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Jun 2, 2012 01:44 PM

Moving to DC from NYC, help!

I know, dumb. My thinking is that if I move to DC for a year I will develop enough NYC-focused gratitude to last the rest of my life. I genuinely don't think I can live a life without corner stores/bodegas, though, so what's the DC 411 on that?


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  1. DC is not NYC it has a growing food scene not as established as NYC. I recommend taking a trip down on the Mega Bus to scope it out for yourself

    3 Replies
    1. re: agarnett100

      I recommend NOT taking a Mega Bus or any of the cut rate services. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is shutting these companies down right and left for unsafe practices.

      1. re: Virginian

        Not to get too OT, but the Mega Bus is NOT one of the operators that were shut down.

        There's a link to the complete list in this article:

        1. re: VaPaula

          Generally, I've found Bolt Bus to be the best - but if you book early enough, Amtrak is cheap enough and much, much quicker.

    2. I don't understand what it is exactly that you are asking us for. It's hard to address the topic of corner stores / bodegas without knowing where you will be living.

      1. Thanks for the help! I actually went to college directly outside of DC for four years, and had a lot of internships/goings-on in DC during that period, but I realize now that there are a lot of things I didn't think about while in school. I'm looking at living either in the U Street Corridor, Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights overlapp-y neighborhood (so like 16th-18th St. ish), and/or Chinatown.

        1 Reply
        1. re: grilledcheezy

          Based on those neighborhoods, I think you actually have a higher number of bodega-type places than anywhere else in DC. However, instead of resigning yourself to the idea that your moving to a lackluster region for food, maybe you should think of all the good things DC has to offer.

        2. This seems like an incredibly negative, almost instigatory request. Perhaps instead of seeking to hate DC so much that you appreciate NYC more, you should ask about neighborhoods that have more local gems.

          From my perspective, that would mean Logan Circle and eastwards. Timor Bodega (aka FieldToCity) is my favorite in my neighborhood, though my corner store is also a life-saving gem once a month or so.

          It's also good to learn about farmer's markets and DC Grey Market, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: katecm

            No I think grilled cheezy means it. You know- she'll come down, nothing will be good enough, she'll pine for pizza, the deli the you name it that "is just not as good" and then she'll go back or continue to complain how "nuthins' as gowad as it is in New Yak." And that will be that.

          2. Okay, switching tracks. I'm really excited to move, I'm just (understandably) nervous about leaving NYC. So, instead of getting upset about my poor phraseology, let's talk about the awesome food things in DC that I shouldn't miss while I'm there!

            9 Replies
            1. re: grilledcheezy

              Ethiopian places abound. Ettete is my favorite. I'm not gonna lie, to some degree, the dishes can be quite similar, but they're all good as far as I'm concerned. The main problem most folks have is with the bread, which is what use as a utensil. Injera is sort've like a thin, cool, grayish pancake. I know, this is not sounding good...but trust me, it is.

              It's tough for me to recommend some of my favorite things that I think are somewhat unique to the region and are the sorts of things you could pick up as a bargain meal. Having spent most of my time in the DC region in Silver Spring, the first thing that comes to mind is Peruvian chicken, which is sort've like the Platonic ideal of a rotisserie bird. Unfortunately it's a bit less common in DC proper, but in certain suburbs, it's more common than McDonalds.

              Kabob houses are also pretty common in the region, though, again, somewhat less so in DC proper. My GF used to live in Arlington and even after living in DC for a couple of months, we still drive down to Ravi Kabob every few weeks because it's just sooo damn good. Kabob Palace in Crystal City and Rose Kabob in Vienna are also wonderful. There's also a large assortment of terrific Vietnamese places in Arlington/Falls Church.

              You know, I just realized...I'm not doing a great job of selling DC proper here :( What can I say, DC itself is a small city with a lot of good food, but IMO, part of the real charm of the region in terms of food lies in the riches to be found in the suburbs where you will find the best ethnic places. I guess another way of putting it would be to say that limiting yourself to only eating in DC would be the equivalent of only living in one NY burrough and never exploring the options outside of it.

              1. re: The Big Crunch

                Thanks! I'm really looking forward to the Ethiopian, as well as the farmers markets that KateCM mentioned. I guess I'm just trying to make a checklist of places to go -- right now, my one-and-only is Sticky Rice, and I know I can do better than that.

