Money Low But Hunger High? Hit These Top D.C. Value Restaurants

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.




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

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

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.


Located near the Verizon Center, this casual venue features a ramen shop on one level and an izakaya â€" 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.

Rise Bakery
Photo courtesy of Rise Bakery

When people who need gluten-free options go to restaurants, they usually must comb through the menu to discover one or two options available. That's not the case at this Adams Morgan venue because everything is gluten-free here. Owner Mike Koritko was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease in 2004 so he decided to open his bakery in 2014 to give residents with food allergies an expansive menu of choices including croissants, cupcakes, cookies, pies and pastries. Looking for vegan options as well? No problem. They have taken favorite gluten-free options and created vegan versions including banana nut bread, blueberry muffin, carrot cake and nutty vegan bar.

Florida Avenue Grill
Photo courtesy of 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

Hill Country Barbecue Market
Photo courtesy of Hill Country

Looking for a little taste of Central Texas? No need to buy a plane ticket or gas up the car. Mosey on over to this restaurant right here in the nation's capital in Penn Quarter. Carnivores prepare yourselves. They smoke their barbeque â€" a selection of beef, pork, sausage and bird, "low and slow" over Texas post oak and the meat is only carved after it is ordered. It might be tempting to just order meat but the sides, which come in three sizes, are a must try including longhorn cheddar mac and cheese and green bean casserole. Looking for some entertainment with your meal? Check out their concert calendar featuring live Americana music. METRO: Judiciary Square


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

C.F. Folks

This luncheonette breaks two standard restaurant rules. They are only open for lunch and on weekdays. (Gasp!) Serving homestyle meals since 1981, this cozy spot offers daily specials focusing on different cuisines including New Orleans, Latin America and Mediterranean. Selections are posted to their website so be sure to check it out before you go. Folks can also check out their menu of combination sandwiches like lean hot pastrami or folks Reuben or deli sandwiches such as grilled chicken breast or cheese sandwich. Assorted salads and soups are also available. Get a sugar boost before leaving and order brownies and cookies for under $2 each. METRO: Dupont Circle.

Photo courtesy of Ambar

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


Meet 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...  More About Gina