsin Ave NW, 20007