Unconventional Diner

4.7
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1529 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 1529 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
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was wonderful and the food was absolutely delicious!

MM
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best brunch in dc, different to other restaurant that do brunch

NF
New England
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food with traditional and unique options. Warm, kind attentive service. Cool, low key atmosphere. I was working out of town and my family visited me here - they discovered this place. We came here four times over two and a half weeks. They sweetly gave us a complimentary dessert on the fourth visit. I will definitely return here to eat again the next time I’m in DC. Loved everything about my experience!!!

DC
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a creative and interesting menu. The food and service were excellent. I'll definitely be back to try more of the food.

L
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience4

delicious food, incredible ambiance, great staff!!

G
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is great, the atmosphere is wonderful. I'd highly recommend. You'll definitely need a reservation.

RA
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It has been and still remains food, service and taste way above the standards one would expect in a similar restaurant.
In my view the best restaurant in the district

OT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had some super fire French toast, and a cappuccino would recommend to my grandma her sister and her brother in law

SC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is my new favorite restaurant in DC. I wanted to try everything on the menu!

RH
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice place, but pretty noisy. It proved to be a bit hard to hear the person that I was with. Food was ok and the decor was nice.

S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My group really loved the Diner! We had blueberry pancakes straight from heaven, and chicken and waffles that rivaled LA's Rosco's! Friendly and attentive service rounded out a perfect brunch!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great service, INCREDIBLE food. All four people in our party were blown away. Highly recommend the Corned Beef Hash, the Chicken Sandwich (the Sriracha Honey is so good), and the Brussel Sprouts.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, amazing food

d
Washington DC
44 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

2nd time here. Food way richer than 1st time. Disappointed. Everything had way too much fat bordering on greasy = kale nachos, linguine w/ crab, shitake spring rolls. We were there early but service was still kind of slow.

LF
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Once again Unconventional Diner delivers. Finally made it to brunch and it was Awesome! Worth waking up for. Can’t wait to go back for dinner again. Highly recommend.

SL
Tallahassee
4 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was quick and excellent. Food was fresh and delicious.

s
Los Angeles
44 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious fried chicken. Also loved the cornbread muffins.

B
Washington DC
55 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

I have eaten here many times before. I felt like the food went down a notch--the chicken parm in particular, which I have loved, was somewhat overfried, the sauce didn't taste as good as usual, and the pasta too was not as tasty.

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Each time I come, the food is amazing and the service is great!!

JM
Washington DC
81 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Everything was tasty, but my pet peeve is ordering a martini, getting charged $15, then i get 2 ounces of gin in a 5+ ounce martini glass. I said "is this a half martini?" and was told by our server "it's 2 ounces". Well serve it in a 2 ounce martini glass then or charge me $3-5 more to get a real martini in the 5 ounce glass. I just don't get it when a restaurant or bar thinks it's okay to serve a thimble of a martini in a regular martini glass. The optics are simply like "why bother" especially for martini lovers. Like i said, charge me more to get a real martini or change the size of your martini glasses to fit your thimble-like size of a martini serving.

S
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Had a really nice brunch at Unconventional Diner! Really enjoyed all the food we ordered and the staff were very accommodating to dietary issues.

L
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to meet friends for dinner. Interesting takes on comfort food — all delicious!

JM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful food, drinks and fabulous service!!

DC
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time here. Everything was superb. The food, presentation & service was exceptional. Should be considered 1 of the top dinning destinations in DC. Shared corn muffins, fish sticks, lamb quesadilla & Lebanese fried rice. Server suggested to add falafel & hummus to the fried rice. An excellent idea! Each dish was delicious. Each had a glass of wine. A bit overpriced per glass. Can't wait to return to enjoy these and other dishes. Kudos to the chef!

DC
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, the brunch menu at Unconventional Diner was both unconventional and delicious. Service was friendly and efficient. We were with friends from out of town, and they were very impressed. So glad we chose Unconventional Diner for a “reunion” brunch.

OT
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Delicious meal. Different but not difficult to find something you want on the menu. Great place!

f
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Excellent. I had (I cannot remember their name) roast beef with gravy over cheese and french fries. Very good, too big a serving. My wife the “Tip Top Chop”. A delicious salad with kale, quinoa, etc topped with cold smoked salmon. It was the best.

The service was very informative and prompt.

The only problem was I did not have enough room for dessert.

EO
Salt Lake City
31 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food, friendly service, reasonable portions. My only complaint was the noise level. High ceilings and hard surfaces make hearing people around a larger table very challenging.

DF
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pozole was perfection, great artsy ambiance. Perfect for brunch with my college aged daughter. We shared soup and fried chicken sandwich, both amazing! Outstanding customer service, absolutely above and beyond.

EA
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food here was delicious and just what I was looking for. Everyone in my party ordered something something different from the menu and we each enjoyed our meal very much and agreed we would come back again for more. The entrees we ordered were as follows: Chicken and Waffles, French Dip Poutine, Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, and the Eggs Benedict which were all exquisite! The fizz drink options are also great!

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Over priced and unhealthy food

KA
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

As always, the food did not did not disappoint. The server was a bit slow and didn’t always remember the condiments in a timely fashion. But still great.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Alll excellent except for you don’t have a full bar selection, such as Scotch. I had a beer instead

BG
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

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

RN
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
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!

LA
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food options, they have something for everyone. The eggs and bacon dessert was AMAZING!!

OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food were fantastic.

EC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
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 on February 20, 2020
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 on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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