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 our Tastemakers List. 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:Jaleo DC, Due South, The Arsenal at Bluejacket
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Spanish, Southern, Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Penn Quarter, Navy Yard

Jaleo DC

$$$$·Spanish·
Penn Quarter
8,983 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
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
96% recommended

Due South

$$$$·Southern·
Navy Yard
914 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Good for a Date
  • 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
91% recommended
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The Arsenal at Bluejacket

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Navy Yard
906 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Comfort Food
  • Neighborhood Gem
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
95% recommended
Contemporary American in District of Columbia

Dirty Habit

$$$$·Global, International·
Penn Quarter
946 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Good for a Date
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
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Sette Osteria - 14th St

$$$$·Italian·
Logan Circle
499 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
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
96% recommended

O-Ku - DC

$$$$·Sushi·
Washington
586 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
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
97% recommended
Best Ambiance in Virginia - DC Suburbs

Persimmon

$$$$·American·
Bethesda / Chevy Chase
2,348 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
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
94% recommended
Neighborhood Gem in Washington, D.C. Area

The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
1,950 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
  • Great for Brunch
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

Macon Bistro & Larder

$$$$·Southern·
Chevy Chase
810 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Pre/post Theatre
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
91% recommended
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Buck's Fishing & Camping

$$$$·American·
Chevy Chase
722 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Cozy
  • Comfort Food
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
93% recommended
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Le Chat Noir

$$$$·French·
Friendship Heights
2,136 reviews
  • Cozy
  • Good for a Date
  • Authentic
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
87% recommended
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Peacock Café

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Georgetown
1,524 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
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
92% recommended
Great for Brunch in District of Columbia
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Matisse

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Tenleytown
1,238 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Romantic
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
97% recommended

BlackSalt

$$$$·Seafood·
Palisades Northwest
6,058 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
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
96% recommended
Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area

RIS

$$$$·American·
West End
3,382 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
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SEI restaurant & lounge

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
2,489 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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El Centro D.F. on 14th Street - Permanently Closed

$$$$·Mexican·
Downtown
1,474 reviews
  • Great for Brunch
  • Happy Hour
  • Good for a Date
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
93% recommended
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The Source by Wolfgang Puck

$$$$·Asian·
Downtown
3,652 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • 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
89% recommended
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