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  /  DC Travel Tips   /  Five Spots for Authentic Washington, DC Dining.

Five Spots for Authentic Washington, DC Dining.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a traveler in search of food must be in want of a bit of authenticity.

Authentically Washingtonian dining options can be found across the District and across all budgets. A few most worth checking out:

1. Old Ebbitt Grill

Old Ebbitt Grill, at 675 15th Street NW, is Washington’s oldest bar and restaurant. If you’re looking for a perfect mix of authentically D.C. with good food and reasonable prices, you really can’t do a lot better than Old Ebbitt! The restaurant was established in 1856 and has been in its present location one block from the White House since 1983. The offerings will please virtually anyone—especially those who like a good raw bar!

Grand Atlas Tours Tip: Get reservations as early as possible, especially in the spring and summer!

2. Ben’s Chili Bowl

Ben’s Chili Bowl, at 1213 U Street NW, is the definition of a D.C. institution. Ben and Virginia Ali started business in 1958 and the establishment has been an unwavering anchor for a historic neighborhood ever since. Through decades of turmoil, Ben’s endured and is now a nationally known District dining destination. Washingtonians have long come together over the famous half smokes, including during the 1968 riots when police and protesters alike found Ben’s to be tasty common ground.

Grand Atlas Tours Tip: Bring cash (cards not taken), and also check out the nearby African-American Civil War Memorial!

3. Eastern Market

When Pierre L’Enfant designed the layout Washington, he planned for three markets across the city to supplement those in Georgetown and Alexandria: Eastern, Central, and Western Markets. Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market, at 7th & C Streets SE, survives largely in its historic form and is a major weekend destination for locals. For a quick lunch if you’re nearby—especially around the Capitol, Supreme Court, and/or Library of Congress, Eastern Market is a great choice.

Grand Atlas Tours Tip: Dozens of vendors sell everything from sandwiches to photographs to jewelry—be ready to walk around!

4. &pizza

Imagine a personal-pizza assembly line with unlimited free high-quality toppings served in a matter of minutes and more delicious than you could anticipate. That’s &pizza. It may well take over the country. In the mean time, it’s reserved for Washingtonians alone.

Grand Atlas Tours Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if it’s your first time!

5. Food Trucks!

Cookies and milk. Macaroni and Cheese. Ethiopian, Greek, Mexican, Vietnamese, Salvadoran, and Jamaican. They’re all fantastic. Best choice: Go to the trucks on 7th Street NW between F and G Streets, then take your food into the National Portrait Gallery’s central courtyard to eat! Outside food and drink is welcome and it’s a fantastic and beautiful oasis in a busy city. In nicer weather, check out the offerings at Farragut Square, just a few blocks up from the White House, and enjoy it in the shaded square.

Grand Atlas Tours Tip: Know what truck you want but not where to find it? Check out Food Truck Fiesta!