Unconventional Diner

4.7
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
1130 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 1130 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
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
AG
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

After reading so many positive reviews, my expectations were high. Service was excellent; just the right balance between attentiveness and privacy. My cocktail was delicious and had a decent pour of tequila. But the food was just so-so. I had the Caribbean shrimp and grits and couldn't even eat the shrimp. They were rubbery and blah. Not at all like a Caribbean grilled shrimp. And the grits were blah, too. My friend had the chicken and waffles and both her chicken and the waffle were dry. She didn't finish hers, either. We won't be back.

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

The food was delicious, the service was excellent. The price point was right on target. A great place to go!

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

Unconventional Diner is always great! They have lots of eclectic takes on diner food - just as the name suggests. Lots of yummy options for vegetarians too. I always have a good meal (and drink!) when I go and will certainly be back. It's a consistently good neighborhood spot.

MA
Baltimore
20 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Really great experience. Amazing food and drinks.

DH
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The food is delicious, innovative diner/bar food. However, the restaurant is one of the loudest places I've ever had a meal in.

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

You won't be disappointed!

TL
Western NC
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

Food was different than the average brunch and very fun and good, one suggestion is bringing more bread with some of the entrees. For example, the avocado toast and the lox entree's needed more bread.
The service was very slow. The price point was great and the atmosphere was cool. Good brunch overall, but there is room for growth.

t
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Thank you! Finally, a brunch spot that doesn't rest its popularity on all-you-can-drink! Interesting entree combinations (brussel sprouts with fried egg- yum!!!), fresh flavors (dulce de leche french toast), and a new take on the expected egg sandwich. Great coffee, quality ingredients, airy space, friendly staff. With reasonable prices and super cute decor, its a winning addition to DC.

MB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

I've tried Shakshouka with Ethiopian, Indian, Italian, British interpretations, so I was anxious to eat this version. Such a disspaointment with no unctuous tomato sauce and no type of bread to dip into the pan. Please just call it Thai coconut curry-as this is all it is, with eggs on top. My wife had her hopes on the incredible breakfast pastries she followed on facebook and also pictured on their website, but they explained since they were voted best brunch in DC, they no longer offer those pastries. So she had the tip-top chop salad with requested extra falafel. I wished I had taken a picture of the falafel balls, as they were the size of nickels (3 in total), and not the size pictured on their webpage. Our friend had a fried chicken sandwich and reported it was just ok. Clearly, from what I had read in the past, this diner is resting on its' laurels and it reputation now precedes it, but falls so short

OT
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic!!!!

NJ
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything we tried was exceptional. There are some unique dishes but everyone in my party of four found a dish to their liking! The food was amazing! We had a reservation at 7:45, and we were seated within 5 minutes of that. Lively atmosphere...outstanding food.

Z
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New favorite in the city. Very cozy modern take on a diner. The chicken pot pie poppers are fantastic.

WR
New England
15 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Updated versions of comfort food are good but, in the end, it is what it is, a Diner-driven menu. If you want fried chicken, meatloaf, Mac & cheese, etc., you’ll get your fix. Quite loud when crowded as it was on a Saturday night.

P
Washington DC
372 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always excellent Rammy Award winning restaurant and team. Very creative and imaginative menu and top flight hosting and service. Try the chicken, shrimp and grits, fish sticks, kale natchos and any top flight dessert

OT
New Orleans
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best brunch I’ve had in ages. From the cocktails to the food to the service it was great.

S
Baltimore
34 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

What a great find!! Wonderful brunch in DC. Food was delicious and the place was hopping. Great vibe! Can’t wait to return and try it for dinner .

W
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Meeting up with out of town friends

T
Washington DC
303 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfect Friday lunch at Unconventional Diner. One of us is addicted to the Tip-Top-Chop salad (this time with chicken) and the brunch dish with biscuits, perfectly poached eggs and bacon jam is hard to top. Terrific service, as always!

OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. Great service. Good value for DC.

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

Our party ordered 3 different meals and all three were poor. The shrimp tasted as if it was frozen and over cooked. The pasta was oily with Alfredo sauce that had no taste. The red sauce was passable but certainly not exceptional.

AF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent new addition to the neighborhood. Original menu. Quality, fast service. Bright, open venue.

CH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great service! Will definitely be visiting again!

D
Washington DC
37 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

where did the cobb salad go? It just disappeared off the menu and it was such a great dish. Food was ok, nothing great like usually...eggs bland, bacon flavorless. The highlight was the hummus pomegranate salad. Please don't slip like many other dc restaurants!

L
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

I come here often. This was the first time that the service was not good.

MC
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Good food, good service. A little pricey and a bit too loud.

J
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

Four of us arrived early so began the night in the bar and took our drinks to the table when seated. We ordered snacks, salads to be shared and each of us ordered a dinner dish. We also got a bottle of wine to be shared

About 5 minutes after the bottle was opened and poured, all our food was delivered to the table. This included snacks we intended to share with the wine, what we thought were salads to be shared before dinner and four entrees. One of the four entrees was warm at best and the others were passable although not hot. We decided to keep our food rather than send it back to sit under a warming light, but that may have been our second mistake. Our first was choosing Unconventional Diner. By the time we ate salad and snacks all meals were room temperature. The dishes were flavorful but the experience was not. The other couple had been there a number of times and said their earlier experience was nothing like this.

The manager visited our table and apologized, offered to replace the cold dish (after everyone else had completed most of their dinners) but nothing they could have done by then would have salvaged our night.

B
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We had an excellent meal here. I will recommend to my family and friends. The cheese biscuit served with the fried chicken was very good and would have been better if butter and jam was available.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was all-around amazing. The French fries in particular were incredible. I had the Moroccan grits, and my friend had the Lebanese fried rice. Both of us were obsessed with our meals. Next time I want to try one of the smoothies/shakes. Will definitely be back.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Slow but good service, great food

C
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best restaurants I've been to in DC. The food is amazing with so much taste, flavor and good preparation. The food wasn't crazy, but such a great and flavorful taste on classic dishes. You won't be disappointed.

JH
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

This diner was very pleasantly unconventional. Great quality food and cocktails :)

SC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

I really loved the food here. I had biscuits and chicken parm. The pasta was wonderful.

The biggest problem with this place was the noise. I felt like I needed an ear horn to hear my dining partner. When I left, the lack of noise was a relief! Hope they can fix that issue because the food is amazing!

n
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, service was fine, will go back

LS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 5

Food was fine but our server did not have her head in the game. Took our menus from us before we had ordered food, forgot my husband’s order, and then brought us the check at the same time as the dessert menu. Frustrating.

OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience

Very unconventional food and absolutely delicious. Chickpeas curry dish and the shrimp and grits will not disappoint

T
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Great food, but the wait staff are obviously sick and tired of brunch; hard to blame them, but the effect on the quality of service was too great.

JM
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Unconventional only in the offerings, which are unique. Otherwise very mediocre (although my review only applies to the abomination of avacado toast they serve- over priced, bland, and small. Will not visit again. Waiter and ambiance wee better than average and coffee was not bad.

MF
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I went to breakfast on Sunday and ordered from the Brunch menu. There were many unique choices and we both found a great meal. The food was fresh, well prepared and served with nice presentation. The overall atmosphere was clean, bright and lively. This is definitely a stop to make for a different twist on breakfast!

CA
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun, elegant twist on feel good foods! Excellent service all around and one of the best burgers we’ve had in DC!

NB
Washington DC
84 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Menu was creative and food was tasty, with excellent presentation. Service was somewhat inattentive, but meal overall was very good.

1
2
3
29