The Best Cheap Eats in Washington D.C.

D.C. might be best known for being the epicenter of politics in America but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be a hotbed for amazing food. The capital is a great spot to land when one is hankering for a good meal. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Explore the city through food with some of the best cheap eats in the country.

The OpenTable Team
Restaurants:Jaleo DC, Due South, The Arsenal at Bluejacket
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Spanish, Regional American (Southern), Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Penn Quarter, Navy Yard
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

Jaleo DC

$$$$·Spanish·
Penn Quarter
9,561 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasions
  • Tapas

Chef Jose Andres and his team have developed a delicious menu of Spanish cuisine that celebrates both the traditional and the cutting-edge. The food showcases the spirit and flavors of Spain and the a...

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Spanish in Washington, D.C. Area

Due South

$$$$·Regional American (Southern)·
Navy Yard
1,103 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Lunch
  • Brunch

Due South serves up thoughtfully prepared dishes that celebrate the best of the South. Chef Rusty Holman and his team prepare cherished family recipes they have shared for generations, including his s...

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The Arsenal at Bluejacket

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Navy Yard
957 reviews
  • Outdoor Eating
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date

The Arsenal is the home restaurant at Bluejacket Brewery and is the perfect place for beer lovers to get a delicious quaff and a cheap bite to eat. The restaurant features a constantly rotating select...

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Dirty Habit

$$$$·Global, International·
Penn Quarter
1,139 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasions
  • Vibrant Bar Scene

Dirty Habit is fairly new on the scene in D.C. This gorgeous restaurant features innovative plates and expertly crafted cocktails, as well as a beautiful urban patio. The bar and restaurant are always...

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Experiences available
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Sette Osteria - 14th St

$$$$·Italian·
Logan Circle
567 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Lunch
  • Special Occasions

This vivacious restaurant is a fun and friendly spot to grab a cheap bit along 14th Street, one of the city’s liveliest streets. Sette offers artisan pizza and handmade pastas, as well as a wide array...

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There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
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O-Ku - DC

$$$$·Sushi·
Washington
997 reviews
  • Special Occasions
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies

O-Ku Sushi in Union Market offers a bevy of raw fish options, Japanese whiskeys, and multiple bars where you can grab a drink and socialize with your friends. They have two floors of dining options an...

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Best Overall in Washington, D.C. Area
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Persimmon

$$$$·American·
Bethesda / Chevy Chase
2,435 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Comfort Food

Persimmon is an American bistro located off the beaten path from Bethesda’s bustling downtown. Chef Damian Salvatore is a native of Bethesda and knows the local restaurant scene well. As a result, he’...

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American in Washington, D.C. Area

The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
2,303 reviews
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Outdoor Eating
  • Brunch

The Smith is a casual American Brasserie with locations in both NYC and DC. Located in the heart of the U Street corridor, the newest location offers a lively and boisterous atmosphere that is perfect...

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Most Booked in District of Columbia
39 people mentioned the Mac Cheese

Macon Bistro - Chevy Chase

$$$$·Regional American (Southern)·
Chevy Chase
810 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Comfort Food
  • Good for a Date

Tyler Stout is the head chef at Macon Bistro and Larder and is a master of classic bistro fare and Southern comfort food. The restaurant is famous for their rich appetizers, entrees, and brunch offeri...

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27 people mentioned the Short Rib
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Buck's Fishing & Camping

$$$$·American·
Chevy Chase
721 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasions

This is a small, neighborhood independently owned restaurant complete with a woody, fire lit atmosphere. They're a perfect place to enjoy local produce, meats, and fish without breaking the bank. Star...

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31 people mentioned the Fried Oyster
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Le Chat Noir

$$$$·French·
Friendship Heights
2,098 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasions

Le Chat Noir is a popular French restaurant and wine bar located in Friendship Heights. They have great prices on appetizers, such as the Saumon Fume, Escargots and Burrata, as well as their salads an...

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53 people mentioned the Bouillabaisse
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Peacock Café

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Georgetown
1,615 reviews
  • Brunch
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Lunch

Established in 1991, Peacock Cafe is a staple of Georgetown life. They are one of the friendliest restaurants in the city and offers an eclectic menu with something for everyone. The atmosphere is alw...

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Contemporary American in Washington, D.C. Area
46 people mentioned the Smoothie

Matisse

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Tenleytown
1,355 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Special Occasions
  • Quiet Conversation

This opulently decorated restaurant evokes the work of their namesake and is a stunning place to sit and enjoy a meal. The menu adds a contemporary flair to classic dishes and features a fantastic win...

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Neighbourhood Gem in Washington, D.C. Area
29 people mentioned the Fritz

BlackSalt

$$$$·Seafood·
Palisades Northwest
6,219 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasions

This seafood shop and dining room has been around for over a decade and the crowds still love them. The menu highlights fresh seafood and a number of Italian dishes such as fresh pastas. Some of the s...

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Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area
148 people mentioned the Fresh Fish

RIS

$$$$·American·
West End
3,277 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Special Occasions

RIS is an upscale neighborhood restaurant in the West End that serves seasonal American cuisine by executive chef Ris Lacoste. They have a fantastic menu that puts their own spin on American classics...

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89 people mentioned the Butterscotch Pudding
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SEI restaurant & lounge

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
2,429 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Hot Spot
  • Special Occasions

SEI is a modern Asian restaurant that makes a perfect spot for romantic dinners, corporate events, and all types of celebrations. The sushi chef, Noriyaki Yasutake, is from Fukuoka, Japan, and has bee...

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144 people mentioned the Fish Chip
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The Source by Wolfgang Puck

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
3,652 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasions

Located at The Newseum, The Source by Wolfgang Puck offers an elegant dining experience where you can enjoy the innovative Asian cuisine dishes in a sleek and contemporary setting. After checking out ...

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221 people mentioned the Dumplings
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