Unconventional Diner

4.7
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
1197 Reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Unconventional Diner serves inspired dishes that blend soulful comfort with haute technique. The menu is studded with imaginative delights that echo the restaurant's name, from French fries with "sexy sauce" to spring rolls with "Franch" dressing to a meatloaf "nothing like anyone's mom's.” Chef David Deshaies, a much-praised protege of Michel Richard, is the culinary force behind this highly anticipated spot in Shaw. Craft beer and cocktails add to the alchemy for diners looking for an entertaining (and delicious) culinary experience.

For parties larger than six, please contact the restaurant at 202.847.0122.

There are no reservations required for Breakfast/Lunch Monday through Friday as it is Quick Service and we have plenty of space!

Please note we do not seat partial parties. We will only hold reservations for 15 minutes.
What 1197 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
OT
Miami
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Food is amazing from a taste-profile standpoint, but some of the presentations are too “fussy” or unnecessarily deconstructed. For example - the “salad” part of the avocado toast was delightfully tangy with chunks of avocado vs smoother quac style - however it comes as a form on one plate with a basket of toasted bruschetta; but this is not indicated on the menu or offered info from waitstaff.

Also - in most restaurants and bars a “double” in a single drink (or in my case “double tall” should not have been rung as 2 of a single line item; but as a double shot in a single drink (plus any applicable “tall” up-charge for additional mixer; as in my case). Not sure if it is server/bar training or establishment policy, but it overcharges the guest (and in my case will make me pause from ordering alcohol much less multiple drinks on my next visit).

F
Miami
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A real surprise...the menu was full of surprises. Simple "diner" meal concepts were elevated with wonderful preparations. Especially good were the kale nachos and the squid ink linguini with crab. The meatloaf was good, but the vegetable elements mixed with the ground meat were a little too big and would have benefitted by finer knife skills. Exceptional artisanal cocktails and very good service. The tables are a little too close to make the dining experience comfortable or private. I would return.

J
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unconventional Diner just keeps getting better and better! Creative food, carefully sourced, absolutely beautiful, delicious, varied, and attentive staff. The best, always!

r
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 2ambience 3

Off the charts, quality food, iffy service, decor non-existent but my guests loved it so thanks. Desserts better than expected but they should work on drink service.

N
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was amazing. Our waiter was very friendly and welcoming!! The food was amazing as well. Very quick service!!

HC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for dinner and ordered the chicken Parmesan and the Peruvian soup, both were incredible! The handcrafted cocktails were also amazing and coffee at the end was perfect!

T
Washington DC
76 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unconventional Diner is a treasure of great food w/excellent staff for a very reasonable price.

BM
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I had a 12:30 reservation on a Saturday and This place was bustling with people which I took as a good Sign. The food was absolutely amazing and full of flavor. They have a very eclectic brunch menu and all my friends enjoyed our meals. Service was slower than I would have liked but the food was sooo worth it. I’ll certainly be back

LD
Atlanta
66 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food was quite good. The service was rather impersonal and perfunctory.
It took a good 15 minutes from when we were seated for someone to come and take our order.
Once the order was placed, it came quickly. However, a side of bacon that was ordered for one of our party was not brought and the waiter had to be flagged down to ask for it again. Also, one person asked for eggs over medium and was given over easy. Not sure if it wasn't communicated to the kitchen or if it was a kitchen problem. No one was checking back with us to make sure everything was okay (was it as you ordered, do you need more coffee, etc). The food itself was quite tasty and imaginative.

LR
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Caribbean and soul food inspired menu. I really enjoyed the shrimp and grits. It was bursting with flavor.

EN
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food!

CD
Raleigh
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Overpriced and overrated - seems like a yelp scam! Food was average and service was slow. I will say that the ambiance is beautiful.

SG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

This place was just ok. I had been expecting a lot
More creativity and new takes in dishes, given all the positive review in the press. Instead, the food was good but not great. The service was very attentive.

