The biggest challenge every George Washington University student faces: deciding where to take family members or friends to eat when they visit. GW doesn’t have an actual dining hall anymore, so this is the time to show off the cool D.C. restaurants you’ve been spending your dining cash on instead. Plus, how else will you convince your visitors that you’ve got your college life together.
Check out these 10 Colonial food hotspots with the best food around GW.
Even though it was founded by two Georgetown students, Colonials find themselves willing to look past the Georgetown-GW rivalry for healthy salads. “Honestly I just go there for the Hummus Tahini bowl,” GW senior Kynat Akram said. “And of course their bread is amazing.” Not only are the delicious salads extremely healthy, but they come in large portions that serve as both lunch and dinner. A win-win situation for any college student on a budget.
2. Roti Mediterranean Grill
This Mediterranean Chipotle right by the Foggy Bottom Metro Station works as a great option for those who want quick, under $10 meals packed with flavor. “I love Roti because I can eat a delicious salad without feeling guilty,” GW sophomore Ashley Chacette Atilano said. “I like their chicken kabob salad and add on different veggies like tomato and cucumber.” Its beef and lamb are also certified halal, so Muslim students don’t have to get vegetarian salads, bowls or wraps.
3. Food Trucks
Every major city has its staple food trucks and D.C. is no exception. Colonials can visit food trucks along H St., the Foggy Bottom Metro station or Farragut Park. You’ll find delicious options for everyone, whether you crave pasta, hot dogs, burgers, Mediterranean, Indian or Asian fusion. GW sophomore Fatima Tauqir, who always searches for the best gyros, loves them. “Literally I was obsessed with them, so that’s where I always got my gyros first semester freshman year,” Tauqir said. Students need to be careful, though, because not all food trucks accept GWorld. However, the variety and cheap prices makes them worthy lunch and dinner spots.
Are GW students the only ones who crave crepes at one in the morning? On Thursday–Saturday nights, this popular restaurant stays open until 3 or 4 a.m., perfect for drunchies. Luckily, it’s easy to get your favorite sweet or savory crepe. “I love the sweet crepes because I love desserts,” GW sophomore Ariana Patsaros said. She loves the Askale crepe filled with strawberries, Oreos and Nutella. The place is packed during prospective student visits and orientation sessions. It’s the epitome of late-night college student cravings.
5. Burger, Tap and Shake
If you’re looking to try unique burgers and have an obsession with milkshakes, hit up this D.C. gem. Did I mention they accept GWorld? You’ll definitely want to try (and will fall in love with) the House or Signature burgers with its famous AP sauce—a mouthwatering blend of mayo, ketchup, mustard, BBQ and chipotle sauces.
6. Wiseguy NY Pizza
This new pizza restaurant is the first to open in District House’s dining area, but it’s already garnering lots of rave reviews. “It’s a lot closer to the NJ/NY style pizza than anything else I’ve had in D.C., which is so refreshing,” said GW sophomore Anna O’Brien. And we’d kill for those addictive garlic knots. Just simply head down to the new dining area in the basement of District, choose from a wide array of pizzas for less than $5 a slice and add on your own seasoning. It’s the perfect pit stop before heading off to Gelman or your next club meeting in Marvin.
What’s more comforting than grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup? Elevate your comfort food craving with specific breakfast, lunch and dinner grilled cheese combos. And the best part? It’s less than a block from the White House, so this local D.C. joint is a great place to take tourists AKA your visiting family members. Its fancy seating area will make it feel like you’re taking your family to a five-star restaurant.
8. District Taco
While there are other options for Mexican food on campus, GW sophomore Emily Kopach highly recommends District Taco. “I have a love affair with District Taco,” she said. “District Taco is worth it.” They don’t accept GWorld, but the under-$10 breakfast, lunch and dinner meals don’t make a huge dent in your wallet. For only $8 you can get three tacos with your choice of protein and up to three toppings. Consider your cravings satisfied.
9. Devon and Blakely
Devon and Blakely has a great selection of traditional soups, salads and sandwiches. “It has the best vegan/vegetarian options and the fastest-moving line,” GW freshman Natalie Lalama said. If you’re looking for a quick grab-and-go option close to the Metro station, then its healthy foods are an easy choice. I personally love their tossed salad bar and paninis. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
This cute Asian Fusion restaurant is known for serving food in organized boxes and its obsession with waffles. Seriously, you can have waffles or waffle sandwiches whenever you want. “They just have like really freaking good food and it’s kind of out of the way, so it actually feels like you’re going out to eat,” GW freshman Julia Febos said. Check it out next time you want to eat chicken and waffles for dinner, or an unconventional meal.
Still have room for more? Keep reading for the 10 best dessert spots around GW.
11. Baked and Wired at Georgetown
True D.C. locals know Baked and Wired beats Georgetown and Sprinkles Cupcakes for the best cupcake spot. Not only does Baked and Wired sell gigantic cakecups, but they also have cookies, brownies, ice cream and a cute coffee shop. “I love their Red Velvet,” said GW sophomore Khadija Khan. “I also love their cupcakes with the chocolate cake.” If you bring a visiting friend, head over to the cozy back room and enjoy those cakecups while sitting on the couches. Don’t forget to commemorate the occasion by writing your names on a large napkin and hang it up on the napkin wall.
12. Captain Cookie
Even though this cookie and ice cream spot resides at the edge of GW’s campus, you don’t have to be a GW student to worship Captain Cookie. “I love Captain Cookie so immensely much. It’s my favorite thing in this world. I will go to the ends of the earth of Captain Cookie,” said American University sophomore Jozette Allah-Mensah. “Highkey recommend Red Velvet and Nutella.” Overload your sugar cravings with Captain Cookie’s popular ice cream sandwich cookies. With a bunch of different cookie and ice cream flavors, the possibilities are endless.
13. GRK Frozen Yogurt
For those who don’t have an intense sweet tooth, GRK’s popular frozen yogurt satisfies without overwhelming your body with all that sugar. “I like that it’s not too sugary,” said GW sophomore Fatima Pasha. “It’s the perfect combination of tart and sweet.” And while it’s just plain frozen yogurt, you can accessorize it with fun toppings like strawberries, rose petals, black or red cherries, honey and walnuts.
14. HalfSmoke at U Street
For only $10 you’ll get a colossal milkshake in three custom flavors. The Milky Ceral has vanilla ice cream, fruity pebble dust, strawberry syrup and a rice krispy treat. Another extremely colorful shake is the Beyon-Shake with strawberry ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, a sour power straw and a pixie stick. Or, if you’re obsessed with chocolate, the Method has chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, caramel sauce and chocolate sprinkles. And it’s not just a boring ol’ restaurant. “The place is super fun because they have a lot of games and a photo booth,” said GW junior Nadia Syed.
15. Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken at Metro Center
Did you ever think of pairing together doughnuts and fried chicken? It turns out that this combo is actually a match made in heaven for your sugary and salty taste buds. For doughnuts, choose from either glazed, maple bacon, PB&J or crème brûlée. For fried chicken, choose from either classic two, four or five pieces or a sandwich. Say hello to dinner and dessert.
16. MILKBAR at CityCenter
From its crack pies and shakes to its cookies and cake truffles, MILKBAR’s endless options save any kind of extreme desire. And if you like a mixture of sweet and salty, grab its compost cookie with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch and chocolate chips. Also, bless your friends’ Instagram feeds with picture-perfect shots of your famous cereal-milk soft serve positioned by the logo. Talk about achieving Instagram-celebrity status.
17. Haagen Daz at Georgetown
Who doesn’t love some good, old-fashioned ice cream? You can go for classic flavors, or try something wacky. “My favorite ice-cream is midnight cookies and cream,” said Khan. This popular ice-cream shop also doubles as another late-night hangout for college students and tourists. “It’s open really late at night,” said Khan. Sounds like this will make the perfect midnight snack during a stressful all-nighter.
Did you notice this spot made it to the list again? It’s just that good. If it’s 2 a.m. on a Friday night and you’re dreaming of sugary foods, then Crepeaway serves as your prime option. GW students who appreciate a warm crepe and some late-night drunchies head over to this spot at the edge of campus.
19. Pie Sisters at Georgetown
Located right by the Key Bridge, this family-owned bakery serves specialty, sweet and savory pies. And if you can’t decide from the 20 different options, then you can order them in tiny pie bites and cuppies. You can pair together flavors like classic apple, pecan, banana cream, coconut cream, chicken pot pie and country tomato. Your taste buds will be singing to the angels with this endless amount of flavor combinations. It’s heaven for pie-lovers like Dean Winchester.
20. Whole Foods
Not only can you buy fresh desserts at the bakery section, but you can also buy desserts in the frozen section. Stock up your fridge with organic, fair-trade (and even dairy-free) ice creams, pies and cakes. Personally, the mini cheesecakes, especially the mango and cookies and cream, from either the bakery counter or to-go section are knockouts. And if you love baking from scratch, check out the baking section. Never forgo a 3 a.m. ice cream craving when you’re in the middle of a Grey’s Anatomy binge watching session.
*Updated April 13, 2017 by Mariya Khan with 10 dessert spots (restaurants 11-20) around GW and D.C. to satisfy your sweet tooth.