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R. Lopez

D.C. Cheap Eats 2015: 20 New Dishes Under $10, Mapped

The best new options in affordable cuisine in the D.C. area.

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Peter Chang
| R. Lopez

When it comes to D.C. area cheap eats, many people can name the standards: a bowl at Pho 75, a banh mi from D.C. sandwich, some pupusas from...anywhere. But are D.C.'s hottest and newest restaurants delivering when it comes to affordable cuisine.

Here are 20 new affordable eats worth checking out in a variety of neighborhoods around town, all priced under $10. Give each of them a try when it's not a good day to spend half a paycheck. Another idea: visit new locations of existing restaurants for further affordable options, including Bonchon (now in Navy Yard), the Rosslyn Wiseguys and the Atlas District Ben's Chili Bowl.

—Missy Frederick and Meredith Bethune

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Arepa Zone

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Moving Target (Check Twitter for current location)
Arlington, VA
This hot new food truck dishes up a jamon and queso arepa for $6.50.

2. B-Side

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8297 Glass Alley, Ste. 110
Fairfax, VA 22031
(703) 676-3550
The ranch pork rinds at B-Side are epic in size and only $4 for a generous appetizer portion.

[Photo: Missy Frederick]

3. Bar Civita

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2609 24th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 588-1211
Visit Website
A small order of the smoky tomato mussels (a favorite from LaCivta's former haunt, Liberty Tavern) is $9 (most half-portions of pasta at this Woodley Park neighborhood place are also around that price).

[Photo: R. Lopez]

4. Beefsteak

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800 22nd St NW
Washington, D.C. 20052
(202) 296-1421
Visit Website
The "Frida Kale" salad at Jose Andres' new vegetarian fast-casual restaurant is $7.99.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

5. Bethesda Barbecue Company

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4917 Elm St
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 718-0550
Visit Website
Beloved burned ends here are only $6 when available; if they aren't, diners can console themselves with $9 bacon pops.

[Photo: Facebook]

6. BKK Cookshop

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1700 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
This new Thai restaurants from the owners of Beau Thai has dishes like Asian brussels sprouts and pork jerky for $7.

[Photo: Facebook]

2431 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 733-3921
Visit Website
All small bites at BUL are under $10, like spicy popcorn chicken ($8) and crispy flying fish $5.

[Photo: Official]

8. Buredo

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825 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
This purveyor of "sushi burritos" has a vegetarian one with beets, avocado and jicama for $8.85.

[Photo: Facebook]

9. Chuy's Fairfax

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11219 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 364-5933
Visit Website
It's almost hard to leave this Mexican restaurant with a light wallet (maybe if too many margaritas are involved). There's a wealth of options under $10 here, like a bean and cheese massive burrito ($8.59), an enchilada combo ($8.79) or a chalupa enchilada combo ($9.79). They all include sides, too.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

10. Duck Donuts

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300 Elden St Ste A
Herndon, VA 20170
(571) 297-2298
Visit Website
Outer Banks favorite Duck Donuts has been making its mark on Northern Virginia, with new locations in Fairfax and Herndon (Arlington is next). A half dozen fresh doughnuts from these guys costs $6.75.

11. El Camino

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108 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Chorizo and potato tacos at this Bloomingdale restaurant are just $2.50.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

12. Maketto

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1351 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 838-9972
Visit Website
The Cambodian sandwich, a standout of the lunch items available at the H Street hot spot, is served on Frenchie's bread.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

13. Maki Shop

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1522 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
At this new sushi rolls spot, a beef short rib roll will only set a diner back $4.25.

[Photo: Facebook]

14. Melt Shop

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1901 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 794-8400
Visit Website
D.C.'s latest addition to the grilled cheese craze has a basic sandwich for $4.55 and a BLT grilled cheese for $5.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

15. Peter Chang

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2503E N Harrison St
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 538-6688
Visit Website
At Peter Chang, two massive scallion bubble pancakes are only $5. There is also a Rockville location.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

16. Provision No. 14

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2100 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
If the phrase "$9 hot pocket" isn't an automatic turnoff, give the homemade version at this new 14th Street watering hole and restaurant a shot.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

17. Rito Loco

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606 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(703) 626-3212
The beloved food truck now has a brick and mortar restaurant, serving a Rito Bowl for $9.

18. SpinFire

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1501 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 243-3000
Visit Website
This new fast-casual pizza joint offers one topping individual pizzas for $6.99. Get up to four toppings for $8.99.

