GLAMcamp DC/Food and drink

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Hostelling International Washington DC is located in the heart of Washington, near Chinatown, one of the city's most popular dining and nightlife destinations. Some suggested dining and drink options are below. As with most places in the United States, you must be 21+ to get into bars.

If you're not interested in dining out or going out in the evening, the hostel offers free wifi and activities, they can also suggest delivery if you're interested in dining in; learn more here.

Dining[edit]

These restaurants serve lunch and/or dinner and are located near the hostel and NARA. A handpicked list of recommendations from SarahStierch who is a self admitted foodie.

$ = Cheap
$$ = Moderate
$$$ = Expensive
V = vegetarian or vegan options

Closer to the hostel

  • Againn - $$$ - Contemporary twist on British and American food. Large portions, an interesting menu and good cocktails. A real cool place and one of the finest restaurants in the city, very close to the hostel. 1099 New York Ave NW
  • Busboys and Poets - $$ - V - A DC institution. A political and activist bookshop combined with a spoken word and lecture hall and a great cozy restaurant/cafe and bar with free wifi. A favorite DC hang out. Food ranges from tasty vegan pizza to hearty pastas, sandwiches and comfort foods. Various locations. Lunch and dinner. 1025 5th St NW
  • Cafe Mozart - $$$ - Casual German restaurant and shop. It's better to visit here for dinner, than for lunch during the conference, even though lunch is cheaper. Schnitzels, sausages, and all types of German fair and beer. 1331 H St NW
  • Potbelly Sandwich Works - $ - V - Sub sandwich shop from Chicago, with numerous locations around DC. Good sandwiches, which you can get toasted or not, treats and milkshakes. Lunch & dinner.
  • Taylor Gourmet - $ - V - Hearty Philadelphia inspired sub sandwiches and tasty small plates. A casual restaurant with fresh food, sodas and beer. One of the finer sub shops in town. 485 K St NW

Closer to NARA

Yup, that's a burger from Five Guys.
  • Chinatown Express - $ - V - Homemade noodles and dumplings, as well as soups. Cheap and crazy environment mixed with locals and tourists. 746 6th St NW
  • Clyde's - $$ - V - A local DC chain of restaurants, Clyde's offers up American classics and seafood. They also have a good happy hour and a raw bar in a Victorian saloon style setting. Lunch & dinner. 707 7th St NW
  • Ella's Pizza - $$ - V - Affordable and tasty wood fired pizza. They offer a happy hour with pizza's for $5. Lunch & dinner. 901 F St NW
  • Five Guys - $ - When in Rome...er, DC, one must have a Five Guys burger with fries. The best bang for your buck burger wise - pile it high with whatever free toppings they offer and enjoy fresh cut fries. A Virginia based institution that has spread nation wise with a good reputation. Lunch & dinner. 808 H St NW
  • Food Trucks - $ - DC loves its food trucks. Consider hunting down a food truck in the area for lunch, it's a cheap and fast option. To see what food trucks are where during lunch time, visit Food Truck Fiesta on your computer or phone. A few usually congregate on the south side of the National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum. Lunch only.
  • Jaleo - $$ - V - Spanish tapas restaurant owned by celebrity local chef Jose Andres. Well priced and varied lunch options, mainly sandwiches and small plates. Best Spanish (Andres is a Spanish born American) in the city, and possibly the country. Happy hour specials as well. Lunch & dinner. 480 7th St NW
  • Luke's Lobster - $$ - Affordable place to get fresh Maine lobster rolls, as well as crab and shrimp rolls. A small menu with those three specialties and soups like chowder. They also serve up Maine made root beer and alcoholic beer. Lunch & dinner. 624 E. Street NW
  • Matchbox - $$ - V - Oven baked pizza and famous sliders, this hip pizza place gets packed during lunch and dinner. Reservations advised. 713 H St NW
  • Merzi - $ - V - Awesome fast food that has been described as the "Chipotle of Indian." Fresh, tasty and affordable, you'll be filled up quickly by the tasty options here. Build your own bowl of food and enjoy different spice levels and traditional Indian sides. Lunch & dinner. 415 7th St NW
  • Nando's Peri-Peri - $$ - V - Portuguese flame-grilled chicken with tasty sides. Affordable lunch time open and good vegetarian food too. 819 7th St NW
  • Qdoba - $ - V - Affordable chain restaurant serving up fast Mexican. Lunch & dinner. 555 11th St NW
  • Ollie's Trolley - $ - Cult burger joint that has been around for decades. Chock full of carnival games and antiques, the restaurant has a surreal vibe. Fast, unfriendly (as you expect in a place like this) service serves up tasty burgers with "secret sauce," seasoned fries, milkshakes and more. A DC institution and one of a kind. Cash only. Lunch and dinner. 425 12th St NW
Sliders at Matchbox
  • District of Pi - $$ - V - Saint Louis based pizza restaurant comes to DC. Thin and deep dish style pizzas, salads and appetizers. A wide selection of beer and whiskey, including microbrews from Saint Louis. Lunch & dinner. 910 F Street NW
  • Potbelly Sandwich Works - $ - V - Sub sandwich shop from Chicago, with numerous locations around DC. Good sandwiches, which you can get toasted or not, treats and milkshakes. Lunch & dinner.
Near NARA: 637 Indiana Ave NW
  • Teaism - $$ - V - Local Asian fusion (primarily Japanese inspired) teahouse with a delightful and interesting menu, and a local cult following. Nicely priced Bento boxes for lunch (under $10). They also have burgers, crab cakes and other organic delights. Lunch & dinner. 400 8th St NW
  • Vapiano - $$ - V - International chain of Italian self-serve food with a bar. Lunch & dinner. 623 H St NW
  • Zaytinya - $$$ - V - Craving the opportunity to re-experience the delicious food of Haifa, Israel during Wikimania 2011? Zaytinya is a Mediterranean meets middle eastern restaurant owned by celebrity & local chef Jose Andres. Served "tapas" style (small plates), they offer a variety of price ranges, interesting cocktails, and beer and wine from the region. Lunch & dinner. 701 9th St NW
  • Zola Wine & Kitchen - $$ - V - Part of the Spy Museum, Zola serves fast casual lunches with gourmet and seasonal ingredients. A real cool place and a nice change from typical sandwich shops. They also have a wine store, where you can buy an affordable bottle to enjoy or bring home with you. They have a delicious caprese sandwich. Lunch only. 505 9th St NW

