Power Lunches and Midday Munches in the Nation's Capital

Holly Smith

By , Local Expert, Washington
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Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but lunch is by far the trickiest. After all, if you're bold enough to head out to a sit-down meal in the middle of the workday -- and bravo if you are! -- you're forced to keep one eye on the clock as you're scanning the menu. And if you're just visiting the city and seeking a delicious midday snack, you want to choose a place wisely so you'll know your dining-out dollars have been well spent. But how to select the perfect lunch spot? By perusing this list. Here, we've compiled some of the most popular -- and often most buzz-worthy -- lunch spots in Washington, DC. Although...  Read more »

  • 1


    • Cuisine: Latin
    • Average Main Course Price: $26

    Chef Jeff Tunks -- a DC favorite -- knows how to wow diners, and he's done it again with Ceiba.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the achiote-spiced gnocchi. It's not your grandma's potato pasta!"

  • 2

    C.F. Folks

    C.F. Folks snagged the 2013 America's Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation. Stop in and you'll soon discover why.

    Local Expert Tip: "At only 15 cents extra, adding tomatoes or onions to your sandwich is a no-brainer."

  • 3

    Pizzeria Paradiso — Dupont Circle

    A good pizza place is worth its weight in mozzarella. Pizzeria Paradiso is just such a place.

    Local Expert Tip: "Ordering dessert at lunch may be over-the-top indulgent, but the Salame di Cioccolato makes it so worth it."

  • 4

    Rocklands — Georgetown

    In business since 1990, the folks behind Rocklands know better than to mess with their winning, wood-only barbecue.

    Local Expert Tip: "No need to avoid Rocklands if you're a vegetarian. The menu offers a surprising number of meat-free dishes."

  • 5

    Georgia Brown's

    This restaurant takes the ultimate comfort food -- Southern cuisine -- and transforms it into something sublime.

    Local Expert Tip: "Take the guesswork out of ordering by opting for the three-course, prix-fixe luncheon."

  • 6

    Old Ebbitt Grill

    It's the rare establishment that lasts for years, let alone 150+ of them. See for yourself what gives Old Ebbitt Grill such staying power.

    Local Expert Tip: "This place truly is historic, so don't rush through lunch. Take your time and savor the surroundings."

  • 7

    Tabard Inn Restaurant

    Live jazz, Victorian ambience and patio dining are just some of the reasons the Tabard Inn is a perpetual DC favorite.

    Local Expert Tip: "For a filling lunch that's not too sinful, try the savory tart with leeks and goat cheese."

  • 8

    Bread Line

    • Cuisine: American
    • Average Main Course Price: $7

    Bread Line takes it commitment to fresh baked goods seriously, making everything onsite in its 3,500-square-foot bakery.

    Local Expert Tip: "Walk off lunch with a stroll to the White House. It's right nearby!"

  • 9


    Authentic Ethiopian restaurants are tough to come by; Meskerem is one of the finest.

    Local Expert Tip: "Don't be shy about digging in with your hands. That's half the fun!"

  • 10

    Al Tiramisu

    Good Italian is good, but great Italian is an epiphany. Al Tiramisu shows pretenders to the throne how it's supposed to be done.

    Local Expert Tip: "Recreate Al Tiramisu's amazing dishes at home by taking an onsite cooking class."



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