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Foodie Family staying in DuPont Circle...need fave spots!

My husband, and 2 kids (14 and 11 who LOVE to eat!) are coming to DC in early March to be tourists but would love to have great spots to eat at...please help!! We love ethnic, burgers, anything and everything. thanks...

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  1. We just had dinner at Estadio last night and everything was phenomenal! It is a small plates restaurant, and can be a bit pricey, so check the menu to make sure it is what you're looking for. My husband is a chef, so we are quite critical of DC Restaurants but had nothing but positive things to say for Estadio. Space is small, but comfy. Lots of options for the more adventurous (foie gras mousse, sweatbreads) and some options for the less adventurous (spice grilled chicken, tortilla espanola). Everything was 100% delicious!

    1. My favorite place when I lived in Dupont Circle (I left in 1999) was Obelisk, on P Street west of the Circle. http://maps.google.com/maps/place?oe=...

      It's expensive. It's prix fixe (or used to be). And it continues to get good reviews in the internet age: http://www.yelp.com/biz/obelisk-washi...

      1. Cheap and very delicious:

        Papusas, tamales, and carne deshilada (with egg) at El Rinconcito at 11th and M Sts., NW Salvadoran.

        Peri Peri chicken - order the quarter dark spicy at Nando's Peri-Peri, near 7th and H Sts. Mozambiquan.

        Duck stuffed with shrimp paste and oyster and ginger casserloe at Kull Kee (Cantonese)

        Breadline, sandwich shop near the White House. Midweek lunch only. Italian Sausage Sandwich, felafel, egg salad sandwich.

        Toasted marshmallow milkshake at Good Stuff Eatery, a humburger shop on Capitol Hill. Next door at We the Pizza don't miss the homemade sodas, sour cherry or vietnamese coffee (with an extra shot).

        If you want to get fancier, then go hit Central Michel Richard for innovative combination of French and casual American cuisines. Food is very rich here, so go easy on the ordering. They have charcuterie, burgers, and everything in between. Banana Split dessert is meant to share, but you won't want to.

        Central Michel Richard
        1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004

        Nando's Peri-Peri
        819 7th St NW, Washington, DC

        Good Stuff Eatery
        303 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC

        Rinconcito Cafe
        1129 11th St NW Ste Lowr, Washington, DC 20001

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve

          And their "faux gras" is one of the best things I've EVER eaten.

        2. Within walking distance of the Circle:
          Tabard Inn (book soon if you want to have brunch, also a good place for breakfast)
          Pizzeria Paradisio
          Bombay Club

          2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

          Bombay Club
          815 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20006

          1320 19th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036

          Tabard Inn
          1739 N St NW, Washington, DC 20036

          1 Reply
          1. re: nytdct

            Mourayos for Greek

            1732 Connecticut Ave NW Ste 100, Washington, DC 20009

          2. Bistro du coin for french/belgian bistro food. go to the website and look at the menu and you will go there. on the circle.

            Pizza Paradisso on P street 1/2 block west of the circle for wood burning stove gourmet pizza's.

            Penns Quarter/ Chinatown is easily and safely a 5 minute subway ride away. Take the red line metro from dupont circle towards Silver Spring and exit at Chinatown/Gallery Place. good choices there include 1. Zayania (greek/ middle east small plates) 2. Jaleo (excellent tapas)
            3. Matchbox: gastropub with very good sliders with onion rings, wood burning stove gourmet pizzas and more 4. Acadiana: Cajun 5. Sunday latin tapas brunch at Cafe Atlantico 6. Eat First- get the clams in black bean sauce, XO shrimp, roasted duck and roasted pork, hongkong style wonton soup with noodles and shrimp dumplings, clay pot chicken with ginger and mushrooms, the best lo mein anywhere. alternative with much of the same is the Chinatown Express. 7. Philly style subs at Taylor Gourmet

            Cafe Atlantico
            405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

            Eat First Restaurant
            609 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

            Taylor Gourmet
            1116 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

            Chinatown Express
            126 Carroll Island Rd, Baltimore, MD 21220

            901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001

            2 Replies
              1. re: chicken kabob

                Coco Sala-near Penn Quarter. Several dessert tasting menus, specializing in chocolate, and small plates for dinner (i.e mac & cheese w/ choc. covered bacon.)

            1. Check out the new Afghan kabob place on P Street. Yum, great value, and also cheaper options for the kids.

              I like Pizzeria Paradiso a lot for gourmet pizza, as well as Maoz felafel for a cheap lunch (great felafel with all-you-can-eat toppings bar).

              Tangysweet is a good frozen yogurt spot, and they recently changed their pricing so it's $3.30 (IIRC) for a small plus $1.50 for unlimited toppings. (Before you had to pay per topping.) Good quality yogurt and nice toppings selection.

              For a healthy lunch, Sweetgreen is one of those design-your-own salad places. Good for a healthy and casual option.

              I don't recommend it particularly for the food, but Teaism is good for tea and it is a nice spot to sit on the second floor. They have some nice pastries as well.

              Those are my top selections for the Dupont area, where I spend quite a lot of time.

              2009 R St NW, Washington, DC 20009

              Pizzeria Paradiso
              3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

              3333 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

              1. Dupont Circle is on the Metro red line - so you are also easy metro trip from a number of other options (depenidng on which hotel Woodley may also be an easy walk)

                One metro stop north @ Woodley Park - Lebanese Taverna, Afghan Grill and New Heights (though this one is on the pricey side)

                Two metro stops north @ Cleveland Park - Indique, Dino

                Four metro stops north @ Tenleytown - Masala Art, Neisha Thai

                New Heights Restaurant
                2317 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008

                Afghan Grill
                2309 Calvert St NW 3, Washington, DC 20008

                3512 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008

                Masala Art
                4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

                5 Replies
                1. re: nytdct

                  Second Masala Art - it is worth the metro ride for sure!! I finally ate there around Christmas time and was extremely impressed. Very complex flavors and large portions.

