If you are visiting Washington, DC, chances are you will spend the majority of your trip around the National Mall. Days of exploring the monuments, visiting the countless museums, and touring all of the historical sites can leave you pretty hungry at the end of the day, and even by lunch.
Luckily, there are tons of restaurants near the National Mall that can satisfy that hunger.
Table of Contents
- 1 Washington DC Restaurants Near the National Mall
- 2 National Mall Map of Restaurants
- 2.1 U.S. Capitol Cafe
- 2.2 Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe
- 2.3 Old Ebbitt Grill
- 2.4 We, the Pizza
- 2.5 District Taco
- 2.6 Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
- 2.7 Ella’s Wood Fired Kitchen
- 2.8 Urban Roast
- 2.9 Zaytinya
- 2.10 Café Riggs
- 2.11 Pi Pizzeria
- 3 Via Sophia at Hamilton Hotel
- 4 Chains near the National Mall
- 5 Food Trucks on the National Mall
- 6 Pin it and Start Planning!
Washington DC Restaurants Near the National Mall
The DC food scene has really blossomed in the last few years and any trip to DC should include stops at some of the city’s best restaurants. Restaurants near the Mall can be found in the museums, and the closest neighborhoods of Penn Quarter and Capitol Hill.
When I first moved to DC, I was shocked at the number of amazing restaurants the city has – each of them with a different cuisine and aesthetic to fit your needs.
National Mall Map of Restaurants
U.S. Capitol Cafe
- Address: First Street and East Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
If you are planning a tour of the U.S. Capitol, it just makes sense to grab a bite to eat at the U.S. Capitol Cafe (when accessible to the public). You’ll not only find other tourists like yourself, but senate staffers, and maybe even a congressman or woman getting a bite to eat with friends.
The cafeteria-style cafe has hot dishes, sandwiches, salads, desserts and more tasty bites that are actually good. I loved the chicken salad sandwich on artisanal bread the last time I was there.
Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe
- Address: National Museum of the American Indian, 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20560
Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe in the National Museum of the American Indian is consistently voted the best Smithsonian restaurant. It offers high-end dining, but in a cafeteria style setting, which makes it accessible to anyone who wants to try indigenous food from the Western Hemisphere.
A few menu options include chilled cucumber soup with spicy green apple relish, roasted kohlrabi, pickled peach, Bolivian-style chili braised pork shanks and cedar planked wild salmon.
For an extra special treat at a great value, order the five region sampler platter with grilled bison striploin, cedar planked salmon and 3 regional side dishes.
Old Ebbitt Grill
- Address: 675 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
If you are looking for a classic DC dining experience, look no further than the Old Ebbitt Grill. The Ebbitt is the oldest restaurant in Washington, DC, and for good reason. It is known for its variety of seafood – including fresh oysters, clamsand shrimp – fresh plates of pasta, and all-around great comfort food.
The Ebbitt is the perfect stop for a family looking for a traditional, but not stuffy, DC meal, a couple looking for a lovely night out, or for a quick stop at the bar.
The massive variety of beers, wine, and specialty cocktails will satisfy just about any thirst. Make sure to stop in for raw bar happy hour, every day from 3-5 pm for half-off all raw bar items.
The Old Ebbitt Grill is an ideal place to stop after a busy day exploring DC, it is located across the street from the White House and only a few blocks from the Washington Monument.
We, the Pizza
- Address: 305 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20003
We, the Pizza is a staple on Capitol Hill. Opened in 2010, this pizza shop serves a variety of freshly made, hand-tossed pizzas, craft sodas, freshly tossed wings, and even homemade gelato. It is the perfect place to stop in for a quick slice of pizza after a busy day exploring the Capitol.
Everyday, We, the Pizza creates new pizza flavors with a variety of fresh toppings. It is a great place for a family looking to get something a little different for everyone, or just to grab a whole pizza to go.
We, the Pizza is located just a few steps from the Capitol building and has become a fixture of DC fast-casual dining in the last decade.
The endless variety of pizza toppings and fresh, delicious housemade sodas makes this the perfect quick and refreshing stop after a busy day. I would definitely recommend the Matcha Tea Lemonade soda – it is to die for.
- Address: 1309 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20004
District Taco is the perfect place for a quick lunch in downtown DC. They have an endless menu of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more. To make it your own, District Taco offers an incredible variety of housemade sauces to add the perfect flavor to whatever dish you choose.
District Taco is the perfect place to run into, place your order at the counter, and takeout for a picnic with views of the National Mall. The different food options make it easy for every member of your group to find something they love and be on their way.
