Although D.C. is best known as the political capital of the U.S., it’s also fair to call it a dining capital of the mid-Atlantic region. With award-winning chefs opening various classic and experimental restaurants that cater to everyone from Senators to college students, there’s practically no other city in the country with quite such a variety of restaurant options. But how do you wade through a sea of Yelp reviews to select the best and tastiest? We’ve put together a guide to some of our favorite family friendly restaurants to give you a good start on planning your lunches and dinners. These restaurants are all within convenient walking distance or a short drive from other major D.C. attractions, so it’s easy to work them into a larger itinerary of touring and exploring. Looking for a night out without the kids? Check out our recommendations for D.C. dining for foodies!

Kid-Friendly Washington, D.C. Restaurants

Pizzeria Paradiso

Image Credit:Pizzeria Paradiso Facebook Page Image Credit:Pizzeria Paradiso Facebook Page
This delicious, fresh pizza restaurant is a local operation beloved by all. Pizzas are made to order with only the best ingredients. They also serve a few other Italian dishes and they can cater to large parties. Adults will love their extensive craft beer selection, including some really rare and obscure offerings. With venues in Georgetown and Dupont, this restaurant is also quite conveniently located. Things to do nearby (Dupont):
  • Dupont Circle
  • The Phillips Collection
  • Kramerbooks

Georgetown Cupcake

Image Credit:Georgetown Cupcakes Facebook Page Image Credit:Georgetown Cupcakes Facebook Page
Although this is more of a dessert destination (for obvious reasons), you shouldn’t leave town without trying some of the tasty offerings from this famous bakery. They specialize in varieties of chocolate and vanilla (and believe me, there are tons of varieties), but they also serve seasonal fare and daily specials. We’re partial to the salted caramel! Things to do nearby:
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgetown Waterfront

Hill Country Barbeque Market

Image Credit:Hill Country Barbecue Market Facebook Page Image Credit:Hill Country Barbecue Market Facebook Page
Touted as the best barbecue outside of the deep south, Hill Country Barbeque Market lives up to its claims. Featuring some of the most delicious brisket you may ever taste and cheap drinks, it’s a go-to destination for kids and adults alike. Come hungry and leave happy. Their convenient Penn Quarter location also makes it super easy to pop in for lunch and then continue on with the rest of your itinerary. Things to do nearby:
  • Crime Museum
  • Ford’s Theatre


Image Credit:Clyde's Restaurant Facebook Page Image Credit:Clyde's Restaurant Facebook Page
This is a great family-friendly restaurant featuring a wide selection of classic American fare. Warm décor and reasonable prices make it a very comfortable place to enjoy lunch or dinner. Kids can choose from their own extensive menu, including everything from grilled cheese to fish and chips. They also offer some great healthy options like a fruit plate. Things to do nearby:

Cheap Eats in D.C.

Lauriol Plaza

Image Credit:Lauriol Plaza Facebook Page Image Credit:Lauriol Plaza Facebook Page
In the mood for Mexican fare and frozen margaritas? Then Lauriol Plaza is your place. Featuring a diverse selection of really authentic Mexican dishes and some of the cheapest margaritas in town, this place is a favorite with locals. Be sure to try their bottomless chips and salsa and the frozen swirled margaritas! Things to do nearby:
  • Adams Morgan
  • Busboys & Poets
  • Dupont Circle

GW Deli

Image Credit:GW Delicatessen Yelp Page Image Credit:GW Delicatessen Yelp Page
While it is located on the campus of the George Washington University (and therefore attracts college students in droves), it’s hard to beat their combination of fresh, tasty deli sandwiches and rock bottom prices. Stop by on a weekend morning for some of the best breakfast sandwiches you’ve ever had, or just enjoy a classic Reuben for lunch. Things to do nearby:
  • GW University
  • The White House
  • Lafayette Square

Ben’s Chili Bowl

Image Credit:Ben's Chili Bowl Facebook Page Image Credit:Ben's Chili Bowl Facebook Page
If you’re looking to dine like a D.C. native, head to the bustling U Street corridor and stop in Ben’s Chili Bowl. It’s insanely popular with locals, so be prepared to wait whether you’re there are lunchtime or 3 am. Get the chili dogs or the chili cheese fries (or both) and you’ll be full the rest of the day. Things to do nearby:
  • Logan Circle
  • Howard University
  • Shaw

Vegetarian & Foodie Options


Image Credit:sweetgreen Facebook Page Image Credit:sweetgreen Facebook Page
This beloved organic restaurant has become a chain, but it all began right here in Georgetown. They served the freshest salads and the most delicious frozen yogurt of anywhere in the city, and today they’ve expanded to serve additional house-made food like quinoa bowls and strawberry basil lemonade. Sweetgreen also offers great seasonal fare, using as many local ingredients as possible. Be sure to check out their seasonal menu! Things to do nearby (U Street):
  • U Street shopping
  • Meridian Hill Park
  • Howard University

Hank’s Oyster Bar

Image Credit:Hank's Oyster Bar Facebook Page Image Credit:Hank's Oyster Bar Facebook Page
This is a popular foodie destination for the young professionals throughout the city. Featuring an extensive raw bar and really good daily specials, you can get yourself some authentic lobster roll, crab cakes, and obviously, oysters. Bring a friend and pop over during happy hour for some tasty cocktails and unbeatable “urban beach food.” Things to do nearby (Old Town):

Charlie Palmer Steakhouse

Image Credit:Chef Charlie Palmer Facebook Page Image Credit:Chef Charlie Palmer Facebook Page
If you’re in the mood for something extremely special (and priced accordingly), head to Charlie Palmer’s and dine alongside Senators. Their à la carte menu features a mouth-watering selection of steaks, plus side dishes built to share. Come prepared to drink a bit of wine or a few cocktails – they serve a few by the glass options but mostly by the bottle for wine. Things to do nearby:
  • U.S. Capitol Building
  • Newseum
  • National Gallery of Art

There You Go

Now, this is just a brief overview of some of the best restaurants in D.C. that appeal to a variety of tastes. Often the best meals come from unexpected places, so feel free to explore on your own in search of great cuisine. Some neighborhoods we love to recommend include Georgetown, Dupont, Chinatown, Rosslyn, Old Town Alexandria, and on the Hill. Bon appétit!