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Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

Kansas City, Mo.
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Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

Can anyone recommend a few inexpensive diners, coffee shops, or restaurants in the downtown/DuPont area for home-style food.

We do not care for fast food, food courts, or chain restaurants.

How about Reeves Bakery? Are there others?

Would love to hear your recommendations and favorites.

DC
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1. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

I work and live in DC. Live in Dupont, work around Metro Center. What area will you be staying in, and what type of place do you like.

If you want non-touristy places poplular with the locals, try any of the restaurants on the 17th Street Strip (17th Street, NW, between P and R Street) Many of the restaurants have outdoor sidewalk seating. Fox and Hound, Trios, Mercury Grill, Dupont Italian Kitchen, Food Bar DC, La Frontera, and a new, very popular one, Hank's Oyster House are all within two blocks of each other on 17th. Just a short walk from the Dupont Metro stop.

If you are downtown, there is a fast food place, but not a usual one. It is called Ollie's Trolly at 11th and E NW. The hamburgers are Fantastic (tast like homemade ones) and the french fries are sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. REally quite different.

Let me know what part of town you'll be in and I'll try to give you more information.

Cheers,

Dev

Kansas City, Mo.
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37 posts
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2. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

Thanks, Devlin, we will definitely check out 17th street. We will be staying on New Hampshire at the Wyndham City Center for three nights and either downtown or in Woodley Park at the Shoreham Hotel for two nights. We haven't decided yet on the two night stay though we expect to spend time downtown even if we're in Woodley Park. We're a couple without children who enjoy the inexpensive coffee shops for breakfast, lunch, or late night.

Do you know anything about Reeves Bakery? Is it good? Are there others around that location? Appreciate all of your suggestions; knowing you're a resident of the district means more to us as we too, are city dwellers. Thanks again, 17th street sounds like a good place to stroll for dinner.

Sterling, VA
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for Washington DC
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3. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

For more info on Reeves Bakery:

www.reevesbakery.com/html/about_us.html

Washingtonian Magazine just recently came out with its annual list of cheap eats. They recommend the following places in the Dupont Circle area:

Lauriol Plaza (Tex Mex)

1835 18th St., NW

(202) 387-0035

Pizzeria Paradiso

2029 P St., NW

(202) 223-1245

Sala Thai

2016 P St., NW

(202) 872-1144

Sette Osteria

1666 Connecticut Ave., NW

(202) 483-3070

Clearwater
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51 reviews
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4. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

Thanks for that Suefee, we may have to stay two weeks just to try all the recommended restaurants. Or maybe we'll just eat 6 times a day.

Clearwater
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5. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

Thanks to you too Devlin

Alexandria, Virginia
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6. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

Just to answer your question about the Reeves Bakery--I would most definitely NOT recommend it. I've only been for breakfast, but it is very touristy, in the sense that they serve you mediocre food for high prices. It's a shame really, because it has such a history. But you can do much better--just stay away from Reeves.

If your family likes Chinese food and you don't mind heading a couple of stops on the metro to Gallery Place-Chinatown, I would highly recommend Chinatown Express for a cheap dinner. They make noodles and dumplings fresh (you can watch them in the front window of the restaurant), and you can get some great deals. For instance, a huge portion of freshly-made noodles (either stir-fried or in soup) costs less than $5. I've been there several times, and I've never finished my noodles! Chinatown Express in on the corner of 6th and H streets.

DC
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7. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

I think the comment about Reeves is probably correct. For decades, mostly at their previous location, they've bee famous for their strawberry cake. I think they are now just resting on their laurels.

If you are up in the 14 and U area (the New U) you might want to check out Ben's Chili Bowl. It is a Washington Landmark. It is one of the few places to survive the 68 riots and the subway construction of the 70s. Whenever Bill Cosby comes to town to attend a Howard University event he always winds up at Ben's.

Ben's is right across the street from the U Street Metro, U Street Exit (Not Civil War Memorial Exit).

The place is a bit of a dive, but that's part of its charm.

If you are here on Sunday, I have two possiblilties for you, depending on how adventurous you are:

First is dim sum at Charlie Chaings on H Street in Chinatown (Upstairs dining room). I go every few months and it is pretty good. Lots of Chinese eat there, so I figure it must be pretty good.

The second, more adventurous one is Drag Brunch at Perry's. Perry's does a great brunch on Sunday's, along with a Drag review. What is so hysterical is that Perry's has 20 foot tall windows with tons of light streaming in. Nothing more hysterical than a fully painted drag queen in full sun.

I'd say well over half, probably 3/4s of the patrons are straight. Many Euros from the Embassies. Even occassionally the odd Euro child. The brunch is FANTASTIC, Price not bad. It fills up early so you should be there by 11:30 or noon. Bring a lot of single dollar bills to tip the "girls"!

Perry's is at Columbia and Belmont, just off 18th and Columbia in Adams Morgan.

Alexandria, Virginia
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8. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

Devlin,

When you say Charlie Chiang's for dim sum, do you mean Tony Cheng's? As far as I know, there's no Charlie Chiang's on H Street, but Tony Cheng's fits your description, with dim sum on the upstairs level.

DC
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9. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

That must be the name. I am so bad with names. Sometimes I have to look on my underwear to remember my own...

Should be somewhere in the 600 block of H Street, NW.

For the out of towners:

Keep in mind that almost any address can be repeated up to 4 times, once in each quadrant of the city, NE, NW, SE, SW. If you wind up in the wrong quadrant you can be MILES away from where you intended.

600 block of H Street NW (Chinatown) good, 600 block of H Street NE, not so good.

Sterling, VA
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for Washington DC
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10. Re: Alternatives to Fast Food, Food Courts, and Chain...

You're welcome, Brian! Please post back after your visit---I would like to read about your trip and the places you decided to try for meals.