                  Masala Art
                  4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

                  1. re: hamster

                    Masala Art is great but it's not worth a metro ride over Heritage India, IMO. Maybe occasionally if you go to Heritage a lot, LOL. BTW, I highly, highly recommend Sacrificial Lamb in Dupont. Indo/Pak casual food (naan wraps/kabobs/etc.) and they have the best butter chicken in the city and the naan and basmati rice is as good as any Indian restaurant in DC.

                    1. re: masonuc

                      I really disagree, actually. I have been disappointed at Heritage several times and find it extremely fussy and uncomfortable. Masala Art offers a much better package IMO.

                      I also tried Sacrificial Lamb once and was quite disappointed by the kabob. Most people were ordering the butter chicken, so I guess that's the way to go. The meat quality on the kabob was not good, and I was very turned off by their providing these really old shakers of parmesan cheese??? Strange. Kabob House is far superior for kabobs.

                      Masala Art
                      4441 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, MD 20016

                    1. re: nytdct

                      2nd for Firefly. They have an amazing burger, great beer selection and great food all around. Unique interior design as well.

                  2. I live in Dupont. If you are looking to stay in the neighborhood (please do!) I recommend several places -- Agora (great new tapas place on 17th), Hank's Oyster Bar, Heritage India, Eola, Casa Nonna, Obelisk, Pesce. For fast/casual check out Teaism, BGR, Sweetgreen, Zorba's and Sacrificial Lamb. For great, casual neighborhood restaurants check out Raku, Pizzaria Paradiso, Sette and Lauriol Plaza. Levante's is also very solid Mediterranean food with best bread in DC. And Tabard Inn has DC's best brunch.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: masonuc

                      I third Sacrificial Lamb. We got delivery from them the other day. I had chicken tikka masala, which was delicious and the portion was large; my friends also loved what they ordered. Delivery is free (over $15) and fast. I would definitely return to check out their other offerings.

                      1. re: masonuc

                        thanks so much~i always love getting recs from people in the 'hood...is there a decent bakery for some breakfast stuff??

                        1. re: battster

                          TEAISM or Marvelous Market (both in the blocks north of Dupon on or just off Conn Ave) - Teaism will have a variety of breakfast items from baked goods to eggs, tea and juices - the ginger scones are usually good - reasonably prices, nice upstairs room to sit and eat after you pick up food on first level

                          1. re: battster

                            Lots of bakeries. Firehook on Q St. Le Pain Quotidien on P. On Sunday there will be baked goods at the Farmer's Market. Also Panera (yeah, not very local) just opened. Marvelous Market has lots of stuff too. The new Yola has some real nice baked goods, too, but mostly coffee and fresh yogurt.

                            1. re: masonuc

                              Had forgotten the Dupont farmers market is open year round


                              1. re: nytdct

                                We got some great feta from a vendor - one came in olive oil and was amazing. Also got some pork rillettes from another.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Red Apron pork rillettes?! I am obsessed with those. And the little prep-ramekins are like a bonus for your kitchen. :)

                                  1. re: SandyCat

                                    I can't remember the name and it wasn't in ramekins but I'm betting that's it. Not the kind of item you'd expect more than one vendor. And they are fantastic, aren't they?

                          2. re: masonuc

                            I stayed in Dupont Circle last summer and had lunch at Zorba's one day. I thought the food was good, the portions were large, and the prices were very reasonable.

                            I had a lot packed into a short trip, so I didn't have much time to explore, but Dupont Circle is a very walkable neighborhood with plenty of shops and restaurants. You shouldn't have a hard time finding plenty of options!

                          3. You mentioned touring, so if you want lunch while near the museums, I highly recommend Mitsitam Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian. Very unique- 5 "menus" of items to choose from different areas.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: pamd

                              The Cafe is indeed better than what you'd expect at a museum, but beware...the prices can add up quickly. It's easy to spend a lot of money for a quick lunch.,

                            2. Thank you all for the recs. Will be sure to report back in and tell you our faves!! One more thing, ok for kids who know how to behave in restaurants at Central Michel Richard? On a Saturday night? Thanks!

                              Central Michel Richard
                              1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: battster

                                We were only there for lunch but can't imagine that kids who like good food wouldn't be fine there. The ambiance isn't la-dee-dah :)

                                1. re: battster

                                  Central is a pretty loud dining room anyway. Always crowded and some close tables -- being noisy isn't really a concern.

                                  1. re: battster

                                    I have dined there with well behaved kids at tables nearby, didn't seem to be a problem for anyone.

                                  2. If you are staying in Dupont Circle and want a lovely dinner nearby, Restaurant Nora is walking distance and is one of the first restaurants that truly focused on organic, wonderful cooking. It is a favorite of mine and has consistently provided wonderful meals.

                                    Also, not food related, but the Philips Collection is a small museum near Dupont Circle, I believe it is 21st and P. An old mansion filled with wonderful art. Highly recommend it for a visit in the neighborhood. They also have concerts there on weekend afternoons sometimes. Check out their website.

                                    Restaurant Nora
                                    2132 Florida Ave., N.W, Washington, DC 20008