When it comes to food, many of us just want to get the most for our money whether it is at a chic, upscale restaurant or a homestyle diner. The dollar amount on value is different from person to person. When 10Best went looking for the top value restaurants in Washington, D.C., we searched a wide range of prices from cheap eateries to celebrity chef owned venues.
When looking at restaurants that offer the best for your money, you can't beat Jose Andres' Zaytinya which offers a four-course mezze lunch of Eastern Mediterranean fare for $25 or Ambar that features an unlimited brunch and bottomless Balkan dinner every night.
Looking to be a little more frugal but still fill your belly with tasty dishes? Taylor Gourmet is your best bet for incredible hoagies or head to 2 Amys for one of the best true Neapolitan pizzas this side of the Atlantic. Up for some comfort food? District-favorite Ben's Chili Bowl can not be beat. You may even see a celebrity or politician there.
Whatever dollar amount you associate with value, Washington, D.C. is sure to have a restaurant or eatery that will make you feel like your meal is money well spent.
This classic American diner with a 1920s/1930s vibe offers patrons multiple comfort food dishes to chose from all day long. Buttermilk chicken fried steak, the walk of shame breakfast burrito, the Ty Cobb salad and Ted's famous grilled cheese and tomato soup are among the favorites. They even make their own pop tarts! You will want to save room for their milkshake offerings including standard favorites (vanilla, chocolate) and more daring choices (PBJ or s'mores anyone?). They also have an adult milkshake menu featuring white Russian and key lime pie. METRO: Eastern Market or U Street. (202-544-8337)
Ben's Chili Bowl
With affordable prices and mouth watering dishes, this U Street favorite has been serving celebrities, politicians and every day folks since 1958. Ben's famous all meat chili dog, chili con carne and jumbo beef dog are menu specialties. Healthier, yet still tasty, options include a tuna sandwich, veggie burger and rice bowl. While your trainer might get mad, you won't want to miss side orders of chili-cheese fries and homemade cole saw. Make sure to wash it all down with one of Ben's famous thick creamy 16 oz. milkshakes. METRO: U Street. (202-667-0909)
2 Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria
To be considered a Neapolitan pizza, strict requirements must be followed. You must only use soft grain flour, fresh yeast, water and sea salt to make the dough. Forget extra toppings because only Italian plum tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil or dried oregano are allowed. Once your pie is complete, it must be cooked in a wood-burning oven. Who knew? Thankfully 2 Amy's dedication to these rules is well worth it when you sample their marinara or margherita pies. If you crave other ingredients, the shop offers other pizza selections and toppings that are also not to be missed. METRO: Cleveland Park (202-885-5700)
Florida Avenue Grill
Founder Lacey C. Wilson Sr. saved up tips from shoe shining in order to open a restaurant dedicated to serving home cooking to the masses. Marking its 70th anniversary this year, the eatery continues to delight diners and fill their bellies with delicious food. Breakfast is served all day long and you will want to try the hot cakes, french toast and buttermilk biscuits. You will want to come back for dinner too once you have sampled some of the dishes including bar-b-que pork spare ribs, southern pan fried chicken and Cajun friend catfish. METRO: U Street ((202) 265-1586)
Located near the Verizon Center, this casual venue features a ramen shop on one level and an izakaya – a Japanese comfort restaurant on the other. You will want to visit both. Stop in the ramen shop for a quick bowl of Sapporo style ramen noodles which are the same offered in Japan. You can also get a cup of sake to wish them down. Head to the izakaya for dinner and drinks. Try some fun bites like grilled oyster or yamaimo or skewers featuring chicken liver, zucchini or beef tongue jalapeno. You may just want to go straight to the rice and noodle dishes including cod roe spaghetti and pancit udon. METRO: Gallery Place/Chinatown. (202-589-1600)
With a goal of "capturing the culture, creating a community and cultivating a taste for the south," this Capitol Hill-based bakery succeeds with a bevy of sinfully delicious sweet treats like cinnamon rolls, scones and croissants. Don't just go for dessert! This venue has an unforgettable eatery with amazing dishes that will have you coming back for more. The bakery's location has some cool history – the space housed medic horses for a hospital during the Civil War and you can see touches today echoing the past including the original brick, herringbone-laid stone ground and wooden hay chutes and feeding troughs. METRO: Eastern Market (202-664-5307)
The owners of Taylor's Gourmet grew up in Philadelphia surrounded by hoagies from various mom and pop shops. When they moved to the nation's capital, they were surprised to find none of the local stores came close to the hoagies of their childhood so they decided to open a restaurant. The result would make Philly proud. Hoagie choices include Italians, turkey, roast beef, vegetarian, and roasted pork. Meats are roasted and breads are made in-house daily. Be sure to bring a big appetite for these delicious gourmet, hand-crafted hoagies. METRO: Depends on location (202-588-7117)
This Dupont Circle neighborhood pub and supper spot aims to recreate corner cafes, bodegas and curry joints that you would find across the pond in the East London neighborhood. The eatery focuses on made-from-scratch dishes put together with locally grown ingredients so the chalkboard menu they have behind their counter is constantly changing. Their daily menu is posted on their Facebook so you can know before you go. Check out their bar which serves seasonal cocktails, varietals and craft beers. Order a white sangria or a bottomless Bloody Mary and go sit out on their beautiful patio. METRO: Dupont Circle (202-733-5623)
Don't know what to grab for lunch? Why not head to this Jose Andres gem and get the mezze lunch special boasting four courses for $25. Served in small plate style, you'll find delicious dishes throughout the entire Greek, Turkish and Lebanese focused menu. Named for the Turkish word for olive oil, patrons will discover a bevy of spreads, soups, salads, flatbreads and mezze options to devour. Reservations for lunch and dinner are recommended. If it's a nice day, grab a table outside on their patio which seats 70 guests. METRO: Gallery Place/Chinatown (202-638-0800)
For those who crave value yet still want delicious food, this Balkan cuisine restaurant is a must visit. Saturdays and Sundays feature an unlimited brunch for $39. A bottomless Balkan dinner is offered every night for $49 with unlimited plates and drinks. This is a great way to try a samples from many dishes. Four entrees are excluded from this deal so be careful when you choose. Dinner menu selections include almond-crusted chicken, drunken mussels and cabbage casuela. You can't go home without trying some of their dessert offerings like forest gnocci and capri. Reservations are accepted. METRO: Eastern Market ((202) 813-3039)
About Gina Gallucci White
Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She writes about a wide variety of subjects and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Gina has two kids, can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi in a blind taste test and admits to knowing all the songs from Frozen.
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