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Union Station Restaurants?

I am coming in to Union Station from Baltimore to meet a friend for dinner. Are there any decent restaurants inside the station? We're meeting around 6 p.m. and I'd like to eat at a nice restaurant and would even make reservations if necessary. Please help!

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  1. Unfortunately there's really nothing decent in the station (some people like B. Smith's but I'm not among them)

    Much better (esp. on such a nice evening) to walk two blocks down to Bistro Bis or Johnny's Half Shell.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BuckyinDC

      I'll second Johnny's Half Shell. Some of the freshest seafood you'll find downtown. Well worth the reservations.

      A short walk down Mass Avenue, you'll find Cafe Berlin and Bistro Italiano for German and Italian respectively. Good food, reasonably priced, but not in the same league as Johnny's.

      Johnny's Half Shell
      400 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Bistro Italiano
      320 D St Ne, Washington, DC

      Cafe Berlin On Capital Hill
      322 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC

    2. I second Bistro Bis. Excellent food and service. If you or your friend like escargot, it is one of the best items on the menu and always prepared in a unique fashion. Also, they have a macaroni-and-cheese-type side dish which is delicious.

      1. but the setting of the station itself is worth a drink in the main hall. (in fact a decent bloody if it's that time of day)

        1. There isn't a whole lot in the station to write home about, but a very short walk from the station is Bistro Bis which is very good French food. You can make reservations but usually I'm also able to just walk right in and get a table, or sit at the bar (the bar area also has outdoor seating which might be nice if its warm out).

          1. I agree with the earlier posts about Bistro Bis but if you have to eat in the station I would recommend either the Asian Bistro on the second floor for decent noodle dishes or Thunder Grill. Its not great food but its much better than the other options and they have a decent burger and some passable salads

            1. I dunno about food there, but if you want a great, huge martini walk about a block or two to LOUNGE 201 (http://www.lounge201.com/). Have fun!

              1. I like the Center Cafe for its view (if you sit at the upstairs part). The food is nothing to write home about, but it's a nice place for a drink.

                I've had some decent meals at America.

                6 Replies
                1. re: 4X4

                  I have been to America several times and it's not good. if you want a nice meal do not go anywhere in union station. If convenience is more important that feel free to stay there.

                  I second bistro bis and also would remind people about charlie palmer steak. There is a good Indian Restaraunt (Whiet Tiger) and 4rd and Mass like 2 blocks from the station if you are feeling like something more ethnic. the walk to any of these are easy and it is totally worth leaving.

                  1. re: arose

                    America, while not gourmet, is fine; as are the Center Cafe, Thunder Grill and the Station Grill on the first floor and the Pan Asian place (East Street Cafe) on the 2d level. I was never thrilled with B. Smith, especially the service or lack thereof. The White Tiger is mediocre. Bistro Bis and Charlie Palmer are expensive. If you're leaving the Union Station, you can get a fine meal at a reasonable price at Cafe Berlin or 2 Quail. There's also the Capital City Brewing Co.across from the station, which serves bar food and tends to be noisy, and the Dubliner.

                    1. re: skipper

                      I've had the WORST service at Dubliner: our waitress put her friends drinks on OUR tab! I spoke with the manager and was told "the computer doesn't make mistakes."

                      I'll take the bar food next door at Irish Times. Fewer tourists and more local drunkards.

                      1. re: skipper

                        Isn't 2 Quail pretty expensive as well? I've never been, all I know is back in the day it use to be THE romantic spot in town...but that was a long time ago.

                        Cafe Berlin is good.

                        Still the poster didn't say anything about price---therefore I still recommend Bistro Bis being the best bet in the area.

                        1. re: skipper

                          I had forgotten all about Capitol City. That's actually a great suggestion, reasonable, close, and simple good food. plus they have good beer too!

                          however, 2 Quail is also on the pricey side if that's an issue

                          1. re: skipper

                            While the setting is great for a drink, I'm not sure what's "fine" about the Center Cafe. I had something they were trying to pass off as pizza that was appallingly bad--worse than any supermarket brand frozen pizza. I couldn't finish half of it. My friends, who had been hoping for a good meal after eating conference hotel food for two days, had equally bad meals. It was an embarrassment for everyone.