Eating on the Cheap
There are so many wonderful restaurants, diners, cafes, and cafeterias throughout Washington D.C. that breakfast and lunch should never put you over the top of your budget. Since you'll be on the go from morning until the sun sets, look for something along your route during the day and then splurge on one of the city's unique dining experiences for dinner, when you'll need to get off your feet. Or, if you want a midday break, eat lunch at a stylish restaurant you couldn't afford in the evening, and have a simpler meal at night.
There are fabulous breakfasts throughout the city, but your best bet is likely to be a diner around the corner (check out your hotel restaurant first — some can be very pricey). Ask the hotel staff if there's a good, inexpensive breakfast place nearby. Many hotels offer a continental breakfast with the hotel room price. If you are going to be in town on Sunday morning and have the time to dine leisurely, you might want to schedule a Sunday brunch, because the city hosts a phenomenal variety of truly unique brunch experiences.
There are many unique and exotic options listed in this chapter, but there are days when you may prefer to stop at the nearest fast-food chain restaurant. If you're looking for a Burger King or McDonald's, ask your hotel desk clerk or concierge for the one closest to you.
You will most likely eat lunch on the go, and if you are touring one of the city's major museums, you should consider eating in either its restaurant or cafeteria. They all offer a good variety of kid-pleasing menu items, and some are truly exceptional dining experiences, such as the Corcoran Gallery or the restaurant in the National Gallery of Art. Because of security concerns, it is now almost impossible to bring food into a museum or interior in a knapsack, as all bags must be checked when you enter.