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new to capital hill

what restaurants are worth trying? good pub food anywhere? high end recommendations? neighborhood restaurant worth regular visits?


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  1. Montmartre for French, Tune Inn for beer and burgers, Levi's Port Cafe for soul food, Mangialardo's for the G Man sub, CVS for antacid.

    3 Replies
    1. re: monkeyrotica

      I would also add Le Bon Cafe for delicious sandwiches, coffee and a cute little Parisian atmosphere.

      Also I like Sonoma for just a glass of wine and cheese or a full meal. And then of course there is Eastern Market and all its goodness.

      1. re: Elyssa

        Love, love, LOVE Le Bon Cafe.

        super yummy sandwiches and very tasty soups.

        I personally think the salads are a bit of a rip off, but a panini and a small soup - perfect lunch.

        1. re: Jeserf

          I'm in love with their provecal style tuna salad sandwich and the lavender lemonade. They play french music on the cafe...just a just place to enjoy a long lunch in the afternoon.

    2. There is also Tortilla Cafe I think it is called for mexican, Tuncliff's for breakfast/brunch.

      1 Reply
      1. Locanda is a promising modern Italian place - upscale pricing but not exorbitant. If you're jonesing for Peruvian/Mexican, Las Placitas isn't too bad. I like to have a drink at Mr. Henry's. And Tunnicliffs has tasty pub fare. Have a drink at Banana Cafe but skip the food. Sonoma is good for cheese/pasta/wine but I find the service to be a huge detriment. And for private, guilty pleasures...there's Popeyes. Just don't go there during lunch or everyone in your office will know EXACTLY where you've been by that distinctive grease smell.

        1. Explore H Street, NE. Best fried fish in the city at Horace and Dickie's - carry out only. Two great coffee house - Sidamo Ethiopian Coffee and SOVA with free wifi. Granville Moore's excellent mussels, burgers and frites and wide range of Belgian brews. The Argonaut just changed its menu to more local and seasonal foods without budget-busting prices plus widened its range of beers to some really interesting choices. The Palace of Wonders is in a class of its own - the freak show and burlesque doesn't save the pedestrian food. Rock and Roll Hotel offers amazing indie bands and bar food. Napa 1015 has Happy Hour specials and a full menu that's getting high praise, although I haven't hit it yet.
          The frozen tropics blog keeps everyone up to date on what's happening. There's a list of the restaurants with addresses and hours. http://frozentropics.blogspot.com/

          1. My favorite neighoborhood place is La Plaza - good El Salvadorian/Mexican and a super friendly staff. Try the Pollo ala Holla on a cold day, it's delicioso.

            1 Reply
            1. re: scotcheroo

              thank you all so much, I have checked out several of your suggestions and can't wait to try them. I'm especially intrigued by the Palace of Wonders!!!

            2. First things first, if you're going to live here, you should know that it's "Capitol" not "Capital". I wouldn't correct you if you were a tourist...

              Now that the spelling lesson is over, good restaurants not mentioned are White Tiger for Indian on Mass Ave, Ugly Mug has some good bar food on 8th St. If you have a morning/early afternoon hankering for breakfast, Pete's Diner, next to Le Bon Cafe works pretty well.

              For high end - Charlie Palmer's, excellent food. Also if you like seeing famous people, or at least pictures of famous people, try Monocle.

              5 Replies
              1. re: JustinS

                I really like Pete's Diner for pretty cheap, good breakfast food.

                I did not have such a good experience at Le Bon Cafe the 2 times that I went, so I'm recommending against here. Once, the bread on my sandwich was so hard, I could only eat the meat part (that was tasty, though); and the second time I had my son along in his car seat, and they weren't helpful at all service-wise. I know it's a cafe, so service isn't so expected, but...I didn't expect looks either.

                Anyway, Tortilla Coast is good for its happy hours (a lot of the Hill folks go there) and its chips & salsa (plus drinks). The food is just so-so, but great in a pinch. Great place for meeting people during its happy hours too.

                Around the corner from T-Coast (as it's affectionately known) is a decent Thai place whose name I can't recall right now.

                I second recs. to Sonoma and Charlie Palmer's. But I would *avoid* Chinese options around there -- I haven't found any I liked when I worked near there.

                I also recommend dining in Congress -- Longworth cafeteria has a wide variety to choose from that isn't so bad for lunch on the weekdays, if you can swing it.

                For something healthy, I really enjoyed my sandwiches and smoothies from the Wellness Cafe. It is a bit pricey, but delish.

                Wellness Cafe
                325 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

                1. re: orangemix

                  Beware that Thai place - it's been warned and closed many times by the health department. The main folks that I see go in there are tourists who may not know better.

                  1. re: scotcheroo

                    Talay Thai is ok, (no complaints here) but The Old Siam over on 8th is much better anyway.

                    1. re: hill food

                      oh and Talay usu. can deliver (most delivery on the Hill is either Chinese or Pizza)

                      1. re: hill food

                        I really like Old Siam. I eat there often for lunch since I work down the street.

                2. thanks for the spell check, clearly I can't blame it on a typo :)

                  and thanks for the additional tips!