Unconventional Diner

4.6
683 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 683 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TN
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was delish. Service was fair. Definitely will return.

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London
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

The food was unbelievable! From the corn muffin appetizer that melted in our mouths, through dinner all the way through to dessert! We will absolutely come back again for the amazing food!

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SM
New England
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious and inventive. Every dish was as enjoyable as the last.

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DY
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious!!!!

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MT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I told my mother I want to take her for her birthday!

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OT
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Overall our experience was great. The only reservation I had was with the hostess. We had set reservations and expected our table to be ready upon arrival and it wasn’t. The hostess were a little rude and unsettling but I plan to go back in the future..

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

The food and service was excellent. Our waiter David was very attentive and helpful with recommendations regarding selections. Good clean food. Highly recommend.

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JP
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was great. Service felt very rushed. We were hoping to catch up with friends and they bussed our whole table and started replacing the flatware before we even got up. We weren't even there an hour.

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r
Raleigh
221 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We've been to Unconventional Diner a few times for brunch. The food is consistently excellent and interesting, the service is attentve, prompt and efficient, and the ambience is pleasant. They make superb chicken and waffles. You need a reservation, as the UnCD is quite popular. And justifiably so. We'll be back. Highly recommended.

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CB
Richmond
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was so amazing and we had great service. Definitely recommend the pot pie poppers for appetizer and the French dip pasta! The chicken parmesan and meatloaf were also exceptional! The flavors were really spot on and this is a great place to come for classic American dishes done in an upscale and re-imagined manner. Will definitely be back!

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

Terrific!! The food was terrific and the service was excellent.

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S
Washington DC
44 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and brunch cocktails...cute and swanky spot!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Hostess was rude. Food decent.

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ED
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Ahhhh-mazing dinner and service. All staff was friendly and didn’t skip a beat despite it being a busy Friday night. Food was fast and orgasmic-ly delicious 🤤.

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LS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was amazing, the waiter was great and very knowledgeable of the menu but we had a 7:45 PM reservation and were not seated until after 8:15

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c
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was okay. We were seated much later than our reservation. The table service was pretty good, considering we visited on a holiday and they were packed. I would not recommend the chicken parm.

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E
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Keenya was great server and the way beef pappardelle was extremely amazing.

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MS
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was so flavorful. We will definitely be back!

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Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It’s a very comfy, yet large space where you can stop in for a quick bite or hang around for a long dinner/brunch. The service was great - no one was breathing down our neck or forgetting about us. Definitely a cool spot to check out!

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RM
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Terrific wine selection, good service, comfortable seating in dining area with a relaxing and welcoming vibe. Love how the smells waft from the open kitchen!

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BC
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food-- so creative and so yummy!!! Great service-- lovely ambiance-- Wish you would open another in Baltimore!!~

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F
Austin
16 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food amazing! It was our first time there and we could not have been more pleased. I had the Cali-Mex Chili with chicken. YES!!!!!

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H
New England
8 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent brunch spot very eclectic and fun menu, nice decor and friendly staff highly recommendded

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MA
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

unique and delicious brunch...we all loved our meals and cocktails. will definitely return.

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OT
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was offered a free shake for simply moving one table over and I knew from that moment, the service would continue to excel. The bright pink tropical shake was delicious and fun. Everything Lox was a simple yet tasteful and presented in a creative setting with tiny bagels served in a mug. We ended with a delicious ferrero rocher pie that melts in your mouth. Beautiful setting.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such unique food and VERY friendly staff. Clean, good ambiance, and delicious coffee.

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FC
Richmond
58 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Let me first point out that the only reason Service was not a 5 was due to a new server who was nice but a little overwhelmed. It was not lower because rest of staff very attentive and picked up slack. The food was exceptional and very reasonably priced by DC standards. Great ambiance, a contemporary vibe.

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g
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fun spot with inviting decor, lovely service, and delicious food! I love that so many menu items were modern updates to old classic dishes. All of our food and cocktails were just delicious!!

In addition, the menu had clear marks for gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, nut free, soy free, and dairy free diets. Very helpful!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Not impressed. Trying to do many different types of food - with widely varying degrees of success. The Kale Nachos are a specific kind of strange trouble.

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G
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place and have been multiple times for brunch, dinner, and more! The food is unique and there are a bunch of healthy options for everyone!

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NB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was excellent, with a lot of options for vegetarians. We ordered three appetizers and three main dishes for three people and shared everything. The portion sizes are not the usual huge American plates, which I appreciate because you can eat here without needing to go home right away to put leftovers in the refrigerator. Parking is difficult, so using the Metro or ride share is a good idea. The noise level is high, as the space is all hard surfaces that don’t absorb sound.

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KW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Had to wait 20 mins+ for a table, despite having a reservation for brunch. Otherwise, everything else was great.

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food

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DP
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Menu was limited even for a “Diner.” No fish- shrimp and grits had lots of sausage but only 2 shrimp. Fried chicken was pretty good-slaw with it wasn’t very good. A beef dish didn’t have much beef! Had to ask for utensils including spoon for chicken gravy.
Sorry - won’t return.

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MA
Nashville
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing brunch as always!! Such a great deal. My favorite brunch spot in DC.

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C
Washington DC
101 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 4

Disappointed. We were seated at a table directly in front of the entrance on an incredibly cold evening. Asked to be moved and were. Then waited 6-8 minutes to be greeted by server, and another 15 minutes for our drinks.

Complained to the manager. She was unpleasant but took one beer off the check... Finally our salads were served with the entrees all at once!

The food nowhere near compensated for poor management and disinterested staff.

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P
Washington DC
357 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding- We come here often because chef has a sizable menu where every item has great ingredients, portion size and taste. Despite the large space UC Diner still has good feeling/ and we like the open kitchen concept. For those who like HappyHours this is also a great option

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Came with friends on their recommendation - they raved about dinner, we decided to go for brunch. Got seated right away - the place was full & busy, but didn’t feel loud or crowded. Coffee was hot, strong and refilled quickly. We went with server recommendations - corned beef hash & blueberry pancakes. Food came FAST and did not disappoint. The corned beef hash was incredible - crispy potatoes, peppery gravy and slightly smoky beef. My wife had the pancakes (and shared some with me), which were also delicious. The lemon & ginger broke up the sweetness and gave a nice balance with the blueberries & vanilla cream. Our friends had a Benedict with eggs that were way over cooked. He is not a complainer, but the server & manager insisted on fixing it. When my friend refused a whole re-made dish, the manager brought new perfectly poached eggs with extra hollandaise. Overall, the food and atmosphere were great & clearly the staff is responsive to any hiccups. We will definitely be back to try out dinner.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

Food wasn’t great

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New England
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wouldn’t say it’s the best restaurant in DC but it’s consistently very good high quality food.

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