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wheres the food at in DC?

i just moved from LA and i grew up east of LA when i was a kid, but honestly where is the food at in DC? are there any privately owned burger places. i been to five guys back in CA so just looking for something new. also 24 hour things? mainly im looking for places to eat that arent restaurants with waiters and all that. any place real unique to dc. i been to bens but its like tommys back home so it wasnt the new experience i wanted.

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  1. I highly recommend that you read this board and search since your request is so broad.

    Some links to get you started:


    1. It is much easier to find good restaurants with waiters and all that. It would help if you'd say what neighborhood/suburb you're in.

      1. Never a waiter:

        In the same neighborhood as Ben's is Oohhs and Aahhs, a coastal carolina soul food joint. 4 stools in front of a tiny kitchen. Not as cheap as it looks. Go for the grilled shrimp, the broiled crabcake and the lemon pepper wings. Greens ans rice with gravy as sides.

        Pimento Grill, East of the River, has great oxtail brown stew and chicken curry. Cabbage adn rice with peas fpr sides. Jamaican place. They also make great drinks like carrot lime juice.

        Taqueria El Charrito Caminante in Arlington for the goat tacos.

        In Falls Church, Song Que in Eden Center for great Banh Mi, and they have seats to eat in.

        Order at the counter at Joes' Noodle House in Rockville. Wontons in red hot sauce.

        Good Stuff Eatery for the toasted marshmallow milkshake. The sunnyside burger - with egg and bacon - is very good.

        That should get you started.

        Eden Center
        Falls Church, VA, USA, Falls Church, VA

        El Charrito Caminante
        2710 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

        Good Stuff Eatery
        303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

        Pimento Grill Restaurant
        4405 Bowen Rd SE, Washington, DC 20019

        1. Theres a 24-hr, hole in the wall, but extremely yummy, kabob joint, Kabob Palace.

          Kabob Palace
          2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

          Kabob Palace
          2315 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202

          1 Reply
          1. re: mymomisthebestcook

            For locally owned burger joints, Urban Burger MD and Ray's Hell Burger in VA.

            Ray's Hell Burger
            1713 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209

          2. I know what you mean. LA has about four non-chain burger joints per block and an equal number of donut shops and taquerias. Lots of decent diners and places like Hoff's Hut that are informal, but have good food. Well, this ain't LA. Welcome to DC. Inside the Beltway, it's $12 burgers, $20 breakfasts, $10 drafts. There are a few here, but you gotta dig for 'em.

            1. I think Rogue States (gourmet burgers) near Dupont is open very late.

              Not sure about the hours for these places, but these are some of my favorite casual spots in DC proper:
              Taylor Gourmet for good sandwiches, either Mount Vernon Square or H Street locations.

              Dangerously Delicious Pies - pricey but good. Also H St.

              Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill.

              Breadline or G Street Foods at lunch time, near the White House.

              Felafel from Maoz (south of Dupont on M and 19th) or Old City Cafe (Columbia Rd. in Adams Morgan).

              Maybe try the new Empanadas place on P St. near Dupont.

              Florida Avenue Grill for diner food, DC institution. Late hours I believe.

              There are some Caribbean places around the city, though I'm no expert. Negril, Tropicana, are a few that come to mind.

              Florida Avenue Grill
              1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

              Dangerously Delicious Pies
              1036 Light St, Baltimore, MD

              Taylor Gourmet
              1116 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

              Good Stuff Eatery
              303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

              Old City Cafe
              1773 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009

              G Street Food
              1706 G St NW, Washington, DC 20006

              1. thanks all for the suggestions, much appreciated. i tried good stuff, it was good haha. i liked their shakes and their mayo varieties.

                7 Replies
                1. re: raekwonthechef

                  What else have you had? Whattya still looking for - or are interested in?

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    good shaved ice, Hawaiian bbq and donuts. dunkin donuts seems to have a monopoly on the donut game. i dont really like dunkin donuts. can you help with this random list.

                    1. re: raekwonthechef

                      Can't help you with any of that, sorry. Just like Texas BBQ, NY pizza, and um.....

                      1. re: raekwonthechef

                        I can't think of a Hawaiian BBQ/plate lunch place in the area like they have in LA. Probably too far from Hawaii. But then I've tried a couple around LA and didn't find them very exciting. Some bakeries have better donuts, but you're right, except for someone's favorite hole-in-the-wall bakery, Dunkin is the usual source for donuts, and there really aren't all that many of them around here. We used to have a Fractured Prune (fresh donuts made while you wait) in Fairfax, but that's gone - actually replaced by a better Thai restaurant than Prune was a donut shop.

                        You're in DC now, so forget LA foods and learn to eat like a native.

                        1. re: raekwonthechef

                          Baltimore has shaved ice stands everywhere. Forget the Hawaiian bbq and check out the pit beef. Notta lotta donuts, neither.

                          1. re: raekwonthechef

                            Slice n Dice, in Crystal City, for donuts.

                        2. re: raekwonthechef

                          Where are you and how far do you want to travel? Do you have a car? That would help narrow it down.

                          What kind of shaved ice? There is plenty of bing soo here, one place does Taiwanese shaved ice that I can think of. Donuts are a sore spot, hard to find a good place. I have not seen any Hawaiian barbecue places here.

                        3. And for heaven's sake don't overlook Roy's Place in Gaithersburg, one of the greatest sandwich joints in the world.

                          Roy's Place
                          2 E Diamond Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

                          1. 24 hours places in dc:

                            Steak and egg: chesapeake and wisconsin, NW
                            The Diner: 18th st. Adams Morgan
                            American City Diner: Connecticut Ave and Fessenden or Garrison st or one of those.
                            Georgetown Cafe: Wisconsin and P
                            Not quite 24hr, but they are open late and will sell beer after last call: Jackey Cafe, 7th
                            and H

                            I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of them.

                            American City Diner
                            5532 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015

                            Jackey Cafe
                            611 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001