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Cheap eats near Union Station, National Mall, National Zoo and White House Area

keywestislandgirl Nov 3, 2009 04:47 AM

We are bringing our 15 year old daughter to D.C. on the train from Tampa for Christmas and New Years. We are staying between Union Station and the Captial and looking for quick & inexpensive eatteries either close to our hotel or near the museums, monuments and main attractions - including the National Zoo. Pastries for quick or carryout breakfast, delis and fast food for lunch, pizza, Mexican, or casual dining for evening, maybe even a small grocery near hotel for sandwhich makings or juices. Possibly to Alexandria for fireworks on New Years and a casual restaurant or pizzaria in the area and near a metro stop.

  1. j
    jaydreb Nov 3, 2009 05:31 AM

    Cheap, quick lunches near Union Station/Capitol Hill: Cafe Phillips, Toscana Cafe, Good Stuff Eatery, and Taqueria Nacionale.

    Good Stuff Eatery
    303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaydreb
      keywestislandgirl Nov 13, 2009 07:08 AM

      That's everyone! We are looking forward to visiting D.C. and grabbing some quick, good food
      as we sight see!

    2. ineemeeny Nov 3, 2009 05:34 AM

      I love Sorriso, and it's walking distance from the Zoo. Very accommodating staff, homey feel, delicious and inexpensive Italian food and pizza. Quality ingredients. It's also right next to the Cleveland Park Metro entrance.

      Sorriso Restaurant
      3518 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

      3 Replies
      1. re: ineemeeny
        katecm Nov 3, 2009 09:04 AM

        Sorry, but if you're getting quick pizza by the zoo, you just have to go to Vace, a wonderful Italian market where you buy their excellent pizza by the slice. Find a place to camp out and nosh outside. I'll second Jaydreb's rec of Taqueria Nacionale for near Union Station. Just north of the mall, Teaism is a great place for a light Asian-inspired lunch. There's also the Spy City lunch cart, which sells excellent sliders from Zola, the upscale restaurant connected to the Spy Museum.

        2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        1. re: katecm
          ChristinaMason Nov 4, 2009 05:11 AM

          But is Teaism really a "cheap eat"? I rarely get out of there for under $8-10 for lunch. And it can be hard to find seating during the lunch rush.

          1. re: katecm
            Bob W Nov 13, 2009 07:15 AM

            We love Vace! A zoo visit is not complete without a stop at Vace for pizza to eat on the ride home and for hours thereafter.

        2. ktmoomau Nov 3, 2009 01:39 PM

          In Chinatown or Capitol Hill I like Matchbox for pizza and burgers, pretty reasonable. I also think Cava on Capitol Hill has pretty reasonable prices for fairly large tapas portions.

          In the morning for pasteries there is a Le Pain Quotiden sp? on Capitol Hill and in Union Station there is an Au Bon Pain.

          Up near the National Cathedral is cheap and pretty good tex mex at Cactus Cantina (I like the fajitas I think the chicken is normally nice and moist or the Pechuga de Pollo).

          Zola wine kitchen has been having some $10 lunches. Cowgirl Creamery also has sandwiches and I also highly recommend Potato Valley for filling, but cheap good lunches.

          In Alexandria Mai Thai right on the waterfront is very reasonable. I also really like the Pita House.

          You could pick up some groceries at the Eastern Market, there is also a cheap mexican place right there which has one table, but is mainly carry out. Cafe Mozart, the Greek Deli and Breadline are all more weekday business hour places so I don't know if and when they are open but you might check them out too.

          Mai Thai
          1200 19th St NW, Washington, DC

          Greek Deli
          1120 19th St NW Frnt 1, Washington, DC 20036

          Cafe Mozart
          1331 H St NW Ste A, Washington, DC 20005

          Potato Valley Cafe
          614 E St NW, Washington, DC 20004

          Cactus Cantina
          3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

          2 Replies
          1. re: ktmoomau
            lawhound Nov 4, 2009 06:49 AM

            Cactus Cantina is OK, but isn't Two Amys pizza right next door?

            Two Amys
            3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

            Cactus Cantina
            3300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

            1. re: lawhound
              ktmoomau Nov 4, 2009 07:23 AM

              It is right next door, and I think it is pretty tasty too, although the waits can be out of this world.

              Also across the street Cafe Deluxe is a chain, but I think they have really good food. Their seared tuna sandwich is really good. They also have nice salads and steak frites. And they have very reasonable prices.

              Cafe Deluxe
              3228 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

          2. l
            lawhound Nov 4, 2009 06:48 AM

            In Alexandria, Hard Times Cafe for great chili and cold beer (perfectly suitable for teens or kids as well). Its near the Metro and on the way to the waterfront. Stage Door Deli (also bw Metro and water) used to be good but have not been there for several years.

            1. d
              DCDeb Nov 14, 2009 10:22 AM

              Right on the Hill, just South of the Capitol are 2 cute little places next door to each other that are pretty good. Very convenient because they are close to Capitol, Botanic Gardens, and not far from the Mall.

              They are on 2nd St SE between S C St & S Independence Ave. 2 short blocks from Capitol South Metro station.

              Le Bon Cafe, 210 2nd St SE-- coffee, pastries, dessert
              Pete's Diner, 212 2nd St SE-- traditional dive diner

              1. r
                RLHarrington322 Nov 14, 2009 06:20 PM

                The cafe at the American Indian Museum on the Mall is very good and even has been written up in the Washington Post. G Street Foods near the White House has recently opened and features very reasonably priced international street foods.

                G Street Food
                1706 G St NW, Washington, DC 20006

                2 Replies
                1. re: RLHarrington322
                  daphy Nov 14, 2009 07:58 PM

                  By the White House: Teaism, Breadline, G Street food, Met Cafe... they'd all be around $10/pp for lunch. They're also opening some sort of Indian cafe on Pennsylvania? But, I don't know when.

                  If you want to walk about 1/2 mile north of the White House, there are lots of options near Dupont Circle.

                  1. re: RLHarrington322
                    ChristinaMason Nov 15, 2009 05:30 PM

                    The museum cafe you mention is awful. Way, way over priced and the food just has no soul anymore (if it ever did). I remember it getting good reviews 3 years ago, but that time has passed. What a disappointment.

                  2. h
                    HowChowBlog Nov 15, 2009 04:28 PM

                    I can't picture a hotel between Union Station and the Capitol, but you should check out Sidamo Coffee & Tea if you're in the neighborhood near Union Station. This is a few blocks east through a residential neighborhood. But they have great coffee and food, plus they perform an Ethiopian coffee ceremony at 2 pm on Sundays. It's a little extra event on your trip.

                    This is from the WPost: http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/res...

                    Also -- I completely agree that Taqueria Nacionale, Teaism and the American Indian Museum cafeteria are three great places to eat near the tourist spots.

                    Sidamo Coffee & Tea
                    417 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

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