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Where to pick up a lunch for eating later?

nonaggie Mar 10, 2014 11:04 AM

We'll be visiting DC in a few weeks. When we visit places like the zoo, we'd like to bring lunch with us, so we're looking for some suggestions on places we could stop by early in the day to pick up a sandwich or other food for eating later. Anywhere metro-accessible could work, and vegetarian options are a plus. Is there anything particularly worth seeking out?


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  1. monavano RE: nonaggie Mar 10, 2014 11:08 AM

    Maybe someone can chime in if Vace offers sandwiches etc.
    I've only gotten pizza slices.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano
      mscoffee1 RE: monavano Mar 10, 2014 03:52 PM

      Sure does
      I have not been there in a while, but I used to love their sandwiches (they had them right my the cash register). Now it LOOKS more varied.

      1. re: monavano
        ipsedixit RE: monavano Mar 10, 2014 08:00 PM

        Vace is a good suggestion.

      2. m
        mselectra RE: nonaggie Mar 10, 2014 03:26 PM

        Where are you staying?

        2 Replies
        1. re: mselectra
          nonaggie RE: mselectra Mar 11, 2014 09:55 AM

          We're staying in Arlington near the Rosslyn metro stop (but we're happy to wander a little for good food!).

          Thanks for the suggestions!

          1. re: nonaggie
            Lori D RE: nonaggie Mar 11, 2014 11:12 AM

            A little bit out of your way is Earl's Sandwiches in Clarendon - http://www.earlsinarlington.com/menu/ but they don't open until 10:30, so that may not work.

            The closest Whole Foods to Rosslyn is also in Clarendon.

            The Perfect Pita http://www.theperfectpita.com/ in Rosslyn opens at 8.

            Allspice Catering http://www.allspicecatering.com/ was good under its former ownership; may be worth a try.

            And - how could I forget - Bayou Bakery - http://www.bayoubakeryva.com/ - also the opposite direction from DC, but not that far - one subway stop or a brief, albeit uphill, walk from Rosslyn.

        2. chowser RE: nonaggie Mar 10, 2014 05:22 PM

          I like the pasties at Pure Pasty in Vienna for walk around food. I've heard they have a new food cart in Ballston. They have veggie options.

          1. h
            hamster RE: nonaggie Mar 11, 2014 11:30 AM

            Bayou Bakery is a standout. I wish I lived closer to it.

            If you're by the Mall, check out French sandwiches and pastries at Paul (Archives metro). Really good when fresh.

            G Street Foods or Breadline would also be contenders, though not sure they'll be serving sandwiches that early (in the White House/downtown area).

            1. hill food RE: nonaggie Mar 11, 2014 06:29 PM

              so Blue/Yellow in, get off at Foggy Bottom, walk a few and GREEK DELI (AKA Costa's)! for a honking big gyro. and then over to the Red line at Farragut North to hit the Zoo.

              whatever you do, don't get a hot dog AT the Zoo.

              better to go hungry.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hill food
                mselectra RE: hill food Mar 12, 2014 06:45 AM

                Zoo has changed its food vendor and food is improved -- they've actually listened to visitor complaints about food choices there. Far from a chowhound destination, of course, don't misunderstand me, but for those who haven't been in a while, it has changed.

                Nonaggie -- depending on time of day and if weekday or not, you could also get off at Farragut West, go to food trucks there at lunch time (there's also some lunch places around the park, like Pret a Manger, Firehook...) and then get back on at Farragut North to zoo. If you do it quickly enough, it counts as a transfer, so don't have to pay again for the metro.

                Other ideas above might be better, but just fyi.

                I think Vace is a good idea, it's convenient to zoo.

              2. m
                mscoffee1 RE: nonaggie Mar 12, 2014 02:30 PM

                As mselecta noted:
                Firehook: it is a bakery with some sandwiches and salads as well as good breads, etc and it is open early I believe. It is near Vace on Connecticut Ave.

                1. h
                  hamster RE: nonaggie Mar 13, 2014 07:21 PM

                  Or pick up baked goods at Palena's market. It's at Cleveland Park, walking distance to the zoo. Very high quality, opens at 9 on Saturdays and 12 on weekdays.


                  1. helen_m RE: nonaggie Mar 16, 2014 05:30 PM

                    Sweet Green for well-balanced seasonal salads (you can ask for the dressing separately if you're worried about leaves wilting) and really good juices.

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