PHOTO: Fresh and delicious Mexican food comes cheap at District Taco. (photo via Flickr/m01229)
Touring Washington, D.C. can get expensive. But it can also work up quite the appetite. While there are countless bars, restaurants, diners, eateries and fast-food joints visitors can pop into for a satisfying bite in the nation’s capital, there are a few that stand out for their combination of deliciousness, quality, customer service and above all, price.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to sit down and take your time or eat on the run, these spots are perfect for chowing down on a budget.
Ben’s Chili Bowl
A D.C. institution, Ben’s Chili Bowl has earned a stellar reputation in the decades since it was founded in 1958 thanks to its beloved signature dish, the original chili half-smoke, a half pork and half beef smoked sausage on a steamed bun smothered in spicy homemade chili sauce, mustard and onions. Take just one bite and you won’t need any explanation as to why celebrities and presidents have been eating here for years.
For the complete Ben’s Chili Bowl experience, be sure to add some fries and a milkshake to your order. There are currently two locations open in D.C. and two others in nearby Arlington, Virginia.
Ray’s Hell Burger
If you’re in the mood for a world-class burger that won’t break the bank, head over to Ray’s Hell Burger on K Street NW. There are more than a half of a dozen burgers to choose from, a slew of free toppings and four savory add-ons, including applewood bacon, avacado and chili for just $2 each.
Not sure which burger to try? Start with Soul Burger Number One, which comes with applewood bacon, swiss cheese, grilled onions, tomato and sauteed mushrooms.
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or just looking to fill up without feeling heavy afterward or sacrificing on cost, sweetgreen is the perfect option. The menu here features a mix of salads and warm bowls and guests can even create their own meal from sweetgreen’s list of bases, ingredients, premiums and dressings.
There are multiple vegan and gluten-free options as well plenty of choices for meat lovers. Finding a sweetgreen in D.C. won’t be difficult either since there are a whopping 12 locations spread throughout the city.
Keren Restaurant & Coffee Shop
Searching for something different? Check out Keren Restaurant in northwest D.C. The service is second to none, the prices won’t dent your budget and the food is likely to turn you on to Ethiopian cuisine if you haven’t been already. Vegetarians will find plenty of tasty menu items here and even the most famished visitor is guaranteed to go home satisfied.
“This family-run Eritrean spot, located at the foot of Adams Morgan, might just be the happiest restaurant in D.C.—everyone is smiling, even those eagerly awaiting a table,” Thrillist points out. “A bonus? You’ll find some of the cheapest beers in town here.”
Keren isn’t a big restaurant and tends to get crowded so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to wait.
Chipotle is fantastic, sure. But if you’re craving Mexican food in D.C. there’s only one place to go, District Taco. Originally launched as a food truck, this restaurant chain is serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Grab a $7 breakfast burrito (served all day) to begin your day of sightseeing or pick up three tacos for $8. Whatever you decide to try, you can be sure it’s fresh and healthy.