Free time suggestions: Best places to eat in D.C.

Washington D.C.

Our nation’s capital might be known for its monuments, politicians, and history, but equally noteworthy is D.C.’s food scene. With so many amazing restaurants to try, it can be hard to choose. These iconic lunch spots are a great place to start on your next tour of D.C.

Michael Kwan/ via Flickr


Nando’s is a fan favorite of EF travelers. One bite and you’ll see what all the fuss is about. The secret to Nando’s? The restaurant uses the peri-peri pepper as the key ingredient for all of their legendary chicken dishes and sauces. Not only does the pepper taste amazing, but the chili seeds are also rich in vitamins. If morning sightseeing has left you with a big appetite, head to Nando’s for a chicken plate, a thigh and mighty sandwich, or even a salad! 

Bub and Pop’s/ via Facebook

Bub and Pop’s 

Bub and Pop’s specializes in overstuffed Italian hoagies and braised beef brisket sandwiches. A great midday stop between museums, this family-owned restaurant has a friendly staff that will make your tour group feel right at home. Once featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, lines can back up fast at this D.C. staple—but it’s well worth the wait. Locals recommend the Chicken Rico Sub and Cheese Steak.  


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Taqueria Habanero 

Taqueria Habanero is owned by husband and wife Dio and Mirna Montero. They emigrated to the United States about 20 years ago and brought with them family recipes straight from the streets of Puebla, Mexico. Taqueria Habanero vows to “provide the greatest cultural experience in a single bite,” and they live up to the hype! Their house-made guacamole is perfect for a mid-day snack break.

Georgetown Cupcakes

Guian Bolisay/ via Flickr

Georgetown Cupcakes 

Georgetown Cupcakes was founded in 2008 by two sisters who traded their careers in fashion and venture capitalism to pursue their passion in baking. While they’ve since expanded to locations across the U.S. the original was in Washington. They have classic flavors like red velvet or vanilla birthday cake, daily specials like key lime pie or lava fudge, and monthly seasonal offerings such as haunted chocolate cheesecake or reindeer munch crunch. If you’re looking to top off your lunch with a sweet treat, Georgetown cupcakes is the place for you.

Any of these restaurants will make for the perfect break on your EF tour of Washington D.C. Don’t have a tour booked yet? Browse all of our North American tours here.

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