Unconventional Diner

4.7
750 reviews
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$30 and under
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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 750 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
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun menu, prompt service, vibrant decor, central location. I'll be back.

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OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

First, let me preface by saying I have some food allergies. That said, I am able to do just fine in nearly every restaurant in DC and I am a big foodie.

I have a digestion problem with Onions and Dairy. Nearly every dish had either been marinated, cooked with onions. In fact the staff thought I could have a friend egg and perhaps the Brussel sprouts if I I eliminated the sautéed onions from the dish. I thought an a la cart order of the lamb sausage and eggs would do. But alas, lamb has onions in it. They brought me the brussel sprouts and they were delicious sans onions. We ate, we left and I got sick. The sauce called masala was actually tikka masala which has dairy and onions in the sauce. I had a brunch planned prior to the opera with my dearest friend in the DC area.

Alas, the service was good but confused with my complication. They tried and failed I am afraid. There is nothing but fried eggs with no onions for brunch.

It reminded me of those Indian restaurant that use cream and onions to cover up the poor quality of ingredients. Anything tastes great with onions right? But this place has marvelous ingredients - high quality. Perhaps its a lack of creativity of the chef that makes it so... sigh.

I will stick to founding farmers and standard high end brunch places.

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JI
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful brunch for my daughter's birthday. The service was very fast and the food was delicious. The portions were pretty big.

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y
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fantastic! Blueberry pancakes, brussel sprouts with fried egg, Pozole was amazing, sexy sauce with the fries was heavenly. Our waiter was great and a great value.

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AF
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, drinks, service and concept. Absolutely loved it!

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VA
Louisville
43 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and service was wonderful. Would definitely recommend.

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L
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was terrific!
Service attentive. We felt unrushed

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great brunch! Food and service were excellent and we had no problem having a conversation- noise level was fine. We will be back!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely. Great food, beautiful setting.

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

Fabulous creative food in all the dishes we ordered. Great service w attention to timing and detail.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waiter was entertaining and knowledgeable.

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MH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food -- tasty and entertaining! Sunny eggs ....

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OT
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had the fries appetizer, meatloaf entree and pappardelle entree. Everything was absolutely delicious and our server was the best we have had in all our trips to DC. She made excellent recommendations and knew the menu inside and out. My drink was never empty and the service was prompt and everything came out correctly.

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F
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Creative take on American favorites. I had a meatloaf dish that was just delightful. Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable. I'm looking forward to my next visit.

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d
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

exceptional food. We had two appetizers, two mains, and two desserts. All were amazing. Service was very good. Many dishes have poached or over easy eggs which were all flawless. Will definitely go back. An added plus is it's very convenient to the metro and the Cap Center.

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CH
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Just try whatever the waiter suggests. Everything was delicious

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

Food was fantastic. I dream about the chicken Florentine

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BA
Greensboro
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly unconventional...best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Biscuit and gravy is next level. Fast, friendly, fun. Will go back again!

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FL
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This restaurant is a great need addition to the DC restaurant scene. I will definitely be back to experience more of this great menu.

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L
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

This is the second time we came here. The menu selection is good. The pork shoulder was a bit too salty for our taste . The takashi spring roll was excellent. It is very close to the convention center. A very young and vibrant place to have a meal if you don't mind the noise level. Highly recommended.

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B
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So delicious! From the food to the service to the ambiance - it was all that I was looking for in a casual business dinner with colleagues. I highly recommend this place and the mango/coconut dessert that looked like sunny side up eggs - so fun!

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

March 12,2019

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AJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service. Had the crab linguini. Fantastic!!!

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T
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This place had prompt service, and great food. I’ll defini be back again. The Shrimp and grits was amazing, and so were the blueberry pancakes!

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SR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been there twice, dinner and brunch and the food is amazing.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food. Excellent waiter, Mark.

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TG
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The bad: we waited over an hour past our reservation time because tables were not turning as fast as they scheduled. The good: everything else. The menu is inventive and a retake on traditional diner food. The chicken Parm Florentine is amazing! We live just up the street and we visit hereAll the time. A must do in DC!

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P
Washington DC
358 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always top notch. Fabulous chef with highly disciplined kitchen and food runner tempo. Excellent variety of choices. Chicken really great as is papperadelle. Appetizers very high quality. Wine list also good

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P
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful spot for a night out. Service was friendly and knowledgeable. Drinks were good. The food was very good.

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g
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yummy, quick, and fun!

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KS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My new favorite for gluten free and vegetarian dishes! Try the kale nachos and chickpea curry stew.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a fun night. The ambiance was awesome. We were seat so near the very active kitchen and the energy was infectious. The appetizers were familiar but inventive and the entrees were soulful, delicious and also well priced for the portion. We had fun with our server and vowed to return. Hopefully sooner rather than later. I would highly recommend.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

We walked in and were so excited for our dinner! We had a reservation and were walked to our table right away, but as soon as we sat down we got the sense that we weren’t welcome to take our time and catch up over drinks and good food. Our waitress seemed a bit annoyed that we were taking time to pick drinks and our first round of food (there were so many good options to pick from), and that feeling seemed to stick the whole night. Maybe she was having a bad night? The food was excellent, we I think my favorite dish we shared was the okra and broccolini side. I would definitely try again since the food was so good, but I wish we didn’t feel so rushed and pressured to get out of there!

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S
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unconventional Diner was a great experience. With imaginative dishes and talented staff it really shines. I'll definitely be back.

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k
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was perfect. Water glasses stayed full, and she was unobtrusive. The coursing and marking were seamless and she crumbed between courses.

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BL
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

This was my first visit. My friend and i were excited to try the restaurant. In terms of ambiance, it is full of light with big windows and has an upscale diner feel. It was bustling at lunch time. Had a great appetizer. The fried chicken sandwich was good. The slaw sauce was a little much for me but probably works for others. My standards for fried chicken are high. I would return and had a good time overall.

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OT
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

March 5,2019
I had the salmon which was the best I have ever eaten!!!It was cooked perfectly and the lemon sauce was delicious with the other flavors on the plate. I’m so thankful we dined there before we left DC.

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Z
Birmingham
14 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very innovative and imaginative menu. exceptionally convenient to the Convention Center. Anyone attending an event at the Convention Center should plan at least one meal here. Make reservations!

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere was great, food was delicious. Spiny crab is a must. Jack was a great server. So knowledgeable and attentive without being overbearing!

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F
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was innovative and delicious! Our party of 4 tried as much as possible on the menu - everything was stellar! Great service and vibe as well!

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