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recommendations for a family staying near the Smithsonian

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I will be traveling with my not super-adventurous 8 year old daughter and mother and would like some recommendations for good eats close by. We're staying a few blocks from the Smithsonian and are right at a Metro stop. We probably won't need anything too fancy; we'll be doing a lot of touristy stuff but I'd also like to eat well while we're in town. Thanks in advance!

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  1. While I'm not a local, the best option I've found for my kids right ON the Mall is the Mitsitam Cafeteria in the Museum of the American Indian.

    1. From another recent thread:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7329...

      Also note that "the Smithsonian" is a group of museums that span a fairly large area:

      http://www.si.edu/visit/infocenter/ma...

      I'm guessing you're staying near the Smithsonian Castle, but you may want to double check, as if you're staying towards the western edge of that area then there will be a lot more options open to you.

      1. There are two places to eat inside the National Gallery of Art. One is sort of an open, casual cafe near the gift shop, the other is a more formal, table clothes and waiters restaurant. For lunch, the latter is one of the best finds in the city. They have a wonderful buffet with hot and cold items, charcuterie, grilled vegitables, all within the beautifully designed halls of the museum.

        If you cross the mall and head north, you can hit Central, which is on Pennsylvania and 10th (or maybe 11th, I can't recall). The cooking is creative, delicious and satisfying. I'd put it in the $40 per person category, without alcohol/dessert/tip. This is not fancy, per se, but amazing. Their fried chicken is the best I've had in Washington, and their burger and lobster burger are also smash hits in my book.

        Otherwise, hit the Penn Quarter for any of Jose Andres's restaurants, including Jaleo and Oyamel, tapas and Mexican respectively.

        But for non-fussy eaters, I'd go Central for sure.