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Good food near Wardman Park Marriott (DC)?

Do you know of a good restaurant near the Wardman Park Marriott (in Washington DC)? We’re visiting from North Carolina just for the weekend. I looked at some of the previous postings, and many suggested getting out of this area, perhaps to Dupont Circle (which is doable).

Here are some of the things we are looking for:

• Yummy food. This might be Vietnamese, sushi, or bistro food. We prefer tasty over showy.
• Relaxed atmosphere. We’ll all be happier at a low-key place than at a fancy one.
• One of us is a vegetarian.
• Not too pricey. $15-20 total per person max is best.
• Walking distance or a short Metro ride away. My map tells me that the Wardman Park Marriott is near the Zoo stop on the Metro and close to Dupont Circle.
• Dinner with six people on a Thursday night (8p-ish) next month.
• A place taking reservations could be helpful, but may not be doable given out many other needs.

Thanks for any suggestions you have.

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  1. Lebanese Taverna is a 1/2 block from there, and quite good. I believe they take reservations for a party of 6 or more, but I wouldn't swear to it. Lots of veggie options, and very relaxed atmosphere.

    Another popular suggestion on this board is Dino's. It is up one metro stop (opposite direction from Dupont). I haven't eaten there, but I hope to in the near future.

    1. From Wardman Park Marriott: Walk or take the red line metro north and get out at Cleveland Park for lots of yummy choices. I like Indique for Indian in a rather frenetic atmosphere. The food is good and reasonably priced, even if service can be uneven. Dino, as stated before, is great. Reservations probably necessary. Ardeo, and the next door bar, Bardeo, offer good food in a relaxed setting.

      If you want to walk downhill (Toward Dupont) you also have lots of great options. Bistrot du Coin is a casual, loud French bistro. Sette Osteria is good for vegetarians. Also very casual. Everyone will recommend Pizza Paradiso. Prepare to wait.

      You can also take the red line right to metro center, which puts you within walking distance of lots of great options: Zaytinya, Poste, Zola, Acadiania, Zengo, Jaleo, Matchbox...


      1. Go to the Afghan Grill. It's a couple minutes' walk from the Wardman Park and fits your criteria perfectly. It has a comfortable atmosphere, it's delicious, and it's dirt cheap.

        We went there on Saturday night and they were down a couple of people, so service was extremely slow. But the place was packed the kitchen was still on top of its game; their appetizer sampler of various dumplings and things is wonderful.

        2 Replies
        1. re: CMACDC

          I went to the Afghan Grill I think (is it up a flight of stairs, in a building on the way to the bridge to Adams Morgan?) last summer. Really liked it. Service was a bit slow, but nothing killer. Others liked the pumpkin dish (never remember its name) more than me, but most everything we ordered we enjoyed. It's been too long for me to remember standouts, but I would return.

          1. re: Smokey

            I third the Afghan Grill. I've only been there once, but the whole party really enjoyed it. It's pretty inexpensive, quite close to your hotel, has plenty of vegetarian options, and is very tasty.

        2. I stayed at the Marriott last spring and I ate most of my meals down the street in Georgetown. The first night we went to Clydes, the food was great with great seafood and steaks, I think it's one of the older restaurants in the city. We also ate at a Tapas bar across the street from clydes and had a great Paella, but I forget the name.

          Lastly for the best fish and chips in the world go to the Dubliner in Downtown. The secret is order them with tater tots instead of chips and a glass of Guinesss, hmmm I can't wait to go back.

          6 Replies
          1. re: irishkevbo

            kevbo, I'd suggest that Georgetown isn't very walkable from Noel's hotel and not the most Metro-accessible place in DC. And the residents like it that way! Its at least a 20 minute walk from Foggy Bottom station, but there is a good bus service from downtown and there's the Georgetown University bus too.
            Also, (sorry kev), I'd suggest the Dubliner's fish and chips isn't the best in the world. It might not even be the DC area's, there's a place in Alexandria that's just opened up that folks rave about called "Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper." I haven't been yet tho.
            Noel, for brunch on Sunday you might try Petits Plats, which is just opposite your hotel.
            Up the hill in Cleveland Park, I'd recommend Nam Viet, which is fairly cheap and big on size of meal and flavors.
            Of the other places recommended on this thread, I'd second/third etc Ardeo and Indique, although both might be at the top of your price range.
            If you are heading any further north on the red line, get off at Tenleytown station and walk north on Wisconsin for Guapo's for pretty good but not great Mexican at a reasonable price and Le Chat Noir for great galettes at a really good price. LCN is about a 10 minute walk up Wisconsin.

            1. re: KGinDC

              So The Dubliner isn't the best Fish and Chips because you heard of a place that's in Alexandria but haven't been there? Well that convinced me...
              P.S. It took me 5 minutes in my rental car to get to the restaurants in Georgetown.

              1. re: irishkevbo

                The Dubliner isn't the best place for fish and chips because the dubliner isn't really very good food. Fine place for a beer, definitely. But the food? Nah.

