Despite setting the bar high earlier last month with small trips out of the DC area, I’ve been hanging around town the past few weekends. Not only because of a little inclement weather (called Sandy), but because it’s been nice getting to know this city. Plus given a small per diem that we’re getting from the DiploMan’s work, we’ve found it advantageous to delve into DC’s dining scene.
There’s nothing more I like to do than to eat out with loved ones (well, maybe except for cook at home with loved ones. So without further ado, here’s a round-up of some favorite eats we’ve been haunting since we’ve moved into town:
American Ice. Co
917 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Monday-Thursday 5pm-2am, Friday 5pm-3am, Saturday 1pm-3am, Sunday 1pm-2am
This place brings me back to Brooklyn. It’s industrial, it’s got lots of good canned beers, there’s a solid BBQ menu, and okay, maybe it’s a little hipster. Now that the weather is turning way cold, I’m a little hesitant to recommend the picnic benches that are in the courtyard area (courtyard = surrounded by a metal sheeting fence). My advice? Bundle up, and order a hot toddy. I’ll be having the Jack’s Dry Cider in the corner.
1529 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20005
Monday-Wednesday 4pm-11pm, Thursday 4pm-midnight, Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday 8am-2am, Sunday 8am-midnight
This little spot just opened up close to our apartment. It’s not the most innovative food ever but it’s tasty (the menu is pretty predictable and doesn’t change too much: pickles! a burger! pears and prosciutto!) nor does it have a particularly special drink list, but it does have a great cider on tap (so into cider these days), HDTVs that don’t overpower the space, a cool industrial-style design, good bartenders, plus high communal tables that make it a nice place to pop into and grab a weeknight bite. Did I mention it’s pretty close to our apartment?
Food Trucks at K and 13th Streets
K Street between 13th and 14th, off of Franklin Park (closest metro: McPherson Square)
Track each food truck’s status, hours, and menus on twitter!
Everyday during the week, a row of food trucks are parked off of Franklin Park on K between 13th and 14th. They’re also regularly parked in Farragut Square, near the State Dept building, and in the Navy Yard. Food trucks have taken off in DC like I never thought they would. And that’s something I’m not particularly upset about.
600 Florida Avenue NW, Washington DC 20001
Monday-Friday 6am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am-5pm
A few days during the week, I’ll park myself at one of a few local cafes to get some work done. Big Bear, Blind Dog, or Kafe Bohem are in my regular rotation, with Kafe Bohem the usual frontrunner. A little sister to it’s next door Bistro Bohem, the Kafe has ample outlets located near each table, free wifi, refills on coffee, a quiet work/study environment, plus I’m a sucker for cool fonts and good chalkboard art, and they’ve branded the place with an assortment of the two. Bohem is the best remote office in town, although, the chewy chocolate chunk cookies at Blind Dog prove them to be a viable competitor. DC’s slightly lacking in their coffee scene, but with new additions like these, I’m excited to see how it grows.
1320 14th Street NW, Washington , DC 20005
Dinner nightly from 5pm-close, Lunch Friday noon-4, Brunch Saturday & Sunday 11am-3pm
I’m not too keen on the service style here (“Your waiter, Luke, will be right with you”. “Hi, I’m Luke. Have you dined with us before? No? Well, let me tell you a little about us.”) But what I am certainly fond of is the menu. It’s our go-to spot to gather with a couple of friends, since the menu emphasizes piggy entrees that are served “tapas style”, as more restaurants are doing these days. It’s fun to dine with friends, and try and share several (okay, 7 or 8) different dishes. The drinks are good, and they have small 3oz pours of beers which makes tasting beers just as fun as tasting the food.
locations throughout the DC area, check website for hours and details
The DiploMan and I have been to Sweetgreen more than any other eatery in town. More than Chipotle, even! I know the concept of DIY salads isn’t novel to most of you, but to me, getting these made-to-order salads still feels so good after living in China for two years. I have learned, after my first $18 salad, that I really don’t need to add half the mix-ins they offer behind the counter. More importantly, I also learned that the lemon tahini dressing is delicious. If you’re new to DC and want a good go-to place for an easy takeaway weeknight meal, Sweetgreen’s the place to be.
1314 9th Street NW, Washington DC 20005
Sundevich was our very first meal in DC. As in, we landed, put our bags down, and walked to Sundevich. It’s in an alley, so it’s a little hard to find, but it’s definitely a shining star in the up-and-coming Shaw neighborhood that borders our apartment. I’ve tried their vegetarian selections, but I’m telling you – go for the sandwiches with meat. Chorizo and chimichurri, pulled pork with pickles, yum.
1503 17th Street NW, Washington DC 20036
Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30-2:30, Dinner 5:30-10pm Monday-Saturday, Closed Sundays
Our first GREAT meal in the city. This place does what all good Japanese places do: present good, beautifully crafted, and tasty food. We’ve chosen a-la carte options rather than their more ambitious (and more expensive) tasting menus, which have certainly not gone unnoticed. We’ve been twice in two months already, made friends with the servers, and tried many of their rotating, seasonal dishes, all of which make you feel like the most special, decadent diner on the face of the earth. Next: must make sure to take advantage of their 50% off sushi at the bar during happy hour.
2323 18th Street NW, Washington DC 20009
Monday-Friday 5pm-close, Saturday & Sunday noon-close
Town Tavern is the local Bay Area sports bar in town. The food is quite disgusting and takes forever to come out, to boot. It’s a big party bar that I wouldn’t go to normally, but when the 49ers and the SF Giants are both playing on a Thursday night, it’s a great place to be.