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Lunch by the museums?

Planning to visit last weeknd in March with 3 kids (7-10 year olds) and looking for a place for us to eat while visiting the museums. Total size of group will be 8 people so need a place that can hold us all. Any suggestions welcomed.

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  1. http://www.nga.gov/ginfo/cafes.shtm#g...

    there's a thread downstream about this. I've eaten at his other place and for the price this is a good deal.

    this topic comes up a lot, try a search using the term Penn quarter or gallery place

    2 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      Thank you! I been searching using the word museum and was not getting much luck.

      1. re: ammel_99

        some threads have used 'smithsonian' in the title or 'the mall' which might also help.

        you'll find there aren't many choices on the South side of that part of town

    2. Mitsitam at the American Indian Museum is another good possibility.

      1. Mitsisam at the Am. Indian museum.
        The recently renovated Natural History museum has a decent cafe.
        Tonic in foggy bottom is great... everything from burgers to pasta. It is within walking distance from the Vietnam Memorial and the Lincoln memorial.
        Teaism is informal and yummy.

        1. just so you know, the museum buffets are quite pricy for what you get (at least i'm thinking of the national gallery of art's buffet -- salad bar). there are of course some reasonably-priced fixed price dishes available. on the whole, they're pricy but convenient. the national gallery has the broadest selection.

          there is also a long wait in those lines -- i found at the american indian museum it moved at a glacial pace. the air & space cafeteria is a little better. try to go early before a lunch rush.

          maybe you can get other recommendations for proper restaurants that could accommodate eight easily, and be family-friendly.

          here is a handy reference to mall/museum eateries, and some somewhat nearby, like union station: http://dc.about.com/od/restaurants/a/...

          overall, i think it is best just to eat at the museum (recommend the variety at national gallery of art) and pay the price for the convenience, plus, you can't miss the ultra-cool special light show installation in the underground corridor between the west and east galleries -- computer-lighted and totally mesmerizing. plus, at the nga, you can eat by the waterfall fountain wall, and it helps to soothe the weary tourist nerves. it is the cascade café: http://www.nga.gov/pdf/cascadecafe_me...

          right now, if you want something special, with a special à la carte menu from the famous michel richard -- or a pricier buffet -- there is the limited run of this special menu at the garden café: http://www.nga.gov/pdf/dale-menu.pdf
          this would be a special treat -- very memorable in itself. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/683810

          1. I second anchor's vote for Teaism - it's near the National Gallery of Art / Archives Metro. Good variety of wonderful teas, interesting menu and fabulous salty oat cookies.

            Teaism Penn Quarter
            400 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

            1 Reply
            1. Also note you aren't too far of a walk from Capitol Hill or Penn Quarter/Chinatown.

              I know people recommend Ella's pizza as very friendly to kids. I also see many at Jaleo, Nando's Peri Peri, California Tortilla and on Captiol Hill at Good Stuff Eatery or Monmartre. there is also a cafe in the Newseum building that is good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ktmoomau

                I would definitely second Ella's pizza- there are always kids there when we go, and they're usually kept well-entertained by crayons and the sight of ovens in the kitchen. I happen to think their salads and pizzas are pretty great (not, you know, upper echelon, I had this in Rome type delusions, but they're pretty great.) The dessert menu usually has charming things. It's basically right across from the National Portrait Gallery/Museum of American Art, and near Metro lines.