This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will pour into my fair city to celebrate the 2nd inauguration of President Obama. If you are one of those folks (or if you are just hungry), I have a few dining suggestions for you while you are here.
Close to the action
If you are looking for places to get a delicious, affordable (because let’s be honest, unless you are lucky, you are spending a rack of cash on your hotel this weekend) place to grab some food within walking distance to the Capitol, I’ve got you covered. Check out Good Stuff Eatery (303 Penn Ave SE) for tasty burgers, fries and shakes by Top Chef alum, Spike Mendelsohn (funny story: Spike actually lives very close to me, drives a nice [but not obnoxious] car and for the record he’s shorter than he looks on TV). Right next to Good Stuff is We, the Pizza which sells whole pies and pies by the slice. A personal favorite is the Spinach & Artichoke.
The reality is if you don’t have tickets to the swearing-in ceremony, you’ll be no closer to the Capitol then 7th and Constitution (where I was standing 4 very cold years ago). If you are around 7th, then I’d head due north up 7th to the Gallery Place / Chinatown area. Not to take the metro — you will be better off walking most places, trust me! But rather, to eat. Chances are high that most restaurants will be swamped, so you may want to try Hill County BBQ simply because it’s huge and easy to accommodate large groups. The food is quite good, as well. It’s nothing compared to the BBQ I used to get in Alabama, but for DC, not bad at all. I recommend the sweet potato bourbon mash. Yum! Also worth checking out in Chinatown: Matchbox (there will be a wait – try sitting at the bar if you can), Ping Pong Dim Sum and Clyde’s.
Further away from the National Mall
What should you eat the rest of the weekend when you are not freezing your buns off on the National Mall? I have a few suggestions.
If someone in your group is gluten free, they may find it challenging to dine out in DC. Not so with Scion Restaurant. The menu conveniently lists which items are gluten free and they are numerous and delicious. You’ve probably heard about how cool/hipster/amazing H Street, NE is. If you haven’t, you are in luck because H Street is fantastic! I’m not just saying that because it’s my neighborhood. Make your way over to my ‘hood and check out Toki Underground for the best ramen in the city. Pro tip: arrive right at opening (5pm) or be prepared to wait – upwards of 3 hours. Toki is tiny and doesn’t take reservations Also great on H Street is H & Pizza. This place is by far my favorite causal pizza place in DC and is great for all diets. For $9, you can customize your own pizza (including vegan and veggie friendly options!) or choose one of their suggestions.
Have fun this weekend exploring my fantastic city!