image of Ben's chili bowl one of the Best Cheap Eats Spots and Places to Eat in Washington DC

Best Cheap Eats Spots and Places to Eat in Washington DC

Just like politicians there is no shortage of cheap eats places in Washington DC. Here are some of the best cheap eats spots in the city.

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Delightful Diners

Diners are a great choice when you’re looking for some cheap comfort food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Head over to the American City Diner and you can sit down to two eggs, home fries and toast for around $7.

Want to dig into some award winning macaroni & cheese? For $5 you can do just that at Oohs & Aahs, named a Cheap Eats Award winner by Washington Magazine.

For a great deli sandwich, you can’t beat C.F. Folks. The sandwiches start at $6.75 and, in most cases, are accompanied by a comedic comment by this diner’s wise-crackin’ owner.

Feel like a nice, hot bowl of chili or a chili dog? March over to Ben’s Chili Bowl. This long-time favourite Washington DC cheap eats place was established in 1958 and is one of the city’s best—just ask former-President Barack Obama, one of the famous folk who pop in from time to time.

Tantalizing Tacos and more

Don’t be surprised if you feel like you’re south of the border when you’re in Washington DC; the city is home to a plethora of Mexican restaurants and lucky for you many of them represent some of the best cheap eats places in the city.

Check out District Taco where you can get three tacos for only $7.

Taco El Chilango is another great value spot; chow down on three tacos here for just $7.50.

For a fusion of flavours, try Far East Taco Grille. Here you can enjoy a blend of Korean, Japanese and Latin flavours at a fantastic price: three tacos for $8.

Indulge in a beach-like atmosphere and some outstanding Mexican fare at Surfside where the mains start at a budget-friendly $10.95.

And for another hot-tamale-of-a cheap-eats-spot, make reservations at Cactus Cantina where authentic Mexican entrees start at only $12.95.

Wrap Up some Middle Eastern

If you thought there were a lot of Mexican dining options in Washington DC you won’t believe how many Afghanistan-inspired cheap eats destinations there are to choose from.

Amsterdam Falafel is one of the most popular spots in the city. Voted a Washington DC Best Buy four times, it serves up falafels inspired by the tastes of the Middle East and Europe, starting at $5.50.

You’ll love the food as much as the name at Sacrificial Lamb Kabobs & Wraps. Kabobs and wraps start at $8.95.

Moby Dick House of Kabob is equally creative with its name and the food is priced at a whale of a deal too—kabobs start at $8.99.

Get a kabob, soda and a side for just over $8 at Urfa Tomato Kabob.

Sink your teeth into kabobs with an India twist at Lucky Kabob. Prices start at $8.99.

And for one of the best authentic Indo-Pak spots in town, check out Mayur Kabob House where the mouthwatering kabobs are $10.


If you’ve got a hankering for a cheap burger, Washington DC offers up your typical chain options, including 5 Guys Burgers and Fries and Shake Shack.

If your tastebuds are craving a local institution give Fast Eddy’s Sports & Billiards a try where, on Mondays, you can take advantage of the $5 burger special.


Want to grab a slice?

Washington DC is home to a variety of cheap pizza places that offer up great taste and a affordable price.

For authentic Neapolitan Pizza, sit down at 2 Amys where the pies range from $8.95 to $13.95.

Another Neapolitan-style option is Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza. Prices start at just under $20.

Mia’s Pizza is another great spot for wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza; order one up for $12 to $16.

And get unlimited toppings for only $8.64 at &pizza on H Street.


For fresh seafood at a reasonable price, one of the best cheap eats spots in Washington DC is Hank’s Oyster Bar where oysters on the half shell are only $2.25 and an order of steamed mussels is only $14.

Another budget-friendly seafood spot is Grillfish. Their lunch menu is especially thrifty: fish tacos are just $12 and their Mixed Grilled entrée featuring swordfish, salmon, shrimp, scallops and mahi mahi is just $14.

If you’re on the move touring the city, Horace and Dickies is a quick stop. Featured on the TV show Man vs. Food and the Travel Channel, this cheap eats place features fast and filling seafood bites from $6 to $12.


Fuel your trekking around Washington DC with a pit stop at The Greek Spot or the Greek Deli.

These affordable, flavourful cheap eats destinations boast a menu of Greek classics including Greek salad, fried calamari, mousaka, souvlaki, gyro on pita and more, with many items under $10.

More authentic Greek home cooking can be had at Zorba’s Café where the entrees start at $12.95.

Cheap Beers

Sometimes you just need a cold one, but nothing makes it go down easier than a great price.

The Rock & Roll Hotel has $5 beers.

The H Street Country Club serves up the suds for only $4 to $6 and during happy hour you can get a beer for $3 or a margarita for just $5.

Satisfy your sweet tooth

Feel like dessert or need a little sugar rush? Head over to Georgetown Cupcake, home of the TLC TV show DC Cupcakes.

For $2.75 you can buy yourself a decadent cupcake confection from their classics menu or one of their daily or seasonal specials.

Check Groupon for Deals on Washington DC Restaurants

image of Groupon one of the ways to save when you are planning a cheap vacation

Hungry for great food at a great price? One place to start is by perusing the latest Washington DC food and drink deals on Groupon, the money-saving website that features local discounts in 150 cities.

Visit the Washington DC “Food & Drink” Groupon page and you’ll find savings from 40% and up on breakfast, lunch and dinner spots.

The Washington DC “Food & Drink” Groupon page is a smart place to check out when you’re first planning your trip and even when you’re in the middle of your Washington DC visit because new deals get added weekly and even daily many times.

Be thrifty and practical! This information was accurate when published, but can change without notice. We recommend you confirm all details with the provider in question before planning your excursion.

Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass.