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Fried whiting fresh out of the fryer from Horace and Dickie’s
Fried whiting from Horace and Dickie’s
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

14 Cheap Eats Destinations Around the DMV

Find everything from tacos and burgers to sandwiches for a fraction of what is costs to eat elsewhere

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Fried whiting from Horace and Dickie’s
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

D.C.’s budget-friendly dining options run the gamut, offering a wealth of alternatives to the expense-account restaurants and tasting menu-centric establishments that dot the local landscape. This list looks beyond Michelin stars and rave reviews. It's a round-up of trusted eateries — serving everything from spicy hot pot to dirt cheap tacos — that completely satisfy without draining every last cent from one’s savings account. Here are over a dozen sound dining investments in and around the District.

Don’t see a personal favorite on the list? Sound off in the comments or shoot us an email (dc@eater.com).

—Updated by Tim Ebner

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pupuseria La Familiar (Multiple locations)

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8145 Baltimore Ave K
College Park, MD 20740
(301) 474-8484
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This Salvadoran pupuseria now has two locations (also in Wheaton), and it’s one of the cheapest option for masa stuffed with cheese and other ingredients. There are traditional pupusas, like revuelta, as well as nontraditional, including a ham and cheese-style pupusa that’s perfect after a late night at some of the College Park bars.

2. Tequila y Mezcal

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3714 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
(202) 815-4789
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The owners of Taqueria Habanero recently opened a new agave-fueled bar that sells regional dishes from different corners of Mexico, including huitlacoche, esquites, and ceviches ranging form $9-12. Meanwhile at happy hour tequila and mezcal margaritas are just $8 and tacos start at $2.50 each.

3. Amsterdam Falafelshop (Multiple locations)

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2425 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 234-1969
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This homegrown chain of meat-free, fast-casual restaurants serves fried falafel dressed with nearly two dozen toppings, plus French fries.

4. A. Litteri

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517 Morse St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 544-0184
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In addition to offering the best Italian wine selection outside of Italy, this iconic Northeast market/deli serves delicious (and cheap) subs.

5. Julia's Empanadas (Multiple locations)

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1221 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 861-8828
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This globally inspired bakery specializes in savory ($5 each) and sweet ($3) hand pies that are served throughout the day. Favorites include a Caribbean-style curried beef-filled offering, the stewed chicken-packed saltena, and a peach-guava option.

6. The Well Dressed Burrito

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1220 19th St NW
Washington, DC 22036
(202) 293-0515
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Assorted variations of the eponymous dish at this grab-and-go standby start at $5.95 a pop. Or go all-in on the one-pound “El Gordo” filled with marinated beef ($8.45).

7. Horace & Dickie's

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809 12th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 397-6040
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District residents have been relying on Atlas District mainstary Horace & Dickie’s for decades. The neighborhood carryout is perhaps best known for its fried whiting, chicken wings, and seafood dinners.

Horace & Dickie’s DC food Rey Lopez/Eater DC

8. Duke's Grocery (Multiple locations)

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2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 733-3967
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Duke’s Grocery recently opened its third location in Foggy Bottom (in addition to its original location in Dupont Circle and a counter-service restaurant in Woodley Park). This British-themed menu has a “proper burger” that people love to rave about—top it with a fried egg to experience all the greasy and sloppy goodness that comes packed between two brioche buns for just $13.

9. Wiseguy NY Pizza (Multiple locations)

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300 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 408-7800
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For when nothing but a big, two-handed slice of New York-style pizza will do. Though this pizzeria also serves some pretty impressive garlic knots.

10. Chinatown Express

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746 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 638-0424
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The crave-worthy noodles at this long-standing Chinatown spot, served in a soup or stir-fry, start at under $10.

11. Bayou Bakery

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1515 N Courthouse Rd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 243-2410
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Pastry chef turned restaurateur David Guas has been serving his cooked-to-order beignets for almost a decade at his Arlington restaurant and cafe, and he has never changed the price: $3 for an order of three sugar-dusted, New Orleans-style doughnuts.

12. Mala Tang

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3434 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 243-2381
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The late-night destination for bubbling Asian hot pot also offers incentives for delivery orders, with free spring rolls for tabs over $25.

13. Grazie Grazie

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85 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 216-2999
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Many people lamented the closure of Taylor Gourmet last year, but founder Casey Patten is back with a new sandwich shop, Grazie Grazie, that’s pumping out oversized hoagie helpings on The Wharf. Go for the Nonna, a giant meatball grinder, that’s $11 and could easily turn into a leftover meal.

