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In DC for 8 days...

Please help me with dining recs. We'll be staying at the Fairmont - no car. All price points: I want some splurges and some economizing. Help me "taste" DC - willing to take train/bus wherever you say!

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  1. Can you give us some ideas of what type of cuisine you are looking for? Also do you need breakfast, lunch, and dinner recs? Any particular type of ambiance you are looking for?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      Elyssa, when traveling we usually do a fairly big breakfast, snacky lunch, and a nice dinner. However, we'd be willing to swap a nice dinner for a nice lunch in order to eat at a better place. We're also fans of dining at a bar. My husband doesn't care for Indian food (sigh), but other than that we are adventurous. Thanks!

      1. re: DLAOKC

        You are walking distance to both Dupont Circle and M St. in Georgetown.

        For a major splurge I would certainly consider going to Citronelle. One of the best restaurants in the city. Other Georgetown restaurants worth checking out are Hook, Bistro Francais (especially if you are looking for a decent dinner late at night or for Sunday brunch), Baked and Wired for coffee/tea/cupcakes, also next door to Baked and Wired is SNAP for yummy crepes for breakfast or lunch.

        In Dupont you might like Hudson (I believe they are serving breakfast now but you should double check), West End bistro, Sette Osteria, Firefly, Hank's Oyster Bar, Pizza Paradisio, and Regent Thai. Also a good spot for breakfast or lunch would be SoHo Coffee on P St.

        That should give you a start. If you know other areas you will be in we can help you out.

        1. re: Elyssa

          I would also add Circle Bistro, which should be about 3 blocks from your hotel, right on Washington Circle, and they have a great bar/lounge area to sit in, as well a nicer dining area. And, in Dupont, and on the same street as Pizzeria Paradisio, you should try Mark and Orlando's. Upstairs is a more causal restaurant with a shorter menu, and downstairs is more uspcale. But both are delicious.

          Mark & Orlando's
          2020 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036

          Circle Bistro
          One Washington Circle, Washington, DC 20037

    2. Rather than waiting for responses, I would spend some time browsing through the most recent DC topics over the past few weeks. Your request is VERY popular, and current musts across all price ranges have been analyzed exhaustively. Enjoy your stay!

      3 Replies
      1. re: bordeauxfan

        bordeauxfan, I have been browsing for a couple of months, and have some lists formed. My main problem is getting an idea about what might be "relatively" close to our hotel. We'll be out doing the touristy stuff days, and will gladly venture farther afield if necessary. Thanks.

        1. re: DLAOKC

          My hint for planning travel meals?

          I put all my touristy stuff into Google earth, and then add in all the restaurants I have heard good things about. That way I always know the best restaurant that is "right around the corner!"

          1. re: aletnes

            Thanks for this tip... started my own little Google world!

      2. You're very close to Marcel's, which would fall into the dinner splurge catagory. If you do a search for Marcel's on this board, you will find lots of great reviews.

        1. Across from your Hotel is Blue Duck Tavern in the Park Hyatt. Very good for one of your splurges.

          1. Obelisk at 2121 P street is my fave Check out my many posts on it! Northern italian 5 course prix fixe. at 65 pp would probably fit into the splurge category.

            The big lunch idea is a good one if you want to try some of the city's nicer/spendier/trendier places when they are less crowded and less expensive. Some however don't serve lunch (like obelisk) so make sure to check ahead of time. When you are doing museums, check out the Mitsitam cafe in the American indian museum. it's very unique and delicious food.

            1. Splurge-worthy dinners -- Palena and Komi. Marcel's is very nice, and I hear Brasserie BEck is awesome as well. I'd avoid CityZen myself. Citronelle is of the wallet vaporizing level, but very good -- one 'secret' is their lounge. Tosca, Mendocino Wine Bar & Grill, Circle Bistro and Obelisk are other options.

              For a greasy spoon and full of flavor breakfast, make the trek to Florida Avenue Grill. For a joint kind of lunch, Ben's Chili Bowl is always fun. For a high end lunch, try Cafe Mozu in the Mandarin Oriental. Teasim is good for a snacky kind of lunch.

              Lots to try.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Pool Boy

                Why would you avoid CityZen? I had an absoultely astounding meal there a few months back, and highly recommend it.

                1. re: Jason1

                  CityZen is overrated. Perhaps I was expecting far too much from a French Laundry alum. I dined there with my wife last summer for my 40th birthday. Had a good dinner and I brought along an amazing wine. The Parker rolls were one of the highlights of the meal for me, as well as the 'extra' course from the regular menu that we ordered to be inserted as the chef saw fit in to the regular tasting menu line-up that evening. That insertion was the best course we had there and there was one other really great course. But everything else was rather....average. And there was one HUGE dud course that had me wondering what all the fuss was about. I'll eventially go back and order off of the regular menu, but I am in no rush.


              2. The three things I always say for visitors, and I think lots of others do too:

                1. When you're in DC you should try Ethiopian food, and the neighborhood to try it is around 9th and U. Check the board for specific recs.

                2. Market Lunch at Eastern Market for breakfast or lunch, which is convenient to the SE part of the Mall.

                3. Mitsitam, the cafeteria at Museum of American Indian, for when you're doing Smithsonians.

                #3 is probably most expensive, but all on the affordable, very affordable side. All three come up all the time on the boards, so you've probably seen them. None are near your hotel.

                1. Since you are staying in the west end I would suggust trying Filomena. Its off of Wisconsin in Georgetown. Huge portions of fresh pasta but do make a reservation as walk-in have to wait. Hook is fablous as well and is also in Georgetown. As far as Citronelle, I was not impressed with the food or the atmosphere. The dining room is cave like and the prices are ridiculious! If you really want to try it though, I would eat in their lounge for lunch as it is a lot more casual. You could also go try Central which is Michel Richard's more casual venue.

                  As of late I haev been favoring Brasserie Beck which is owned by the same people that own Marcel's (which is fablous but pricey!) and is just as high quality but business casual.

                  While in DC you should definitely visit some DC staples such as Old Ebbits Grill. They have 1/2 raw bar during happy hour and again late night. I love sitting at the bar and striking up a conversation with the very witty bartenders! Ben's Chili Bowl is a must have to but its insanely busy late nights when the clubs close. Julia's empanadas is a good place for a quick snack anytime while on the run. Crisfield Seafood Restaurant in Silver Spring is a Meto area landmark and is worth the trip for their stuffed shrimp and seafood bisque! The food at the Native American Museum is by far the best while sight seeing.

                  If you plan on heading into Virginia's Old Town area (which is easy if you take teh ferry from Georgetown) there are tons of great places there such as the Fish Market, Restruant Eve, Union Street, Vermillion as well as a bunch of others! Good Luck!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: asia143

                    i loveeee brasserie beck! i was there last week and the frites are amazing. Marvin, a new bar on 14th/U also has some good food and a great atmosphere.

                    1. re: asia143

                      I wouldn't recommend Filomena. I know that it has won awards for its Italian food, but I've been there a few times and every time the food was just okay. Also, the service has been subpar - twice I only saw the waiter at the beginning of the meal to order and at the very end to drop off the dessert menu. I would try one of the other recommendations if I were you.

                    2. I would definately recommend Perry's Restaurant. Very unique,in the neighborhood of Adams Morgan, Perry's has something to offer for everyone. Between the roofdeck, drag brunch, two seperate kitchens--sushi and american (fusion) and plenty of bar seating. Definately affordable and pretty easy to get there by public transportation.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DCnewb

                        I thought the sushi was awful, though, really awful (and I'm no sushi snob at all). The roof deck is a nice setting.