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Visiting D.C. for first time 12/22-12/25

Hi Everyone!

My husband and I will be visiting the Washington, D.C. area for the first time this weekend and am hoping some of you will be able to suggest some places to eat during our visit since we are completely out of our element. Budget friendly would be nice, but not completely necessary. We will be staying in the Dupont Cirlce area near P street. We would also like to hear any suggestions on where to go grab a beer after dinner...we are in our late 20's and don't feel like doing the whole "club" scene...Thanks!

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  1. There are a ton of options in the Dupont Circle area for moderatly priced meals. My top suggestions would be Hank's Oyster Bar (depending on where you are traveling from this might be wonderful since they offer up New England/East Coast style seafood. Also have some non-seafood options including a great meat and two) , Sette Osteria (pizzas and pasta in a nice enviornment), Hudson (newly opened, affordable, on the more trendy side but still good), Mark and Orlando's (on P St. the upstairs area is very affordable, nothing over $16, the downstairs is a little more formal. If you sit upstairs you can order from both menus), Bistro du Coin (french bistro. Can get noisy and crowded but still a vibrant restaurant with pretty good food. I like their salmon with leeks, steak frites, roasted chicken, and goat cheese salad. Don;t order the mussels though--they are tasteless), and for good Thai go to either Mai Thai or Thai Chef (also serves decent sushi).

    For a cozy restaurant, perfect for this winter weather I highly recommend Tabard Inn. You can go for brunch,lunch or dinner. Also a nice place to grab a drink since their lounge area has a fire place.

    If you want a bar with greasy food (think cheese fries) and a dictionary size menu for beer I like Brickskeller, right off of P St.

    1 Reply
    1. Hey there - welcome to DC! Here are a few of my favorites that won't break the bank:

      1) Pizzeria Paradiso (2029 P Street) -- great pizza (try wheat crust for lighter option) and paninis, plus Italian beer and okay wine selections

      2) Logan Tavern (1423 P Street) -- a few blocks east, but great American food with added touches (try the wasabi meatloaf!); just opened a second room so it's easier to get a table

      3) Lauriol Plaza (2009 18th Street) -- Decent Mexican food (upscale, not street) at good prices, with great margaritas -- always busy, though, so be prepared to wait (that's what the margaritas are for!)

      4) La Tomate (1701 Connecticut Ave.) -- decent Italian food, in a bistro-type atmosphere, not ultra-formal

      but if you want the best Italian food and can afford a bit more...

      5) Al Tiramisu (2014 P Street -- downstairs across from Paradiso) -- the most authentic I've found anywhere -- the butter/sage ravioli will bring tears to your eyes

      1 Reply
      1. re: Scott in Shaw

        Thank you so much for all of your suggestions and for taking the time out to write!

      2. Also, beer after dinner...(I'm 28 and married, so same demo, I would think):

        1) The Front Page (1333 New Hampshire, on the circle) is okay -- it's a meat market after work, but tamer after dinner

        2) The Big Hunt (1345 Connecticut, south of circle) -- kind of a dive, but awesome draft beer selection, plus pool table upstairs

        3) Childe Harold (1620 20th Street, north of circle) -- a fine British pub, if that's what you're into

        4) Gazuza (1629 Connecticut, north of circle) -- a Latin-themed lounge if you want something more "hip," but not a dance club (of which there are plenty in Dupont)

        Hope this helps!

        1 Reply
        1. Sorry for all the posting -- I forgot about Firefly, my favorite place on the other side of the circle (southwest -- 1310 New Hampshire) -- it's a great place for drinks, but the food is also pretty good (try the truffle fries -- oh my God!)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Scott in Shaw

            Truffle fries you say, I believe I know where I am going next weekend.

            1. re: grandpoobah

              They also have really amazing truffle fries at Poste.

          2. For the beer after dinner, I'll echo the recommendation that you check out the Brickskeller. They have the best beer list in DC, by a mile.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Food Rockz Man

              The Brick has the best beer list in the world, as certified by the Guiness Book of Records. Unfortunately, they only ever have about half of their beers in stock, so if you want to explore the less-mainstream parts of the list, you often have to give the waiters 3-4 orders at a time in hopes of getting one beer served to you.

            2. Don't think you have to restrict yourself to the Dupont Circle area, DC is an easy town to get around in on the METRO and it isn't that big in the first place.

              While the recommendations made by others for the Dupont Circle area are good, also get on the METRO and go to Cleveland Park. Palena's front room is a great place. One of the best burgers and the best roast chicken in town. Dino has the best wine list in DC if you are into that, and good Italian food (althought I usually stick to the appetizers and make a meal of them) Lavandeau is nice country French.

              Downtown has some great places too. Brasserie Beck has great food (the mussels and frites are killer) and a great list of Belgian beers. Try to make it to Taberna del Alabardero for happy hour, cheap tapas and good spanish wine. And near the Federal Triangle area (Orange Line) Central Michael Richard is one of the very best places to eat. Not cheap (but much cheaper than his flagship Citronelle) but well worth the money.

              Go for Ethiopian food along U Street (Green Line on the METRO) I like Queen Makeda for down home style, but Etete (9th St) is a little more refined and excellent (the doro wat is killer) and Dukem is well regarded (rightly so).

              In any case, have fun, this is a great town to visit and eat in as it has every ethinc food you could want.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dinwiddie

                Thanks...we are definintely going to be using the Metro as much as possible. We are originally from NY but now live in PA, and miss not having to rely on our car so much....I was hoping someone would recommend an Ethiopian restaurant, definintely not something we have tried before!

                1. re: lizzm1078

                  if you are into ethnic as it seems you are, i would also recommend Lebanese Taverna in Woodley Park (one metro stop north of Dupont or a walk of a mile or so, albeit uphill). Their pita is the best anywhere and entrees are great too. You can even get a mezze platter for a meal. And unlike most ethinic eateries the wine list is decent. Service great too. Right close to metro.
                  In fact, if the weather is good you might consider strolling up CT ave in the afternoon and stopping at the zoo, it's uncrowded in the winter, free, and very doable in a couple hours, and then head back a block or so toward the Woodley Park metro and have an early dinner at Leb Tav. There are a number of spots around there to have an after dinner drink or coffee, or you could walk back to Dupont (downhill!) and have a beer. The walk up that part of CT is very uniquely NW DC...old cool buildings and old $ neighborhoods as well as an embassy (China). I think you would find it a very enjoyable afternoon/evening.
                  I also 2nd the recommendation to go to Cleveland Park....there is a little bit of everything including 2 great wine bars (Dino & Bardeo). Enjoy your holidays in DC and make sure to go see the Nat'l Xmas tree!