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D.C. with kids (cheap but good eats)

Going to be in D.C. for 3 nights in August. We're staying near the White House and will be doing all the touristy sites so the kids can see the nations capital. Now ofcourse, we need to eat. I'm not looking to break the bank as feeding 5 people breakfast, lunch and dinner can get expensive. We want to go to D.C. and eat what people in D.C. eat. As long as it's not some chain food garbage.

The kids have been raised well and are not picky. They love to try new stuff, especially if they saw it on some food TV show. They like food trucks, ethnic food esp. Asian, sandwiches, ect.

So really the main concern is whats some fun/exciting food for everyone that won't break the bank. Food on the go really, since we will be doing the sites.

One night I'd like to have a sit down family dinner. Any suggestions?

DC area only as I'm parking the car for 3 days and will just use public transportation and my feet to get around.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Bombay Club for Indian is near the White House
    Jaleo in Penn Quarter for tapas (Navy Archives Metro).

    1. Nando's Peri-Peri is a counter service chain from South Africa with the DC area as it's only locations in the US. Spicy Mozambiquan chicken. Get the quarter dark at the spiciest level (or a family can order a whole chicken), plus get the mushy peas and the fries with prinnaise sauce.

      DC-3 for excellent fancy hot dogs. The Seoul hot dog features both bulgogi and kimchee and is utterly fantastic. The Tuscan Sonoran and the Jersey Ripper are two other good choices. Counter Service, very cheap. Across the street the Sweet Lobby dessert shop has excellent and unusual eclairs (shaped like flying saucers) but they run out of these early. Or better yet walk off those calories five blocks away at Good Stuff Eatery for the toasted marshmallow milkshake. Unreal.

      Panas Empanadas on P St. Counter service fancy empanadas. The ones with cheese tend to do better.

      Take Eat Easy, go for the cheviot, one of the best sandwiches you'll find anywhere, the cubano is also excellent.

      SIt down at Locolat for savory Belgian waffles (garlic, pesto, etc) with toppings like escargot, flammande, chicken and mushrooms, crab, etc.

      Or go for the mole sauces at Casa Oaxaca with the enmolados (black) pork ribs (green) and the skirt steak (red).

      Miso ramen at Daikaya is super cheap and delicious. Turnover here is quick, so don't let the crowds put you off.

      1. Assuming you spend time at the Air&Space museum, weekdays there's a whole collection of food trucks a block south of the Independence Ave exit.

        4 Replies
        1. re: DanielK

          The food trucks set up near Metro Center (convenient to your hotel, sounds like) and around Farragut Sq (also might be convenient to your hotel), as well as around the L'Enfant metro station as DanielK points out. They're there weekdays lunch time only. Food Truck Fiesta collects daily tweets to tell you which truck is where every day. Oh, I see rHairing linked to that below....

          1. re: DanielK

            oh Daniel - but one has to choose those trucks on Independence with care. if they offer hot dogs, pizza, egg rolls, etc AND t-shirts, you might not be so happy within the hour.

            maker75 - there've been tons of similar queries in recent months with better answers than I can offer. I don't want to be the 'searchit' jerk, but you'll find more answers than you'll know what to do with.

            but I will say: cool adventurous kids? give Ethiopian a shot. and for that I WILL say 'searchit' as we all have our favorites and some are more casual than others.

            1. re: hill food

              Food trucks in DC are always hit and miss, but I'm not referring to the dirty water hot dog trucks on Independence.

              A whole bunch of trucks congregate at 6th and Maryland, a block south of the museum, in front of the L'Enfant Metro entrance.

              1. re: DanielK

                ahh that stretch - that is different.

                yet some dirty water dogs are OK - it's when they branch out into other stuff...

          2. Thanks for all the replies so far. They will come in handy