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Alone in downtown DC: On a budget and with geographic requirements.

mels Mar 18, 2011 10:24 AM

I'll be going to DC for work purposes and staying downtown (specifically the Capital Hilton, 16th and K). I am looking for chow guidance in the general vicinity. I am on a the government meal per diem so nothing expensive...I am given $18 for lunch and $38 for dinner, including tax, drink, etc., so that must be kept in mind. If a restaurant will knock my socks off, I am willing to pay beyond $40 and take money out of my own pocket.

I want to be armed with a list of good options so I don't get stuck eating hotel food since I am there for a few days. I am an adventurous eater (try anything once type person) and can appreciate most foods, from the most obscure ethnic cuisine to the simple burger. I do have a weakness for Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines but I am open to anything.

Lunch requirements: MUST be close to the hotel (within 10 minute-ish walking distance). Take-out or eat-in meals are both OK.

Dinner: It's not a requirement, but I prefer to have a couple dinner places in mind that have a take-out option available in case I get slammed with work and am stuck in my hotel room. Again I am open to anything but would like to keep it under $40. I will be flying solo, so anywhere where it might be odd to dine alone will not be a good fit.

Any ideas?

  1. r
    Raids Mar 18, 2011 11:53 AM

    Sichuan Pavillion is a good option for lunch - I had a great ma po tofu noodle soup there a couple of weeks ago. I also like Loeb's deli and Juice Joint for lunch sandwiches. Potenza - both the restaurant and the bakery - are good options for you too - plenty of people eat lunch at the bar, and the bakery does sandwiches - you can call in orders ahead of time. Another really great option right in your budget is the P.J. Clarke's that just opened up.

    As far as Greek, Kellari Taverna is right over there, but really you should take one night to come over to Penn Quarter and eat at Zaytinya. Again, it's easy to eat at the bar there solo. Equinox is by your hotel, has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and would be a good pick for dinner.

    And everywhere in DC has always been happy to put together a take out order for me. Sichuan Pavillion delivers.

    1. d
      Doh Mar 18, 2011 12:09 PM

      The Greek Deli on 19th between L and M would probably be just about a 10 minute walk. If you like Greek food it's probably worth a visit. Maoz is a felafel place on M also about a 10 minute walk (it's usually too crowded for me to wait around-- take that for what it's worth). Neither has a lot of seating.

      You might also keep an eye out for food trucks (like El Floridano)-- especially on Fridays they like to congregate nearby at Farragut Sq. Park.(or you can find them at sites like foodtruckfiesta.com).

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

      1. o
        odkaty Mar 18, 2011 12:24 PM

        Across the street from Equinox (locally sourced, American) is Bombay Club (great but the sister restaurant, Rasika, in Penn Q is better) and Teaism (great quick lunch spot) is down the block.

        I've heard good reviews of BLT Steak.

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

        800 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006

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

        Blt Steak
        1625 I St NW Frnt 2, Washington, DC 20006

        Equinox - DC
        818 Connecticut Ave, Washington, DC 20006

        1. woodleyparkhound Mar 18, 2011 01:03 PM

          Milaysia Kopitiam would fit the bill for dinner. I like their Singapore noodles. You can easily have dinner there for under $40.


          1. ktmoomau Mar 18, 2011 01:31 PM

            Some great suggestions above.

            I would add that Brasserie Beck is at 11th and K, some of the plates and beers are a little more pricey, but very generous portions. If you want a cheap, quick dinner Zorba's in Dupont also has Greek food. I am not a huge fan of Siroc, but other people really like it. I haven't been to P.J. Clarke's but I imagine they would do take out.

            Equinox is a little pricey, I dunno if it would fit the budget. But it is very good.

            For lunch you are also not too far from Breadline for sandwiches. Not the absolute best dinner, but not too bad, but McCormick and Schmidt is right there and would do take out I am sure. Mio has a more fancy Price fix lunch that is $20, and $35 dinner, they also have Puerto Rican weekends if you are here for the weekend, and happy hour.

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

            4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

            Zorba's Cafe
            1612 20th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

            1 Reply
            1. re: ktmoomau
              woodleyparkhound Mar 18, 2011 02:09 PM

              How did I forget Brasserie Beck? Love the place - great moules and frites - easily done for under $40, unless you are a big beer drinker. (Belgian beers are excellent there, but pricey).

              The automatic link to Zorba's in ktmoommau's post above is incorrect. As noted, it's near Dupont Circle, not Baltimore.

              I was going to suggest Breadline; I think it's the best lunch place downtown. I especially love the pulled pork on ciabatta special (Fri. only). However, I'd say you would have to be a fast walker to make it in 10 minutes. It's at 18th and Penn.

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

              4710 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

            2. tommyskitchen Mar 18, 2011 05:29 PM

              I would second Loeb's Deli, unless you are from New York City. For Lunch, try the Well-Dressed Burrito - really nice take-out (although there are a couple of tables) - That's off of 19th street above M - And CF Folks across the street. At that point, you are close to Dupont Circle - Search that on this board and you will come up with many options...But the last 2 things I mentioned (right up from the Greek Deli that someone else talked about) are about 10 mins away from you.

              You are also a short cab-ride from the U-street corridor and Chinatown/Penn quarter.

              Well-Dressed Burrito
              1220 19th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

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

              Loeb's Restaurant
              832 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

              1. f
                fisherdm Mar 21, 2011 08:55 AM

                The Bombay Club is exceptional, and literally three blocks from your hotel. Good for lunch or dinner, although is is upscale, so if you go over there, you'll be sitting with suits. Call ahead and you can pick it up to-go as well.

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

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