District Taco always has a line out the door, but trust me it is worth the wait.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
- Address: 1308 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
Does this even need an explanation?
- Fried chicken = great!
- Donuts = yum!
You could eat them separately, but Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken is combining glorious salty and sweet flavors into a fried chicken sandwich with a donut bun. If you ask me, that’s just perfection.
Ella’s Wood Fired Kitchen
- Address: 610 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
It’s like your neighborhood pizza place, but within walking distance of the National Mall. Order thin-crust pies, a glass of sangria or a local beer to wash it all down, when you sit down and enjoy one of our favorite pizza spots in the city.
- Address: 916 G St. NW Suite C-1, Washington, DC 2000
Brunch, lunch and dinner are easy to enjoy when you step into Urban Roast. There are shared plates, nine types of mac n’ cheese, charcuterie and cheese boards, and a fabulous cocktail menu to work your way through.
Don’t be afraid to linger over lunch and dinner; Urban Roast was meant to be savored.
Need more breakfast options? Grab our guide to the best DC Breakfasts
- Address: 701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Chef José Andrés brings a light, mediterranean-inspired restaurant and menu to the Penn Quarter, so you can sample flavors from across Greece, and even Middle Eastern inspired dishes. Bring the family or a few friends so you can order a bunch of plates to share.
- Address: 900 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Cafe Riggs, inside of the Riggs DC hotel, brings the brasseries of Europe into the Nation’s Capitol through its interior style and menu. Tapping into the local farmers and fishermen, the chef is offering up oysters, whole roasted chicken with potatoes and dijon, leeks, brussel sprouts, steak frites and other French bistor staples.
There is a children’s menu, along with an extensive cocktail and wine list, so go for lunch, dinner or even a weekend brunch with the whole family.
- Address: 910 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Most people go to Pi Pizza for the deep dish, but we are NY-style pizza people, so we grab the thinnest pizza crust on the menu, which always satisfies.
Try some of their unique pizza combos, like the Central West End or Grove. Wash it all down with a local beer and you are set to hit more museums on the National Mall.
Via Sophia at Hamilton Hotel
- Address: 1001 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Step into this Italian osteria inspired hot-spot just north of the National Mall, where Neapolitan pizza and delectable Italian cuisine are being served up to families, politicians and visitors of all ages throughout the week. Kids and adults will love the pizza options when you need to refuel midday or after a long afternoon of museum hopping across Washington, D.C.
Adults can enjoy cocktails, craft beer and the extensive wine list at Via Sophia, or step into D.C.’s first luxury microbar, Society, for drinks and snacks as the sun begins to set.
- Address: 825 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Burrito-sized sushi rolls became all the rage a few years back, and Buredo is still hanging on as a sushi-lovers, fast-food favorite. Just don’t walk in thinking these are your average sushi rolls.
Order the Crazy 88 for slow cooked pork shoulder, carrot, kimchi slaw, red onion, cucumber, corn, jalapeño and baja sauce, or the Pai Mei with almon sashimi, asparagus, arugula, pickled red onion, daikon, katsuo mirin crunch and creamy sesame sauce.
These are definitely big enough to share if you aren’t starving, or you can grab a few to taste with family and friends.
La Colombe Coffee Roasters
- Address: 1710 I, I St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Everyone needs a cup of coffee or tea when they are trying to tackle the National Mall museums, monuments and memorials. Pop into one of the La Colombe locations across the city for a draft latte or specialty coffee of your choice.
Find more DC coffee shops around town
- Address: 600 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005
The Hamilton is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Washington, DC. It has the feel of an old-school, DC bar, with an ever-changing food and drink menu. The Hamilton is also an amazing spot for sushi.
Make sure to visit in the afternoons from 2-5 pm for sushi happy hour to get $5 off all sushi rolls.
The downstairs of The Hamilton turns into a music venue, featuring different bands most nights. It is a great place to grab some drinks and hang out after a long day out.
The Hamilton can be a great spot to grab a quick drink, brunch or dinner with your whole family. The restaurant is massive with several bars and has a great DC feel.
Hill Country Barbecue Market
- Address: 410 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Hill Country Barbecue is the perfect spot to grab some authentic barbecue in Downtown DC. It is a traditional barbecue market and restaurant all in one. With house-smoked meets, amazing greens, ultra-rich macaroni and cheese, and the best cornbread I have ever had, Hill Country is home to delicious food and an excellent environment.
Hill Country is a great place for the whole family to enjoy or for a fun night out with friends. Normally, Hill Country offers karaoke on Wednesday nights, and features local bands on the weekends. It is the perfect spot for some drinks or an excellent barbecue meal as well.
