Unconventional Diner

4.6
671 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 671 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined 4 hours ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Overall our experience was great. The only reservation I had was with the hostess. We had set reservations and expected our table to be ready upon arrival and it wasn’t. The hostess were a little rude and unsettling but I plan to go back in the future..

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S
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and brunch cocktails...cute and swanky spot!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Hostess was rude. Food decent.

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ED
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Ahhhh-mazing dinner and service. All staff was friendly and didn’t skip a beat despite it being a busy Friday night. Food was fast and orgasmic-ly delicious 🤤.

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c
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was okay. We were seated much later than our reservation. The table service was pretty good, considering we visited on a holiday and they were packed. I would not recommend the chicken parm.

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

Keenya was great server and the way beef pappardelle was extremely amazing.

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MS
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was so flavorful. We will definitely be back!

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It’s a very comfy, yet large space where you can stop in for a quick bite or hang around for a long dinner/brunch. The service was great - no one was breathing down our neck or forgetting about us. Definitely a cool spot to check out!

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BC
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food-- so creative and so yummy!!! Great service-- lovely ambiance-- Wish you would open another in Baltimore!!~

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F
Austin
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food amazing! It was our first time there and we could not have been more pleased. I had the Cali-Mex Chili with chicken. YES!!!!!

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H
New England
8 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent brunch spot very eclectic and fun menu, nice decor and friendly staff highly recommendded

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MA
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

unique and delicious brunch...we all loved our meals and cocktails. will definitely return.

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OT
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was offered a free shake for simply moving one table over and I knew from that moment, the service would continue to excel. The bright pink tropical shake was delicious and fun. Everything Lox was a simple yet tasteful and presented in a creative setting with tiny bagels served in a mug. We ended with a delicious ferrero rocher pie that melts in your mouth. Beautiful setting.

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

Such unique food and VERY friendly staff. Clean, good ambiance, and delicious coffee.

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FC
Richmond
58 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Let me first point out that the only reason Service was not a 5 was due to a new server who was nice but a little overwhelmed. It was not lower because rest of staff very attentive and picked up slack. The food was exceptional and very reasonably priced by DC standards. Great ambiance, a contemporary vibe.

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g
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fun spot with inviting decor, lovely service, and delicious food! I love that so many menu items were modern updates to old classic dishes. All of our food and cocktails were just delicious!!

In addition, the menu had clear marks for gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, nut free, soy free, and dairy free diets. Very helpful!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Not impressed. Trying to do many different types of food - with widely varying degrees of success. The Kale Nachos are a specific kind of strange trouble.

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G
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place and have been multiple times for brunch, dinner, and more! The food is unique and there are a bunch of healthy options for everyone!

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NB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was excellent, with a lot of options for vegetarians. We ordered three appetizers and three main dishes for three people and shared everything. The portion sizes are not the usual huge American plates, which I appreciate because you can eat here without needing to go home right away to put leftovers in the refrigerator. Parking is difficult, so using the Metro or ride share is a good idea. The noise level is high, as the space is all hard surfaces that don’t absorb sound.

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KW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Had to wait 20 mins+ for a table, despite having a reservation for brunch. Otherwise, everything else was great.

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food

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DP
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Menu was limited even for a “Diner.” No fish- shrimp and grits had lots of sausage but only 2 shrimp. Fried chicken was pretty good-slaw with it wasn’t very good. A beef dish didn’t have much beef! Had to ask for utensils including spoon for chicken gravy.
Sorry - won’t return.

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MA
Nashville
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing brunch as always!! Such a great deal. My favorite brunch spot in DC.

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C
Washington DC
101 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 4

Disappointed. We were seated at a table directly in front of the entrance on an incredibly cold evening. Asked to be moved and were. Then waited 6-8 minutes to be greeted by server, and another 15 minutes for our drinks.

Complained to the manager. She was unpleasant but took one beer off the check... Finally our salads were served with the entrees all at once!

The food nowhere near compensated for poor management and disinterested staff.

