The Best Cheap Eats in Washington D.C.

The OpenTable Team

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.

Restaurants:Jaleo DC, Due South, The Arsenal at Bluejacket
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Spanish, Regional American (Southern), Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:Penn Quarter, Navy Yard

Jaleo DC

$$$$·Spanish·
Penn Quarter
8,915 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
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 flavorRead more
96% recommended

Due South

$$$$·Regional American (Southern)·
Navy Yard
910 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Waterfront
  • Casual
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 generatiRead more
90% recommended
Brunch in District of Columbia
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

The Arsenal at Bluejacket

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Navy Yard
902 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Fun
  • Bar Seating
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 constaRead more
93% recommended
Contemporary American in District of Columbia
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Dirty Habit

$$$$·Global, International·
Penn Quarter
946 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Good for a Date
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
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 rRead more
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Sette Osteria - 14th St

$$$$·Italian·
Logan Circle
487 reviews
  • Outdoor Eating
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
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 Read more
96% recommended

O-Ku - DC

$$$$·Sushi·
Washington
515 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasions
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 Read more
96% recommended
Best Ambience in Virginia - DC Suburbs

Persimmon

$$$$·American·
Bethesda / Chevy Chase
2,336 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
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 weRead more
94% recommended

The Smith – Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C

$$$$·American·
Penn Quarter
1,920 reviews
  • Casual
  • Group Bookings
  • Good for a Date
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 atmospRead more
84% recommended

El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

$$$$·Mexican·
Downtown
1,474 reviews
  • Brunch
  • Fun
  • Happy Hour
El Centro is yet another popular restaurant by chef Richard Sandoval, a native of Mexico. He places an emphasis on the flavors and complexity of Mexican cooking and has developed aRead more
93% recommended
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Macon Bistro & Larder

$$$$·Regional American (Southern)·
Chevy Chase
810 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Comfort Food
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, entreeRead more
94% recommended
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Buck's Fishing & Camping

$$$$·American·
Chevy Chase
722 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Cosy
  • Comfort Food
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 breRead more
93% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info

Le Chat Noir

$$$$·French·
Friendship Heights
2,136 reviews
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighbourhood Gem
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 welRead more
87% recommended
There aren’t any available tables for 2 today at 7:00 pm
View Availability

Peacock Café

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Georgetown
1,510 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. TRead more
89% recommended
Table for 2 today

Matisse

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Tenleytown
1,232 reviews
  • Neighbourhood Gem
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Good for a Date
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 featRead more
98% recommended

BlackSalt

$$$$·Seafood·
Palisades Northwest
6,037 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 pRead more
97% recommended
Seafood in Washington, D.C. Area

RIS

$$$$·American·
West End
3,382 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 oRead more
92% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info

SEI restaurant & lounge

$$$$·Asian·
Penn Quarter
2,489 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 FukuokaRead more
93% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info

The Source by Wolfgang Puck

$$$$·Asian·
Downtown
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 settingRead more
89% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
View More Info