[Photo: Official]

19. The Big Stick

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20 M St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 750-7724
Visit Website
Bar snacks at this hangout by Nats Park are generally affordable, like $3 pretzels with beer cheese and $6 NATchos.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

20. Thip Khao

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3462 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
Columbia Heights residents have figured out it isn't too pricey to be a regular at this Lao restaurant. Chicken hearts are $6, crispy tofu with honey is $7 and many vegetarian mains are $9.

1. Arepa Zone

Moving Target (Check Twitter for current location), Arlington, VA
This hot new food truck dishes up a jamon and queso arepa for $6.50.
Moving Target (Check Twitter for current location)
Arlington, VA

2. B-Side

8297 Glass Alley, Ste. 110, Fairfax, VA 22031
The ranch pork rinds at B-Side are epic in size and only $4 for a generous appetizer portion.

[Photo: Missy Frederick]

8297 Glass Alley, Ste. 110
Fairfax, VA 22031

3. Bar Civita

2609 24th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
A small order of the smoky tomato mussels (a favorite from LaCivta's former haunt, Liberty Tavern) is $9 (most half-portions of pasta at this Woodley Park neighborhood place are also around that price).

[Photo: R. Lopez]

2609 24th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

4. Beefsteak

800 22nd St NW, Washington, D.C. 20052
The "Frida Kale" salad at Jose Andres' new vegetarian fast-casual restaurant is $7.99.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

800 22nd St NW
Washington, D.C. 20052

5. Bethesda Barbecue Company

4917 Elm St, Bethesda, MD 20814
Beloved burned ends here are only $6 when available; if they aren't, diners can console themselves with $9 bacon pops.

[Photo: Facebook]

4917 Elm St
Bethesda, MD 20814

6. BKK Cookshop

1700 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
This new Thai restaurants from the owners of Beau Thai has dishes like Asian brussels sprouts and pork jerky for $7.

[Photo: Facebook]

1700 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. BUL

2431 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
All small bites at BUL are under $10, like spicy popcorn chicken ($8) and crispy flying fish $5.

[Photo: Official]

2431 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

8. Buredo

825 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
This purveyor of "sushi burritos" has a vegetarian one with beets, avocado and jicama for $8.85.

[Photo: Facebook]

825 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

9. Chuy's Fairfax

11219 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030
It's almost hard to leave this Mexican restaurant with a light wallet (maybe if too many margaritas are involved). There's a wealth of options under $10 here, like a bean and cheese massive burrito ($8.59), an enchilada combo ($8.79) or a chalupa enchilada combo ($9.79). They all include sides, too.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

11219 Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030

10. Duck Donuts

300 Elden St Ste A, Herndon, VA 20170
Outer Banks favorite Duck Donuts has been making its mark on Northern Virginia, with new locations in Fairfax and Herndon (Arlington is next). A half dozen fresh doughnuts from these guys costs $6.75.
300 Elden St Ste A
Herndon, VA 20170

11. El Camino

108 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Chorizo and potato tacos at this Bloomingdale restaurant are just $2.50.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

108 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12. Maketto

1351 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
The Cambodian sandwich, a standout of the lunch items available at the H Street hot spot, is served on Frenchie's bread.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

1351 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

13. Maki Shop

1522 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005
At this new sushi rolls spot, a beef short rib roll will only set a diner back $4.25.

[Photo: Facebook]

1522 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

14. Melt Shop

1901 L St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
D.C.'s latest addition to the grilled cheese craze has a basic sandwich for $4.55 and a BLT grilled cheese for $5.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

1901 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

15. Peter Chang

2503E N Harrison St, Arlington, VA 22207
At Peter Chang, two massive scallion bubble pancakes are only $5. There is also a Rockville location.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

2503E N Harrison St
Arlington, VA 22207

Related Maps

16. Provision No. 14

2100 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
If the phrase "$9 hot pocket" isn't an automatic turnoff, give the homemade version at this new 14th Street watering hole and restaurant a shot.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

2100 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

17. Rito Loco

606 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
The beloved food truck now has a brick and mortar restaurant, serving a Rito Bowl for $9.
606 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

18. SpinFire

1501 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209
This new fast-casual pizza joint offers one topping individual pizzas for $6.99. Get up to four toppings for $8.99.

[Photo: Official]

1501 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209

19. The Big Stick

20 M St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003
Bar snacks at this hangout by Nats Park are generally affordable, like $3 pretzels with beer cheese and $6 NATchos.

[Photo: R. Lopez]

20 M St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

20. Thip Khao

3462 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010
Columbia Heights residents have figured out it isn't too pricey to be a regular at this Lao restaurant. Chicken hearts are $6, crispy tofu with honey is $7 and many vegetarian mains are $9.
3462 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010

Related Maps