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Cheap Eats Needed in Foggy Bottom

For work I have to put together a list of inexpensive restaurants or take out spots near GW for conference members that will be in town and staying at the GW dorms.

I'm not as familar with the area so I need some help brain-storming restaurants. Nothing should be over $15---much cheaper the better. Chair restaurants are perfectly fine as well.

All restaurants should be within walking distance (3-6 blocks) of the GW campus.


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  1. The 51st St. Tavern is down there, and they had really cheap food. I haven't been there in a while though. I'm not sure if its within 6 blocks to GW, but Nirvana has great veg indian food, and they have an awesome lunch buffet. Charlie Chang's is right next door, but that's just blah chinese. Isn't there a mall near GW too?

    1. Walking up 21st street the other day I noticed a new restaurant on the right side that may suit your purposes. It was one or two blocks below the Lisner - maybe the corner of F or G streets. I do not recall the name.

      3 Replies
        1. re: Elyssa

          Yes, that's it. Tonic Restaurant @ Quigley's Pharmacy. Anybody been?


          1. re: dcs

            I haven't been to the new one but the original one has good sandwiches, good mac and cheese and tater tots! :)

      1. I would include Mehran's at 2138 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Lots of decent curry and kabob type food. I think they are Pakistani. Lots of lunch food in the $4-$8 range. Good vegetarian options too.

        Also, maybe not strictly Foggy Bottom, but Java Green is within 3-6 blocks too.

        1. DJ's Fatsbreak, on the corner of 22nd and G, features a wide range of really cheap Asian bowls ($5) served cafeteria style. Also hamburgers, hot dogs, and a variety of sandwiches.

          1. The Shops at 2000Penn (across the street from the Marvin Center) has a Bertucci's restaurant, plus a bunch of take out places (ranging from Lindy's pub to a Mexican takeout).

            1. Thank you for all you help everyone!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Elyssa

                If it's not too late, include Washington Deli (on 20th at Eye) for wonderful NY style pizza (available by the slice) and deli sandwiches and salads, Kaz Sushi Bistro (on Eye between 19th and 20th) for lunch will be within budget with their lunch specials, and Trader Joe's (24th and Penn, I think) for takeout. Oh, and there are several cheap eats/casual sit down restaurants on 19th between L and N. That's a bit more of a walk, but not more than 15 minutes from campus.

                1. Elyssa:

                  I had a memorable lunch at Bread Line last month -- enough for me to still be thinking about it here in Florida five weeks later. It's hard to go wrong with the salads or soups, and the sandwiches aren't too far behind. Although it's not far at all from the eastern reaches of GW's campus (1751 Pennsylvania Avenue), your attendees will have to cross a couple of busy streets.

                  Here is the link to the map:


                  NOTE WELL: Bread Line is only open for lunch.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Noice

                    What did you have at Breadline?

                    1. re: Steve


                      In order from most pleasing to least pleasing:

                      1. Mediterranean Fish Soup -- the best soup I have ever had outside a formal restaurant
                      2. Curry Chicken Salad -- almost as outstanding as the soup
                      3. Lentils and Feta Salad
                      4. Salami and Cheese Sandwich with roasted red peppers and arugula
                      5. Beans Salad of some sort

                      I should also include the chocolate/mascarpone "Oreo" cookie pastry: as delicious as it was when I used to be a regular years ago.