Delivery[edit]

These places will deliver to the hostel.

  • Foodler - Features a variety of local restaurants including Indian, Chinese, wings, burgers, pizza and more.
  • Seamless - Similar to Foodler, tons of food options from local restaurants varying in cuisine and price range. Nice option outside of standard pizza places.

Dining in other neighborhoods[edit]

Ask the hostel or a local how to get to the neighborhood these restaurants are located. DC is super easy to get around in, and most places are within a 10 or 15 minute cab ride, bus ride, or Metro ride. DC is also a great walking city, you can get to most neighborhoods below within 20 minutes. It's ill-advised to try to grab lunch in other neighborhoods during conference days, consider exploring the city for dinner.

Capitol Hill[edit]

The diner style bar at Ted's Bulletin

The largest historical neighborhood in the city, Capitol Hill is home to families, students, politicians and a healthy queer community. A nice dose of restaurants and cafes in a few blocks, all in the shadow of the United States Capitol.

  • DC-3 - $ - V - Not your typical hot dog stand - cheap, gourmet, and hip, with veggie options. 423 8th St SE
  • Seventh Hill - $$ - V - Small pizza and bistro that serves affordable bottles of wine and tasty pizzas. Casual environment and friendly staff. Order at the bar then take a seat and they'll bring it out too you. Great desserts too. 327 7th St SE
  • Sweetgreen - $ - V - A local chain of salad restaurants. Focusing on fresh seasonal ingredients, the salads can be big enough for two to share as a light lunch or one hearty dinner. Salads can also be made into wraps. Sweetgreen also serves organic healthy tart frozen yogurt. Locations throughout the area. 221 Pennsylvania Ave SE
  • Ted's Bulletin - $$ - V - A cool retro restaurant that feels like something out of a Rat Pack movie. Big portions of American classics including steaks and fried chicken, as well as vegetarian options. They have amazing "booze milkshakes," and make their own home-made pop tarts. Reservations advised. 505 8th St SE

Columbia Heights[edit]

Ethnically diverse neighborhood which consists of locals more than tourists.

  • Pho 14 - $ - V - The best pho in the city. Cozy and affordable. 1436 Park Rd NW
  • Taqueria Distrito Federal - $ - V - Best tacos in the city, authentic Mexican in a cozy family environment. 3463 14th St NW

Downtown[edit]

This area is generally near the White House, just south of McPherson Square and north of the National Mall.

  • Old Ebbitt Grill - $$ - V - A DC institution, the Old Ebbitt Grill opened in 1856 and was a hang out for numerous presidents including Theodore Roosevelt. Beaux-Arts design on the inside and out, with murals and impressive taxidermy. They have a famous oyster bar and serves up American cuisine at all price ranges. Lunch & dinner. 675 15th St NW

Dupont Circle[edit]

Liberal, historical neighborhood that is queer friendly and has many unique shops and restaurants. Centered around the DuPont Circle Fountain, the neighborhood has a rather European feel.

