In DC for 2 days
Saying on Thomas Circle and working at L NW and 20th.
What are your must tries withing walking distance.
Cheap, highend... anything goes. A mix would be great.
Not sure where you're coming from but high end Italian is available at nearby Il Mulino (NY based italian restaurant). Good, heavy food.
I also like the new restaurant Mio, next door to Il Mulino.
Both are on Vermont Ave. at about 14th Street, NW.
For cheap, good, NY style pizza during the day visit Washington Deli (their address is on K street, but the entrance is on 20th between I and K, NW...just down 20th from Baja Fresh). They close around 4 or 5 pm.
I don't know how far you're willing to travel within the City. Here are a couple of restaurants that I really enjoy for various reasons:
Restaurant Nora (http://www.noras.com/) - excellent, a long walk, but worth it!
Coeur de Lion at Henley Park Hotel (http://www.henleypark.com/) - delicious French
If you're willing to metro:
Zengo in Chinatown: Asian-Mexican fusion
Belga Cafe in Eastern Market: Belgian
I know there have been tons of recent threads even with perhaps the same title "2 days DC" you might look up for more info. It seems these come in waves.
Lots of good places walking distance from both locations -- you should start getting more responses. A couple ideas (I expect others know Thomas Circle area better than me):
Walk up 14th St. to Cafe St Ex, good food and a fun place.
Walk down 14th to DC Coast.
Near where you're working, if you're looking for lunch places there are lots, but first try C. F. Folks on 19th (open only for lunch, and as you'll see if you search here, many recommend the crab cake). If it's something you would like, I recommend Java Green, also on 19th, which is vegan.
And you'll want to head over to Penn Quarter area, that's where lots of the recs you'll find around here are -- certainly walkable, but not right down the street.
A real must in DC is Ethiopian food. The best are walking distance for you, but again not right down the street -- up near U and 9th.
(Walking in DC -- the parts you'll be in -- is really a nice way to get around; that's why we might all be a little unclear about your definition of "walking distance", if you see what I mean.)
PS: That's the wrong address below for CF Folks, it IS on 19th -- I'm having ongoing Beta problems and should have noticed, sorry.
Cafe St Ex
1847 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
C F Folks Restaurant
1225 19th St NW, Washington, DC
cf folks for lunch is a Washington institution. Sit at the counter, splurge on dessert. It's usually excellent and not too sweet. On 19th above M St. Another can't miss lunch would be any of the noodle dishes at Singapore Bistro, 19th below M St.
From your hotel, I would walk five blocks to 11th and K and go to Brasserie Beck, a Belgian brasserie.
I'm coming to a CU reunion (so-to-speak) & was told Brass Beck recently closed - I ate there last time I was in the District & loved it. I'm staying above the Georgetown Park Mall @ my aunt's unfurnished apt. I think that there's a blow up mattress, a jar of Jif & Diet Coke in the frige (I'll be roughing it - Oh well).
If you need a quick lunch, Thai Tanic is on 14th, between N and O, which is right near by. I live about a block from your are staying, and its pretty good Thai food and take out takes 10 minutes.
I lived there for 5 years and DC has GREAT restaurants.
You must try Ceiba or Zengo, hands down 2 of the best restaurants with amazing atmospheres and great drinks. The food is some of the best you'll ever eat.
Peacock Cafe in Georgetown is a must-try, as it's on a great street with awesome food, DC's only juice bar, great mimosas/egg-dishes/brunch & lunch food, and incredible people-watching. Plus, it puts you amidst great shopping on M Street.
I would also recommend Tenpehn (Asian) and Lauriol Plaza (Mexican).
I don't think the food at Zengo is "some of the best you'll ever eat," and I am no impressed at all with their service. It's a fun atmosphere, but you can do so much better. Same for Lauriol Plaza - unless you like long waits for really Americanized food, it's not worth the time.
while Lauriol might not be the BEST restaurant in DC, lately the food has been really, really good - much better then i remember from when i first moved here.
Also, it's a really fun place to sit outside, they have very tasty margaritas and fresh chips, and sometimes you need that in your life.
Haute cuisine? no...but it's fun.
i wouldn't recommend it for a tourist, either, but for a young person looking for some place casual with reliable food that can please anyone (steak, seafood, veggies), it's a good spot. their salads are good, too.
also, go during the week...not a wait.
or go to Cactus Cantina. But I think Lauriol is better than Cactus these days (I used to think the opposite)
Lauriol is really underwhelming. Any restaurant with three stories worth of customers to serve cannot possibly put out top-quality food. Think Tavern on the Green in NYC; even a good chef can't rescue a restaurant that large. Lauriol is a glorified Baja Fresh. To be honest, I didn't much love Oyamel either, though I went on heavy recommendations from Tom Sietsema and others -- and while Jaleo is pretty good, some things there are underwhelming as well.
My recs would be Heritage India on Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown, Le Pain Quotidien also in Georgetown for quality brunch food, sandwiches and bread, and Palena in Cleveland Park, for starters.
Fair enough, I'll agree to that. But why all the hype for Oyamel and Jaleo? They're just not that great. And it's really unfortunate, because they have potential. I'm not just talking eh food, I'm talking eh service -- lots of uncleared plates, overzealous waitstaff, annoying questions like "are you celebrating something special tonight? (no, we're not ordering that $80 bottle, thank you)" and more. I will say that the basque cake at Jaleo is so good that the last time I was there, I had two.
I completely agree with you. I've always found their food underwhelming, as well as their service!
Their food is decent, but I certainly wouldn't call it top-notch.
Whenever I've been, I feel that they are packing people in so tightly that it feels like you're eating at a high school cafeteria.