Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Dec 17, 2013 08:58 PM

Staying in Downtown D.C. for 2 Nights. Need recommendations!

Looking for good restaurants that the locals like. Doesn't matter if it's cheap or expensive. Open to all types of cuisine. Just want restaurants that are in D.C. and walkable or accessible through public transit. I will be at 12th & K street.

So far, I have The Standard and Toki Underground as potentials.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Standard I believe is closed for the winter. Plus it's now called Garden District or something.

    I would suggest Etto, Estadio, G Man Sandwiches or Kapnos, all on 14th Street and walkable. Churchkey has an amazing beer selection but food's not that amazing.

    A bit further you could go to Bistro Boheme for a lovely and hearty Eastern European dining experience, or Zenebech Injera for a hole-in-the-wall Ethiopian that you will not forget. Just get the combination plate.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hamster

      Yeah, it seems that people still refer to it as The Standard. Thanks for the heads-up. It is closed until March 1st.

      Thanks for the recos.

    2. How you gonna get to Toki? By bus?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Worldwide Diner

        Bike, cab. I just don't have a car to get to the surburbs.

      2. My top meal in DC: Oohhs and Aahhs for Coastal Carolina Soul Food. Although this is a true hole-in-the-wall, prices are surprisingly high. They now have waitress service upstairs! Go for the broiled crab cake, and/or the shrimp and grits. Add onions and peppers to the shrimp and grits. Broiled crab cake will take a long time, but it's worth it. Do not go for fried. Collard greens are excellent as well as rice with gravy.

        Took Underground is worth going out of you way for, but only for the kimchi ramen. Must reserve well in advance or be prepared to wait a couple of hours in the bar downstairs or otherwise nearby. If solo, you may be able to slip in after a short wait even if they are full. That happened to me once.

        Right around the corner from you is Brasserie Beck, a highly respected Belgian bra. It's been a long time now since I've been, mostly because it is both expensive and not reliably inspiring. In winter they make a hot brandy cider that is sweet and addictive, and they quickly run out of it.

        I recommend going out of your way to Localot, also Belgian, which is a really tiny spot that specializes in savory waffles. I like them all, but especially the garlic waffles topped with Carbonnade or Queen's Delight, or the green herb or pesto waffles topped with escargot. The chocolates here are world-class, but stick to the fruit flavored butter creams or the dark sea salt variety. In this neighborhood there are couple of music shops (Red Onon, Smash Records) and a book store (Idle Time) that are interesting to scope out as well. If you walk toward Dupont Circle, there are a couple of Bookstores (Kultura, Second Story) on your way.

        Wherever you land, please report back.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Steve

          Locolat has changed owners and has a new name. I went there about two weeks ago and a had a very disappointing pot of mussels, though the accompanying bread and beer were delicious.

          1. re: hamster

            I haven't gotten past the waffles. I'll check them out soon to see what gives. Thanks for the heads up.

        2. What are your proclivities? Budget?

          DC is a low sophistication dining city, so you have to be careful. Note that the most recent Open Table ranking had not a single DC restaurant. If you can be more specific about your tastes, and if you really can get over taking a cab, there are some gems.

          2 Replies
          1. re: law_doc89

            "DC is a low sophistication dining city"

            yeah but it ain't Booger Holler or nuthin'. I doubt I'd rely on Open Table to provide a ranking, what are their criteria? most booked I'd imagine. OP asked for good, not most hyped.

            1. re: hill food

              They base their rankings on feedback, among other things. DC proclivities are pretty much to the lower end of the spectrum, which is why the DC restaurants tend not to stack up well in head to head with those of other cities. This is important to acknowledge when giving advice to others, and I have found that eating out in other cites can be a shock if I have been confined to DC for too long a period. It would have been nice if the OP had replied with some clarification.

              I did find a surprise recently down town in a lunch at
              La Chaumière in Georgetown. I wasn't expecting much, but the cost was relatively low, and monkfish was properly prepared in a lobster sauce, Cervelle de Veau nicely sauteed in browned butter, all very traditional but done with good technique. So I would be happy to return any time I am in the mood for traditional French at a relatively low price.

          2. I'd suggest Little Serow (no reservations) on 17th and P Street. Definitely get there early, especially on the weekends.

            Also Rose's Luxury near the Eastern Market metro (also no reservations). Don't always agree with WaPo's take on restaurants but they hit the nail on the head on this place: