The Well Dressed Burrito
Address: 1220 19th St. NW
How to get there: Take the GUTS bus to Dupont Circle, walk three blocks down 19th, and peer dubiously into the alley.
Price: $10 or less for most menu items, “burrito of the day” is $6.99
This tucked-away Dupont burrito joint is the perfect place for a hearty college-student-on-a-budget lunch. Not only are the burritos (and flautas, and empanadas, and tostadas, and quesadillas) delicious, but the portions are so massive that they can count as two full meals. All for the low price of $10 (or less!). Nothing says college munchies like a thick bean and cheese chimichanga with rice, beans, and pico. The sheer magnitude of these delicacies may kill you, but death by beefy burrito is an honorable way to go.
Voice’s choice: Bean and cheese chimichanga
— Lucy Cook
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Address: 1213 U St. NW or 1001 H St. NE
How to get there: To get to the original U Street location, take the GUTS bus to Dupont, then take the Metro Red line toward Glenmont and get off at Gallery Place and transfer to the Green line towards Greenbelt. Get off at the U Street stop.
Price: Less than $10 for almost all items
Established in 1958 on the U Street Corridor, Ben’s Chili Bowl has become not only a hallmark of the District, but a celebration of this city’s vibrant Black community. A proudly Black-owned business, Ben’s has a long legacy of service in the District—donating food to the March on Washington, remaining open during the D.C. riots of 1968, and staying afloat during a devastating pandemic, all the while watching the ever-changing dimensions and demographics of its city. Beyond its long-standing reputation in D.C., Ben’s serves up a wicked dog. From chili dogs, to half-smokes, to burgers, to the titular chili bowl, $10 will get any drooling patron a hearty meal of beans and meats. Their vegan and vegetarian chili options have even won awards from PETA and other organizations (so there’s no reason not to go, you weird veggie lovers). This D.C. staple is a complete must-try for any resident.
Voice’s choice: Original Chili Half-smoke, Ben’s Famous Chili Bowls
— Lucy Cook
Address: 1210 Potomac St. NW
How to get there: Walk out the front gates and take a right once you reach Potomac (around a 10 minute walk).
Price: Nothing on the menu is more than $4
Falafel Inc’s sandwiches are a great deal for only $3, and they are consequently a frequent destination for NSO groups and other student organizations. It’s not uncommon to see friend groups flocking in packs toward the small storefront. Though lines occasionally stretch down the block (the interior space is notoriously small, and capacity limits are still being enforced due to COVID-19), it’s a great place to grab a quick bite and a Georgetown student favorite. And the sandwiches are a perfect meal paired with the za’atar fries and delicious sauces. Falafel Inc also considers itself the “world’s first falafel fast casual food social enterprise,” partnering with the World Food Programme, a humanitarian organization that provides aid to refugees around the world.
Voice’s choice: Falafel sandwich with hummus
— Olivia Martin
Simply Banh Mi
Address: 1624 Wisconsin Ave. NW
How to get there: Walk out the front onto P, then go up 35th to Q, then turn on Wisconsin (about a 15 minute walk).
Price: $9-11 for a sandwich, pho, rice bowl, or salad
For a short walk and a reasonable price, you could be holding a massive vegetable-loaded sandwich in your hand. Just up Wisconsin, Simply Banh Mi is the closest and best Vietnamese place, and you can easily order for pick-up or delivery on their admittedly and hilariously terrible site. (“If you’ve happened across this dumpster fire of a webpage then you’re probably interested in ordering food not web development services,” a disclaimer reads.) Though their dining room has been closed since COVID-19, the service is still fantastic, and the food is easy to take home or to a picnic in nearby Book Hill Park. Their fresh halal, vegan, and gluten-free options are great for a group with a variety of dietary restrictions. And truly, their sense of humor is unbeatable.
Voice’s choice: Lemongrass tofu banh mi with hoisin or sriracha
— Annemarie Cuccia
Farmers Fishers Bakers (First Bake, Happy Hour)
Address: 3000 K St. NW, The Washington
How to get there: Walk out the front gates down O to Wisconsin, turn right and walk down until you hit the waterfront. Farmers is to the left, by the large fountain (about a 25 min walk).
Price: $5 for breakfast, $15 for two drinks and a snack at happy hour
Most of the menu items at Farmers Fishers Bakers have no business being on a list of affordable places to eat. But twice a day on weekdays, their food is such an absolute steal it’s become a Georgetown student staple. The upscale American restaurant runs a quick sit down or grab-and-go breakfast service each morning from 8 to 10:30 a.m. called First Bake, with breakfast sandwiches for $5 and tacos and burritos for even less. For those who like sweets, there’s an array of baked goods and thick slices of bread, all for about $2. In the afternoon, they run undoubtedly the best-value happy hour in Georgetown, with all drinks—including a simply delightful frozen gin and tonic—at $7, and fries, pretzels, and a whole pizza all $5 or less. If you want to feel like you’re treating yourself but not spend a ton, this is the ticket.
