Unconventional Diner

4.7
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1424 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 1424 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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OT
1 review
Dined 21 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place lives up to its reputation. Delicious innovative interesting, and excellent service.

i
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food! Wonderful service. Aliyah was amazing. Highlights for me was the Lebanese Fried Rice and Blueberry Pancakes!

K
Atlanta
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service. Interesting food. Highly recommend the Okra and Broccolini.

A
Raleigh
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Food was excellent, lights are bright and feels slightly like a hotel restaurant - was a fancy take on normal food

T
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was fantastic and our waitress was delightful and well versed on menu options. Her recommendations were spot on.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went to unconventional diner with friends who were visiting from out of town. It is a great place, with lots of menu options and everything is absolutely fantastic!

S
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came here on a recommendations from our daughter. And this place did not disappoint. It was probably one of the best meals we ever had. My favorite thing was steak and eggs. Absolutely amazing taste. Steak was so tender. Just perfect

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was lovely!

P
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unconventional Diner was recommended by a friend who had lunch there during restaurant week. Great recommendation. It was MLK Day, so pretty busy, but we were seated right on time for our reservation. Interesting diner menu, lots of options, it was hard to choose. I had the chicken and waffles - corn bread waffle! Really good twist. Boneless chicken also, that was nice. My friend had the fried chicken sandwich. We cleaned our plates. Service was lovely, not too intrusive. I look forward to another meal there!

k
Washington DC
127 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Superb food, great service, fun atmosphere!

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great in every way. Service, food, the hosts were all top notch.

SC
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food, interesting variety and options. Great flavors and spices.

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Restaurant week

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved our DC Restaurant Week experience at Unconventional Diner! The food was incredible and the atmosphere was unbeatable. 10/10 would recommend.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great and original dishes. Waiter was knowledgeable, attentive and didn’t evaporate busy on a very busy night.. good buzz. Great experience

PM
Washington DC
65 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always a great meal and pleasant experience.

OT
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Always a treat to eat here. This time I had the fried chicken and it was delicious. My friends liked all their dishes. Service was quick this time but a little brusque. Overall a great place highly recommend

LN
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Totally forgot about Restaurant Week - but was a fun new find! Great service and a delicious meal! Highly recommend.

l
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

The food was very good. The waiter wasn't particularly pleasant. He was not rude, but not very welcoming. Given it was a busy lunch time during a massive conference nearby, I understood he was overwhelmed, but not smiling to your customers left a bit of a sour experience given everything else was superb.

RT
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Surprisingly good variety of entrees for a “diner.” Excellent food quality with rich flavors. Will dine here again when I return to Washington, DC.

MP
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

One of the best dining experiences in DC at the moment.

M
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent “food with a Twist”. Accommodating wait staff. Lovely meal with an active toddler. Plan to come again my next time in DC!

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was good, but I asked for a place where there was a smidge more privacy and we were out very close to other diners. They really didn’t listen to the request.

SK
Washington DC
151 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely lunch on my birthday in between visits to 2 museums.... interesting food with modern twists

S
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We had a wonderful time celebrating our daughters' 15th birthday at Unconventional Diner! The food was beautifully presented, creative, and delicious, and the atmosphere was fun and lively without being overzealous. Highly recommend!

K
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Waiter got the order wrong and wasn’t friendly. Restaurant was super loud

ER
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Our server Ashley was phenomenal. The best service I ever had in life so far! The burger was delicious. The fried chicken was the star. It was crispy and juicy. The breast was moist and perfect. I am not sure if they fry it that perfect every night but that night it was wonderful. The chicken Parmesan is a good dish. The fish sticks were ok. The tostados were good. Do not order the greens. The carrot cake is a must for dessert.

H
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So good. You must try everything once.

ED
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Enjoyable cocktails. We had kale nachos, iceberg salad, pappardelle, and chicken parm. Delicious and well presented. Ashley’s service was great. We’ll definitely return.

KT
Washington DC
119 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Four of us enjoyed an early (5:00) dinner here on a Saturday. We were seated right away and our waitress was delightful. One of us ordered a bloody Mary and liked its spiciness. We shared shitake spring rolls and french fries that were OK. The siracha-glazed meatloaf and the falafal were OK - good tzatziki though. The shrimp and grits were spicy and delicious! The Smith Island carrot cake was also very good. So, because some dishes were OK and other good, we gave it 3 stars. We'll go back and try other things - it was pricey but it is in a pricey part of town, so they have to cover their rent somehow I'm sure.

DC
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great brunch! Wonderful service, excellent food, and very reasonable prices. The portions are quite large. The fried chicken sandwich is so good and meaty, and the fries are to die for. Everything that came by us out of the kitchen looked delicious. Looking forward to trying another meal there in the near future.

S
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal and service. Worth the trip.

s
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious and creative.

NR
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved this place! I had the pink panther cocktail and the pancakes, and it was all so good. An easy, fun place for brunch! Service was also great. Will definitely come back here :)

J
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Food outstanding! Wonderfully creative dishes. I’d go back for the food.
Waitress nice but not on the ball. Approaches the table, drops something off before we can point out our coffee cups are empty. Yes please a refill. My dish came with the suggestion of naan. She walked away before I could ask her about it. Very nice person but just not paying attention to the idea of service.

AW
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The name of this restaurant perceives it, the food was definitely unconventional but in a great way. We enjoyed our meal selections... I will be back, the shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles were my favorite. The waffles were made out of cornmeal but just right. Don’t let me forget the blueberry pancakes....😋

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience3

Poor service and undesirable table location.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall it was a great first experience , love the fact that the restaurant had natural lighting and cool places to take pictures !! Also the food was really good .., different but really good . I was surprised ! Me and my friends came in for brunch .... we are the host team at Charlie Palmer steak and we enjoyed ourselves a lot

OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great service and nice ambience. The French toast and avocado on toast were our favorite dishes. The lamb merguez was a close second but the blue berry pancakes were a bit dry and could have done with a bit more blueberry purée or some sort of syrup.

AM
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So much fun! We really enjoyed our meal. The appetizers were tasty and really creative. From the Chicken pot pie bites and Moroccan cigars to the incredible mini lox and bite size bagel pieces. The paparadelle pasta dis, chicken parm and the chickpea stew were all delicious. Very rich. Highly recommend the Apple cobbler and ice cream for dessert!