14. Banh Mi DC Sandwich

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3103 Graham Rd #C
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 205-9300
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The traditional Vietnamese-style bahn mi sandwiches at this cherished Falls Church eatery are equal parts affordable and delicious.

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1. Pupuseria La Familiar (Multiple locations)

8145 Baltimore Ave K, College Park, MD 20740

This Salvadoran pupuseria now has two locations (also in Wheaton), and it’s one of the cheapest option for masa stuffed with cheese and other ingredients. There are traditional pupusas, like revuelta, as well as nontraditional, including a ham and cheese-style pupusa that’s perfect after a late night at some of the College Park bars.

8145 Baltimore Ave K
College Park, MD 20740

2. Tequila y Mezcal

3714 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

The owners of Taqueria Habanero recently opened a new agave-fueled bar that sells regional dishes from different corners of Mexico, including huitlacoche, esquites, and ceviches ranging form $9-12. Meanwhile at happy hour tequila and mezcal margaritas are just $8 and tacos start at $2.50 each.

3714 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

3. Amsterdam Falafelshop (Multiple locations)

2425 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

This homegrown chain of meat-free, fast-casual restaurants serves fried falafel dressed with nearly two dozen toppings, plus French fries.

2425 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

4. A. Litteri

517 Morse St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

In addition to offering the best Italian wine selection outside of Italy, this iconic Northeast market/deli serves delicious (and cheap) subs.

517 Morse St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

5. Julia's Empanadas (Multiple locations)

1221 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

This globally inspired bakery specializes in savory ($5 each) and sweet ($3) hand pies that are served throughout the day. Favorites include a Caribbean-style curried beef-filled offering, the stewed chicken-packed saltena, and a peach-guava option.

1221 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

6. The Well Dressed Burrito

1220 19th St NW, Washington, DC 22036

Assorted variations of the eponymous dish at this grab-and-go standby start at $5.95 a pop. Or go all-in on the one-pound “El Gordo” filled with marinated beef ($8.45).

1220 19th St NW
Washington, DC 22036

7. Horace & Dickie's

809 12th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Horace & Dickie’s DC food Rey Lopez/Eater DC

District residents have been relying on Atlas District mainstary Horace & Dickie’s for decades. The neighborhood carryout is perhaps best known for its fried whiting, chicken wings, and seafood dinners.

809 12th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

8. Duke's Grocery (Multiple locations)

2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006

Duke’s Grocery recently opened its third location in Foggy Bottom (in addition to its original location in Dupont Circle and a counter-service restaurant in Woodley Park). This British-themed menu has a “proper burger” that people love to rave about—top it with a fried egg to experience all the greasy and sloppy goodness that comes packed between two brioche buns for just $13.

2000 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006

9. Wiseguy NY Pizza (Multiple locations)

300 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

For when nothing but a big, two-handed slice of New York-style pizza will do. Though this pizzeria also serves some pretty impressive garlic knots.

300 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

10. Chinatown Express

746 6th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

The crave-worthy noodles at this long-standing Chinatown spot, served in a soup or stir-fry, start at under $10.

746 6th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

11. Bayou Bakery

1515 N Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201

Pastry chef turned restaurateur David Guas has been serving his cooked-to-order beignets for almost a decade at his Arlington restaurant and cafe, and he has never changed the price: $3 for an order of three sugar-dusted, New Orleans-style doughnuts.

1515 N Courthouse Rd
Arlington, VA 22201

12. Mala Tang

3434 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

The late-night destination for bubbling Asian hot pot also offers incentives for delivery orders, with free spring rolls for tabs over $25.

3434 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

13. Grazie Grazie

85 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024

Many people lamented the closure of Taylor Gourmet last year, but founder Casey Patten is back with a new sandwich shop, Grazie Grazie, that’s pumping out oversized hoagie helpings on The Wharf. Go for the Nonna, a giant meatball grinder, that’s $11 and could easily turn into a leftover meal.

85 District Square SW
Washington, DC 20024

14. Banh Mi DC Sandwich

3103 Graham Rd #C, Falls Church, VA 22042

The traditional Vietnamese-style bahn mi sandwiches at this cherished Falls Church eatery are equal parts affordable and delicious.

3103 Graham Rd #C
Falls Church, VA 22042

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