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Good place to eat near Union Station?

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I work right next to Union Station and would like to know about some good places within a five minute walk or so that I may have overlooked and others can clue me in on. Even within Union Station itself there are possibly places that I walk by every day and have no idea how good they are. So help me out, I need a good lunch now and then to enliven my humdrum daily existence.

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  1. I hope your post turns up a host of new places, but two years working at Union Station has made me think that the only thing outside the ordinary is Cafe Berlin on Mass Ave. At lunch, they serve a great bratwurst sandwich. You get soup and a delicious dollop of potato salad. it is next to a Mexican place.

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: HowChowBlog

      I've found Berlin to be hit or miss - but then I've only been to dinner. sorry, knudeln the size of a softball next to a good piece of schnitzel - if I'd known I would have asked for a spaetzle substitute.

      I want to like it and on occasion I have.

      you have tried Tacqueria Nacionale, right?

      1. re: hill food

        Oh, heavens. I forgot Tacqueria Nacionale. Great lunch. Great fun to carry some tacos out to a park bench. You're completely right about that.

        I'm with you on Berlin for dinner. It's okay. I'm advocating just for the bratwurst sandwich!

        Down below people suggest the handcarved sandwiches at Cafe Philips and the Asian restaurant on the top level of Union Station, which is my favorite in the building. (Bar seats are often available at the Asian place even when there is a line for tables.) Those are top options if you work here, but I don't know if they "enliven my humdrum daily existence."

      2. re: HowChowBlog

        I 2nd Cafe Berlin. Its not amazing but its good for lunch.

        I like the bar at Bistro Bis for lunch.

        Cafe Phillippes (sp?) is good for sandwiches and soups. Although its been awhile since I've been. Personally for sandwiches I also like Corner Bakery and Au Bon Pain (inside Union Station).

        And if you have a slow day and have some time to walk over to the House Side of the Capitol I recommend Le Bon Cafe. I would recommend Sonoma but not for lunch--the 1 time I had lunch there they were soooo slow (not good when you have to get back to the office in an hour).

      3. Johnny's Half Shell has excellent oyster, shrimp po boys.

        I've had good luck with Bistro Italiano. Red check tablecloth Italian. Stick with the pizza and pastas.

        1. I work a couple of blocks from Union Station, and when I go out for lunch (rare these days, since I usually bring a lunch), here are some places I go:

          Au Bon Pain
          Cafe Phillips (great sandwiches - with hand-carved meat, but pricey)
          Sunspot Cafe (I love their Greek Salad Supreme, with lamb or chicken)
          Taqueria Nacionale
          Irish Times

          The liquor store by the firehouse (I think on F and New Jersey) has a little deli upstairs that makes pretty cheap, decent subs.

          Billy Goat Tavern has a pretty bad reputation on Chowhound, but I like their double cheeseburger.

          The food court at Union Station is always too crowded during lunch. There's a nice Asian place (I think it's called E Street Cafe) upstairs.

          1. White Tiger at Mass and 3rd NE has a decent Indian buffet lunch. Food is good, but service can be extra slow.

            1. Art and Soul is pretty good for a sit-down lunch.