D.C. is a culturally diverse city, but breaking out of the Foggy Bottom bubble can be hard – especially if you don’t know where to go. This guide will help you explore off-campus neighborhoods, highlighting hot spots as well as places that fly a little more under the radar.
On the Yellow and Green lines: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
This neighborhood is one of the up-and-coming dining hotspots. With sites from embassies to museums and the FBI headquarters, Penn Quarter offers variety.
Old Ebbitt Grill
As one of the most historic restaurants in D.C. and the city’s oldest bar and restaurant, Old Ebbitt Grill, founded in 1856, is a perfect place for a family dinner lunch or their famous weekend brunch. With reasonable prices and proximity to the White House, parents will be sure to appreciate this dining option.
675 15th St., NW
Mondays to Fridays 7:30 to 1 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays 8:30 to 1 a.m.
If you have an appetite for all things meat, head to District Chophouse. Sit down with a steak, beer and some delicious cornbread. Priding itself on American classics, this steak house has a variety of trendier options like tuna spring rolls ($13.95) as well as a whole host of seafood options.
509 7th St., NW
Sundays to Mondays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesdays to Saturdays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Brunch: Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
U Street Corridor
On the Yellow and Green lines: U Street/African American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo
If you’re looking for hopping nightlife, U Street is the place to go. Late-night hours and affordable prices make this neighborhood the perfect destination for college students to grab a bite or a drink, but it is also a lively area to show your family while they’re in town.
Ben’s Chili Bowl
For a classic U Street haunt, there’s no better place than Ben’s. Beyond its landmark status, chili half-smokes and milkshakes, check out the building’s new mural featuring the faces of President Barack Obama and comedian Bill Cosby. The restaurant has been family-owned for over 50 years now and is known for its outstanding chili – with both beef and vegetarian options – and its location inside an old silent film theater. Located across the street from the Metro stop, it’s hard to miss.
1213 U St., NW
Mondays to Thursdays 6 to 2 a.m., Fridays 6 to 4 a.m., Saturdays 7 to 4 a.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
If your parents already know the town, check out Policy, which offers a mix of top-notch food and nightlife. Take a seat in the Love Dining Room, with its futuristic diner décor, for some Madras Curry Lamb Sliders ($10), or try the vegetarian Spring Gnocchi ($10). If your parents are partiers, go on a Friday night and head upstairs for Policy’s Endless Summer Fridays, where a DJ spins old school selections and Top 40 hits for the perfect parent mix.
1904 14th St., NW
Brunch: Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Dinner: Tuesdays to Thursdays 5 to 11 p.m., Fridays to Saturdays 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Bar: Tuesdays to Thursdays 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.