- Besides housing, food is the biggest source of costs in D.C. It’s expensive to go out and eat, so you’re better off grocery shopping, prepping meals in advance, and cooking.
- As summarized by one D.C. journalist: “Pack a lunch. There is no good food in D.C.”
- There are also plenty of events around D.C. that provide catered free food, usually for lunch and dinner (events list to come)— this helps to cut down on your food budget, and also incentivizes you to go to cool places and network.
- Suggested stores: Safeway, Giant, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, CVS
- For breakfast: I recommend a quick oatmeal, banana/apple, and yogurt combo. Eggs are usually affordable as well.
- For lunch: I recommend you bring packed meals instead of going out or eating in a cafeteria (I literally survived on PB&J or lettuce/ham sandwiches, bananas, and water for the duration of my internship). There are plenty of really great food trucks as well (I tried about a dozen of them last summer), but they are more expensive than you may think.
- For dinner: I recommend cooking something simple, but you can go wild if you have a good kitchen. This is also an ideal time to go out to eat with friends, if possible.
- I’ve never been to a single boba place in D.C., so I don’t know what’s best. However, there are mainstream chains like Gong Cha that have expanded into the D.C. area within the last 5 years.
- Where to start: The Washington Post has a 2017 guide on bubble tea shops here, and you can use the D.C. Eater bubble tea locator to find favorites.
- Suzanne Nuyen, a TEGNA Digital Content Producer, runs a great food/cooking blog called “Bun Bo Bae” and generously provided us with her 2019 bucket list here. I also asked a few close friends, social media besties, and some professional connections for restaurant suggestions in the DMV area.
- Note: I can’t speak for the types of food, service, or general quality available, and I only included restaurants that were personally recommended to me (meaning this is not a copy-paste of some list on Google). Please note that these restaurants are listed in no particular order.
- Da Hong Pao: 1409 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
- Sichuan Pavilion: 1814 K St NW, Washington, DC 20006
- Queen’s English (Hong Kong style): 3410 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
- Mark’s Duck House: 6184-a Arlington Blvd, Falls Church, VA 22044
- New Big Wong: 610 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Panda Gourmet: 2700 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
- China Boy (a secret hidden gem that only sells rice noodle rolls): 815 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Tiger Fork (Hong Kong inspired): 922 Blagden Alley, Washington, DC 20001
- Great Wall Szechuan House: 1527 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (the place here is a little small, so depending on how large your group is, it may not be the best option)
- Astoria (Szechuan style): 1521 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
- Peter Chang (Rockville location): 20 A Maryland Ave, Rockville, MD 20850
- A & J Restaurant (Rockville, good for dim sum): 1319 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
- Bob’s Shanghai 66: 305 N Washington St, Rockville, MD 20850
- Mama Chang (Fairfax location): 3251 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030
- Chef Guo (imperial cuisine): 6259 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312
- Purple Patch: 3155 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010
- Bad Saint: 3226 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
- Rasika (need a reservation): 633 D St, NW, Washington, DC 20004
- SEI for sushi: 444 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
- Hando Medo (Japanese hand rolls — good and very affordable): 1315 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
- Daikaya/Izakaya in Gallery Place — they have really good Ramen (Daikaya is the Ramen bar and Izakaya is the proper restaurant): 705 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Jinya Ramen: 1336 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
- Sakuramen: 2441 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
- Momo Yakitori: 2214 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20018
- Zeppelin: 1544 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Marumen: 3250 Old Pickett Rd, Fairfax, VA 22031
- Mandu for American-Korean (multiple locations; it’s pretty Americanized but very good)
- Zannchi: 1529 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
- KoChix Chicken: 400 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Honey Pig Korean BBQ (Rockville location): 12015-G, Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852
- Oegadgib: 7331 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003
- Kogiya Korean BBQ: 4220-A Annandale Rd, Annandale, VA 22003
- Thip Khao: 3462 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010
- BKK Cookshop: 1700 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Baan Thai: 1326 14th St NW 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005
- Beau Thai: 1550 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Kruba Thai and Sushi: 301 Tingey St, SE, Retail-B, Washington, DC 20003
- Little Serow: 1511 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036
- Dolan Uyghur in Glover Park: 3518 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
- China Chilcano (Asian-Latin fusion; xiaolongbao, pork buns recommended): 418 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
- Chiko in Eastern Market (Chinese-Korean): 423 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20004
- tasTEA WAFFLES (aka Sugar Lab): 3279 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
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