clock menu more-arrow no yes
A taco with guacamole and salsa from Bandit Taco
A crispy shrimp taco with guacamole and salsa from Bandit Taco
Bandit Taco [official]

Where to Eat Near American University

Food for the college crowd in upper Northwest

View as Map
A crispy shrimp taco with guacamole and salsa from Bandit Taco
| Bandit Taco [official]

For American University students, a semi-urban campus in Northwest D.C. offers plenty of opportunities to grab a great meal — and great deals — at any time of day or night. The Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, and Van Ness Metro stops are all in close proximity, and restaurant-dense Cathedral Heights is a short car or bus trip away. From all-you-can-eat sushi to casual date-night fare and some of the best pastrami in the city, these are strong bets for students and visitors.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sushiko Chevy Chase

Copy Link
5455 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 961-1644
Visit Website

Hidden behind Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Heights, Sushiko serves generous bento boxes at lunch to go along with sushi and sashimi specials. The hot rock wagyu ($19) is one of many excellent hot options. Sushiko also has a happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) that includes $5 prices on hand rolls, lychee martinis, “lounge lemonades,” and rail drinks.

2. Bandit Taco

Copy Link
4629 41st St NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 506-5807
Visit Website

The second location of this U Street taco shop recently landed in Tenleytown. Bandit has tacos, bowls, quesadillas, and burritos filled with classic Mexican proteins (carne asada, al pastor) and Asian fusion items like bulgogi beef, adobo chicken, and tofu. — Gabe Hiatt

A taco from Bandit taco
A crispy shrimp taco from Bandit taco
Bandit taco [official]

3. District Taco (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link
4600 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 304-1411
Visit Website

A go-to for freshly grilled, affordable Mexican food, District Taco’s Tenleytown location is popular with A.U. students for Yucatan-style tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. All can be customized, but favorites include breakfast tacos and California burritos, which are loaded with steak, guacamole, chipotle mayo, black beans, rice, and potatoes.

4. Wawa (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link
4530 40th St NW A
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 558-0404
Visit Website

Wawa’s recently opened Tenleytown location already has a devoted stream of AU students, Wilson High kids, and local customers. The Philly-based chain is known for its lineup of hoagies, sandwiches, coffee, and snacks that include Philly-style soft pretzels and Tastykake baked pies.

5. Bread Furst

Copy Link
4434 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 765-1200
Visit Website

Fuel up on carbs at James Beard award-winning baker Mark Furstenburg’s place. Bread Furst offers fresh artisan breads and pastries to go with a daily selection of toasts, soups, salads, baguette sandwiches, and other savory dishes.

The bread window at Bread Furst
Fresh breads at Bread Furst
Lisa K. Ruland/for Eater D.C.

6. Millie's (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link
4866 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 733-5789
Visit Website

Diners may feel like they’ve stumbled into Nantucket instead of quiet Spring Valley at this preppy, seafood-centered restaurant. Open from 11 a.m. until midnight every day, Millie’s serves poke, soft-shell crab, lobster rolls, and salads. It’s also known for an extensive seafood taco menu and an ice cream takeout window.

7. Sushi Para

Copy Link
4221 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 237-8777
Visit Website

What this hole-in-the-wall sushi spot lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in deals for hungry students on a budget. There’s an all-you-can-eat sushi special for $23.99.

View this post on Instagram

all you dan eat sush b

A post shared by daniella byck (@daniella.byck) on

8. Raku (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link
3312 Wisconsin Ave
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 244-7258
Visit Website

Most flock to this casual neighborhood Asian spot for its extensive selection of signature sushi rolls and sashimi. Its spicy coconut curry and udon noodle soups are popular hot dishes.

9. Barcelona Wine Bar (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link
3310 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 800-4100
Visit Website

Loud, sleek, and perennially packed, Barcelona Wine Bar’s large menu of tapas makes a perfect option for a casual but chic group dinner just a mile away from campus. Don’t miss the jamón and manchego croquetas, spinach-chickpea cazuela, or the mussels.

Small plates at Barcelona Wine Bar
Small plates at Barcelona Wine Bar
Barcelona Wine Bar [official]

10. 2 Amys

Copy Link
3715 Macomb St NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 885-5700
Visit Website

People from all over the city know 2 Amy’s for its wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, but its proximity to American University makes it a great choice for any student looking for more than an average greasy slice. In addition to pizza, their small bites and seasonal specials should not be overlooked.

Pizza at 2 Amy’s
2 Amy’s serves destinations pies.
2 Amys [official]

11. Wagshal's (Multiple Locations)

Copy Link
3201 New Mexico Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 363-5698
Visit Website

This legendary D.C. butcher shop is also known for deli sandwiches and prepared foods. With a location now open on New Mexico Avenue, just off American University’s campus, students can drop in from breakfast until 9 p.m. for a large selection of sandwiches, entrees, burgers, calzones, and more.