I would definitely recommend the pulled pork with a side of collard greens.
- Address: 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006
GCDC is the perfect spot to go with kids for lunch by the National Mall. GCDC is a grilled cheese centered restaurant. It has dozens of possible grilled cheese combinations, from classic grilled cheese to steak and cheese, to buffalo chicken. Trust me when I say that there is a grilled cheese choice for everyone.
GCDC also offers homemade soups, chips and an assortment of different mac and cheese.
GCDC is the ideal spot for cheese lovers in Downtown DC. This spot is super family-friendly and an easy place to “grab and go” during a bustling day around the city – especially considering it is just steps from the White House.
GCDC is the ultimate comfort food restaurant and an absolute must-try.
- Address: multiple locations
- 505 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
- 1818 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
- Plus several locations in Virginia and Maryland
Ted’s Bulletin is an iconic fixture of the DC area. Known for their “breakfast all day” menu, Ted’s is cozy spot to pop in and relax in at any time of the day.
The great thing about Ted’s is that it has locations all over the DC area, so whether you are spending the day downtown, or exploring the suburbs of Alexandria, Arlington or Falls Church, you can drop by Ted’s for a cup of coffee, or some of their amazing comfort food.
The best part of Ted’s Bulletin is definitely the poptarts. They are made with flakey pastry, filled with the the freshest fruits, and topped with an insane frosting. If you are in DC, you definitely need to stop into Ted’s for a minute, just to grab one of these.
- Address: 1518 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Mazi is a relatively new restaurant in Downtown, DC and has become a personal favorite of mine in the last few years. It is the ideal environment for a relaxing happy hour.
Mazi has Greek and Meditteranean inspired dishes – most of which are in small plates and perfect for snacking. If you, like me, love feta you have to try the honey feta cheese, it will change your life. Mazi has a huge wine menu, seasonal cocktails and an eclectic mix of bottled beers.
I would definitely recommend stopping by Mazi if you are looking for an easy going afternoon in the heart of DC with a little of that fine dining, yet unfussy feel.
Lincoln’s Waffle Shop
- Address: 504 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Lincoln’s Waffle Shop has been a staple of downtown DC for decades – rumor has it Abraham Lincoln used to stop into the shop everyday for a waffle and scrambled eggs.
This shop has a million different combinations of waffles, pancakes and french toast to choose from. If it wasn’t obvious already, you can really satisfy your breakfast sweet tooth when you visit.
Another perk of Lincoln’s Waffle Shop is that it has stayed one of the most affordable – and delightful – restaurants in DC.
If you are looking for a classic breakfast, or even a quick lunch, I would definitely recommend the detour to Lincoln’s Waffle Shop. Is there a better way to start the day than with a hot chocolate chip waffle?
A Baked Joint
- Address: 430 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001
This bakery is the perfect spot to stop off for a fresh cinnamon roll and a latte if you are on the run in the morning. It is a few blocks away from the Capitol and the ideal place to grab a quick breakfast before taking on the city. Each day of the week, A Baked Joint offers a different, freshly baked good.
If you are looking for excellent pizza, A Baked Joint has pizza every Thursday and Friday. They have a different menu with great toppings every week. Additionally, they offer a variety of beers to go along with your pizza.
Just make sure you get a chai latte – they are the best in the city.
- Address: 523 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
The small-plate menu at this Balkan restaurant gives you a taste of the region at an affordable price. For a set fee you can eat (and drink) as much as you like. Sit outside on warm days and nights as you travel across Europe through food.
Call Your Mother- Capital Hill
- Address: 701 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
One of the best (and most beloved) bagel shops in Washington, D.C., it’s easy to grab a bagel sandwich to go as you wander around Capital Hill, or sit for a spell with a bagel and smear with a side of coffee before you start your day.
We love this location because it is walkable from most of our favorite Capital Hill Airbnb rentals and surrounded by other cute restaurants, shops and attractions.
- Address: 225 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
- Closed: Mondays
Just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol is Eastern Market, one of the many public markets and food halls scattered across Washington, D.C. Pick up some prepared foods, produce or snacks to fuel your wanders.
Chains near the National Mall
- Sweetgreens Capital Hill
- Shake Shack
- Panera Bread
- Dunkin’ Donuts
Food Trucks on the National Mall
In a pinch, you can check out the food trucks located on 14th Street near the Washington Monument and 7th Street near the museums. You will find everything from soft pretzels and soda to ice cream bars, Ethiopian food, pita sandwiches, fried chicken, fajitas and more.
Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken is also known to have a truck a few blocks from the National Mall.