                1. re: grilledcheezy

                  Yeah, you can do better than that. Honestly, for what it is, Sticky Rice is really tasty. Just be aware that it's what I call junk food sushi. Deep fried rolls with thick sauces, less than great fish, and oddly enough, tater tots. As far as sushi goes, it's sort've crap, but it's also like comparing steak to hamburger and saying that since a ground beef patty is a lesser piece of of beef than a NY Strip, that all hamburgers suck. Interestingly enough, the Washington Post had an article on sushi a while back in which one of the city's best sushi chefs was taken to Sticky Rice and he basically said the the same thing: it's not good sushi, but it's pretty tasty bar grub.

                  You should check out some of the neopolitan pizza places. Just accept that you won't find anything resembling a slice of NY pizza that lives up to your standards and try to enjoy the other styles of pizza down here. 2 Amy's and Pizzeria Paradiso make terrific Neopolitan pies and Pete's Apizza turns out some terrific thin crust New Haven style pizza. Also, as far as booze goes, Churchkey and Jack Rose have as impressive a beer and bourbon/scotch list, respectively, as you'll find anywhere in NYC.

                  Also, subscribe to Food Truck Fiesta ( for a real-time map of DC area food trucks, which often turn out some pretty good grub. Fojol Brothers does some really good Indian, Red Hook has terrific lobster rolls, and the BBQ Bus sells some excellent pulled pork.

                  1. re: The Big Crunch

                    Red Hook is from New York! :) Thanks for all the recommendations - I'm a sucker for tots, which is the only thing I'm really into at Sticky Rice. That, and the plentiful vegetarian/vegan options. I'm not veg, but I like to play. BBQ Bus sounds heavenly. Also, IMO Neapolitan pizza > NY pizza. Whatever. Not sorry.

                    1. re: The Big Crunch

                      For utiltarian sliced pizza.....Spike Mendelsohn's We the Pizza fits the bill. Of course after a late night of boozing a jumbo slice might appear to be the most delicious pizza you've ever had. There's also The Italian Store and Santini's but they're both located in VA.

                      Since you haven't tried a lot of restaurants when you were here for school I wouldn't worry too much. There are plenty of restaurants to try. I've found good take out Chinese to be harder to find here than pizza. No $4.99 sesame chicken with pork fried rice and egg roll combos to be found.

                      1. re: shake N baik

                        If you're in Logan Circle, I highly recommend Great Wall. It's the real deal in terms of Szechuan, and their takes on typical American-Chinese food are also quite good. Granted, it's not $4.99, but one order is enough for two meals. I work near Rockville and have been a regular at a couple of Szechuan places up here, but Great Wall is far more liberal in terms of their use of Szechuan peppercorns. If you've never had anything with szechuan peppercorn, it's worth the experience. It's definitely hot, but in a unique fashion: it really does numb your mouth up in a unique manner. I suggest the Ma La pork and the shredded beef.

                        1. re: shake N baik

                          Another excellent pizza, IMHO, is Vace - they also serve by the slice. They have two locations: Cleveland Park, near the zoo, and Bethesda.

                      2. re: grilledcheezy

                        Try Sumah's for Sierra Leone food. I don't know if it's still the same as when I was there a couple years ago but it's a true hole-in-the-wall and the food was outstanding. The pepper soup was pure FIRE!


                        1. re: grilledcheezy

                          I've lived in DC for 5 years and have lived in both Columbia Heights and Shaw (which is just south and east of U Street). My favorite places in/around each of those neighborhoods are:

                          Adams Morgan - Amsterdam Falafel, Jack Rose, The Blaguard (for your Irish dive bar needs)

                          Columbia Heights - Meridian Pint, Room 11, Pollo Sabroso, Pho 14, Taqueria Distrito Federal, El Rinconcito II

                          U Street/Ledroit/Bloomingdale - The Gibson, Eatonville, Smucker Farms (Amish food market), Etete, Zenebech Injera, Thai X-ing, Boundary Stone

                          Chinatown/Convention Center - The Passenger, Sundevich, Seasonal Pantry (boutique food market), Proof, Matchbox, Jaleo, Zaytinya, Chinatown Express

                          Places in other areas I think are well worth seeking out - The Atlas Room, Ethiopic, Rasika, Great Wall Szechuan House, Ghana Cafe, Birch & Barley/Churchkey, Pearl Dive, Sushi Taro, Ardeo+Bardeo, and of course the farmer's markets and food trucks.

                          You won't starve :) DC is completely different from New York, but there's plenty to eat here.