Dining Recommendations for Next Week’s FTU

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If you’ll be coming to Washington, DC for the Frequent Traveler University next week, here are a few dining recommendations (based on my favorites) that may or may not be familiar!

In Crystal City

  • Jaleo — delicious Spanish tapas close to the hotel, good happy hour specials as well.
  • Kabob Palace — haven’t been yet, but heard rave reviews from friends. Open 24/7 and they don’t overcook the chicken.

In the Area (mostly metro accessible)

  • El Pollo Rico — the best Peruvian rotisserie chicken I’ve had in the area, though I usually come for the fries!
  • Tacos El Chilango Al Pastor TacoTaco El Chilango — cheap but delicious fresh tacos. Two locations, a food truck in nearby Rosslyn and a small sit down option near the U Street Metro.  I like them all (except the tongue) and recommend trying the Mixto and Vegetarian.
  • Cheestique — south of the hotel in the charming Del Ray community it offers delicious cheese inspired menu items and affordable wine pairings.
  • Centrale Michel Richard — high end food in a casual atmosphere and decent prices. All of it’s good, but I highly recommend the charcuterie tower and Michel’s fried chicken.
  • Tabard Inn — located right off Dupont Circle, this quirky hotel has a great restaurant. Or just stop by the lounge for appetizers and drinks by the cozy fireplace.
  • Iron Gate — across the street from Tabard Inn, this tiny restaurant has good food and amazing atmosphere. Meals are served in the converted stable stalls or outside underneath 100 year old grape and wisteria vines.

Worth the Drive (in the area, but you’ll need a car)

  • marks duck house shumaiMark’s Duck House — Off 50 in Falls Church, great (and affordable) dim sum available every day for lunch. Dinner is good too — try the BBQ pork or roast duck.
  • Elephant Jumps — just outside the 495 beltway and by far the best Thai food I’ve ever had in the US and a favorite of View from the Wing. Definitely go with whatever the specials of the day are.
  • Bangkok Golden — also right off 50, it has the best Lao food in DC. Just make sure you avoid the Thai menu and buffet and head for the brown Lao menu. I highly recommend the fried watercress special, the Nam Khao crispy rice salad, and any of the Orm stews.
  • Kogiya — outstanding Korean BBQ in Annandale, definitely call ahead for reservations and enjoy the dozen + sides that come with every meal.
  • China Star — excellent authentic Chinese food in Fairfax. Ignore the awful American menu and zero in on the House Specialties. The Scallion Fried Fish is a hit even with folks who hate fish, and the Lamb in Sizzling Pot is amazing.

Looking for something else? Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Food Guide and the Washington Post Restaurant Guide are usually good places to start.


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