12. Chef Geoff's

Copy Link
3201 New Mexico Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 237-7800
Visit Website

Local institution Chef Geoff’s is easily walkable from campus and offers one of the best food and drink happy hours around. The deal runs all day Monday and Tuesday and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on other days. Enjoy deals like deeply-discounted burgers, pizza, $4 fish tacos, and snacks such as honey Sriracha cauliflower and blue cheese chips.

1. Sushiko Chevy Chase

5455 Wisconsin Ave, Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Hidden behind Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Heights, Sushiko serves generous bento boxes at lunch to go along with sushi and sashimi specials. The hot rock wagyu ($19) is one of many excellent hot options. Sushiko also has a happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) that includes $5 prices on hand rolls, lychee martinis, “lounge lemonades,” and rail drinks.

5455 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

2. Bandit Taco

4629 41st St NW, Washington, DC 20016
A taco from Bandit taco
A crispy shrimp taco from Bandit taco
Bandit taco [official]

The second location of this U Street taco shop recently landed in Tenleytown. Bandit has tacos, bowls, quesadillas, and burritos filled with classic Mexican proteins (carne asada, al pastor) and Asian fusion items like bulgogi beef, adobo chicken, and tofu. — Gabe Hiatt

4629 41st St NW
Washington, DC 20016

3. District Taco (Multiple Locations)

4600 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

A go-to for freshly grilled, affordable Mexican food, District Taco’s Tenleytown location is popular with A.U. students for Yucatan-style tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. All can be customized, but favorites include breakfast tacos and California burritos, which are loaded with steak, guacamole, chipotle mayo, black beans, rice, and potatoes.

4600 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

4. Wawa (Multiple Locations)

4530 40th St NW A, Washington, DC 20016

Wawa’s recently opened Tenleytown location already has a devoted stream of AU students, Wilson High kids, and local customers. The Philly-based chain is known for its lineup of hoagies, sandwiches, coffee, and snacks that include Philly-style soft pretzels and Tastykake baked pies.

4530 40th St NW A
Washington, DC 20016

5. Bread Furst

4434 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
The bread window at Bread Furst
Fresh breads at Bread Furst
Lisa K. Ruland/for Eater D.C.

Fuel up on carbs at James Beard award-winning baker Mark Furstenburg’s place. Bread Furst offers fresh artisan breads and pastries to go with a daily selection of toasts, soups, salads, baguette sandwiches, and other savory dishes.

4434 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

6. Millie's (Multiple Locations)

4866 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Diners may feel like they’ve stumbled into Nantucket instead of quiet Spring Valley at this preppy, seafood-centered restaurant. Open from 11 a.m. until midnight every day, Millie’s serves poke, soft-shell crab, lobster rolls, and salads. It’s also known for an extensive seafood taco menu and an ice cream takeout window.

4866 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

7. Sushi Para

4221 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

What this hole-in-the-wall sushi spot lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in deals for hungry students on a budget. There’s an all-you-can-eat sushi special for $23.99.

4221 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

8. Raku (Multiple Locations)

3312 Wisconsin Ave, Washington, DC 20016

Most flock to this casual neighborhood Asian spot for its extensive selection of signature sushi rolls and sashimi. Its spicy coconut curry and udon noodle soups are popular hot dishes.

3312 Wisconsin Ave
Washington, DC 20016

9. Barcelona Wine Bar (Multiple Locations)

3310 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016
Small plates at Barcelona Wine Bar
Small plates at Barcelona Wine Bar
Barcelona Wine Bar [official]

Loud, sleek, and perennially packed, Barcelona Wine Bar’s large menu of tapas makes a perfect option for a casual but chic group dinner just a mile away from campus. Don’t miss the jamón and manchego croquetas, spinach-chickpea cazuela, or the mussels.

3310 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

10. 2 Amys

3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016
Pizza at 2 Amy’s
2 Amy’s serves destinations pies.
2 Amys [official]

People from all over the city know 2 Amy’s for its wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, but its proximity to American University makes it a great choice for any student looking for more than an average greasy slice. In addition to pizza, their small bites and seasonal specials should not be overlooked.

3715 Macomb St NW
Washington, DC 20016

11. Wagshal's (Multiple Locations)

3201 New Mexico Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

This legendary D.C. butcher shop is also known for deli sandwiches and prepared foods. With a location now open on New Mexico Avenue, just off American University’s campus, students can drop in from breakfast until 9 p.m. for a large selection of sandwiches, entrees, burgers, calzones, and more.

3201 New Mexico Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

12. Chef Geoff's

3201 New Mexico Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

Local institution Chef Geoff’s is easily walkable from campus and offers one of the best food and drink happy hours around. The deal runs all day Monday and Tuesday and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on other days. Enjoy deals like deeply-discounted burgers, pizza, $4 fish tacos, and snacks such as honey Sriracha cauliflower and blue cheese chips.

3201 New Mexico Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

Related Maps