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The Best Cheap Eats in Washington D.C.

The OpenTable Team

D.C. might be best known for being the epicenter of politics in America but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be a hotbed for amazing food. The capital is a great spot to land when one is hankering for a good meal. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Explore the city through food with some of the best cheap eats in the country.

Restaurants:Masa 14, Jaleo DC, Due South
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Asian, Spanish, Southern
Neighborhoods:Logan Circle, Penn Quarter, Navy Yard
For 2 people today
Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM

Masa 14

$$$$·Asian·
Logan Circle
2,053 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Creative Cuisine
Masa 14 features a menu of Latin-Asian small plates designed for sharing and sampling, making them one of the most eclectic cheap places to eat in Washington, D.C. Chefs Richard SaRead more
Asian in Washington, D.C. Area
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Jaleo DC

$$$$·Spanish·
Penn Quarter
8,445 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Authentic
Chef Jose Andres and his team have developed a delicious menu of Spanish cuisine that celebrates both the traditional and the cutting-edge. The food showcases the spirit and flavorRead more
97% recommended
Spanish in Washington, D.C. Area

Due South

$$$$·Southern·
Navy Yard
820 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Casual
  • Waterfront
Due South serves up thoughtfully prepared dishes that celebrate the best of the South. Chef Rusty Holman and his team prepare cherished family recipes they have shared for generatiRead more
86% recommended

The Arsenal at Bluejacket

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Navy Yard
862 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Casual
  • Comfort Food
The Arsenal is the home restaurant at Bluejacket Brewery and is the perfect place for beer lovers to get a delicious quaff and a cheap bite to eat. The restaurant features a constaRead more
84% recommended

Dirty Habit

$$$$·Global, International·
Penn Quarter
857 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Happy Hour
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
Dirty Habit is fairly new on the scene in D.C. This gorgeous restaurant features innovative plates and expertly crafted cocktails, as well as a beautiful urban patio. The bar and rRead more
83% recommended

Sette Osteria - 14th St

$$$$·Italian·
Logan Circle
426 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
This vivacious restaurant is a fun and friendly spot to grab a cheap bit along 14th Street, one of the city’s liveliest streets. Sette offers artisan pizza and handmade pastas, as Read more
100% recommended

O-Ku - DC

$$$$·Sushi·
Washington
336 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
O-Ku Sushi in Union Market offers a bevy of raw fish options, Japanese whiskeys, and multiple bars where you can grab a drink and socialize with your friends. They have two floors Read more
99% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Washington, D.C. Area

Persimmon

$$$$·American·
Bethesda / Chevy Chase
2,238 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
Persimmon is an American bistro located off the beaten path from Bethesda’s bustling downtown. Chef Damian Salvatore is a native of Bethesda and knows the local restaurant scene weRead more
98% recommended
American in Maryland - DC Suburbs

The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
1,656 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
  • Fun
The Smith is a casual American Brasserie with locations in both NYC and DC. Located in the heart of the U Street corridor, the newest location offers a lively and boisterous atmospRead more
83% recommended

El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

$$$$·Mexican·
Downtown
1,419 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Good for Groups
  • Casual
El Centro is yet another popular restaurant by chef Richard Sandoval, a native of Mexico. He places an emphasis on the flavors and complexity of Mexican cooking and has developed aRead more
Great for Brunch in Washington, D.C. Area

Macon Bistro & Larder

$$$$·Southern·
Chevy Chase
762 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
Tyler Stout is the head chef at Macon Bistro and Larder and is a master of classic bistro fare and Southern comfort food. The restaurant is famous for their rich appetizers, entreeRead more
92% recommended

The Source by Wolfgang Puck

$$$$·Asian·
Downtown
3,598 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
Located at The Newseum, The Source by Wolfgang Puck offers an elegant dining experience where you can enjoy the innovative Asian cuisine dishes in a sleek and contemporary settingRead more
83% recommended
Asian in Washington, D.C. Area

Buck's Fishing & Camping

$$$$·American·
Chevy Chase
665 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Cozy
  • Fit for Foodies
This is a small, neighborhood independently owned restaurant complete with a woody, fire lit atmosphere. They're a perfect place to enjoy local produce, meats, and fish without breRead more
91% recommended

Le Chat Noir

$$$$·French·
Friendship Heights
2,052 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Cozy
Le Chat Noir is a popular French restaurant and wine bar located in Friendship Heights. They have great prices on appetizers, such as the Saumon Fume, Escargots and Burrata, as welRead more
88% recommended

Peacock Café

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Georgetown
1,439 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Sunday Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
Established in 1991, Peacock Cafe is a staple of Georgetown life. They are one of the friendliest restaurants in the city and offers an eclectic menu with something for everyone. TRead more
85% recommended
Contemporary American in District of Columbia

Matisse

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Tenleytown
1,154 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
This opulently decorated restaurant evokes the work of their namesake and is a stunning place to sit and enjoy a meal. The menu adds a contemporary flair to classic dishes and featRead more
96% recommended
Neighborhood Gem in District of Columbia

BlackSalt

$$$$·Seafood·
Palisades Northwest
5,852 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
This seafood shop and dining room has been around for over a decade and the crowds still love them. The menu highlights fresh seafood and a number of Italian dishes such as fresh pRead more
94% recommended
Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area

RIS

$$$$·American·
West End
3,376 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion
RIS is an upscale neighborhood restaurant in the West End that serves seasonal American cuisine by executive chef Ris Lacoste. They have a fantastic menu that puts their own spin oRead more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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SEI restaurant & lounge

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
2,488 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Special Occasion
SEI is a modern Asian restaurant that makes a perfect spot for romantic dinners, corporate events, and all types of celebrations. The sushi chef, Noriyaki Yasutake, is from FukuokaRead more
93% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Pennsylvania 6 DC - Permanently Closed

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Downtown
395 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Business Meals
Located in the heart of Downtown D.C., Pennsylvania 6 offers an approachable but sophisticated menu of American dishes with an upscale twist. They have a raw bar, classic cocktailsRead more
Not available on OpenTable
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