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pastrami at DGS Delicatessen
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Going Reuben Hunting: 12 Sandwiches to Try in D.C.

Mix it up with kimchi, veggies, or even smoked salmon

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pastrami at DGS Delicatessen
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The Reuben is the best kind of hot mess. Its origin story is unclear, but the sandwich's deliciousness is obvious. The proportions and ingredients just work together.

The fattiness of the meat – traditionally corned beef or pastrami – pairs with the acidity of the sauerkraut and marries well with the rich and creamy textures of Thousand Island dressing and melted cheese, all shoved between two slices of hearty rye bread. It should require more than a couple of napkins to polish off a well-made Reuben.

As is the case with most sandwiches, the success of a Reuben rests squarely on the quality of its ingredients. While D.C. isn't known as a great deli city, there are plenty of restaurants churning out tasty takes on the Reuben, from classic renditions to creative recipes using everything from smoked salmon to kimchi. Check out these 12 takes on the sandwich.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Buffalo & Bergen

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1309 5th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-2549
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Buffalo & Bergen is known for its bagels. So it's no surprise that this bustling Union Market cafe puts serves its Reuben sandwich on a fresh rye New York water bagel.

2. C.F. Folks

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1225 19th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 293-0162
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This cozy deli counter just off Dupont Circle includes both a pastrami and a corned beef Reuben. They're also a relative bargain at under $8 each.

3. Cafe Kimchi

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751 8th St SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

The corned beef Reuben at this Barracks Row cafe gets a Korean twist with the addition of grilled kimchi.

4. Carving Room Kitchen & Bar

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300 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 525-2116
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Located just north of Judiciary Square, the Carving Room serves up a traditional corned beef Reuben with all the usual fixings. Sides include deli slaw, Israeli salad, or a small pickle jar.

5. DGS Delicatessen

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1317 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 293-4400
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Lunch and dinner guests at this upscale Jewish deli can choose from one of three Reuben varieties like homemade corned beef, smoked turkey, or smoked tempeh.

6. Galaxy Hut

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2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-8646
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The menu at the vegetarian-friendly Galaxy Hut lists both beef or vegan tempeh pastrami Reuben sandwiches with vegan Russian dressing. Vegan cheese can be added for $1.

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  • 7. Hank's Oyster Bar

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    633 Pennsylvania Ave SE
    Washington, D.C. 20003
    (202) 733-1971
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    For a different twist on the sandwich, head over to the Capitol Hill or Dupont Circle locations of Hank's Oyster Bar for the smoked salmon Reuben lunch special. It's made with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and cayenne remoulade.

    8. J. Paul's

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    3218 M St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20007
    (202) 333-3450
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    J. Paul's corned beef Reuben doesn't break new ground, but it's one of the better menu items at this Georgetown pub. Its prime M Street location is ideal for regrouping after a long day of shopping.

    9. Kangaroo Boxing Club

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    3412 11th St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20010
    (202) 505-4522
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    Adventurous eaters can upgrade to a "barnyard style" Reuben. The souped-up version gets topped with coleslaw, bacon, and a fried egg.

    10. Satellite Room

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    2047 9th St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    (202) 506-2496
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    There's something about the Satellite Room's comfortable retro ambiance that makes eating its Reuben feel right, especially when it's paired with a boozy shake or a side of loaded poutine or Buffalo tots.

    11. The Diner

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    2453 18th St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    (202) 232-8800
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    Simple is the goal of this sandwich, which features juicy corned beef and plenty of sauerkraut and dressing. The vegetarian spin-off swaps out the meat for a messy and satisfying pile of mushrooms, onions, and spinach.

    12. Woodward Takeout Food

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    1426 H Street, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20005
    (202) 347-5355
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    Lunch features chef Jeff Buben's "Buben Reuben," which changes things up a bit with pastrami, havarti cheese, apple-carraway kraut and a "secret" sauce.

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    1. Buffalo & Bergen

    1309 5th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

    Buffalo & Bergen is known for its bagels. So it's no surprise that this bustling Union Market cafe puts serves its Reuben sandwich on a fresh rye New York water bagel.

    1309 5th St NE
    Washington, D.C. 20002

    2. C.F. Folks

    1225 19th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

    This cozy deli counter just off Dupont Circle includes both a pastrami and a corned beef Reuben. They're also a relative bargain at under $8 each.

    1225 19th St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20036

    3. Cafe Kimchi

    751 8th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

    The corned beef Reuben at this Barracks Row cafe gets a Korean twist with the addition of grilled kimchi.

    751 8th St SE
    Washington, D.C. 20003

    4. Carving Room Kitchen & Bar

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

    Located just north of Judiciary Square, the Carving Room serves up a traditional corned beef Reuben with all the usual fixings. Sides include deli slaw, Israeli salad, or a small pickle jar.

    300 Massachusetts Ave NW
    Washington, D.C. 20001

    5. DGS Delicatessen

    1317 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

    Lunch and dinner guests at this upscale Jewish deli can choose from one of three Reuben varieties like homemade corned beef, smoked turkey, or smoked tempeh.

    1317 Connecticut Ave NW
    Washington, D.C. 20036

    6. Galaxy Hut

    2711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201

    7. Hank's Oyster Bar

    633 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

    For a different twist on the sandwich, head over to the Capitol Hill or Dupont Circle locations of Hank's Oyster Bar for the smoked salmon Reuben lunch special. It's made with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and cayenne remoulade.

    633 Pennsylvania Ave SE
    Washington, D.C. 20003

    8. J. Paul's

    3218 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

    J. Paul's corned beef Reuben doesn't break new ground, but it's one of the better menu items at this Georgetown pub. Its prime M Street location is ideal for regrouping after a long day of shopping.

    3218 M St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20007

    9. Kangaroo Boxing Club

    3412 11th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

    Adventurous eaters can upgrade to a "barnyard style" Reuben. The souped-up version gets topped with coleslaw, bacon, and a fried egg.

    3412 11th St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20010

    10. Satellite Room

    2047 9th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

    There's something about the Satellite Room's comfortable retro ambiance that makes eating its Reuben feel right, especially when it's paired with a boozy shake or a side of loaded poutine or Buffalo tots.

    2047 9th St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20001

    11. The Diner

    2453 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

    Simple is the goal of this sandwich, which features juicy corned beef and plenty of sauerkraut and dressing. The vegetarian spin-off swaps out the meat for a messy and satisfying pile of mushrooms, onions, and spinach.

    2453 18th St NW
    Washington, D.C. 20009

    12. Woodward Takeout Food

    1426 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

    Lunch features chef Jeff Buben's "Buben Reuben," which changes things up a bit with pastrami, havarti cheese, apple-carraway kraut and a "secret" sauce.

    1426 H Street, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20005

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