Friday, April 26, 2013

Washington DC: Where to Eat and Stay

If you missed what to do in Washington DC, go back to my last post :) 

I'm not an expert on the hotel world in DC, but from my extensive research I'd say: avoid them. They were super expensive in April and the reviews were not great. I decided to go with an apartment I found on Home Away and (airbnb is also a great place to look). I narrowed it down to 3 places based on our budget and what we were looking for (basically a whole apartment, not just a room) and then e-mailed two friends who live in DC to help me narrow down the location. They both thought the Foggy Bottom area of DC would be best for us. They were SO right. Foggy Bottom is a great location to walk to monuments, The White House, and Georgetown. Plus, the Metro was right across the street so we could use that to get to Arlington and any time we were sick of walking. Foggy Bottom also has a CVS, Whole Foods, Starbucks (many choices) and great restaurants. 

We didn't have a bad meal in DC. Here are some places I highly recommend: 

Founding Farmers: If you don't go anywhere else while in DC, I think you should go here (and get a reservation). It was recommended to me by a couple of people, and my local friend picked it out for us. It's owned by a collective of family farmers, and the local food is as good as you would expect it to be. We went there for dinner with a friend of mine, and I ordered this ridiculous fish special they were doing that night. To start we ordered the cornbread, which actually had real corn in it! 

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The next morning Eric and I went back for breakfast. I got french toast, which tasted good but my stomach was not impressed by. If I went back I'd get something with eggs. I never though eggs were something that could look amazing, but they really did. 

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Pizzeria Paradiso: I left this dinner choice up to another local friend and yet again she did not lead me wrong. There were lots of fun local beer and wine choices, and the pizza was great. They had some good happy hour specials if you get there early and eat in the bar area, definitely a good idea. 

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Old Ebbitt Grill: I chose this place myself using my online research. It's right next to the White House, and apparently a favorite of many past presidents and current political insiders, so they say! I knew it would be a bit touristy, but the reviews were good and said the prices were reasonable so we went for it. I'm glad we did. I got a ridiculously yummy crab cake dish for dinner and Eric got a steak, both of us enjoyed our meals. 

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Thai Place: Our first night in DC we arrived late, so I researched restaurants right near our apartment that I thought wouldn't be super crazy on a Saturday night at 8pm. I don't think Eric was expecting much since he asked me the name of the Thai Place and I said, "it's Thai Place" haha. Seriously though, this was a great local place and the Thai food was delicious. I had enough leftover to eat it for lunch the next day. Eric has been saying he wants to go back to DC just to eat at this place again, so I think that's a good sign! 

The last place that I think everyone should check out is Georgetown Cupcake. I had heard a lot about this place, but I actually didn't even get that it had a show about it called DC Cupcakes. I am a big fan of Cake Boss so I'm surprised I've never watched this show, but anyways. I really wanted to go and I had learned about the epic lines but luckily I can report on a Monday night we waited no more than 10 minutes. Also, the place is managed well so the line looks kind of intimidating but really they just don't allow insane numbers of people inside (unlike some famous bakeries in Boston) so it's actually a pretty low stress experience. Plus, the cupcakes are really yummy. 

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What kind of food do you like to eat on vacation? Do you prefer to stay at hotels, houses or apartments? 


  1. I love DC! I want to go back so bad. My mom travels to DC once a month with work and happened to stop in at Georgetown Cupcakes. Loved it. Did you know they opened a location in NYC? Well, that was the last episode of DC Cupcakes I saw.

  2. On a roll with the blog posts! Mmm everything looks so good here. This post made me realize crab cakes are another thing I'll have to say goodbye to, *TEAR!* Anyways, highly recommend the pancakes at Founding Farmers! (for the non sensitive stomach..)

  3. I was just having this conversation with my husband. We just booked our tickets to Italy. For part of the time, we'll be staying with my parents (in their apartment). But, we are also going to travel a bit ... and we're leaning towards getting an apartment someplace for a week, using that as a home base and taking day trips from there. As much as I like trying local food, there's something to be said about being able to wake up and eat breakfast without putting on your shoes.

  4. Sounds fun! Most of the time when we travel we stay in hotels but when we went on our honeymoon we had a little cabin with a kitchen and I REALLY enjoyed having a home base to cook meals in. We usually just ate out for dinner and had breakfast and lunch at "home" so I think I will be looking into an apartment for our next big trip!

  5. Great post! And this is very helpful for me because I just bought a ticket this week to visit Becky over the 4th of July! So I will have to try some of these places. Thai is one of my FAVORITE cuisines, so I might have to make sure we go to Thai Place. Talk about a generic name, though. Ha!

    I definitely prefer to stay in an apartment if possible. I like having a kitchen and having the option of making one or 2 meals a day there. And it makes it feel like a more authentic experience!

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