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P
Washington DC
355 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding- We come here often because chef has a sizable menu where every item has great ingredients, portion size and taste. Despite the large space UC Diner still has good feeling/ and we like the open kitchen concept. For those who like HappyHours this is also a great option

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Came with friends on their recommendation - they raved about dinner, we decided to go for brunch. Got seated right away - the place was full & busy, but didn’t feel loud or crowded. Coffee was hot, strong and refilled quickly. We went with server recommendations - corned beef hash & blueberry pancakes. Food came FAST and did not disappoint. The corned beef hash was incredible - crispy potatoes, peppery gravy and slightly smoky beef. My wife had the pancakes (and shared some with me), which were also delicious. The lemon & ginger broke up the sweetness and gave a nice balance with the blueberries & vanilla cream. Our friends had a Benedict with eggs that were way over cooked. He is not a complainer, but the server & manager insisted on fixing it. When my friend refused a whole re-made dish, the manager brought new perfectly poached eggs with extra hollandaise. Overall, the food and atmosphere were great & clearly the staff is responsive to any hiccups. We will definitely be back to try out dinner.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

Food wasn’t great

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wouldn’t say it’s the best restaurant in DC but it’s consistently very good high quality food.

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P
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good lighting, nice ambiance, noise level not too loud (at least not when I was there), unique, eclectic and delicious takes on traditional foods. One critique I have is that the menu (food & drink) is a little overpriced. In time, I'll return.

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m
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Went here on a Tuesday evening, I had the Fried Chicken and Biscuit it was excellent crispy on the outside moist on the inside. Hubby had the Pork Shoulder it was good but not outstanding.
A bit more noisy and lively than we prefer but that's ok.
Service was good, Jarred was attentive.
One thing that stood out was the speed in which we received our meal! From seating to eating was only about 12 minutes.
We would return when back in town again.

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RS
New England
46 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Comfort style food with a modern take. I had crab linguine. Pasta was squid ink, and sauce was like crab bisque, fresh crab on top. Bursting with flavor. The rest of the menu seemed like it would be of similar quality and inventiveness.

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MF
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Marko was the best server ever. The food was amazing. Overall, great experience. Highly recommend.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing, the waiter made fantastic recommendations and the Bloody Mary was perfect. Can’t wait to go back.

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L
Washington DC
76 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Food was very good and portions are generous. However even with a reservation we had to wait for our table and then we were put in what appears to be their back “overflow” room that has zero charm or ambiance. Also our food arrived so fast that we didn’t even get to finish our “shareable” appetizers before they served the entrees. We would have been out of there in 30 minutes had we not lingered over our entrees. Would go back for the food but maybe just sit at the bar or stagger when we placed our order.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really fun atmosphere! Great service and delicious fried chicken.

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t
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

We all work in the industry so we give a LOT of benefit of the doubt. But this is basically small plates brunch. Dishes not cohesive or interesting. My friends chicken and waffles looked good but they were unimpressed with the flavors. My husband got the breakfast steak and eggs and the steak drenched in some kind of gravy and was chopped in cubes like Alpo- about 6 cubes on a mountain of french fries (that were listed on the menu). He is on a diet and was trying to make a healthy choice and just got french fries for breakfast. I asked for tomatoes on my sausage and grits (dont get excited, it was just grits with sausage on the side) and was just told "no". My husband is allergic to tomatoes and asked for none. We got "you can have his". You're not roses luxury, you sell pancakes. Accept substitutions. My friends iced tea didnt come till our food came, overall blah.

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P
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service and a great atmosphere. A must brunch spot!

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Miami
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 2

Horrible waitress attitude. We were super friendly and nice. Understood maybe she was under staffed. But she just walked away while in the middle of asking for something, didn’t ask if anyone needed anything. iE “can we have coffee”. Sure. Not “do you need / what what kind of milk would you like ...”. Just brought over black coffee and two of us are dairy free.

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DD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was excellent. Extremely noisy so it is not a place to have a comfortable conversation. A big drawback independent of high quality food and service.

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RA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for Brunch - got the Chicken and Waffles, French Toast, and cheesy biscuit and gravy (side). Was initially concerned the chicken and waffles and french toast would be redundant/taste similar but they weren't. Everything was awesome!

Chicken and Waffles - the fried chicken was out of this world. Not only is the batter/spicing perfect and peppery, but it is also cooked so it's perfectly crispy without being oily. The waffle is also a cornbread waffle, that perfectly complements the chicken, hollendaise sauce and gravy.

French toast- the french toast is super moist and decadent. It's not a traditional french toast or doughy, but definitely worth at least splitting.

Cheesy Biscuit w/Gravy - good ratio of gravy to biscuit. Biscuit is on the drier side, but not in a bad way

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