Voice’s choice: Breakfast burrito, cranberry orange bread, Frozen G&T, pimento cheddar biscuits
— Annemarie Cuccia
Address: 1236 36th St. NW
How to get there: Walk out the front gates, turn right on 36th, you’ll find it. Directly across from Walsh.
Price: Less than $10 for any sandwich
Oh, Wisey’s. You undying haunt of rabid middle schoolers and hungover college students. Located just a few short blocks from Georgetown’s front gates on 36th St., Wisey’s is a neighborhood classic. A small storefront (and backroom deli), Wisey’s serves as a grocery store, a locale for sophisticated drinks such as Natty Light, and as the home of the legendary Chicken Madness. Whether it’s because of the poor lighting (great for nocturnal skin), the smell of gooey Oreo cookies, or the memory of having spent too much pocket money there as a rabid middle schooler myself, Wisey’s is a homing beacon the minute I step off campus. Wisey’s needs Georgetown students almost as badly as Georgetown students need Wisey’s. This symbiotic relationship wrapped in aluminum foil and stamped with grease is one that is an integral part of the Georgetown experience. So next time you’re booking it to a class on the top floor of Walsh at 9 a.m., consider your priorities. Stop at Wisey’s. Life is too short to deny the call.
Voice’s choice: Classic Chicken Madness
— Lucy Cook
90 Second Pizza
Address: 1077 Wisconsin Ave. NW
How to get there: Walk out the front gates, down O, turn right down Wisconsin, cross M, and 90 Second Pizza is on the east side of the street.
For just $10 and a minute and a half for a pie, 90 Second Pizza is the perfect stop for students on the go and on a budget. The price and speed of the pizza certainly doesn’t take away from its quality or taste. I’d recommend the simple, yet flavorful, Margherita pizza for anyone struggling to make a decision on which of the 12 pizzas to try first. 90 Second Pizza is also vegan-friendly, with four additional vegan pizzas on their menu! The restaurant’s small storefront makes it a great option for takeout pizza, but the lack of in-store dining doesn’t take away from the pizza nor the atmosphere. When you walk in the door, you can tell the restaurant means business. And by business, I mean pizza. When your order’s ready, you’ll hear a “90 seconds is up!”
Voice’s choice: Margherita Pizza
— Abby Smith
Address: 3715 Macomb St. NW
How to get there: Take the 30N bus westbound towards Friendship Heights and get off at Wisconsin Ave. & Macomb St. stop
Price: $12-$18 for a pizza, $10 for most “little things”
I’ve spent two summers in Italy gorging myself on the finest Italian ‘zas, and yet 2Amys remains firmly in my top three pizzas of all time. This authentic Neapolitan-style joint in Cathedral Heights is a D.C. staple. With beautifully charred wood-fire pies, a pleasant and unpretentious ambiance, and absolutely killer side dishes, 2Amys has made itself the standard for pizza in the District. It’s the place where my Catholic family would go for every First Communion, Confirmation, and Easter Sunday lunch, because it’s that damn good, but it’s also laid back enough for a perfect post-outing, sweaty lunch spot. One must-have item on the menu is the arancini (called ‘suppli al telefono’ on the menu)—these oozy mozzarella-filled risotto balls are so good that I would push babies and body-slam old people to get the last bite.
Voice’s choice: 2Amy’s pizza and suppli al telefono
— Lucy Cook
Address: 1608 Wisconsin Ave. NW
How to get there: Walk out the front gates down O, and turn up Wisconsin (about 15 min walk).
Price: $15 for a meal
This is the best food in Georgetown, full stop. As a proud soup aficionado, nothing is as comforting to me as a big bowl of spicy ramen, and Oki Bowl delivers. Their food is remarkably savory, and a much needed break from the blandness of Leo’s. It’s also a great place for vegetarian options, and they’re super open to customizations (read: sub tofu for meat in anything). The inside is kooky in all the right ways, with a collection of multicolored hats and trinkets attached to the walls and ceiling. If conversation lags, point at something weird on the wall! And, after eating all that soup, you might discover the hidden gem of the blacklight bathroom. Pro tip: The portions are huge, so time it as a late lunch or early dinner and get two meals out of one.
Voice’s choice: Oki Curry Ramen with tofu
— Annemarie Cuccia
Address: 2928 Georgia Ave. NW
How to get there: Catch the G2 bus at the front gates and take it to P and 7th St., then take the 70 to Georgia and Gresham. Or order delivery—it’s worth it!