B
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Was expecting a wonderful experience based on Sietsema’s recommendations. Was very loud with dining room only 1/4 full. Once large loud group left it was much better. Was glad we went for late lunch and not dinner. Food was good but got old iced tea!! I asked if it was fresh brewed before ordering. Not undrinkable but not good. Chicken and waffles was delicious! Would only go again if was at the Convention Center.

d
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Really unique (and varied) menu. Nice setting. Tasty food.

DD
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food is delicious and imaginative, very glad we finally got to this innovative restaurant! Only drawback was that it was extremely loud.

OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was good; menu eclectic.

JG
Washington DC
54 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I went around 2pm, hoping I could get the amazing meatloaf with siracha glaze, but they were still serving brunch. Not to worry! I had an “eggs jam edict” which was so good I nearly licked my plate. Two soft-boiled eggs came on top of a chive biscuit, covered in bacon jam. Must have been at least 3,000 calories, but worth it.

AM
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great space and ambiance, delicious brunch items, exciting cocktails and friendly service. Definitely want to return for dinner sometime soon!

BB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So many brunch items to choose from and it was tough to choose just one dish but we all loved our selections. Our table had the chicken sandwich, chicken and waffles, blueberry pancakes and the avocado toast. Service was attentive and accommodating, which made for a lovely start to our Sunday. The only thing left to do was to make another reservation for another brunch.

U
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, service even better. Very pleasant young man who cared about our experience. This was from brunch visit but already planing to come back for dinner. Restaurant looked very clean and energy was great, even it was a busy brunch.

AA
New England
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing ambiance, food options, drinks, and quality.

OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love it here. Quick seating with a reservation and every dish we’ve tried from the menu is delicious!

JC
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique, varied, delicious and creative dishes combined with an inviting atmosphere and good service. I recommend this experience highly!

S
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First off, the staff was fantastic (Kyle is awesome). My food hit the spot. Overall a great meal and great experience.

f
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Our server Kyle was wonderful!

TP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service and food! The menu offers variety and the staff work collaboratively to serve guests. We look forward to returning.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Meet up with my mentor for brunch and the food was amazing. The service was not the best. We sat next to some very nice people who gave us little bit of background about the diner and the owner(s). Overall, I would come back again and spread the word to others.

J
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Noise level is high- which is perfect for a loud laughing toddler! Highly recommend this place. Great service, amazing food, and good times! Definitely recommend making a reservation, as wait times can be up to 2hrs long, even at 0930! Enjoy!

JG
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service. Well worth the visit

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was fantastic! Only downside - ran out of Diet Coke ;)

B
Atlanta
70 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

ate dinner here the other night while visiting Washington- the food was imaginative and prepared excellently- service was outstanding- suspect it might be a little noisy during peak times but we were there in the early evening and the noise level was fine

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and attention. The meal came relatively quickly which is helpful if you are attending a conference in the Convention Centre.

More vegan options are needed. But their one option was delicious.

OT
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a great time with my husband and kids. Server was very sweet and friendly. Food was fantastic. We will be back again.

KW
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

This busy spot has some creative twists on food. I was a little disappointed that my blueberry pancakes only had blueberries on top and not in them. They were a little dry. My bacon was great and our brunch cocktails were also delightful. It's really busy and loud in here. You definitely are better off with a reservation and I wouldn't come with anyone who has trouble hearing.

WC
San Diego
51 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience. We shared a Mezze Plate, Dirty Caesar Salad, and the Everything Lox plate, and every bite was a treat to our taste buds. Service was great, too.

FM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great variety of comfort foods, unique combinations. Nice casual atmosphere. Highly recommend!

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very cute place! Would recommend for fun brunch with friends

JM
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hosts were friendly and accommodated my special request for a specific table. Service was professional, friendly, and present, but not obtrusive. Food was fantastic and the atmosphere was lively. Had a great date night!

OT
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. Service was great. We’ll be back

1
2
3
30