Power Lunch Or Midday Meal? Try These Top D.C. Lunch Venues
By Gina Gallucci White
Washington Local Expert
Lunch can be the trickiest part of the day to plan in Washington, D.C. If you are a tourist, you want to be near where all the best attractions are located because there is already a lot of walking involved when you visit. If you work in the district, many factors must go into your decision. Is this a meal to discuss business deals? Are you going to have enough time? Will others be joining you?
The decision can be a bit daunting but fear not because 10Best is here with our top lunch picks in the nation's capital. We decided to pick from a wide range of venues because tastes can vary from day to day.
For those looking for power lunch spots, head to Old Ebbitt Grill which has hosted tourists and politicos since 1856. Chef Fabio Trabocchi opened Fiola in 2011 and it remains one of the hottest restaurant's in the district.
If you are looking for a quick bite to eat that packs a lot of flavor, you will love sandwich shops like Bub and Pop's and Taylor's Gourmet.
Whether you are looking for a midday meal or a chance to discuss business, Washington, D.C. has a number of lunch venues to fit the needs of everyone.
Market Lunch — Capitol Hill
If you need a break from shopping at Eastern Market or are just looking to refuel during a pit stop, this eatery is the place for you. The venue regularly has long lines of people waiting to get inside. Don't be deterred! The line moves pretty fast as food comes out quickly. Take your pick of charbroiled burgers, oyster sandwiches, soft shell crabs and fish sandwiches. If you make it here early enough, breakfast is not to be missed. Patrons order at the counter and then find an open seat at a communal table. METRO: Eastern Market (202-547-8444)
With a focus on modern interpretations of traditional French bistro fare, this restaurant is where Capitol Hill dines out. Patrons will find a warm yet sophisticated atmosphere upon their arrival including a tiered dining area and a bar ready to make classic French cocktails. Savor lunch entrees like the Bis burger, salmon Normande, trout l'ardenaise, crab cakes and the salad grecque. The brunch menu is worth getting out of bed for on the weekend with selections like the risotto au pistou, quiche Lorraine and tuna salade nicoise. METRO: Union Station (202-661-2700)
Greek Deli & Catering
Growing up in Greece, chef and owner Kostas Fostieris came to the United States in 1975. After working in some of the top restaurants in the district, he took his passion for homestyle Greek food and began Greek Deli & Catering in 1990. Each plate features fresh, homemade recipes with enormous servings. Check out their sandwiches menu for such offerings as lamb souvlaki, tuna gyro style and "our famous gyro" as it is known. The hot Greek specialties feature baked moussaka, Greek combo, lamb platter, Athenian baked pastitsio and chicken breast. Save room for the baklava found on the dessert menu. METRO: Farragut North ((202) 296-2111)
There is just something about a bowl of warm soup and ramen that feels like home. Taiwanese cuisine reigns supreme at this H Street NE venue featuring ramen and dumplings. Try Toki classic, Taipei curry chicken, vegetarian, red miso ramen. Pick your choice of beef, pork, seasonal vegetable, chicken, or seasonal seafood dumplings that may be either pan-fried, fried or steamed. $5 will get you a half a dozen. Sides include cold tofu and kimchi. Wait times to get inside tend to be long so chose their delivery service Caviar to have the restaurant come to you. METRO: Union Station. ((202) 388-3086)
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)
Blue Duck Tavern
You'll find this American fare restaurant tucked inside the luxury Park Hyatt Washington, D.C. hotel. Soft lighting, an open kitchen and unique handcrafted wood furnishings throughout give the restaurant a warm, contemporary feel. With a concept of serving "simple, rustic food with an artisan approach," the lunch menu features a mouthwatering selection of salads, meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, potatoes and grains. As a way to recognize the farmers who grow and raise ingredients for their menu, names and/or locations are provided on the menus for each course. METRO: Foggy Bottom (202-419-6755)
Begun by two neighbors in 2009 after a meal of homemade chips, salsa and guacamole, District Taco first began as a food truck but has now grown to include three locations in the district and northern Virginia. Serving a Mexican/Yucatan style menu, guests may chose from tacos, burritos, quesadillas and may add their choice of fresh toppings. Don't leave without adding on some sides like chips and queso, beans and rice or chips and guacamole. They have different levels of salsa so double check before you order if you don't like spicy. Allergen and special diet information is available online. (202-347-7359)
Opened in 2011, this much buzzed about restaurant is Chef Fabio Trabocchi's first in D.C. With a modern upscale vibe, this venue changes menus every day to reflect the freshest ingredients available for its regional and contemporary Italian cuisine. The menu includes selections of pasta, meat, fish and salads. If you are looking to make more healthy choices, look at the Maria menu Monday through Fridays which offers three courses of Mediterranean style dishes that are low on sodium, calories and fat. The bar offers its own lunch menu called PRESTO! where guests may chose a select beverage and entrée for one price. METRO: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter. (2026282888)
Bub and Pops
We all love the fancy restaurants and big name chefs in the district but sometimes you just want a meal from a good ole' mom and pop shop. This sandwich venue is where you should head to for menu items that are hand roasted, carved, stuffed and patted. While some restaurants may only put a few slices of meat inside a sandwich, Bub and Pop's does not. Each sandwich comes with a mountain of meat that will make you wish you could unhinge your jaw. Try their cheese steaks, tuna melt, fish hoagie and Pop's beef brisket in half or whole portions. Don't leave without trying their kettle-cooked potato chips and dip. ((202) 457-1111)
Old Ebbitt Grill
When Presidents Grant, Cleveland, Harding and Teddy Roosevelt were in need of libations, they came to here. Established in 1856 and boasting of being Washington, D.C.'s oldest saloon, the restaurant features Victorian-styled rooms perfect for tourists, locals and politicians. The upscale American lunch menu is sure to appease with great choices like the grilled swordfish, trout parmesan, chicken milanese and butternut squash agnolotti. Be sure to check out their menu devoted solely to oysters. The dress code is anything goes so it is perfect for Washington elite along with tourists stopping for a bite to eat just steps from The White House. METRO: Metro Center. (202-347-4800)
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.
Read more about Gina Gallucci White here.