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Where to eat in DC on the Cheap


DanM
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Good morning,

Wifey and I will be visiting DC next month for a quick and hopefully cheap vacation. I was wondering what are some good options for cheap eats in the DC area. We keep kosher, but are willing to eat vegetarian and fish when we go out. My wife is from Texas, so Mexican restaurants are a bonus for her and I am a baker, so bakeries are are on my short list. We are also willing to pack a few picnics during the trip, so good local markets would be appreciated. We will have our car, but will mostly be travelling by Metro during the week.

I greatly appreciate any advice you can provide!

Dan :D

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Will you be here during the week or weekend? Just wondering... if you are here on a Thursday afternoon near the mall is the Penn Quarter Farmer's market with breads, cheeses, meats, fruit and really tasty gelato which I used to time my court runs around. On Saturdays is the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market and the Eastern Market is open which are bigger markets for you to paruse for picnic stuff.

We in DC don't really have huge amounts of bakeries, but I think if you were here during a weekday you might like Breadline near the white house and I believe they have good veggie stuff too.

You could also go to Cowgirl Creamery in Penn Quarter for picnic stuff.

Also Le Pain Quotiden will have picnic stuff too, although a chain, I know, but pretty good bread.

Not sure about dinner places because of the dietary restrictions, but perhaps Indian food? Bombay Club makes good vegetarian and fish dishes and so does Rasika (although Bombay Club always seems cheaper to me). There are some other cheaper Indian options in DC that have good vegetarian that I read people talking about, but haven't been.

Regent Thai in Dupont/Adams Morgan has good thai food.

And I hear good things about Java Green for healthy vegetarian in DC.

I am sure other people will help you out. What price range are you look for in terms of dinner? Tacklebox has great grilled fish and is casual and cheap and has good veggie side dishes?

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Will you be here during the week or weekend? Just wondering... if you are here on a Thursday afternoon near the mall is the Penn Quarter Farmer's market with breads, cheeses, meats, fruit and really tasty gelato which I used to time my court runs around. On Saturdays is the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market and the Eastern Market is open which are bigger markets for you to paruse for picnic stuff.

We in DC don't really have huge amounts of bakeries, but I think if you were here during a weekday you might like Breadline near the white house and I believe they have good veggie stuff too.

You could also go to Cowgirl Creamery in Penn Quarter for picnic stuff.

Also Le Pain Quotiden will have picnic stuff too, although a chain, I know, but pretty good bread.

Not sure about dinner places because of the dietary restrictions, but perhaps Indian food? Bombay Club makes good vegetarian and fish dishes and so does Rasika (although Bombay Club always seems cheaper to me). There are some other cheaper Indian options in DC that have good vegetarian that I read people talking about, but haven't been.

Regent Thai in Dupont/Adams Morgan has good thai food.

And I hear good things about Java Green for healthy vegetarian in DC.

I am sure other people will help you out. What price range are you look for in terms of dinner? Tacklebox has great grilled fish and is casual and cheap and has good veggie side dishes?

I agree wholeheartedly with ktmoomau's suggestions, and will add (and emphasize) a few of my own.

I definitely think Eastern Market is a necessity. You can definitely "make your own sandwich/meal" with the various vendors located there. It's not far from the Capitol, so it would make for a pretty painless detour through a beautiful part of the city.

Other suggestions:

Taqueria Nationale, a great place for good takeout Mexican lunch & even breakfast near the Capitol.

Nando's Peri Peri- affordable and tasty chicken place in the Gallery Place neighborhood. It's an international chain from South Africa, but a "good chain" and this is their first foray into the US.

Potenza, next to the White Hosue- I've heard the bakery portion is great, but it is definitely "Italian", not French or American. Along the same lines, Leopold's Kafe tucked away in an (upscale) alley in Georgetown is a good bet too. I would classify it as "Austrian." Patisserie Poupon and Baked & Wired are also recommended.

If you're near the zoo, Vace Italian Delicatessen is great for to-go pizza and subs.

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Thanks for those who have responded so far. Eastern Market is definately on the top of my list for the bluebucks. I just hope everything is back up an running by then.

ktmoomau, regarding the dietary restrictions. Don't worry too much about it. You would be surprised how many restaurants have a small selection of vegetarian plates on their menu.

Ice cream... where's the best place to go?

Thanks,

Dan

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Thanks for those who have responded so far. Eastern Market is definately on the top of my list for the bluebucks. I just hope everything is back up an running by then.

ktmoomau, regarding the dietary restrictions. Don't worry too much about it. You would be surprised how many restaurants have a small selection of vegetarian plates on their menu.

Ice cream... where's the best place to go?

Thanks,

Dan

Well if you are anywhere near Dolcezza it is the top of my list. It's Gelato they have flavors like honey, lemon, cardamon. Their cinnamon is really good, so is the marscapone and pistachio. If you want Ice Cream you could go to Giffords in Penn Quarter. There is also Thomas Sweet in Georgetown. Then there are a slew of frozen yogurt places now all over. I also heard they opened a Pitango Gelato at 15th and P that I am really excited to try.

