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Best Moderately Priced to Cheap Restaurants in Dupont/Logan Circles

I am moving to DC from Philadelphia (was in SF before that). I will be living in Dupont, and will not have a car. I was thinking it'd be great to have a list of restaurants to try when I don't feel like cooking. I know Komi is great, but I'm looking for more everyday-type places. So far I've eaten in the neighborhood at Straits of Malaya, Hank's Oyster Bar, and the cafe at Kramer Books. I only had appetizers as Kramer, but I thought they were mediocre, though not inedible. I was very disappointed with both Straits and Hank's. If there is any great place that delivers to the Dupont area, please share that too!

There isn't a cuisine that I don't like. I just want to hear your area favorites! Thanks!

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Komi
1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

Hank's Oyster Bar
1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

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

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  1. I feel the same as you on Straits of Malaya and Kramerbooks. There is a lot of disappointing food in Dupont, I feel your pain. These are the places I go to when I must eat around Dupont. Not sure how widely you're defining "Logan Circle" - you might want to specify.

    Dupont: Maoz for felafel on M and 19th. Really good, really cheap.
    Penang for Indonesian, same corner. I think the food there is pretty reliable.
    Chopt for gourmet salads - multiple locations.
    Pain Quotidien on P Street - esp. brunch and lunch items.
    Pizzeria Paradiso on P Street - yummy pizza, good beer selection.
    BGR - gourmet burgers, only went once and I think it has potential
    Dolcezza - supremely awesome Argentinian gelato

    Consider Agora and Cafe Green on 17th Street. I've heard good reviews of both, both recently opened, though I haven't had the chance to try either yet. Have not been wowed by my other attempts to eat food on 17th St, except for Mr. Yogato frozen yogurt, which is fine but not my favorite. Has anyone tried the Sacrificial Lamb kabob place that opened in the last 6 months?

    Logan, by the Whole Foods:
    Thaitanic - serviceable Thai on 14th St.
    Sweetgreen - another gourmet salad place on P right across from Whole Foods - good frozen yogurt too.
    Whole Foods - is going to have an expanded salad/hot food bar opening this fall I think? I'm excited since I pass by this place every day.
    Point Chaud - fine, affordable crepes on P St. (but this is getting closer to U St., further from Logan). Nothing amazing, but cheap and good for a casual dinner.
    Bar Pilar - good small plates, higher end of the "moderate" range in my book, on 14th St. and T
    Then you're on U Street - see recent thread: for cheap, check out Pico Taco (cheap tacos, tamales, tortas), DC Noodles (surprisingly good pan-Asian place), Greek Spot (darned tasty American-Greek food, gyros, etc.), Etete (Ethiopian)

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    Etete
    1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    Greek Spot
    2017 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    Pizzeria Paradiso
    3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

    Bar Pilar
    1833 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

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

    Sweetgreen
    3333 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

    U Street Cafe
    1301 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

    2 Replies
    1. re: hamster

      Thank you for your comprehensive reply! I have been to Pain Quotidien in Capitol Hill and really enjoyed it. Same for Maoz but in Philadelphia. Your other recs look good too. Penang and Pizzeria Paradiso sound especially promising.

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      Pizzeria Paradiso
      3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

      1. re: hamster

        Some updates:
        The expanded hot/cold bar at Whole Foods has opened. They now have pizza and calzones, more bakery items, a larger salad bar. They also expanded their seating options and moved it upstairs. I haven't been eating here as much lately.

        Tried Cafe Green about a month ago. Well, I appreciate the slightly lower than usual Dupont prices, though it's not exactly cheap. I had a "mushroom ceviche" which was quite good, and a mac and cheese which was alright but definitely nothing special. They have some raw food entrees which I find intriguing, and I just like that there's a vegetarian restaurant with lots of meat alternatives and stuff. The service was very nice. The atmosphere was quite romantic actually, though I found the smell of the scented candles on the table quite disconcerting and distracting from the food. The manager came up to me and asked me how I'd enjoyed the meal and how I'd heard about the place. Nice guy. I would definitely try it again.

        Finally checked out Sacrificial Lamb tonight. Hmm. The kabobs are not great. I tried both boneless chicken and lamb, and neither had a nice char or had that fresh-from-the-grill feel. The lamb was downright chewy. The naan, on the other hand, was freshly made and pillowy delicious. The spiced rice was fine (lots of cloves to avoid in my serving!), and the chickpeas served on the kabob plate were good, nice texture, nice flavor. When I return I would consider maybe getting naan and one of their other vegetable curries or the butter chicken which everyone else seemed to be ordering. Though my boyfriend thought the place was pretty solid, I don't think kabobs are the draw here. Though I do appreciate their attempt to fill the niche in the neighborhood. I overheard a chatty customer's conversation with one of the workers/owner?, and she said they are actually from Ethiopia. It's nice to have a casual take-out option in the neighborhood. They have minimal seating and some tables outside as well.

      2. I second Maoz for falafel (it isn't nearly as good as Truly Mediterranean in SF however) and Penang for Indonesian. Malaysia Kopitiam, an old standard, is near those two as well. The Greek Deli is great for take-out lunches during the week. I like Singapore Bistro. Rogue States does a pretty good burger (I think their bun is a bit weird though) - I prefer BGR for burgers in that neighborhood. Dolcezza does great gelato - also good for gelato is Pitango, across the street from the Whole Foods at 14th and P. Neither gelato place is a bargain though. Pizza Paradiso does one of the better pizzas in town.

