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Mar 24, 2008 07:32 AM

DC for the weekend. 1st time there. Your top 5?

the boyfriend and i are heading from nyc to dc for the weekend. looking for some great places to eat that arent super duper spendy. looking for a great BRUNCH place (that serves a late brunch and has delicious bloody marys), best place to get COFFEE, and other than that its just delicious food we seek. it can be cheap and a hole in the wall, or nicer and a bit pricier, ethnic, american, french, tacos, tapas, fish n chips...doesnt matter so long as its yummy. this is my first time in dc. if theres anything around or not too far from the smithsonian for lunch that would be cool too as we'll be spending some afternoons there. thanks dc-ers!

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  1. I'm just going to preemptively say that I think you'll have to give people a little more direction, including locations you are willing to go to/where you are staying, average price, ambiance, etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DCLindsey

      i'm sorry. i suppose my request does seem pretty broad and vague.
      so....if you were moving out of dc in 3 days what are the five restaurants you would absolutely definitely visit before leaving? any type of food, any price range, in dc proper. i hope that makes it a bit more manageable of a request :)

      1. re: littlepiggy

        that's still vague

        perhaps do a board search for Penn Quarter, Dupont Circle, etc.

        I'm sure the list is basically:
        The Source
        Cafe Atlantico
        West End Bistro

        yada yada

    2. I loved Central, Banana Cafe (kick ass margaritas and all around good cuban), Rasika (can't recommend that place enough, awesome indian, great decor) and La Tasca (spanish tapas). Brunch is difficult as I don't like bloody mary's, but bread and chocolate near eastern market has some tasty coffee.

      1. Musts: Go to Market Lunch at Eastern Market for breakfast (or lunch); get Ethiopian food around 9th and U (search the board for recommendations). Neither will be high end.

        Probably not a must, but if it's your kind of thing: a half-smoke with chili at Ben's Chili Bowl is very DC (and very much not high end) and gets you to the fun U St neighborhood.

        I'd suggest Tryst (in Adams Morgan) for coffee and you can also get their coffee at Open City (which is convenient for the zoo if you're going) which is okay for brunch. (You should find lots of brunch info with a search.)

        Which Smithsonian?

        Where (more or less) will you be staying?

        1 Reply
        1. This list shows many people's "top 5's," and it shows why your request is too broad:

          Ben's Chili Bowl
          Bistro Bis
          Bistro du Coin
          Brasserie Beck
          Butterfield 9
          Charlie Palmer's
          City Zen
          Le Paradou

          3 Replies
          1. re: foodiesf

            its ok that it seems like a broad request. my goal was to get multiple peoples favorite TOP 5 places. obviously we won't make it to all of them but we're definitely going to try!

            1. re: littlepiggy

              I understand, and I don't mean to be difficult. You are free to do it your way, of course. But then you have to live with the less-than-perfect answers you are getting. Truly, I'm trying to be helpful. If you want really good recommendations, you have to give some more perameters.

              The problem with your request is that most hounds can't give you their "5 tops" without qualification. There's the "5 tops" when it comes to fine dining when cost is not an object. There's the "5 tops" that you take tourists to when they come to DC. There's the "5 tops" neighborhood restaurants, "5 top" ethnic restaurants, "5 top" cheap eats, "5 top" restos near DuPont Circle, "5 top" restos for late-night dining, etc.

              Do you eat red meat? Do you not like Ethiopian? What about a car -- will you have one? Does it have to be located near your hotel or the Smithsonian, or are you willing to do the suburbs? Are you a wine fan -- does the restaurant have to have a liquor license? There are literally dozens of questions like this that skew the answer to "What are your top 5," yet your only qualification is that the recommendation "has to be yummy."

              With that as a guide, many hounds won't respond because they don't know what you mean by "yummy." We don't want to waste our time, or yours, guessing and writing what our interpretation of that is. So you end up getting very little accurate information. And you miss out on recommendations that might have been right on point and very helpful.

              1. re: foodiesf

                thank you for your comments, i'm not offended at all. my inspiration for this post came from one i responded to recently on a new york board, the posting was successful and was top 3 restaurants to eat at in ny if you were moving:


                i definitely dont want to waste your or anyone elses time. its no problem if its too much to ask. i just wanted some different suggestions from different chowhounds. while we all have different ideas of yummy, we all love yummy food. thank you for your suggestions, i apprecciate them all and it seems some of your favorites have made it onto others lists of favorites as well!

          2. I probably sound like a broken record ;-) always suggesting that chowhounds check out Dupont Market on Sun. morning for the amazing array of food and people watching. Many vendors have samples so you can graze through the market, as well as pick up terrific pastries at Bonaparte Bakery. After the market, head to Pizza Paradiso for lunch!

            1 Reply
            1. re: monavano

              super! i love a nice stroll through farmers markets!