Bistrot du Coin
  • Bistrot du Coin - $$ - The best French food in Washington, this bistro is casual and cool and makes you feel like you really are in Paris. A great place to get a cheap glass of wine or champagne and enjoy tasty frites. One of the most popular restaurants in the city for its food, price and location. 1738 Connecticut Ave NW
  • DC Bread and Brew - $ - V - Casual cafe, coffeeshop and bar with simple fare such as quiche, salads, sandwiches and homemade desserts. They also have a craft beer list and fair trade coffee offerings. Food offerings vary by seasonal offerings. 1247 20th St NW
  • Firefly - $$$ - V - Cozy restaurant in a hotel that features a giant tree inside of it, as if out of a fantasy novel. Fresh food, often inspired by season ingredients. A nice place to split a cheese plate and try a homemade dessert, or enjoy a cocktail. They also have gluten free offerings. 1310 New Hampshire Ave NW
  • Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe - $$ - V - The most famous bookshop in Washington, this cool hangout has a heated patio and plenty of great books to browse. A huge varied menu, including a good brunch. 1517 Connecticut Ave NW
  • Nage - $$$ - V - Some of the best fries in the city! Nage is a nice, casual contemporary restaurant in a hotel between Foggy Bottom and Dupont Circle. European inspired bistro food, with a good happy hour as well. 1600 Rhode Island Ave NW
  • St. Arnold's - $$ - V - Cozy basement restaurant and bar specializing in Belgian food such as mussels, frites and waffles. Nice selection of vegetarian options as well. Good beer selection and free wifi! 1827 Jefferson Pl NW
  • Sweetgreen - $ - V - A local chain of salad restaurants. Focusing on fresh seasonal ingredients, the salads can be big enough for two to share as a light lunch or one hearty dinner. Salads can also be made into wraps. Sweetgreen also serves organic healthy tart frozen yogurt. Locations throughout the area. 1512 Connecticut Ave NW

Foggy Bottom[edit]

This neighborhood is home to George Washington University and will be the location of Wikimania 2012.

H Street[edit]

The upper bar at Granville Moore's

H Street is undergoing major revamping and renovations..or...gentrification, if you will. Regardless, the neighborhood has become a hot spot for dining and nightlife. A cool place to hang out if you're into more alternative music and funky bars.

  • Fruit Bat - $$ - V - Super small bar and menu, but, they specialize in South American street food. A nice quick place to grab a snack before hitting the bars. 1236 H St NE
  • Granville Moore's - $$ - V - One of the best places for Belgian food in the city. The best buffalo burger in the city, they also have great mussels and vegetarian food, as well as frites. A healthy sized Belgian beer list too. The restaurant is housed in a historical building which was the former home and doctor's office for Granville Moore, and includes the original pharmaceutical storage cabinets, which are now used for storing beer. 1238 H St NE

Logan Circle[edit]

Historical neighborhood that has been the home of famous African Americans (Duke Ellington was born here), and American Civil War heroes like Ulysses S. Grant. Now, the neighborhood is home to cafes, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques.

  • Commissary - $$ - V - Casual cafe that is popular with the locals all times of day. Free wifi and good happy hours. Decent American food for all types of tastes. 1443 P St NW
  • Ghana Cafe - $$ - One of the finest African restaurants in the city, and not Ethiopian, for once. Specializes in goat and vegetarian dishes. 1336 14th St NW
  • Great Wall Szechuan House - $ - V - Great authentic Chinese food served family style in a not-so-fancy restaurant. 1527 14th St NW
  • Sweetgreen - $ - V - A local chain of salad restaurants. Focusing on fresh seasonal ingredients, the salads can be big enough for two to share as a light lunch or one hearty dinner. Salads can also be made into wraps. Sweetgreen also serves organic healthy tart frozen yogurt. Locations throughout the area. 1471 P St NW
  • Teak Wood - $$ - V - Don't let the super fancy decor trick you, Teak Wood offers up delicious and well priced Thai and sushi. Great service as well, and really enjoyable experience. 1323 14th St NW
  • Tsunami Sushi & Lounge - $$ - V - Hip sushi lounge. 1326 14th St NW

U Street Corridor[edit]

Ben's Chili Bowl

One of the country's most famous historical African American neighborhoods, U Street a ethnically diverse collection of restaurants, nightclubs, live music venues and architectural styles. One of the hottest nightlifes in the city.

  • Bar Pilar - $$ - V - Named after Ernest Hemingway's boat, Bar Pilar serves small plates alongside a cocktail list featuring "old school" beverages such as an Old Fashioned. Great house-made desserts too. Evenings can get really busy and the bar becomes more like a night club, so go early. 1833 14th St NW
  • Ben's Chili Bowl - $ - One of the most famous diners in the city. Get your "half smoke" or chili on at this late night destination. A legendary place! 1213 U St NW
  • Busboys and Poets - $$ - V - A DC institution. A political and activist bookshop combined with a spoken word and lecture hall and a great cozy restaurant/cafe and bar with free wifi. A favorite DC hang out. Food ranges from tasty vegan pizza to hearty pastas, sandwiches and comfort foods. Various locations. Lunch and dinner. 2021 14th St NW
  • Chix - $ - The best Peruvian chicken in the city. Affordable and a good option for tasty food before hitting the clubs or bars on U Street. 2019 11th St NW
  • Cafe St. Ex - $$ - V - The sister restaurant for Bar Pilar, this cafe is named after Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who wrote The Little Prince. A hip place with a varied menu featuring salads, local meats, and homemade desserts. In the evening, the basement opens up and becomes a hipster dance party place. Good beer selection, too. 1847 14th St NW
  • Etete - $$ - V - One of the city's best Ethiopian restaurants. U Street is known for its Ethiopian, and this is the best place to experience it. 1942 9th St NW

Drinking & nightlife[edit]

Near the hostel[edit]

  • Fado Irish Pub - $$ - A delightful Irish pub in the heart of a hotel. Good music (real Irish people work there!) and a good place for large groups. They live live music (acoustic) on the weekends. A surprisingly cool place in the heart of Chinatown. They also have standard pub fare as well. 808 7th St NW
  • Iron Horse - $$ - Motorcycle themed bar, two floors, with games in the basement (i.e. classic video games and carnival games). 507 7th St NW
  • RFD - $$ - One of the largest beer lists in the city, RFD is quite popular with locals and tourists alike. Better beer than food. Large place and good for big groups. 810 7th St NW
  • Riot Act - $$ - DC's finest comedy club. Serves drinks and food, as well. 801 E St NW

Other neighborhoods[edit]

Adams Morgan[edit]

The quirky interior of Chief Ike's Mambo Room
  • Asylum - $ - V - Best dive bar in Adam's Morgan. A good place to go on the weekends when Adam's Morgan is filled with drunk idiots. If you like punk rock, you'll like this place. 2471 18th St NW
  • Black Squirrel - $ - V - Canadian owned pub with poutine and burgers. Lots of vegetarian options. Booze wise they have a nice beer list, with different beers served on all three floors, and absinthe as well. 2427 18th St NW
  • Chief Ike's Mambo Room - $ - One of the more interesting bars in the neighborhood, Chief Ike's has live music and DJ's on the weekend. Check the website for more info. 1725 Columbia Rd NW
  • Tryst - $$ - V - Hip cafe and coffee shop with a bar and food. Popular day and night with locals for good conversation and free wifi. They have awesome coffees!! 2459 18th St NW

Dupont Circle[edit]

H Street[edit]

  • HR-57 - $ - One of the country's only non-profit BARS, dedicated to the preservation of jazz music. You can BYOB to this bar and hear some of the best jazz from around the world. 816 H St
  • Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar - $ - One of the best bar's in the city. A total dive that makes you feel like you're in New Orleans. A total blast with a great and awesome staff. Cash only. 1104 H St NE
  • The Pug - $ - Dive bar who's motto is: "No idiots. No bombs. No shooters. No specials. No politics. Relax. Drink. Be cool. Behave." 1234 H St NE
  • Red Palace - $ - DC's burlesque club, which has three bars, a performance hall and a cat that lives in the bar. 1210 H St NE
The exterior of the Red Palace, with its sideshow theme.
  • Sova - $$ - Sova is a wine bar and coffee shop with free wifi. Nice place to cozy up and chill on a chilly day. 1359 H St NE

Logan Circle[edit]

  • ChurchKey - $$ - The city's most famous beer hall, this place is a modern twist on the concept. The largest beer list in the city, and one of the top 10 largest in the country, ChurchKey serves hundreds of beers on tap and in bottle, from around the world. The menu will make your beer loving mind explode. They also offer appetizers ranging from to die for housemade tater tots to foie gras. 1337 14th St NW

U Street Corridor[edit]

  • Bohemian Caverns - $$ - The coolest jazz venue in the city, Bohemian Caverns looks just like that - the decor is built to look like a cave. Miles Davis performed here, and it has affordable and more expensive options for live jazz depending on the day of the week. Really, one of the coolest places in town. 2003 11th St NW
  • DC9 - $ - Dive bar with a nightclub upstairs and a lounge downstairs. Cool, hip crowd and laid back. 1940 9th St NW
  • Nellie's Sports Bar - $$ - Don't let the name fool you, this is actually a gay "sports" bar, with multiple floors and as many personalities. A good place to watch a game also. 900 U St NW
  • Patty Boom Boom - $ - If you're into reggae, this is is your place. Live music and DJ's nightly, with the best reggae in the city. They also serve Jamaican patties and classic Jamaican cocktails. 1359 U St NW
  • Vinoteca - $$ - V - The city's finest wine bar is casual and cool with a contemporary feel. Wine by the glass and bottles from around the world, they also serve tapas style food. 1940 11th St NW