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These Restaurants Are Great for Picky Eaters

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Hosting out-of-town visitors during the holidays typically leads to plenty of meals out, but finding a restaurant to accommodate everyone's preferences isn't always easy.

Whether it's a parent, an old friend, or a child, sometimes it's necessary to accommodate picky eaters who might not have the most adventurous tastes in food. D.C.'s culinary diversity is one of the restaurant scene's best assets, but that doesn't mean everyone appreciates it.

Selecting a restaurant with large menus is also a good route to take — or a spot with can’t-go-wrong basics like pizza or burgers. This guide isn't exhaustive, but it does reflect a range of price ranges and dining styles.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Comet Ping Pong

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5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-0404
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Families are welcome at this laid-back pizzeria in upper Northwest. Picky diners can customize their pizzas to suite their own tastes. Other crowd-pleasers include garlic knots, Comet hot wings, and a simple green salad.

2. Medium Rare

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3500 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 237-1432
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Meat and potatoes is another safe route, and that's easy at Medium Rare because the short prix fixe menu consists of salad, steak, and fries. Desserts like apple pie, a hot fudge sundae, and chocolate cake are also guaranteed to please.

Medium Rare/Facebook

3. Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro

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1901 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 328-0369
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This local chain has many locations in the D.C. area, but one of the most popular is on 14th Street. Watch the crowds go by from the patio over a meal of mini burgers, meatballs, roast chicken, or pizza. There are also salads, tuna tartare, and other seafood items for more adventurous eaters.

4. The Riggsby

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1731 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 787-1500
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Out-of-town guests will appreciate The Riggsby's hip decor while enjoying entrees like roast chicken, pork chop, and an excellent burger topped with bacon and onion jam. Their dining companions will want to try the beef carpaccio, seared skate, and chicken liver mousse.

5. The Meatball Shop

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1720 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 684-8564
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Who doesn’t like meatballs? Logan Circle’s outpost of the New York City brand serves up bowls of beef, pork, chicken, veggie, and fish varieties, along with comfort food sides such as mashed potatoes.

6. Le Diplomate

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1601 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 332-3333
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This French bistro might seem like a tough sell on the surface, but the vast menu offers roast chicken, steak frites with fantastic fries, and a burger Américain that’s essentially a Frenchified Big Mac. More sophisticated diners can go for the escargot, moules frites, seafood towers, or oysters.

7. Clyde's of Georgetown

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3236 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 333-9180
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The classic American restaurant is open from the morning until late-night, which is perfect for Georgetown tourist and shoppers. The huge menu has regional seafood dishes and even a mezze platter, but the burgers, chicken, and pasta dishes are also popular.

8. Pizzeria Paradiso

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3282 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 337-1245
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Pizza is always a crowd pleaser. Order a margherita or marcellaio (pepperoni, mozzarella, pork sausage, and red onion) for the picky eaters in the group. Culinary explorers can consider toppings such as anchovies, lamb sausage, gorgonzola, and a range of vegetables. There are Pizzeria Paradiso locations throughout the D.C. area.

9. Farmers Fishers Bakers

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3000 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 298-8783
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Getting hungry after wondering around Georgetown? This restaurant from Founding Farmers is also a good option. There’s everything from sushi and pizza to burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. Chicken tenders should satisfy the pickiest of eaters.

10. Old Ebbitt Grill

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675 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-4800
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Old Ebbitt is a D.C. institution, known for its old-school vibe and oysters. But picky eaters can avoid the raw seafood in favor of items like pasta, sandwiches, and filet mignon.

11. Carmine's

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425 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 737-7770
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This family-style Italian restaurant — the portions are huge — has plenty of options for picky eaters, including spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and several chicken entrees. There's also more interesting options like red peppers with anchovies or linguine with clams. It's also close to several tourist attractions.

12. Hill Country Barbecue Market

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410 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 556-2050
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Hill Country has several spaces to accommodate a large group of diners, and the menu of Texas barbecue and sides includes a wide variety of options Find turkey and chicken for people that avoid beef and pork.

13. Liberty Tavern

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3195 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 465-9360
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Liberty Tavern in Clarendon lost much of its Eastern European influence long ago. American staples like pizza, pasta, chicken wings, and beef burgers can be found along with octopus, lamb burgers, braised short ribs, and a nice selection of American farmstead cheeses.

14. Ted's Bulletin

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505 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 544-8337
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The homemade pop tarts guarantee this restaurant will be a hit with children. The affordable diner fare (sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and meatloaf) also pleases a crowd.

