Unconventional Diner

4.7
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1494 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 acclaimed 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.

Reservations are strongly encouraged and available up to 60 days prior to date of dining.

We encourage all complete parties arrive on time as we are only able to hold your reservation 15 minutes beyond your reserved time.
What 1494 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
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BG
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined 20 hours ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was good and arrived very fast. I would return!

RN
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined 20 hours ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Been hearing about unconventional diner for a while now and finally tired it. It was delicious! Split the burger and the chicken sandwich with my husband and it was amazing! We also had the blueberry pancakes and our friends loved their s”eggs”y sandwich and biscuit and jam”edict and they loved it! Cocktails were delicious! Will definitely be going back!

OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food were fantastic.

EC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What an amazing experience trying Unconventional’s brunch today. Loved every minute of it. Blueberry pancakes and French toast were unreal. I’ll be back many times and will send many friends! Thanks chef Dave!

JS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the snacks to the entree, the food was really good. I had the French dip pappardelle and it was so flavorful and filling. Would definite get it again.

MD
New England
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent and service very attentive. Our daughter asked essentially for a deconstructed meatloaf from the menu and they happily obliged.

JB
New England
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Here in D.C. on a business trip. Had some time before my conference started and saw this was located only a few blocks from my hotel. The online reviews were great so I decided to give them a try. Was not disappointed! Food was great and the atmosphere has a light and airy modern feel to it. Check these guys out if you’re in town!

I came in for breakfast - got the hash and a side of lamb sausage. Both were superb. Will be back for dinner the next time I’m in town!

MT
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience4

My kids and I both love Unconventional Diner. The food is always good and they can adapt more dishes for kids/teens. You should make a reservation as to not have to wait because it can be very busy. Only drawback is the wait time on waiters.

KK
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Breakfast/Brunch was delicious, great menu filled with unique dishes. Incredible drink menu as well.

AJ
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food’s amazing and different. Brunch and dinner menus are great. Will bring new people there again

E
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Too many things on the brunch menu to pick from so we just had to try a little of everything. All of them were great - although the Bloody Mary was WAY too spicy, even with the extra tomato juice they added to it. Of all the dishes, I would say the best was the french toast. Between the amazing bourbon caramel sauce and the toasted marshmallows on top, would have been all too happy just to eat that. The lebanese rice was also great

MK
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! I found some unique dishes that I would definitely come back to get. The Moroccan grits and Caribbean grits were a hit!

OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Kelly was great in making sure we had everything we needed. The food was great.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First class from the moment we came til the moment we left.

MM
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Inspired plate presentation. Excellent Taste. Kind service. Great vibes. Well done. A person in our party said, "The food is Rich." Not a strike against. Quite tasty.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was very flavorful and eclectic. My wife had a nice birthday experience.😘

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Server did no intro. Came to the table and said “what can I get you?” We ordered a bottle of wine and there was no presentation. We ordered an app and never got it. We’ve been a few times and the server just was not there mentally. Food is always amazing, but I do appreciate feeling appreciated. We be back, but....

OT
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another fabulous dinner at Unconventional Diner!
All 3 of us loved our meals, and the service was attentive and friendly as always. Unconventional Diner keeps knocking it out of the park as a place with a fun high energy vibe, and consistent good service and fabulous food.

RG
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Lots of good choices on the menu for me (omniverous) and my guest (pescatarian). Our server was personable, knowledgeable, and the staff allowed us to linger beyond the dessert. The place was rocking on a Wednesday night, so reservations are a must.

TL
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

George is a pleasant face to see as soon as you enter the restaurant. I loved the service provided by James. Thank you both for another good business lunch at the restaurant.

p
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The food is very good, and I love the concept of elevated diner food. The service was okay, not as attentive as I would have liked, but no major issues. I’ll return, as I enjoyed my meal.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

When in doubt, eat at the Unconventional Diner. Just the right amount of choice and always delicious.

c
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Very nice staff and service. Food was very good and price was reasonable. Great location and happy they took reservations.

MT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I'm planning on making a reservation in March when my college friend gets here.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience4

Our server was not interested in making sure we had a nice experience. Bare minimum to take care of our table. Food was good and the restaurant is pretty so it’s unfortunate our dining experience did not match.

D
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Modern take on diner favorites. Even the most picky of eaters will find something on the menu.

AS
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for brunch! Great service too! Everything we are was very good

OT
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely delicious!

RM
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall2food4service1ambience3

The food at Unconventional Diner is outstanding--and is the reason I keep coming back! However, almost every time I go to Unconventional Diner the service I receive is atrocious. While the food is good and the location is very convenient for me, considering how expensive Unconventional Diner is and how poor the service consistently is, I would not recommend Unconventional Diner.

E
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

After happily eating at UC numerous times in the past but not for several months I felt the table service slipped a couple of notches. The server seemed inexperienced, placing things awkwardly in wrong spots and over people's heads although there was ample space to deliver plates and tumblers alongside guests. In contrast UC used to have competent servers.

JP
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food. Great service.

OT
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing!!!!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to eat

ME
Memphis
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my favorite DC restaurants. The portions are large for the prices and the food and cocktails are always good. The dirty Caesar is one of my favorite salads in the area.

t
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unconventional Diner is the best hidden secret in DC! The service and food is ALWAYS to perfection. I enjoy having business meals and personal meals there.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Superb food and service. Will be back again

PS
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very diverse menu of flavorful food. Lebanese fried rice was excellent! I also recommend the fish sticks starter. Hand cut breaded and more meat (fish) than breading. Overall a great dining experience!!

JS
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unconventional Diner was fantastic! We all left so satisfied and full of delicious food. Each meal was done wonderfully. It was classic food with a little twist. We can't wait to go back again.

L
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and great food! The entrees are different but mix well, the brownie dessert and kale nachos are a must!

RW
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was incredible. The brussell sprouts and eggs might be the best bkfst I’ve ever had and I’m no spring chicken. Our server, Amber, made our time there feel like being home. Great!!!