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If you were visiting DC, which neighborhoods are the best package of sightseeing and good cheap eats?

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If you were visiting DC, which neighborhoods are the best package of sightseeing and good cheap eats?

sasha1 | Jul 5, 2011 10:26 AM

Hi all. I'm trying to figure out how to ask this question and not be accused of being too broad or simply being ignored.

Husband and I are going to DC later this month. We are playing it by ear, first time w/o kids in a long time, and trying to just go with the flow. No hotel reservations, so not locked into a particular part of town. We're going to try to stay somewhere cheap in the burbs and rely on our feet and public transportation during the day.

I spent a season in DC many years ago, and he hasn't been since he was a child, so I think we will hit up the Smithsonian, govt buildings, georgetown, etc. But we also both love food touring, and in particular cheap eats of the ethnic and street food variety as well as artisanal shops doing one or two things very well. So, we prefer a nice bakery with euro-style pastries and coffee over an eggs and bacon place any day. Love to make lunches out of a nice bread, charcuterie, cheese and fruit. Visiting cheese chops, farmers markets, or permanent markets you can nibble through (think SF Ferry Bldg or Pike Place Mkt). Authentic and cheap ethnic places, preferably something lacking in our part of the PNW woods (would love mexican, ethiopian, carribean, peruvian, korean, indonesian, singaporean, chinese - not interested in thai or italian - we have those at home; love sushi too but that's not compatible with the cheap eats idea). Not at all interested in burgers or pizza. Not particularly in sandwiches either unless they are stellar (i.e. Bay Cities in Santa Monica, Langer's in LA, various Ban Mi in Seattle, Paseo also in Seattle). No need to recommend anything fancy, spendy, or white-tableclothy.

So the trick is this - if we have maybe 3 days and we don't want to spend it all crisscrossing DC, which neighborhoods do you recommend where we can sightsee and food-see - best bang for our buck? I've a feeling that the most central part of the city is not the tastiest but I doubt we will pass it up altogether...

I so appreciate your advice. I've been browsing the boards but without a firm sense of geography of the city, I have a hard time answering this question on my own.

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