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Eat Cheap in Washington, DC

Washington, DC’s Best Casual Restaurants & Cheap Places to Eat


When you want to eat out and eat cheap, there are plenty of places to find casual, tasty fare in Washington, DC. Yes, we have all the national chain restaurants and fast food places that you'll find in every American city, but here is a guide to some of the local favorites. (Listed in alphabetical order)

Do you have a favorite cheap restaurant to add to list? Send me an email at dc@aboutguide.com, include the restaurant name, address and description and I may add your suggestion.

American City Diner

5532 Connecticut Ave., NW. Washington, DC (202) 244-1949. Casual American food served 24 hours. Classic diner offers a wide variety of dishes and is great for families.

Baja Grille

1133 20th St. NW. Washington, DC. (202)659-4136. The locally owned restaurant and carryout offers fresh Mexican food at cheap prices.

Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U Street, NW Washington, DC (202) 667-0909. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Ben's Chili Bowl, is famous for it's Half-Smoke and is a Washington landmark that dates back to 1958. The specialty is chili dogs and french fries, but there are also some healthier options like veggie burgers and vegetarian chili. This is Bill Cosby's favorite place to eat in DC.

Bullfeathers of Capitol Hill

410 First Street SE Washington, DC (202) 488-2701. Casual dining on Capitol Hill, great burgers, salads and sandwiches. Happy hour and drink specials nightly. Outdoor sidewalk cafe open during the warmer months of the year.

Cactus Cantina

3300 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC (202) 686-7222. Good Mexican food at reasonably cheap prices. Outdoor patio is a local favorite place to eat during the warmer months of the year. Located near the National Cathedral.

Capital Q BBQ

707 H Street, NW Washington, DC (202) 347-8396. Great Texas Barbecue, located near Chinatown.

Couscous Cafe

1195 20th St. NW. Washington, DC (202) 689-1233. Good Mediterranean cuisine at reasonable prices. Open for breakfast and lunch. Catering available as well.

Hanks Oyster Bar

1624 Q Street NW, Washington, DC (202) 462-HANK (4265) and 1026 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia. (703) 739-7788. Great fresh seafood at reasonable prices.

Lauriol Plaza

1835 18th Street NW. Washington, DC. (202)387-0035. Good Tex-Mex cooking in a restaurant with sidewalk tables, a two-tiered dining room, and a rooftop deck.

Roti Mediterranean Grill

Several Locations Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. The menu features freshly cut fire-roasted meats, all-natural chicken and highlights the robust flavors of the Mediterranean region with salads, sandwiches and traditional side dishes of couscous, organic falafel and hummus. Roti also offers a variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options to accommodate those with specific dietary needs.


Surfside Restaurant

2444 Wisconsin Ave. Washington, DC (202) 337-0004. Casual and cheap Cleveland Park restaurant offering a variety of healthy Mexican fare. Great salads, tacos, guacamole and margaritas. Rooftop deck.

Zorba's Cafe

1612 20th St NW Washington, DC (202) 387-8555. Greek food, best known for specialties like taramosalata, tzatziki, hommus, tabouli salad and many more. Nice outdoor sidewalk patio.

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