        Further afield on U St. you'll find Oohs and Aahs - excellent soul food. A meat and two sides there is definitely enough for two meals. Etete and Dukem for Ethiopian (Queen Makeda also has fans - I have yet to try it). I like DC Noodles, but it's overpriced for what you get. ("Overpriced for what you get" is an oft-encountered theme here.)

        There are also lots of restaurants -- good ones -- on 14th St. from P to U. None of them are in the bargain category although Masa 14 has good happy hour specials.

        Eventually I think you'll want to take the red line out to Wheaton, where you'll find some great stuff at very reasonable prices. Ruan Thai is the best place to start.

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        Etete
        1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        Ruan Thai Restaurant
        11407 Amherst Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

        Greek Deli
        1120 19th St NW Frnt 1, Washington, DC 20036

        Malaysia Kopitiam
        1827 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

        Singapore Bistro
        1134 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

        Masa 14
        1825 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

        3 Replies
        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          I never made it to truly Mediterranean in SF, but I do have a favorite in Philly, Mama's Falafel. I've been to Maoz in Philly too, and liked it a lot. I loved all their condiments and probably would have gone there more often if it had been closer to my apartment.

          I'm definitely going to have to check out Malaysia Kopitiam, Greek Deli, and Singapore Bistro. Do you think there are any specific dishes that are better than the rest?

          Thanks for the Ruan Thai rec. My boyfriend and I love Thai food, and although we found a take-out Thai place in Philadelphia that is pretty good, we have been overall disappointed with the Thai food here. It's great to know there is a promising place accessible by public transportation. We have been to Thai X-ing too, and liked it a lot, but it's such a production to go there, with ordering your food the day before, and all.

          I'm looking forward to Oohs and Aahs too! Mmm collared greens!

          -----
          Ruan Thai Restaurant
          11407 Amherst Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20902

          Greek Deli
          1120 19th St NW Frnt 1, Washington, DC 20036

          Malaysia Kopitiam
          1827 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

          Singapore Bistro
          1134 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

          1. re: megmosa

            It's good you never made it to TM in SF so you won't be making the comparison. In a similar vein, I hope you never had a bahn mi at Saigon Sandwiches either! :-)

            Singapore Bistro: Asian noodle dishes, e.g. Malaysia Curry Laksa
            Greek Deli: avgolemono soup, served with a big slice of bread
            Malaysia Kopitiam: Singapore noodles is my fallback position

            Wheaton: Nava Thai is nearly as good as Ruan Thai (some people would say it's better). Also I love the pupusas as Irene's Pupusas. I have yet to try it, but there have been raves about the falafel at Max's (it's closed Fri. afternoon and Sat.)

            I agree completely about Thai X-ing (good food, big production).

            Except for Thai X-ing, I have never had Thai food in the district that I liked - I've given up trying. When the urge hits, I head to Wheaton! There is also good Thai food in the VA suburbs, but for me, it's much more difficult to get to (I don't have a car either.)

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            Nava Thai Restaurant
            11315 Fern St, Silver Spring, MD 20902

            Irene's Pupusas
            2218 University Blvd E, Hyattsville, MD 20783

          2. re: woodleyparkhound

            Totally agree on Wheaton Thai, I love Nava Thai so much. Haven't tried Ruan yet.

            Yes, DC Noodles is over $10/dish for simple noodle dishes, but there's nowhere for Asian food in the hood (I do not like Great Wall's Chinese at all) so I go there pretty often. I think they have genuine dedication to producing good food, which is sorely lacking in many DC spots which charge equal or higher prices.

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            Nava Thai Restaurant
            11315 Fern St, Silver Spring, MD 20902

          3. I forgot to mention Zorba's Cafe at Dupont Circle. Casual (you order at the counter), tasty, reasonably-priced Greek food.

            1. I think we live on the other side of Dupont, I think, than most of what's been recommended but we actually like Straits of Malaya.

              Also, Locolat Cafe is lovely, especially outside. El Tamarindo is ALWAYS busy (never been, BF doesn't like latin food). We go to Rosemary's Thyme often, which while not fantastic is inexpensive and reliable - especially for their salads. Pizzaria Paradiso is very good (P Street). I LOVE Sweet Green (there's one on CT ave next to BGR) but it is expensive for what you get. However, I enjoy the salads - I sometimes buy two and take one to work.

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              Locolat Cafe
              1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

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

              El Tamarindo
              1785 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

              Pizzaria Paradiso
              3282 M St NW, Georgetown, DC 20007

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jeserf

                What do you get from Straits of Malaya?

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

                1. re: megmosa

                  we usually get rojack and the veggie curry dish (#10 I think?) which is just really a simple veggie curry, always tastes good to me.

                  I like DC noodles better because I love the pumpkin curry with spinach noodles and tofu, but we don't go often to either.

              2. SIchuan specialties at The Great Wall. Very limited choices. Mapo tofu, wontons in red hot sauce, twice cooked pork (not in the Sichuan section, but good), and they always seem to have baby bok choy sauteed with garlic (not on the menu, but just ask. They are perfect here.)