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Spring Break in D.C.

Have 1 week...March 12-18 in D.C.
Staying in DuPont Circle...
In charge of picking 3 dinners/lunches (splitting with travel partner)
and I want to know the MUST DINE options in D.C.
A couple of caveats: No Oriental (partner not into it) and really no exotic such as Far East, Ethiopian, etc...looking for Italian, Sandwiches, Eclectic (American), Grills...that sort of thing.
Thanks for your help...anyone coming to Ft. Worth, I can help out!!

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Far East Restaurant
5920 Martin Luther King Jr Hwy, Capitol Heights, MD 20743

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  1. Pizzeria Paradiso is right in DuPont - great Neopolitan style pizza.

    1. Pizzeria Paradiso is great. Obelisk is supposed to be an excellent Italian fine dining spot, also in Dupont. I have never been but am waiting for a blow-out dinner to try it out.

      Do you have any budget limitations? There are a few gastro-pub places that people are very excited about like Againn or Brasserie Beck (take red line metro to Chinatown). Pretty expensive though.

      For sandwiches, definitely check out Taylor Gourmet in Mt. Vernon Square. Philadelphia-style hoagies that are extremely high quality. You can take the red line to Chinatown, or transfer to yellow...or take a long walk from Dupont.

      If you want to stick to Dupont, you can go casual and get a pretty good hamburger at BGR, or a lovely fresh salad and tart frozen yogurt at Sweetgreen.

      You will definitely want to visit the U Street neighborhood for some nightlife. It is very popular these days. Check out Birch & Barley for a beer mecca and fancy bar food; Bar Pilar for fancy-ish small plates; or go for a wine bar at Vinoteca or Dickson Wine Bar. Or, if money is no concern and you're open to Spanish, try to get into Estadio. Delicious food, and I think if you order carefully and ask for advice from your waiter, you could avoid anything you might not enjoy. These places are all very trendy.

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      Brasserie Beck
      1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

      Vinoteca
      1940 11th street NW, Washington, DC 20001

      Pizzeria Paradiso
      3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

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

      Taylor Gourmet
      1116 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

      Sweetgreen
      3333 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007

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

      3 Replies
      1. re: hamster

        We do have some budget limits, but not serious. Dinner for us is usually $15-$25 per person minus alcohol, but that is in Ft. Worth TX, and prices in general might be higher in D.C.
        Love the bar suggestions and Chili place on U Street is a must I hear...is U Street close to DuPont (walking distance, which for us is a long way, in New York it would be about 20 blocks or so)!!

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

        1. re: drano21

          Yeah, Ben's Chili Bowl is an institution and I would recommend it for a late-night snack rather than as a meal destination. The chili fries are delish as late-night food, but that's about it.

          U Street is about a 25 minute walk from Dupont, depending on where exactly you're headed. You can always check with googlemaps. The 14th Street corridor between Rhode Island and U Street has a bunch of places, and then U Street itself between about 16th and 9th are the main going-out areas.

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          Ben's Chili Bowl
          1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

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

          1. re: hamster

            Oh, another Italian place on 14th Street that is quite trendy: Posto. Also consider Coppi's on U Street for fancy pizza.

            And if you're headed over near the Capitol, check out Spike Mendelsohn's places: either Good Stuff Eatery for burgers and shakes, or We the Pizza for New York style slices. High food quality, comfortable seating. Casual places, pay at the counter.
            Also in that neighborhood you might like Ted's Bulletin for American classics, with table service.

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            Coppi's Restaurant
            1414 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

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

      2. The recs from Raids and Hamster are all top-notch. I'd add a couple more, based solely on your location:

        1) Firefly--very close to Dupont, good comfort food (fantastic pot roast), very very good cocktails.

        2) Hamster mentioned Birch & Barley, which is delicious but a bit pricey. Upstairs is Churchkey, which has a voluminous beer list and some nice bar food (I'm a big fan of the brat burger). They also feature what is reputedly the best new sandwich in the country: http://dcist.com/2011/01/churchkeys_n...
        I've never been for brunch, though, so I haven't had it (I hope to remedy that some day soon!

        )

        3) Fast Gourmet, at 14th and W. Do a search, there was a recent thread on it. Phenomenal sandwiches.

        4) Hank's, on (I think) Q and 17th. Delicious lobster rolls, good oysters. Probably stuff that's tough to get in Ft. Worth.

        5) Agora, on 17th near Hank's. Turkish food. Delicious.

        6) Agree wholeheartedly on Ben's. There are some Ben's-haters on this board, but there are some nights when only a chili half-smoke will satisfy me. That said, it will never taste better than after a night boozing (which you can easily do in the U St/14th St. area), so don't waste a meal on it.

        Have fun, let us know your thoughts.

        4 Replies
          1. re: Raids

            Yeah, it's an eyeful (and more than a mouthful, I'm sure). I'm kind of scared to try it--what if it's not that good? Or even worse, what if it is that good? My heart couldn't take more than one of those a decade, I fear.

            1. re: marcj

              What's if it's not that good? It's fried chicken on a brioche doughnut bun. Not good? LOL.

              1. re: Raids

                Yeah, it's not bloody likely that I would leave anything more than a pecan crumb on my plate.

        1. You might try Breadline for a lunch -- soup, salad sandwiches with some really good bread. It's a block west of the White House on PA Ave (and stop in the Renwick Gallery)

          You might also try lunch at the bar (only) at Teatro Goldoni. Very good food and it's a deal if you are having a glass of wine with lunch Most Italian in DC is expensive. Pizza Paradiso is good.

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          Teatro Goldoni
          1909 K St., NW, Washington, DC 20006