Looking for interesting/non-touristy places to eat in D.C.
Hello: I have barely spent any time in D.C. ever and am bringing my 12yo son for the first time next week. Aside from the typical tourist stuff I'm curious to know what else there is see and where to eat.
I tend to like stuff off the beaten path, good ethnic/vegetarian food is a big one with me and food that is unique to a certain place. I was in Georgetown a few years ago and found it incredibly boring. There's plenty of nice streets with chain stores in Philly, didn't need a special trip for that.
We'll be staying at the big Marriott hotel next to Wardman Park and will be traveling by metro so any suggestions are appreciated.
Is this place I found called the Palace of Wonders worth seeing?
Is Adams Morgan worth going to, I know to avoid it on the weekends if you don't want to be around drunken college kids.
Thanks for your help
You might try Indique for Indian and Mama Asheya's for Lebanese. On the hill you might try Cava, Monmartre and I have heard Good Stuff Eatery has a good veggie burger. Jaleo in Penn Quarter and Zaytinya have good veggie options, although not off the beaten path. Nando's Peri Peri isn't vegetarian, but it isn't normal and is tasty.
Or some Chinese, although there isn't much left in Chinatown.
I doubt they let kids into Palace of Wonders.
No reason to avoid Adams Morgan. But if you are not going to one of the restaurants/ bars, then maybe no reason for you to go, though there is one art gallery/ theatre to go to called DCAC.
Oohhs and Aahhs is a soul food joint right across the street from an entrance to the U St/ Cardozo Metro Stop at 10th and U Sts., NW Four stools in front of a tiny kitchen plus a room upstairs. Go there for the grilled shrimp, the lemon pepper wings, and the broiled crabcake. Greens and rice with gravy for sides.
If you really want to get fof the beaten path, then just a few blocks down from that is Thai X-ing at 515 Floridsa Ave., NW They open at 4pm, and there are only a couple of tables. More like eating at someone's home than a restaurant. Go for the red curry salmon, tofu soup, and the pad kana.
Adams Morgan is pretty boring. I recommend you walk around the U Street area instead. Check out excellent Ethiopian food at Etete (9th St) or one of the many others in "Little Ethiopia." Busboys and Poets is a fun spot for a drink or coffee, though the food is not recommendable. I brought my mother there to give her a nice view into this unique neighborhood.
You could also check out Mount Pleasant and see a Latino neighborhood and pick up some pupusas. It's not a big area, but it's certainly fun to walk around a bit.
I just went to Palace of Wonders for the first time a few weeks ago. If you can get to their cabaret/circus show, it's definitely quite a spectacle. Not appropriate for a 12 year old though. That neighborhood (generally referred to as "H Street") is pretty rough, and the attractions are mostly bars and nightlife. There are excellent sandwiches at Taylor Gourmet, but coming from Philadelphia these wouldn't be too special for you. (The owners are Philadelphia natives trying to recreate sandwiches from home.)
But speaking of that area, going to Eastern Market would be fun. You could eat from one of the stalls, or at the nearby Barracks Row area. I've heard good things about Cava and have been wanting to head over there.
I second the recommendation to get Ethiopian - I haven't been to Etete, but I have been to Dukem many times and I love it. It's at 12th and U, just near the U Street/Cardozo metro. Ben's Chili bowl (also on U Street, near the metro) is a DC institution and could be a fun stop, though don't try going late on a Friday night; the line could be out the door. They do have veggie burgers, veggie chili and the like, so even if you're not a big meat fan you can grab something there.