For the bluebucks please note- they stop serving breakfast at 11 on weekdays, 12 on weekends and that means you have to order by then. On the weekends the line really depends on the weekend but it could be up to an hour on a busy weekend. It can be tricky. If you are a baker though you must be used to early hours so it shouldn't be as bad :D

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If you find yourself in Georgetown, one of the best places in town for vegetarian cheap eats is Amma Vegetarian Kitchen on M St., across the street from Dean and Deluca. For about six bucks, you can get a dosa (gigantic garbanzo flour crepe filled with spiced potatoes, served with sambar and coconut chutney on the side) , and they also have really good mango lassi.

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For icecream, I'd also recommend Larry's in Dupont; on Connecticut Ave between Q & R.

If you are on the mall, the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian always has interesting & reasonably priced fare. My other go-to place on the mall is the Sculpture Garden cafe. The food is not as good as it used to be, but it's a lovely garden--you can also take a picnic, if you like. On Friday nights they have a free jazz concert.

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On Saturdays is the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market and the Eastern Market is open
Just in case you intend to go, please note the farmers market at Dupont Circle is Sunday, 9 am to 1 pm.

I'd do Teaism were I to spend much time around the Mall.

Look into Oyamel if your wife really likes Mexican, though it isn't cheap.

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Thanks everyone for the help. This is my preliminary list of restaurants for the trip. I also want to look into farmers markets, grocers, delis, and other places where we can pick up prepared food

2 Amys

Baked & Wired

Best Buns Bread Co

Birreria Paradiso

Boccato Gelato & Espresso

Café Olé

Chop'd

Cowgirl Creamery

Dolcezza

Domku

Java Green

Juice Joint

Larry's Ice Cream

Layalina

Moti's Falafel

Oyamel

Patisserie Poupon

Pita Plus

Potenza Bakery

Rasika Restaurant

Rock Bottom

Rustico

Surfside

Tacklebox

Tangysweet

Taqueria Nacionale

Teaism

The Dairy Godmother

The Fractured Prune

Thanks again!

Dan

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Baked & Wired

Cowgirl Creamery

Baked and Wired makes excellent, abliet expensive cupcakes. I love Cowgirl Creamery and wish I ccould afford to go there more often, they are usually super friendly and helpful and give away oodles of free samples.

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Thanks everyone for the help. This is my preliminary list of restaurants for the trip. I also want to look into farmers markets, grocers, delis, and other places where we can pick up prepared food

**2 Amys

*Baked & Wired

Best Buns Bread Co

*Birreria Paradiso

Boccato Gelato & Espresso

Café Olé

Chop'd

*Cowgirl Creamery

*Dolcezza

*Domku

Java Green

Juice Joint

Larry's Ice Cream

*Layalina

*Moti's Falafel

*Oyamel

*Patisserie Poupon

Pita Plus

*Potenza Bakery

*Rasika Restaurant

Rock Bottom

*Rustico

**Surfside

*Tacklebox

*Tangysweet

**Taqueria Nacionale

*Teaism

*The Dairy Godmother

The Fractured Prune

Thanks again!

Dan

Dan, I made a quick pass through your list and put stars next to places I think you'd enjoy (two stars next to places that seem to really meet your needs). I think you should make a special trip for falafel to Max's Kosher Cafe in Wheaton (get a large falafel, medium-spicy, with the works; note that they close at 2 PM Friday, and don't open again until 11 AM Sunday). Consider also a quick visit to Georgetown Cupcake if you find yourself in Georgetown. There are certainly other places I can add, but you're doing just fine with these candidates. Cheers, Rocks.

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Dan, I made a quick pass through your list and put stars next to places I think you'd enjoy (two stars next to places that seem to really meet your needs). I think you should make a special trip for falafel to Max's Kosher Cafe in Wheaton (get a large falafel, medium-spicy, with the works; note that they close at 2 PM Friday, and don't open again until 11 AM Sunday). Consider also a quick visit to Georgetown Cupcake if you find yourself in Georgetown. There are certainly other places I can add, but you're doing just fine with these candidates. Cheers, Rocks.

Thanks for the help, Don. Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Dan

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First, thanks again everyone for your advice for our trip. Did you know this site jas special formatting for mobile phones?

On to the reviews.

Domku. Friday night We walked out of the Metro station and was not thrilled with the neighborhood. We aborted our plans and settled with takeout. Safety comes first.

This evening we went out with LOML's aunt and uncle at Old Ebbit Grill. I ordered trout parmesean with roasted potatoes and greenbeans. It was covered with a thick layer of hollandaise which overpowered the fish. The potatoes were dried out and underseasoned. Green beans were not much better. Wifes salad was not much better. Service was slow and I was constantly in need of water. Aiter was not around and did not follow up with me on a drink order. Not worth returning.

Dan

Posted with a crackberry

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