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Nov 3, 2009 02:57 PM

Ideas for DC food tour?

I went on a food tour in Chicago this weekend. The tour guide took us to six different restaurants (a hot dog restaurant, a hot chocolate place, a gourmet grocery store that served pasta and similar dishes, a pizza place, a falafel place, and an ice cream place). Some of the places were historic, some were interesting and innovative, and all of them were great but inexpensive. At each, we had a small amount of food (a single hot dog or slice of pizza, for example) before moving on.

Does DC have anything similar? I have some friends coming into town next month and would like to put something together for them if it doesn't already exist. What places would you guys recommend for something like that? We don't mind walking, but won't have access to a car, and won't want to leave the District. We'll have a whole weekend, so we can do two separate legs if that makes the most sense.


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  1. I don't know about the rest, but I'd start with breakfast and the blue bucks (blueberry buckwheat pancakes) at Eastern Market

    1. Well you should leave the district for Ray's Hell Burger, but it's not far at all. Manhattan to Harlem - and less.

      The general: Go by Ben's Chili Bowl and take a pic in front of it, then go to Oohs and Aahs for a bit.

      Ethiopian is a highlight of DC, though personally I'm not overly knowledgable on it.

      Vietnamese or Central/South American, but that usually gets into out-of-District options.

      I'd hit Johnny's on the Half Shell for their wood-fired wings and some sort of seafood small plate.


      Tune Inn for drinks.

      The wharf for mediocre but decent enough fried clams or something.

      Something (but not the crabcake anymore) at CF Folks (lunch on weekdays only).

      Brickskeller just for a few beers.

      Peruvian Chicken (again might be a foray into Arlington or Wheaton).

      480 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20004

      Ben's Chili Bowl
      1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

      Tune Inn
      331 Penn SE, Washington, DC

      1523 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20037

      1. I'm pretty sure that Washington Walks -- a local walking tour company -- does a food tour like this (if not them, then it's a different company; I know they offer it for WalkingTownDC). I haven't been on it, but I've been on other of their tours that have been great. I suspect the tour guide is not a big chowhound, but it would be worth checking out, as they know how how to do good tours, at least. I know winter is downtime for the tour guide business, so you might need to schedule a personal tour, instead of joining one that's already scheduled. [I'm having trouble with their website (getting a malware warning, which doesn't make sense, but I don't want to send you there in case) so can't confirm, but you could give them a call.)

        1. I found this in a google search:

          I can't personally vouch, but it looks like it could be good. I might even do it myself...

          1. There are tours of the Eastern Market food scene. I'm actually going on one this Sunday so I'll let you know how it goes.

            The same company has a tour of Ethiopian food as well, which could be cool.

            I also recieved an email from the Smithsonian about various food tours coming up:
            Barracks Row:

            Adams Morgan:

            5 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa

              Hi, I just wanted to put my 2 cents in on this one. I know DC Metro Food Tours, and went on their eastern market food tour a few weeks ago with the b/f. We absolutely loved it, and are planning on taking the LIttle Ethiopia Food Tour soon as well. I think you will have a great time ;) can't wait to hear what you think.

              1. re: jillo378

                Oh I'm so happy to hear that! I'm going with a friend on Sunday and am really excited. I've never been on a food tour.

                1. re: Elyssa

                  I went on the Eastern Market food tour yesterday afternoon and had a blast. I learned so much about the history of the vendors and hidden treats (I didn't even think to get kimchee for the Korean vegetable vendor). Definitely make sure to eat a light lunch beforehand because you fill up on all the little samples. I highly recommend it and am now interested in some of the other tours they host--I believe a tour of Old Town and a tour of Little Ethiopia.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    So awesome to hear!!! We loved the kimchee too. Who would have thought that you could even get that at the Eastern Market? My personal fav. was the empanada and ofcourse the dessert at the end. I'm so glad there are things to do like this in DC. Let me know what you think of Little Ethiopia or Old Town unless I beat you to it. Oh and I believe there is the Capitol Hill one too!

                    1. re: jillo378

                      My favorite was that amazing homemade baklava! Yum!