Venture into the District for family meals to celebrate the end of your college years off campus.
1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Looking for a twist on classic American dishes? Head to Firefly near Dupont Circle for a range of delicious entrées with sides big enough to share – but you probably won't want to. Firefly offers vegetarian options, including risotto and a vegetable and cheese casserole, alongside some more unique choices, like braised lamb pasta, shrimp and grits and chicken matzo ball soup. Separate gluten-free menus match Firefly’s regular fare, but the restaurant’s offerings change with the seasons to keep local farmers and sustainability in mind. Entrées average about $25, with sides at about $7 a pop.
425 7th St. NW
This Italian restaurant that originated in New York City is the perfect place to celebrate graduation with your family. Open for lunch and dinner, the family-style restaurant offers huge portions designed for sharing at a reasonable price, as well as an extensive eight-page beverage menu. Dive into Italian staples like chicken parmigiana ($28.50) or clams on the half shell ($12 a dozen); choose from a slew of vegetarian pastas, or try the featured house specialty of the day.
3000 K St. NW
Bangkok Joe’s offers an affordable, trendy alternative to greasy takeout for lunch or dinner. Flavors from across the globe – Chinese, Japanese, Thai, American and even French – blend into dishes like General Tso's chicken and rice and noodle bowls, all made with fresh ingredients. Menu items are relatively cheap considering the portion sizes, with dinner entrées averaging about $14 and lunch entrées at around $10.
15E St. NW
A short walk away from the Capitol, Bistro Bis brings delicious French food to the heart of D.C. Dinners range from classics like beef bourguignon and steak frites to dishes that put a new spin on French staples, like crêpes filled with artichoke-ricotta filling, peas, turnips, mushrooms and extra cheese. It is difficult to make it through their menu without drooling. For an authentically French dining experience, choose three cheeses ($14) or six ($24) from the restaurant's cheese menu, which features samples from around the world. Regular entrées average about $29 each.
950 15th St. NW
This Southern gem offers a refined version of the comfort classics we all love. Known for some of the best fried chicken in D.C., Georgia Brown’s also offers contemporary options like black-eyed pea cakes with roasted red pepper sauce. Top it off with the innovative peaches and cream cocktail and you will forget you are still in D.C. Entrées average about $24, but for lunch, try the three-course fixed price menu for $25 a person. The restaurant, always playing smooth Southern jazz, features live jazz every Wednesday night.
Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St. NW
Looking for a great brunch to start off commencement with the family? Just steps from the White House and the Department of the Treasury, Old Ebbitt Grill offers a tasty take on brunch, with dishes like eggs Parma, strawberry French toast and even a grilled New York strip steak. Founded in 1856, Old Ebbitt Grill’s historic setting and delicious food offer a perfect way to say goodbye to the District, with brunch entrées averaging between $10 and $15.