Vegan soul food. I truly don’t think I need to say more. It’s like you are at a barbeque, but everything is vegan, and the options are endless. For vegetarians or vegans, the chicken will satisfy any craving for fried chicken without making you worried you’ve been tricked into eating meat. NuVegan’s meatless chicken is so good, even meat eaters crave it. You can pair this with one of over twenty sides, including vegan mac and cheese, delicious roasted vegetables, and cold salads. They deliver through their website, and with a group, it’ll only end up being about a dollar more per person. Perfect for a picnic or to satisfy your FOMO when all your friends are going to get real fried chicken (no shame).
Voice’s choice: Vegan fried chicken sandwich with mac and cheese, okra, and tomatoes
— Annemarie Cuccia
Bangkok Thai Dining
Address: 2016 P St. NW, #C1 Basement
How to get there: Take the GUTS bus or G2 to Dupont. Walk a block down P, passing Second Story Books. Tucked at the end of a row of restaurants, enter a doorway door with music playing from it and follow the stairs.
You take steep stairs down to where music is playing far too loud into a basement to get into Bangkok Thai. That basement has become my second home in D.C. It’s where my mom and I discussed college options after GAAP, and I chose Georgetown. It’s where I took friends on my freshman floor during the first week of school. It’s where I go if I need an escape from campus. It’s the place that—when I took my mom there last week—our server recognized us from that GAAP weekend two years prior. And the food? It’s even better than the comforting environment I’ve found there. Never was there a place where vegetables tasted crisper, or cellophane noodles were expertly sauteed into transparent heaven. The prices are good, the portions are perfect, and the spiciness (if you so choose) will leave you embarrassed as you ask for more water (again).
Voice’s choices: Pad Woon Sen or the Panang Curry
— Sarah Watson
El Centro (Taco Tuesday)
Address: 1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW
How to get there: Walk out the front gates, down O, and turn right down Wisconsin.
Price: $3/taco on Tuesdays; $14-17 regularly
As the saying goes, nothing beats your college town’s local Mexican restaurant. While we’re not exactly in a college town, El Centro has become a go-to spot for my friends and I on the weekends—and on Tuesdays. The dining options can get a bit pricey, but the $3 Taco Tuesday deal is quite the steal. The chef’s rotation keeps you on your toes, allowing for a chance to try new tacos each month. Whether it’s asking about your table’s zodiac signs or offering a veteran opinion on the menu, the staff’s friendliness makes you feel right at home at El Centro. The best part of Taco Tuesday is that it lasts all day; there’s no rush to make it to happy hour after class. You can sit back, enjoy the upbeat vibe of the restaurant, frozen margarita in hand, and marvel at your top-tier tacos neatly served on colorful plates, all while pretending that Taco Tuesday is an additional day of the weekend.
Voice’s choice: Chicken Tinga Tacos
— Abby Smith
Address: 805 V St. NW
How to get there: Take the GUTS bus to Dupont Circle, take the Red line train towards Glenmont, transfer to the Green line at Gallery Place, get off at Shaw-Howard University; OR take the G2 bus from the front gates and get off at 4th St. & V St. and walk five blocks around Howard to the Atlantic Plumbing building.
Price: Less than $10 for a small bowl of ramen, $13-$16 for a regular bowl
In a city teeming with great ramen joints, Haikan stands out for its simplicity, fantastic flavors, and great location. Situated in the Atlantic Plumbing building, Haikan is directly around the corner from the 9:30 Club, and shares a wall with the Atlantic Plumbing independent movie theatre. It’s a cool spot. Owned by Daisuke Yutagawa, Katsuya Fukushima, and Yama Jewayni, who also own other premiere ramen restaurants across the city (notably Daikaya and Bantam King), Haikan is a bit more lowkey than its counterparts. Minimalistic decor and simple but delicious Sapporo-style ramen stun in this Shaw location that embraces humility in both design and execution. Beyond the ramen, Haikan serves some of the most banging appetizers and desserts in the game—particularly the piping hot and creamy Crab Rangoon.
Voice’s choice: Shoyu ramen and Crab Rangoon
— Lucy Cook
Address: 1351 H St. NE
How to get there: Take the D6 bus from the Q St./Dent Pl. stop to D St. NE & 13th St. NE, walk up 13th St. to H. This is a long journey but so worth it.
Maketto is the first business I remember going to in D.C., just minutes from where I stayed when I toured campus. The coffee shop/bar/Cambodian and Taiwanese restaurant/record shop/clothing store is still one of the coolest places I’ve been in the city, and I keep going back, despite the hour-long bus ride. Their food is innovative, and they have both the best vegetables and the best lattes in D.C. It’s a perfect destination to get off campus for a day if you still want to do work; go in the morning, get a coffee, and then grab lunch to keep you going. The interior is vibrant but surprisingly peaceful, and their mission to be a community space, bringing people together for everything from business meetings to nights out, always feels fulfilled.
Voice’s choice: Five spice honey latte, tofu and spicy basil sauce
— Annemarie Cuccia