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Jun 3, 2010 06:48 PM

Inexpensive Anniversary Dinner in DC

My husband and I are celebrating our one year anniversary in DC. We are staying at the Renaissance M Street (on New Hampshire Ave NW) and would like a suggestion for a relatively inexpensive place for a special dinner (if such a place exists). We love all types of ethnic food- Indian, Thai, Japanese, Greek, Vietnamese, etc. and especially love local, organic healthy food but we are really open to anything so long as there will be some entree options under $20 and a nice atmosphere. I think if it were up to my husband, we would go to Four Sisters but I'd prefer something a little more "special" for our anniversary. Outdoor seating would be nice and we'd like to be within a short cab ride or walk from our hotel. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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  1. this is a bit over your desired price point, but it fits most of your other criteria, ie location, outdoor seating, nice atmosphere, local sourcing.

    maybe happy hour snacks and dinner elsewhere or a meal comprised of shared apps and sides and charcuterie

    1. I don't know how the timing would work out but I have an inexpensive suggestion for an adventurous "ethnic" food fan. It's not "anniversary" style because it's the hole-in-the-wall of all hole in the walls: Sumah's. It's a great west African restaurant with a couple of tables that caters mostly to folks from western African nations who live in DC. If you like HOT food the pepper soup is amazing. And getting fish in the peanut butter sauce with fufu is a huge and potent entree. But it's NOT anything close to fancy. Just completely delicious and addictive.

      I don't know where you're from but if you want to have a meal you'll be talking about when you go home, that's a good one.

      Also on nearby 9th street there are a lot of Ethiopian restaurants, which is another amazing cuisine that you might be familiar with. Etete is a popular one and is pretty nice inside.

      According to Google it's about an 8 minute car ride. The neighborhood is a bit off the beaten path for tourists but the food is great.

      1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      1. bangkok 54 is a great thai place in arlington on columbia pike and it has quite a nice date-night atmosphere and is within your budget. the geographics aren't exactly in your favor but the cab ride isn't too long from where you are.

        i also think bistro d'oc is cheap and romantic, however it still might be over $20 per entree. A great option would be Cava in eastern market...nice atmosphere and spectacular greek mezze.

        1 Reply
        1. re: littlew1ng

          The rooftop patio of Straits of Malaya near Dupont Circle is romantic and it's not expensive. I also thought the newish Cacao Bistro near Union Station was romantic, especially if you get a table along the wall. Definitely in your price range. Regent Thai can seem romantic at night, with the fountain gurgling. And speaking of fountains, Little Fountain Cafe in Adams Morgan is quite romantic.

          Little Fountain Cafe
          2339 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

          Straits of Malaya
          1836 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

        2. What about Palena Cafe? Not quite close, but... Or perhaps Regent Thai?

          3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

          1. Himalayan Heritage is an affordable Indian place with quite a cozy atmosphere in Adams Morgan. It doesn't at all feel like a hole in the wall, but the prices are still quite low.
            You might also consider Mama Ayesha's for Lebanese, between Adams Morgan and Woodley Park. It has nice decorations and a slightly upscale feel to it, but not too much.
            Domku is also a really cool atmosphere. Slavic/Scandinavian food. It would be a longer cab ride though. But apparently they do have outdoor seating.

            The other places don't have outdoor seating though...maybe Skewers on P St. Relatively average Middle Eastern food, and they have a terrace. Beware they often have belly dancing.

            Domku Bar & Cafe
            821 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011

            Himalayan Heritage
            2305 18th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20009