Once you’ve had your fill of downstairs Leo’s and Royal Jacket sandwiches, it’s time to venture off campus to explore all the food Washington, D.C., has to offer. Whether you’re in the mood for a short walk into the Georgetown neighborhood or an adventure into downtown D.C., plenty of tasty options await you.
Quick Bites in Georgetown
Just about every Georgetown University student swears by a Hot Chick or Chicken Madness sandwich from Wisemiller’s Grocery & Deli (1236 36th St. NW) — better known as Wisey’s. The Hot Chick features chopped spicy chicken tenders, cheese and spicy dressing, and the Chicken Madness includes provolone, peppers and diced grilled chicken. The convenient location makes Wisey’s the perfect stop when you have class in Walsh or the Car Barn.
For a cup of coffee, take a stroll to Compass Coffee (1351 Wisconsin Ave. NW). With its signature lattes, cold brew on tap, assortment of pastries and free Wi-Fi, Compass is the ideal spot to meet with friends or catch up on homework. If you’re willing to walk a little farther off campus, we suggest Blue Bottle Coffee (1046 Potomac St. NW) for a delicious latte and outdoor seating.
While on Wisconsin Avenue, go to Kung Fu Tea (1529 Wisconsin Ave. NW) for reasonably priced milk tea or fruit teas. This spot is a Georgetown student’s preferred choice for some tasty bubble tea, offering a range of size, ice and sugar options, as well as flavored slushies and warm teas. For a rich, comforting option, go for the taro slush with boba and 50% sweetness. For something more fruity, try the passionfruit green tea.
If you’re looking for the staple cheap eat, you must stop at Falafel Inc. (1210 Potomac St. NW). Their $3 falafel sandwiches are the perfect choice for your taste buds and your bank account. Plus, you’re contributing to a good cause with every purchase: The shop contributes aid to the refugee crisis in the Middle East and donates a day’s worth of food to a refugee for every $10 of profit.
For more cheap eats, check out Eater DC or Washingtonian’s Cheap Eats list for delicious and affordable options.
Head down to Grace Street under the C&O Canal for a mecca of health foods. Grace Street features spots like the vegetarian taco joint Chaia Tacos (3207 Grace St. NW) and a food complex (3210 Grace St. NW) that includes acai bowl and smoothie place South Block and the globally inspired sandwich company SUNdeVICH.
You might consider a stop in the biggest Sweetgreen (1044 Wisconsin Ave. NW) salad shop in the District. This two-story storefront is the latest Georgetown iteration of the national chain founded by Hoyas. You can also visit the Tavern (3333 M St. NW), a sister store of Sweetgreen. In addition to serving their classic salads, the Tavern stands out as a healthy marketplace selling locally sourced food.
Classic Georgetown Destinations
No other Georgetown tradition compares to a dinner or drink at The Tombs (1226 36th St. NW). An underground bar featuring classic pub food and delicious Sunday brunch, it’s the place to go at midnight for your 21st birthday: Tradition holds that a Georgetown student’s first legal drink be conducted here. If you’re under 21, you can still enjoy The Tombs for a reasonably priced dinner with your friends.
With affordable, filling meals and a boisterous social scene for freshmen, Mai Thai (3251 Prospect St. NW) is a great restaurant to grab dinner with friends and still have leftovers for lunch the next day. You can’t go wrong with the Red Curry, and don’t miss happy hour for the $3 sushi rolls. Tip: Come for your birthday and receive a hefty discount on any dinner entree.
Can’t decide whether you want Indian or Italian food? Visit Curry & Pie (1204 34th St. NW) for a flavorful, inventive combination of the two cuisines. Traditional Indian dishes are served in one of two ways: on a pizza pie or presented with a side of rice. Definitely get the flaky samosas while you’re here, and top it off with a Mango Lassi, a sweet, rich and creamy mango yogurt drink.
Of course, for the authentic Italian experience, you must slip into il Canale (1065 31st St. NW), a classic Italian restaurant with delicious pizzas. Stop by for a margherita pizza or tasty lasagna while looking out for notable patrons like the Clintons.
Visit Oki Bowl (1608 Wisconsin Ave. NW) if you’re tired of the taste of your instant ramen. The Thai-Japanese fusion restaurant serves ramen and rice bowls and is known for its unusual decor. We recommend the Oki Curry ramen, or the Galanga ramen if you need a vegetarian option.
For dessert, stop by renowned ice cream parlor Thomas Sweet (3214 P St. NW) for a brownie sundae or their signature Blend-In. You can also check out Baked & Wired (1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW), the true favorite cupcake bakery in Georgetown, even if it didn’t have a reality show. The debate among Baked & Wired, Georgetown Cupcake and Sprinkles will feature heavily during your time on the Hilltop. Make the trip with friends: Baked & Wired’s enormous cupcakes are sharing size, and the gluten-free options accommodate all. If you can’t make the trek, though, Insomnia Cookies (3204 O St. NW) is dangerously close and delivers until 3 a.m.
Take a trip to the classic restaurant Le Diplomate (1601 14th St. NW) for a French-American taste distinct to D.C. The city’s best French onion soup can be found here, as well as the best omelet and Eggs Norwegian in the D.C. metro area. “Le Dip,” as the locals call it, is also a great dinner spot.
Farmers Fishers Bakers (3000 K St. NW) by the Georgetown waterfront is the most popular spot for brunch. The all-you-can-eat weekend brunch is pricey at $32.95 per person, but if you’re willing to get up early, you can still eat all you want without having to take out extra loans. Between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. on weekdays, go to First Bake to get the same delicious breakfast for a fraction of the price.
Making a Day of It
For the perfect, mouth-watering slice, make the trek to Wiseguy Pizza (300 Massachusetts Ave. NW), a short walk from the National Mall and the best of D.C.’s museums. On a nice day, you can also walk across the Key Bridge and visit Wiseguy’s Rosslyn, Va., location.
Appreciate the street vendors and yummy brunch spots that line the streets of 7th Street in Southeast with an afternoon trip to Eastern Market (225 7th St. SE), an old school indoor market building surrounded by outdoor stalls and fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers. After a morning of shopping, the best place to grab a bite is at The Market Lunch (225 7th St. SE), a small vendor inside the market’s building. The weekend shrimp and grits are popular, as are the blueberry buckwheat pancakes.
For cheaper bites while still out in the city, swing by Union Market (1309 5th St. NE) for the essential indoor food hall experience, connecting you to the diverse cuisines that can be found in the District. Artisanal vendors can prepare you Venezuelan arepas, Ethiopian fast-casual dishes, jerk chicken empanadas and so much more. Grab a bite and swing by the new Politics & Prose bookstore or watch a movie at Angelika Pop Up, all within walking distance of a Metro station.
File Photo: Karla Leyja/The Hoya