15. Sweetwater Tavern

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3066 Gate House Plz
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 645-8100
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There's something for everyone on this massive menu full of meat-and-potatoes dishes, roast chicken, and sandwiches. There are also salads, crab cakes, and fish tacos for those who eat a broader range of foods.

1. Comet Ping Pong

5037 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

Families are welcome at this laid-back pizzeria in upper Northwest. Picky diners can customize their pizzas to suite their own tastes. Other crowd-pleasers include garlic knots, Comet hot wings, and a simple green salad.

5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

2. Medium Rare

3500 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Medium Rare/Facebook

Meat and potatoes is another safe route, and that's easy at Medium Rare because the short prix fixe menu consists of salad, steak, and fries. Desserts like apple pie, a hot fudge sundae, and chocolate cake are also guaranteed to please.

3500 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

3. Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro

1901 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

This local chain has many locations in the D.C. area, but one of the most popular is on 14th Street. Watch the crowds go by from the patio over a meal of mini burgers, meatballs, roast chicken, or pizza. There are also salads, tuna tartare, and other seafood items for more adventurous eaters.

1901 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

4. The Riggsby

1731 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Out-of-town guests will appreciate The Riggsby's hip decor while enjoying entrees like roast chicken, pork chop, and an excellent burger topped with bacon and onion jam. Their dining companions will want to try the beef carpaccio, seared skate, and chicken liver mousse.

1731 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

5. The Meatball Shop

1720 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Who doesn’t like meatballs? Logan Circle’s outpost of the New York City brand serves up bowls of beef, pork, chicken, veggie, and fish varieties, along with comfort food sides such as mashed potatoes.

1720 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

This French bistro might seem like a tough sell on the surface, but the vast menu offers roast chicken, steak frites with fantastic fries, and a burger Américain that’s essentially a Frenchified Big Mac. More sophisticated diners can go for the escargot, moules frites, seafood towers, or oysters.

1601 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

7. Clyde's of Georgetown

3236 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

The classic American restaurant is open from the morning until late-night, which is perfect for Georgetown tourist and shoppers. The huge menu has regional seafood dishes and even a mezze platter, but the burgers, chicken, and pasta dishes are also popular.

3236 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

8. Pizzeria Paradiso

3282 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Pizza is always a crowd pleaser. Order a margherita or marcellaio (pepperoni, mozzarella, pork sausage, and red onion) for the picky eaters in the group. Culinary explorers can consider toppings such as anchovies, lamb sausage, gorgonzola, and a range of vegetables. There are Pizzeria Paradiso locations throughout the D.C. area.

3282 M St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

9. Farmers Fishers Bakers

3000 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Getting hungry after wondering around Georgetown? This restaurant from Founding Farmers is also a good option. There’s everything from sushi and pizza to burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. Chicken tenders should satisfy the pickiest of eaters.

3000 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

10. Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Old Ebbitt is a D.C. institution, known for its old-school vibe and oysters. But picky eaters can avoid the raw seafood in favor of items like pasta, sandwiches, and filet mignon.

675 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

11. Carmine's

425 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

This family-style Italian restaurant — the portions are huge — has plenty of options for picky eaters, including spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and several chicken entrees. There's also more interesting options like red peppers with anchovies or linguine with clams. It's also close to several tourist attractions.

425 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

12. Hill Country Barbecue Market

410 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Hill Country has several spaces to accommodate a large group of diners, and the menu of Texas barbecue and sides includes a wide variety of options Find turkey and chicken for people that avoid beef and pork.

410 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

13. Liberty Tavern

3195 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

Liberty Tavern in Clarendon lost much of its Eastern European influence long ago. American staples like pizza, pasta, chicken wings, and beef burgers can be found along with octopus, lamb burgers, braised short ribs, and a nice selection of American farmstead cheeses.

3195 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

14. Ted's Bulletin

505 8th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

The homemade pop tarts guarantee this restaurant will be a hit with children. The affordable diner fare (sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and meatloaf) also pleases a crowd.

505 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

15. Sweetwater Tavern

3066 Gate House Plz, Falls Church, VA 22042

There's something for everyone on this massive menu full of meat-and-potatoes dishes, roast chicken, and sandwiches. There are also salads, crab cakes, and fish tacos for those who eat a broader range of foods.

3066 Gate House Plz
Falls Church, VA 22042

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