                1. re: irishkevbo

                  I've tasted much better fish and chips too many times to count in the UK where I'm from was my main point. And it may not be the best fish and chips in DC was a sidebar...

                  1. re: irishkevbo

                    The OP did ask for walking distance or a short metro ride from the Wardmann. So, restaurants that are "5 minutes in [a] rental car" away don't really meet the originally requested criteria. I think it's likely the OP won't have a rental car.

                    And, I agree, I don't think much of the food at the Dubliner. To each their own.

                2. Another vote for Dino!

                  1. Mama Ayesha Restaurant on 1967 Calvert St. is an excellent Palestinian restaurant about a 5 minute walk from the Marriot Wardman and it is very reasonable. They have a number of vegetarian options. Also being a Middle Eastern restaurant, there are plenty of vegetable dishes. For the persons who are not vegetarians, the Musakan is excellent. It is a chicken baked with onions, pine nuts, and sumac for a very long time and served on top of toasted pita bread.

                    1. I strongly endorse the recommendations for the Afghan Grill and Mama Ayesha's--both are far better in my experience than Lebanese Taverna. The food is excellent in both places (like the poster above, I recommend the Musakan at Mama Ayesha's; the appetizers are also excellent). Both places are attractive with very friendly service. For Vietnamese, Nam Viet, one subway stop up the Red Line, is very good. Also very friendly and affordable. The spring rolls, the fried scallop appetizer, the large soups (pho, wonton, etc), and the various grilled dishes are all first rate.

                      Indique has good food but can be very noisy.

                      1. Hi All,

                        Thank you so much for the great suggestions. It has been VERY helpful. Very kind of all of you to write these notes.


                        1. Hi All,
                          Hi All,

                          Thank you so much for the great suggestions. It has been VERY helpful. Very kind of all of you to write these notes.


                          14 Replies
                          1. re: Noel_B

                            Rather than re-post a new topic - I have the same question, but not so many requirements. I'm really just looking for top recommendations.

                            I only have this:
                            3 nights @ Marriot Wardman Park (Sun, Mon, Tues)
                            I'll eat ANYTHING
                            Price is not a problem, but I do work for the gov and per diems will only take me so far and then I am paying the rest so not CRAZY expensive
                            I will not have a car - cabs are fine, walking is fine, public transit is fine, but I will be alone and I am female, so safe and pretty close is best

                            That's all - I have noted above recomendations in this thread, but am looking for the short list of places I simply *must* try if this is the only time this year (or next) I am in DC.


                            1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                              p.s. one more thing - I can hear groans and laughing as I write, but are there any small grocery stores, upscale markets, hell...gas stations!! where I can get bottled water, snacks, wine, etc. for my hotel room to avoid the mini bar?? If I am out of luck it's ok, it just would be nice.

                              1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                Re the groceries etc. -- yes, 1/2 block east of the Marriott Wardman Park is Connecticut Ave., where you will find all such stuff easiliy available. There is a little market on the east side of Connecticut in that block, a CVS drug store on the west side, a nice liquor store called Sherry's at the corner of Connecticut and Calvert (i.e., walk a half block downhill and take a left on Calvert).

                                1. re: sheldman

                                  THANK YOU Sheldman! You are the best. I work in gov, so expenses are NOT paid for, so little incidentals that I can save money on are much appreciated. :)


                                  Anyone, restaurant must-tries for a boss dinner, and a girlfriend dinner?

                              2. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                Public transit via the subway (METRO) is fast, easy, and safe. You should take the METRO one or two stops to Cleveland Park and there are lots of places to chose from. I recommend Dino for Italian (and a fantastic wine list at a very reasonable price as well as a large selection by the glass), Lavandou for country French, Palena Cafe for for exceptional food and drinks (and a single female will not be out of place there), Spices for Asian and Sushi, as well as many others.

                                I would not limit myself to near the hotel however. As I said, the METRO is easy to use and there are lots of places that are easily accessable by using it. If you are adventuresome and not overly skittish, go for Ethiopian at Etete (9th and U Street)near the Shaw METRO stop. If you want more upscale without having to go into the dining room, eat at the bar at Citronelle in Georgetown. Dupont Circle is full of places to eat.

                                  1. re: dinwiddie

                                    whats good @ Ethiopian at Etete i live right there?

                                    1. re: dinwiddie

                                      Heading to Dino tonight! Thanks again.

                                      1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                        Found 7-Eleven for water, gum, snacks, etc. Brought wine in the suitcase. :)

                                        For dinner, I explored on foot. Dino, Indique, Palena and Sorriso and of course, lots of breakfasts and lunches at my hotel, the Wardman Park Marriott. All the same neighborhood, and I loved the neighborhood.

                                        THANK YOU everyone for your comments and ideas.

