HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Discussion

Restaurant Suggestion in a Fun Area

I'm coming to DC to attend a conference with 3 colleagues. We have reservations for Jaleo (arrival night- near hotel) and Central (Friday night.) For Saturday we are hoping to go to a fun area with lots of restaurants, bars, etc to check out before and after dinner. What are your thoughts on Alexandria (Old Town), Georgetown, Dupont Circle? Close to the metro is a plus, we are staying in Crystal City.

Two of us are adventurous eaters... and the others said they are willing to try something different. I see Ethiopian is well regarded in DC, but have never tried it. Thoughts on this? Other ethnic suggestions?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. I think the best area is 14th street/U street. You could go to Masa 14 (Asian fusion), Posto (Italian), Estadio (Tapas) or a number of other restaurants in that area. The Standard, the Gibson, Marvin rooftop, Church Key, St. Ex, Policy, are all bars on 14th street worth checking out.

    In Dupont I love Hanks Oyster Bar and Pizza Paradiso, but there's not a ton of great bars.

    Georgetown has a lot of bars, but not great food.

    I don't know Old Town well.

    -----
    Masa 14
    1825 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

    1 Reply
    1. re: Energy09

      I second 14th St. / U St. You might get off the Metro at McPherson Square (14th St.) and walk or take a short cab or bus ride to 14th and Rhode Island. Start early with a beer at Church Key, work your way up 14th St. (beer outside at The Standard if it isn't too crowded- maybe share onion rings and/or hush puppies as an appetizer) to U St. At 14th and U, pop in for a beer at Marvin on the outside terrace, then walk down to Etete at 9th and U for Ethiopian, come back to 14th and U for an upscale after dinner drink at the Gibson. You'll pass all kinds of other places on the way that may catch your eye. The Metro Stations are on U and 13th and U and 10th.

      -----
      Etete
      1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    2. OK close to metro rules out GTown and OldTown unless you are willing to walk several blocks to get to the heart of each or take a taxi..pedicab... As for areas, I would say DuPont, Chinatown...or...Clarendon in VA. My thing is, when you say adventurous, I think of the burbs for ethnics..Vietnamese, Bolivian, Peruvian, Thai, etc. In Clarendon is Taste of Morocco. In all honesty, it's been a year or two but it was good food and good fun.

      -----
      Taste of Morocco
      8661 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910

      1. Go fro Ethiopian food at Etete on 9th st below U St. There are everal Ethiopian restaurants on this block, and around the corner on U St starts a very popular are for bars and restaurants of many different types.

        -----
        Etete
        1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

        2 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          I live in Maryland and am heading to DC for the fancy food show in July. We are staying in DuPont Circle and have made reservations at Zaytinya. I have never been, but it has been reviewed as excellent on Yelp and is the #2 restaurant in DC on TripAdvisor.

          http://www.zaytinya.com/

          Have fun!

          -----
          Zaytinya
          701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

          1. re: HollisB

            Zaytinia is indeed very good and near the 7th St./Chinatown/Verizon Center area. This is also a good area - thick with restaurants and nightlife. I think it's more touristy and more appealing to people coming in from the suburbs (no offense intended to HollisB!!). I think 14th/U is more appealing to people - mostly youngish, but not exclusively - who live in DC.

        2. You could hit up some bars/restaurants on 14th Street (Masa 14, Estadio or Cork) and then head over to Etete for dinner (about a 10 minute walk or so). There are also a lot of options around 14th St itself that are great---including all the restaurants I listed above and Bar Pilar.

          -----
          Etete
          1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

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

          5 Replies
          1. re: Elyssa

            Thanks to all for the many suggestions. Both Masa 14 and Estadio look great but since we we are doing Jaleo on Wednesday I thought it would be too similar. I love Greek but it looks like Zaytia would be small plates as well....

            Since we basically live in a culinary desert in terms of both quality and choice I was hoping for something unusual and fun. If it was just me, I would definitely do Ethiopian so that is what I am leaning towards. Many suggestions for Etete...would that be a good choice for first-timers? We will need lots of guidance in ordering. Alnd do I need a reservation?

            Finally, is Church Key connected to Birch & Barley? I am holding a 7:00 PM reservation for Birch & Barley but am not thrilled with the time. I have heard good things but was looking for something different.

            Again, thanks for all of the help so far!

            -----
            Masa 14
            1825 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009

            1. re: mb luvs SBH

              Church Key is upstairs, and mainly focuses on beer (with some meh food).

              1. re: mb luvs SBH

                I think Etete is the best choice for first-timers doing Ethiopian -- it's a great choice if you want "something different." I don't think you need a reservation there; I've never made one (I've never eaten there with more than one other person though.) It probably wouldn't hurt to call and ask.

                If you and your friends want to be wowed with a great beer selection, don't miss Churchkey. (Food is only so-so, as mentioned above.) Go early though, to avoid having to wait on the street to get it. It's very popular among area beer drinkers!

                -----
                Etete
                1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

                1. re: mb luvs SBH

                  There are also two Vietnamese restaurants in the Clarendon/Courthouse area. Nam Viet and Minh's. I like both. In Clarendon, Nam Viet isn't much in terms of ambiance, but there is Eventide right next door with a nice cocktail program and rooftop bar, and many other bars and etc near by so that could be lots of fun.

                  -----
                  Minh's
                  2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

                  Nam Viet Restaurant
                  3419 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., washington, dc, DC 20008

                  1. re: mb luvs SBH

                    Menu help for etete:

                    Get the vegetarian platter and add the fish for $2. Also get the derek tibs. A standard dish is doro wat, which is chicken and egg in a peppery red sauce.

                2. If you really want to get out of your comfort zone you can take the metro to Union Station and then a cab to H Street. Ethopic is great and it is definitely a fun area! A little bit still transitioning but there are a series of great bars, H Street Country Club, Little Miss Whiskeys, Smith Commons etc and its unlike anything outside of DC

                  -----
                  H Street Country Club
                  1335 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

                  1. And just to clarify if you do metro to Alexandria, there are plenty of things at the top part of
                    King Street that are accessible like Brabo, Hank's and The Majestic, but none are ethnic food. King Street is pretty busy through all of Old Town from metro to the water with stuff.

                    -----
                    King Street Cafe
                    1018 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      Thanks again for all the suggestions, especially what to order at Etete. We are definitely going on Saturday with a bar tour of 14th and U St before and after.

                      We might hit Alexandria on Saturday afternoon and are thinking of lunch at The Majestic.

                      -----
                      Etete
                      1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001