Top Cheap Eats in D.C.
Photo By: leonid4210
Photo By: joe shymanski ©joeshymanski
Photo By: joe shymanski ©joeshymanski
Photo By: Rey Lopez ©Under a Bushel.com
Cheap Eats Around Capitol Hill
Washington’s interns, in addition to knowing the secrets of the Hill, also know where to find the best bites for the least cash! So whether you're on an intern's budget or or just looking for a quick bite while sightseeing, check out our fun guide to eating around Capitol Hill.
By Monica Bhide
Images courtesy of the restaurants and trucks (Market Lunch, Red Hook Lobster Pound, TaKorean, DC-3), Hannah Colclazier (SUNdeVICH), Joe Shymanski (Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza), Rey Lopez (Pepe)
Good Stuff Eatery
303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Chef Spike Mendelsohn offers American classics here — perfectly crafted burgers, hand-spun milkshakes and, of course, fries. Order first and then stock up on their flavored mayos and sauces for your burger and fries. These award-winning burgers even attracted first lady Michelle Obama.
We, The Pizza
305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Next door to Chef Spike’s hamburger-and-fries shop is his spin on New York–style pizza. Old-fashioned soda pops and reasonably priced pizzas rule the house here. Of course, you can always order a chilled beer as well. The pies range from simple cheese to the very creative China Poblano Spicy Mexican topped with chicken breast, onions, chipotle chiles and more. You can see the pizzas displayed, place your order, then wait for your buzzer to tell you when your pizza slice is ready to go.
423 8th St. SE
If you love hot dogs, this is the place to be. The specialty hot dogs here are place-themed, meaning you can get everything from a California Left-Winger (a falafel and tzatziki hot dog) to a Seoul hot dog (complete with bulgogi and kimchi) to a Jersey Bacon-Wrapped Ripper. The restaurant is named after the airplane, and true to the name there is a propeller on one of the walls. Once you have devoured your hot dog, don’t forget to order the cotton candy or fried Oreos to round out your meal.
225 7th St. SE
First things first: Bring cash. This place says no to plastic, and you don’t want to finish your wait in line just to get to the counter to be told that you cannot be served! The food — delicious crab cakes, the famous brick sandwich with sausages and fried potatoes (!), and of course the weekend-only blueberry buckwheat pancakes (now also available gluten-free) — makes this place a top choice for food lovers. This decades-old grill is located in the historic Eastern Market and fills up quickly.
Red Hook Lobster Pound Food Truck
Roaming DC; redhooklobsterdc.com for locations
This roaming food truck has made many “best of” lists in D.C. and nationally. The featured dish — the lobster roll — is delicious, of course, but don’t overlook the shrimp roll on the menu. The lines at the truck are always long but move fast.
TaKorean Food Truck
The teal-and-yellow 1985 Ford step van serves Korean BBQ tacos with a Mexican twist. A local favorite is the bulgogi, kimchi and lime crema taco. They also have vegetarian and vegan options. Follow their website or their Twitter feed to find out where they will be on a particular day.
SUNdeVICH Food Truck
Roaming DC; @SUNdeVICHtruck for locations
If you like sandwiches, keep your eyes open for a black truck roaming the streets of D.C. This unassuming little truck carries terrific international city-themed sandwiches from its brick-and-mortar location in the Shaw neighborhood at 1314 9th St. NW, on an alley between N and O streets. Try their Istanbul sandwich (with beef, lamb, sumac onions and herbs), which Food Network Magazine picked as one of the best in the country.
Pepe Food Truck
There are many lists of “best food trucks in D.C.,” and you can bet that acclaimed chef José Andrés' Pepe is going to be on almost all if not all of them. The Spanish grilled cheese is worth ordering along with the flan. The truck sometimes even sells sandwiches made with Spain's prized Iberico ham. Got a big group and worried about the wait? You can now tweet them your order.