                                        Overall reviews (NOTE this was a short stay and just my opinion):

                                        Dino - (2 meals)
                                        Charming staff, excellent wine list, nice decor, great menu - I like lighter more authentic menus with wine friendly small plates and cheeses. After 2 nights they treated me like family and I could not ask for more. A place to repeat visit, a favorite and I can recommend it. Maybe don't go if you want NY/Jersey style heavier Italian food or don't care about wine. Each person we talked to there (customers and staff) and every recommendation made was real, authentic and a good call. LOVED it.

                                        Indique - Indian food, but I had cocktails and a just small bite, I recommend eating on the DARLING little patio upstairs (2 tables I think). It couldn't be more romantic. Honestly, if I ate nothing and a date took me there and got us a table on the patio, swoon! :)

                                        Sorriso - I didn't really eat a meal, but devoured a bread/olive oil appetizer and refreshing and flavorful beef carpaccio and a house pinot grigio at the bar, all within feet of the restaurant's open kitchen and the wood-fired pizza oven. Oh yeah, and the kitchen staff, bartenders AND front of house management are yummy cute Italian guys and girls (on the night I was there). Yum all around...who cares about food?

                                        Palena - great in every way. Service, food, staff, cleaniness and overall taste. Pre-food cocktails are inventive and unique, the front of house and door staff are SO helpful. I didn't have a reservation and they tracked me down be cell to tell me a seat at the bar opened up. Also, they have a pre-fixe menu but let you order a la carte. The bartender is AMAZING and friendly and helpful and the whole experience was divine...even made friends at the bar.

                                        Thanks again everyone - I loved DC and can't wait to come back and try more. :)

                                        1. re: HomeCookKirsten

                                          Hello all - How about a good weekend brunch place near the same hotel? Friends are in town from Seattle and staying there. If possible, I'd love to take my toddler son with us, so family-friendly would be a bonus.

                                          1. re: JGR

                                            If you don't mind a wait, or can go early, Open City. Kid friendly, good enough food, good enough prices.

                                            1. re: Jeserf

                                              Great idea. Thanks! Are there any other suggestions in case Open City is too packed?

                                              1. re: JGR

                                                you can walk further down 18th street to the Diner, same owners, same stuff, but the service has a 'tude (IMO)

                                                1. re: JGR

                                                  Open City is so close to the hotel, one of your friends could go down and put their names in while everybody else is getting ready and you're on your way. If it's nice weather, it's a nice spot for waiting, but it indeed might be a long wait. Some of you could walk into Rock Creek Park to play with the kids while you wait, too. Then you can go to the zoo afterwards! (The Diner also gets really crowded for weekend brunches. A lot of people seem to take their kids to Tryst for weekend brunch, also on 18th by the Diner [and also same owners], but it also gets packed [and doesn't have eggs type breakfasts].)

                                  2. Just got back from a conference at Wardman Park; all the following restaurants are within walking distance. Fantastic food overall, one disappointment. For all these meals I was accompanied by a vegetarian.
                                    Labenese Taverna (just down the street from the hotel): Lebanese food, really good quality and great bread. Got the mixed seafood kabob platter. My friend got an assortment of veggie starters. $20-25.
                                    Petit Plats (just down the street from the hotel): good bread, tempted by the huge bowls of mussels (prepared 4 ways) but ended up with a sandwich and salad like everyone else at my table. I had the mozz/pesto/basil, my dining companions had leg of lamb, chicken crudite, and veggie. Fries were fabulous. Sandwich combo about $8.
                                    Sake Bar (just down the street from the hotel): really good fresh fish, portions are really large for the lunch price. I had the sashimi platter, and the tuna was quite fatty for a regular cut. $18 for the sashimi platter.
                                    Dino (Cleveland Park): outstanding restaurant. Creative dishes, not too heavy, great play on flavors and textures. Loved the mozzarella/creme freche and the three cheese polenta starter, and the grain salad was delicately flavored and quite satisfying. Salmon was not particularly interesting but done well. The peach and cream dessert was fantastic - clouds of flavored whipped cream, luscious fruit and soft ladyfingers. About $50-60 a person, since we all had 3-4 courses each.
                                    Nam Viet (Cleveland Park): absolute, utter disappointment. To understand where my disappointment may come from, I love pho. I am used to having a variety of pho at Vietnamnese restaurants, starting with the Dac Biet and Xe Lua that has various cuts of meat, then additions of Bo Vien, or other combinations of the cuts, along with seafood and chicken pho. What they had available was Pho Bo - flank steak only, no variations. Fine. I ordered it. And it was TINY, with a very weak broth and barely any onions. There wasn't even the usual accompaniment of thai basil, bean sprouts and lime. My veggie friend had a curry with tofu and was disappointed that all the tofu (in her rolls and in her curry) was all deepfried. $10
                                    Jyoti (Adam Morgan) - not bad. Had the non-veg thali and my DCs all had the veg thali. I liked the flavors although my veggie friend thought the flavors were bland (she's north indian). Although it seemed small (five curries in shot glasses, surrounding a pile of basmati rice, with nan), I was too full in the end to finish all my curries and couldn't even find room to eat my kheer. $25