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Aug 31, 2010 02:18 PM

Best breakfast, lunch, and dinner in DC

I'm visiting DC and I have one day by myself where the only thing on my agenda is to visit the must-eat restaurants of the city.

So where are the unique, hometown places that a tourist like me needs to try for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Dessert places would be good to know as well.

Please keep in mind it has to be in DC, because I won't have a car and will rely on the metro for getting around. Also, I'm kind of poor, so lets not get too fancy. Haha. And it's going to be a Thursday if it makes any difference...

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Edited completely for budget:

    Breakfast: I still think Blue Duck Tavern might work.

    Lunch: Splurge on a nicer restaurant for lunch so it is cheaper Rasika might still work. Also Proof has a great lunch deal at the bar.

    Dinner: CityZen has a good bar deal. If that is too much you might try a Pre-Theater menu, I know Rasika and Tosca have them. Or go to Palena Cafe or perhaps maybe Central (they have huge portions).

    Dessert: Co Co Sala, Central

    If these are too much let me know and will edit down for budget.

    CityZen Restaurant
    1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

    3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

    Rasika Restaurant
    633 D Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

    3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

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

    Co Co Sala
    929 F street NW, Washington, DC 20004

    Blue Duck Tavern
    1201 24th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

    3 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      As I mentioned in the first post, I'm kind of poor, so cheaper places would be better. I actually prefer the hole-in-the-wall type places that really personify what the city is about. I should have been more specific in the original post. Sorry about that.

      Thank you for the suggestions. I will definitely keep those in mind.

      1. re: BMD

        Just a note, Washington doesn't really have the kind of ethnic neighborhoods that many other cities have, so we probably don't have as many of the really cheap, hole in the wall type-- yet well known to chowhounds -- joints you're looking for. If we do have such neighborhoods, they're mainly asian or latino and out in the burbs/non-Metro-accessible neighborhoods. So I would listen to the suggestions from these fine hounds.

        1. re: Bob W

          Hey now! Don't discount Little Ethiopia!

    2. Breakfast: Taqueria Nacional, near Union Station. Breakfast burritos!

      Lunch: crab cake sandwich at the counter at CF Folks:

      For dinner, it's tough. But IF you're still hungry, I think one of the best things about DC's food scene is Jose Andres. So go to Penn Quarter and choose between Jaleo, Zaytinya and Oyamel, depending on whether you want tapas, mezze, or tacos. Thanks to the small places, you can eat (and spend) as much or as little as you want. Then, for dessert, you can go to Red Velvet (cupcakes), FroZenYo (mix and match frozen yogurt and toppings), or CoCo Sala (upscale desserts), all within a short walk.

      701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Taqueria Nacional
      400 N Capitol St NW, Washington, DC

      1 Reply
      1. re: katecm

        Sounds great! No better way to start the day than with a breakfast burrito!

      2. Oohhs and Aahhs is a soul food place featuring Coastal Carolina cooking. A true hole-in-the-wall. Prices not as cheap as the place looks, though. Go for the grilled shrimp, broiled crabcake, or the lemon pepper wings. Greens and rice with gravy for sides.

        Nearby, is Queen Makeda for Ethiopian food. Ask for mama in the kitchen and ask her what's best that day. I like the red lentils, the tibs wat, carrots...ask about vegetables.

        Jaleo for Spanish tapas. Get the patatas bravas and the spinach with raisins. other good choices are the tortilla al momento, the salad with beets and citrus, the mushrooms with garlic, and the eggplant, red peppers, and onion dish. Two of these for $13, three for about $20.

        Queen Makeda
        1917 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        2 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          Thanks for the meal suggestions! Very helpful since I'll only be able to go to these places once and this type of food is right up my alley.

          1. re: BMD

            Hi -- can't resist adding -- I think I'd add Market Lunch at Eastern Market for breakfast or lunch -- and definitely Queen Makeda for dinner, based on how you describe what you're looking for. I think both of those may be closed on Mondays, just in case, but I'm not sure.

            Queen Makeda
            1917 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

            Market Lunch
            225 7th St SE Ste 12, Washington, DC 20003