Unconventional Diner

4.7
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1186 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 1186 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
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T
Washington DC
76 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unconventional Diner is a treasure of great food w/excellent staff for a very reasonable price.

BM
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I had a 12:30 reservation on a Saturday and This place was bustling with people which I took as a good Sign. The food was absolutely amazing and full of flavor. They have a very eclectic brunch menu and all my friends enjoyed our meals. Service was slower than I would have liked but the food was sooo worth it. I’ll certainly be back

EN
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food!

CD
Raleigh
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Overpriced and overrated - seems like a yelp scam! Food was average and service was slow. I will say that the ambiance is beautiful.

SG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

This place was just ok. I had been expecting a lot
More creativity and new takes in dishes, given all the positive review in the press. Instead, the food was good but not great. The service was very attentive.

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

Really unique (and varied) menu. Nice setting. Tasty food.

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

Food is delicious and imaginative, very glad we finally got to this innovative restaurant! Only drawback was that it was extremely loud.

JG
Washington DC
54 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I went around 2pm, hoping I could get the amazing meatloaf with siracha glaze, but they were still serving brunch. Not to worry! I had an “eggs jam edict” which was so good I nearly licked my plate. Two soft-boiled eggs came on top of a chive biscuit, covered in bacon jam. Must have been at least 3,000 calories, but worth it.

AM
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great space and ambiance, delicious brunch items, exciting cocktails and friendly service. Definitely want to return for dinner sometime soon!

BB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So many brunch items to choose from and it was tough to choose just one dish but we all loved our selections. Our table had the chicken sandwich, chicken and waffles, blueberry pancakes and the avocado toast. Service was attentive and accommodating, which made for a lovely start to our Sunday. The only thing left to do was to make another reservation for another brunch.

U
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, service even better. Very pleasant young man who cared about our experience. This was from brunch visit but already planing to come back for dinner. Restaurant looked very clean and energy was great, even it was a busy brunch.

OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love it here. Quick seating with a reservation and every dish we’ve tried from the menu is delicious!

AA
New England
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing ambiance, food options, drinks, and quality.

JC
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unique, varied, delicious and creative dishes combined with an inviting atmosphere and good service. I recommend this experience highly!

S
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First off, the staff was fantastic (Kyle is awesome). My food hit the spot. Overall a great meal and great experience.

f
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Our server Kyle was wonderful!

TP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service and food! The menu offers variety and the staff work collaboratively to serve guests. We look forward to returning.

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

Meet up with my mentor for brunch and the food was amazing. The service was not the best. We sat next to some very nice people who gave us little bit of background about the diner and the owner(s). Overall, I would come back again and spread the word to others.

J
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Noise level is high- which is perfect for a loud laughing toddler! Highly recommend this place. Great service, amazing food, and good times! Definitely recommend making a reservation, as wait times can be up to 2hrs long, even at 0930! Enjoy!

JG
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service. Well worth the visit

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was fantastic! Only downside - ran out of Diet Coke ;)

B
Atlanta
70 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

ate dinner here the other night while visiting Washington- the food was imaginative and prepared excellently- service was outstanding- suspect it might be a little noisy during peak times but we were there in the early evening and the noise level was fine

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and attention. The meal came relatively quickly which is helpful if you are attending a conference in the Convention Centre.

More vegan options are needed. But their one option was delicious.

OT
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a great time with my husband and kids. Server was very sweet and friendly. Food was fantastic. We will be back again.

KW
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

This busy spot has some creative twists on food. I was a little disappointed that my blueberry pancakes only had blueberries on top and not in them. They were a little dry. My bacon was great and our brunch cocktails were also delightful. It's really busy and loud in here. You definitely are better off with a reservation and I wouldn't come with anyone who has trouble hearing.

WC
San Diego
51 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic experience. We shared a Mezze Plate, Dirty Caesar Salad, and the Everything Lox plate, and every bite was a treat to our taste buds. Service was great, too.

FM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great variety of comfort foods, unique combinations. Nice casual atmosphere. Highly recommend!

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very cute place! Would recommend for fun brunch with friends

JM
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hosts were friendly and accommodated my special request for a specific table. Service was professional, friendly, and present, but not obtrusive. Food was fantastic and the atmosphere was lively. Had a great date night!

OT
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. Service was great. We’ll be back

PS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! Everything my friend and I ordered for brunch was delicious. We had trouble deciding on what to get and our waiter was super helpful in pointing us in the right direction. I would highly recommend this restaurant and will definitely be coming back soon!

RM
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A very nice for a Sunday brunch. Clean, tasty, friendly and welcoming.

M
London
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The shrimp & grits were delicious! As were the blueberry pancakes (which you could get in kid's portion, by the way!). Would definitely recommend for a yummy brunch.

CB
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great!

M
Chicago
30 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Came here for Sunday brunch. We did not have any of the specialty cocktails, but they all looked good. Ordered the detox smoothie, which was very good.

I ordered the Brussels sprout dish; Brussels with masala sauce and a fried egg on top. So good! Lots of flavor, brussel sprouts cooked perfectly and the runny egg over the top added just enough creaminess.

We also ordered the s’eggs’y sandwich. Very good, but a bit disappointing. The special sauce just didn’t have enough punch. Reminded us of the Big Mac sandwich with the “special sauce.”

We saw orders of the pancakes, shakshuka (looked awesome)!

Definitely a place to try, and absolutely worth going outside the typical brunch dishes and trying something different.

S
Sacramento
5 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super fun niche spot! Secured a 0900 Sunday brunch spot and folks were already lining up for reservations. Great mix of different flavors and the pricing is reasonable for the experience. Very "hipster" like but a good amount of food for the price. Great spot for a date/visiting folks, more of an upscale diner experience.

DC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Food was good (not great) but service was VERY rushed. In multiple cases, the waiter picked up plates before the entire table was done eating. And, in one case, he removed a plate that still had food while the person was still holding a fork chewing. I was quite disappointed given the hype this restaurant tends to receive.

SH
London
15 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I thought the food was good. But the plates are too small. We were served half a fried chicken on a rather tiny oval plate. It made eating the chicken very difficult and uncomfortable. The chicken was falling of the plate and onto the table. Also, the sides were served in individual dishes and the rested on the same size plate. But they didn't fit. They were crammed against each other, forcing them to push up the edge of the plate. Why not serve the chicken on a bigger plate and put the sides in smaller dishes? (BTW, the sides bowls were too big for the portion.)

LA
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a good surprise this restaurant was! Fun takes on standard fares and perfectly executed. We had the fish sticks to start - gorgeous Safran aïoli and a nice batter. The most interesting meal was the French dip pappardelle. The switch from a simple dipped sandwich to a strong, earthy pasta meal (with beef and mushrooms holding on to garlic crisps and horseradish well) made for an extremely satisfying and comforting meal. The restaurant was good with kids too and the waiter great at getting the two yo distracted (the 2 yo loved the fish sticks, pasta and salmon while the 6yo happily devored the burger). One note on the miso glazed salmon: as much as we tried to love the lemon butter on the side as it was the ‘unconventional’ part of the dish, we didn’t - too bitter for our taste (and we love lemons). But the miso glaze was perfect. All in all Fully enjoyable experience. We’ll be back.

M
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Food was good, not great. Service was great. We left feeling a little hungry as the portion sizes were a little small.

We had an outdated menu with incorrect prices and were blindsided by a few up-charges after the subtotal of the bill didn’t even foot correctly.

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