Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Feb 19, 2010 03:39 PM

Cheap eats in Foggy Bottom area?

We're coming to DC in April to do the usual tourist things with our kids, ages 11 and 16, who are fairly adventurous eaters. We'd like to keep our meal budget in the low-moderate range. We'll be there for 6 nights, and are staying at the River Inn at 924 25th St NW. After long days of sightseeing, I imagine we'll want to eat closeby and go back and collapse at the hotel. We've booked a suite for the 4 of us, so we could also do takeout for dinner if there are good takeout spots in the neighborhood.

After perusing the board, I think the following may fit the bill: Sichuan Pavilion, Thai Place, Marshall's Bar & Grill (burgers), Cafe Tu-O-Tu (sandwiches/salads but only open til 7), El Chalan, and Founding Farmers (we'll be there over Easter so I'm thinking maybe this would be a good brunch spot or maybe a dinner). I'm sure there are others, and would love to hear feedback on these places, plus suggestions for others that your wonderful city has to offer in this neighborhood!

Many thanks in advance.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Greek Deli, Vapiano, Nando's Peri-Peri are all near there and great options on the cheaper side.

    1 Reply
    1. re: littlew1ng

      lw1ng I too was going to suggest a gyro or souvlaki from Greek Deli and walk around with it in a pocket, huge and filling and better nibbled slowly as needed IMHO. (I get museum fatigue after a while) go early before the lunch crowd. no place to sit and they close by what 3 or 4?, so on the go food is your best choice anyway.

      1. re: hamster

        Thanks, littlew1ng and hamster. We appreciate the help! Would love to hear more suggestions.

      2. Yee Hwa has Korean barbecue and might be fun for the kids if they haven't tried it before. It doesn't have to be expensive if you keep in mind that portions are big (entrees come with rice and lots of little appetizers) and you don't need to order one per person. Last time I was there, we ordered two meat dishes and a seafood pancake for three people and were stuffed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sweetpotater

          Sweetpotater, thanks! We love Korean BBQ. And, it's perfect with kids - so fun to put it on the grill and check out the different cuts of meat and sometimes exotic veggies. The only complaint we have at our favorite place around here is that we leave reeking of smoke, but it's a small price to pay for the yummy food. :)

        2. I'd also add Tonic @ Quigley's Pharmacy to your list as well as Taj of India at 28th and M St NW. For a quick breakfast, Le Pain Quotidian is near Cafe Tu-O-Tu and open later. Also, it looks like most of your choices are in the West End/Foggy might want to pick a few more options nearer to the touristy stuff so you you don't have to trek all the way back. Also, the bartender at River Inn makes fabulous drinks...once you put the kids to bed go have a night cap!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Flaxen_Vixen

            Flaxen Vixen - Thanks for the great sounding suggestions. I've been wondering about Le Pain Quotidian and have seen it mentioned several times so we'll put that on the list. I agree that we'll probably end up having a few meals also near the touristy stuff, plus we'll be on Pacific time so we're apt to not be out later. Good to know about the River Inn bartender ! We'll be sure to check out those drinks.

          2. Maoz has good felafel - it's about halfway between Dupont and Foggy Bottom, on M St. between 18th and 19th. It's open for dinner as well.
            Mixt is a new gourmet salad place - 19th Street I think. I haven't tried it yet but the menu looks promising. Not sure it's open for dinner but I know its competitor Chopt is, so probably it is too!
            I will second Vapiano, same street as Maoz...Nice pizzas, pasta, salad, and not too formal a setting for the kids.

            For other meal times:
            If you're there at lunchtime, check out Breadline or G Street Foods for really interesting gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, etc.
            Baked and Wired would be fun for a pastry breakfast. They took their coffee seriously and have lots of different baked goods. It's in Georgetown, but closer to the Foggy Bottom edge. Georgetown Cupcake would also be a fun stop for dessert.
            There's also a Trader Joe's in Foggy Bottom, FYI, in case you want a *really* quick takeout dinner.

            3 Replies
            1. re: hamster

              Hamster, thanks so much for all the great tips. We love good falafel. I'm going to bring these lists w/me. I wish I had a better memory of DC geography and various neighborhoods - I haven't really been to DC much since the mid-80s when my sister was a student at Georgetown. I'm sure it's changed a bit since then. :) Good to know about Trader Joe's - looks like it's right down the street, which is nice since we have a "kitchen" and space to eat in the room, but hopefully, we'll be mostly out exploring all your other great suggestions! Thx again.

              1. re: carli

                carli - changed a bit? try a LOT and just in the last 5 or so years, brace yourself.

                1. re: hill food

                  Yep, I know...DC must be radically different now, like most cities in the last 20 yrs. I was totally being facetious. Somehow, although rationally I know it can't be the same, I have to admit that my vision of DC is still somehow tied to my memory of visiting my sister when she was at Georgetown. Also, one night a week, she used to waitress at a place called American that place still around?...many of our nights out in Georgetown were funded by the tips she earned from there.

                  Thanks, all, for the good advice. We're looking forward to exploring. I've lived in NYC area for most my life but am now in San Diego so I'm happy to share advice on where to find good fish tacos and other local goodies if you're ever out this way.

                  All the best,