Restaurant Guide: 10 Best (Cheap!) Restaurants in DC

October 3, 2018 0 0

It’s easy to enjoy the 10 best budget restaurants in Washington DC and cheap places to eat in the area. In fact, dining on a budget in the DMV has never been this easy, as there are now plenty of spots where you can chow down that’ll make both your stomach and wallet happy you decided to head out for lunch or dinner. For Mexican, try Chaia, or hit Tortilla Cafe for a Cuban twist. You can also enjoy Asian fare like Vietnamese at Four Sisters, Japanese at Daikaya, or noodles from Chinatown Express, where prices are friendly and entrees are always a good option. Plenty of additional dining choices are available, so be sure to have a look at our of 10 of the best budget restaurants in Washington DC when you’re on the hunt for cheap places to eat and drink – you’ll find many great options to choose from.

Tortilla Cafe

210 7th St SE

Eastern Market has tons of sweet deals, but Tortilla Cafe should definitely catch your eye. Aside from delicious Mexican and Salvadorian food, prices are wallet-friendly here. There are empanadas, tamales, and pupusa for under $7, and sandwiches like the Cuban, the Salvadorian Chicken, or the Tilapia for $6.99. There’s also soups like the Chicken and Vegetable for $5, and salads that run between $4 and $8.

WiseGuy NY Pizza

300 Massachusetts Ave NW #1

When you’re in a pinch, some New York-style pizza will definitely do the trick. Grab a quick slice for less than $3 at WiseGuy, or order a whole pie if you’re looking to feed some people. Build your own pizza with number of toppings, or  order one of their specials like a NY Supreme, a Margherita, or a Sicilian. This bang for your buck won’t cost you more than $25.

Chinatown Express

746 6th St NW

Noodles from Chinatown Express are coveted all over town as some of the best cheap eats in DC. And you can snag them for under $10. Get them stir-fried, or have them served in soup, and choose between beef, chicken, seafood, vegetable, and roast pork or duck. If you come for lunch, you can get an express meal for $7. At this great spot on our list of the 10 best budget restaurants in Washington DC, you can choose from orange chicken, shrimp with mixed vegetables, beef with broccoli, or fried pork chops.

Four Sisters

035 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington

Four Sisters focuses is comfort food at its finest, and you get to choose from a variety of Vietnamese classics. Appetizers are under $5, and banh mi sandwiches are under $7. A bowl of thick noodles will only set you back $10, There are even gluten and peanut-free options on the menu.

Afghan Bistro

8081-D Alban Rd, 8081 Alban Rd, Springfield

Afghan Bistro’s recipes have been passed down for more than three generations. Appetizers like the seekh kabab, the sambosa, or the spicy beef dumplings run at about $5, and you can get a beef bistro burger, and a chicken or a salmon wrap, for under $10. Other entrees like the qabuli palou or a rack of lamb run at about $15. And, there’s even a vegetarian menu with options like kachaloo chalou, sabzi lawaan, or leek and scallion dumplings.


1334 9th St NW

If you’re in the mood for Ethiopian food, head to Chercher. This hopping spot has some of the best meats around — like the bone-in-lamb stew, Geba weta, which are beef short ribs, or the Kitfo, which is an Ethiopian-style tender sirloin. All entrees are less than $20, and its portion sizes will probably have you taking a doggy bag home for the next day. Win-win.

Federalist Pig

1654 Columbia Rd NW

If you were a fan of DCity, you’ll appreciate the cuisine at the Federalist Pig. Signature sandwiches like the Jive Turkey, the Music City, or the Big Cheese don’t cost more than $12. And, the family platter here is a steal — for $55 you can feed five people with a half-pound of brisket, chopped pork, one pound of pork ribs, half a pound of chicken, and four sides.


243 K St NE

The patio may be huge, but Indigo still feels cozy. New and exciting dishes are always added to the homemade menu. There’s much to try, so if you can’t decide, you can snag the five-dish combination plate. It has masala chicken, baingan bharta, gobhi aloo, the paalak paneer, and the shahi paneer. Nothing here costs more than $20, plus you get rice and some sides.


3207 Grace St NW

The taco stand that DC knew and loved now has a Georgetown location, where the tortillas are just as fresh and the service still outstanding. The tacos here are cheap, but the best part is that you can get a “taco trio” without shelling out more than $12. Try the mushroom taco, the winter squash, the moroccan carrot, the creamy kale and potato, or the smoky collard greens. A side of black beans is only $3.


705 6th St NW

Daikaya imports its noodles straight from Japan, perfect for a  ramen fix. If you’re looking for a good happy hour deal, small bites like the grilled oyster or the fried garlic won’t cost more than $4. The first floor is walk-in only, where you can order shio, vegetable, or spicy miso ramen for under $15. The second floor has traditional Japanese food like miso salmon or tuna poke for $10 or under.

Cheat Sheet

It’s possible to find many affordable dining options in the DMV area: You just need to look to the best cheap places to eat and budget restaurants in Washington DC:

Tags: Food and Drink, Top 10 Guides Categories: Food + Drink, Top 10 Guides
Christina Elia

Assistant editor Christina Elia is currently pursuing her BA in Art History Communications at Fordham University, and writes about various topics ranging from arts and culture to practical tips and how-to advice. She has been published on online platforms such as The Odyssey. You can follow her on Twitter via @stinaelia

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